Monday, December 29, 2008

The Key Results of the NMAP Report.

The tables and what readers infer from them in the National Math Advisory Panel Report are what truly matters.

A streamlined curriculum means that mandated topics need not be 100% of a math course. This is the great unwritten benefit of the report. Without stating it, NMAP agrees with the Core Knowledge, CK, method of using a core curriculum: the core hovers around 50% of a course in a CK classroom. The actual percent of time spent on streamlined curriculum will depend on students and their groups, which is a difficult issue to address in print. This allows enrichment and remediation to occur in real-time, while staying on an acknowledged, understood national path.

The Benchmark Table is what regulates math instruction. The table implies that mastery learning be implemented within a streamlined curriculum and its assessment. It's about learning, not teaching!

The School Algebra Table, California Algebra 2 without conics, adjusts the pathways of the high school math curriculum, striking a balance between rigor and realism. Algebra 2 is absolutely necessary, but High School Geometry, isn't! Knowing how to determine the measures of inscribed angles isn't really vital. Yes, A1-G-A2 may be the standard and wonderful, but A1-A2 works.

All of the comments and responses on research methods, etc. are embarrassing. They really are beside the point. Words on research-based are merely buzz or rants of the chattering class, but a reasonable, streamlined curriculum that demands mastery learning - now that's something special. Are there any comments that the tables of the NMAP Report are unreasonable or a poor starting point? No. In short, opponents of the report, need to ask themselves: are we bricks in the wall? (with thanks to Pink Floyd)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Donation from Costa Mesa Community Foundation

Times are tough, but the people of the Costa Mesa Community Foundation believe in helping students stay in school by completing their math requirements - math failures equals dropouts.  Please thank them for helping sustain ALEKS use in Newport-Mesa. ALEKS is the fastest way to mastering math.