(1) Results of the 2001 Math Adoption Deliberations (from the California Department of Education via Walter Denham):
A Buchanan High student and an Orange County professor were named to education-related state boards Tuesday by Gov. Davis.
Jacqueline [Jackie] Boris, 17, student body president of the Clovis high school, will be the student member of the state Board of Education, which sets general policies for public schools.
Brian Conley, 51, of Huntington Beach was named to the Community Colleges Board of Governors, which provides guidance to the 72 locally elected districts. He is president of the Rancho Santiago Community College board in Santa Ana and a professor at Golden West College in Huntington Beach.
There is no salary for either position. Both appointments must be confirmed by the state Senate.
An alliance of teachers and professional groups put out its own mathematics curriculum for public schools Thursday in an open rebellion against the state's new guidelines.
"It turns the clock back on quality instruction," Brookline fourth grade teacher Nancy Buell said of the state's framework... Some of the math dissenters said Thursday that the state went astray in its curriculum for that subject by gearing it too closely to the MCAS tests.
They said the state focused too heavily on a traditional approach of teaching pupils to memorize and do mechanical computations. The dissenters said their curriculum concentrates more on problem solving and a deeper understanding of concepts.
"To rely on memory to learn math is very limited. People's memories are only so big," said Mary Eich, a Newton schools math coordinator who helped work up the alternative curriculum.
The informal alliance of dissenters, known as the Massachusetts Educators for Mathematics Excellence, calls its curriculum "Mathematics for All."
Group leaders talked to journalists and began promoting the 58-page booklet to educators Thursday at a regional conference of mathematics teachers in Springfield. Their curriculum was endorsed by associations of math teachers for western Massachusetts, the state and New England.
State Education Commissioner David Driscoll reacted quickly; saying he will "leave it to schools to take whatever tools they may find in this document to help students address and meet our state-approved standards." His spokesman, Alan Safran, said the state curriculum approved in July should, however, remain the foundation. "It's a balance between the drill side and the understanding," Safran said.
But Claire Graham, who teaches math education at Framingham State College and helped develop the alternative curriculum, said the state is too intent on MCAS success alone. "All they want is numbers that can be put in the paper," she said.
The alliance leaders said they will distribute at least 2,000 copies of their alternative curriculum to school superintendents and others. Their effort may test math teachers as they sort out the best ways to both teach their subject and help pupils pass the MCAS exams.
"The MCAS is a huge pressure," acknowledged Eich, the Newton math coordinator. "But we feel like if kids really understand what they're doing, they can solve any problem."
It was not clear how successful the group may be in substituting its curriculum for the state's. Local school districts and teachers ultimately decide what is taught in the classroom, but state education officials routinely set standards and lawmakers control state aid. Safran, of the Education Department, refused to say Thursday what the state might do if it needed to enforce the use of its own math curriculum.
...Both Vice President Gore, the Democratic nominee, and Gov. Bush, the GOP hopeful, have some nationally known education advisers, including Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley and Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. of North Carolina for Mr. Gore, and Houston Superintendent Rod Paige for Mr. Bush. But, it is academics and lesser-known government officials who have researched, debated, and fleshed out the details of both candidates' extensive proposals.
"I think the fact that both Gore and Bush are turning to people not widely known but highly sensible is a good sign," said Denis P. Doyle, a Washington-based education consultant and the vice chairman and chief academic officer of Schoolnet, a company that works to help schools set and reach high standards...
While both campaigns say they have drawn on a diverse group of experts and education practitioners, as well as people met along the campaign trail, both are mainly looking to advisers already well-versed in their respective candidates' policies. Mr. Gore is relying heavily on Clinton administration officials, and Gov. Bush has rallied several Texans to help shape his school proposals.
Mr. Gore's campaign has drawn extensively on former White House aides to President Clinton to draft its education plans. Many of the vice president's proposals, such as federal funding for school construction and for hiring 100,000 new teachers to help reduce class sizes in the early grades, would continue initiatives that Mr. Clinton has championed.
The campaign has also turned to the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, in which President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and Mr. Gore's vice presidential running-mate, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, have all been actively involved.
The group--which made its name by challenging the Democratic Party's liberal orthodoxy--has helped Mr. Gore craft stronger accountability and public-school-choice measures in his platform, said Andrew J. Rotherham, the education policy director for the Progressive Policy Institute, the DLC's think tank.
In addition to the heavyweights such as Secretary Riley and Gov. Hunt, Mr. Gore has called on Jonathan H. Schnur, a former teacher who spent seven years working for the Clinton administration as the associate director of education policy at the White House and as Vice President Gore's senior adviser on education.
Mr. Schnur is now involved in launching the New Leaders for New Schools project, which aims to recruit and train principals for urban schools. ("Nonprofit Group Aims To Groom New Breed of Leaders," Sept. 20, 2000.)
Mr. Schnur, who worked on initiatives such as teacher recruitment and the Goals 2000 school improvement program while in Washington, said the vice president is known for calling together experts with a wide array of opinions on education reform. Mr. Gore, he added, always insists that his advisers back up their claims with research or practical knowledge. "He's tough and demanding, but respectful of the knowledge people bring to the table," Mr. Schnur said.
Another top Gore adviser is William A. Galston, a professor in the school of public affairs at the University of Maryland.
Mr. Doyle called Mr. Galston "a tried-and-true Democrat" with innovative ideas. Mr. Galston served as President Clinton's deputy assistant for domestic policy from 1992 to 1994, and worked on Mr. Gore's losing presidential campaign in 1988.
Bruce Reed, another White House domestic-policy adviser, is also a close confidant to Mr. Gore. He has taken a leave from his post in the administration to work for the campaign full time.
And former White House aide Elaine C. Kamarck is advising the Gore campaign on education policy and other domestic matters. Ms. Kamarck was matched up with Mr. Kress of the Bush campaign for a campaign policy debate in New York City earlier this month.
Currently the director of Harvard University's Visions of Governance for the 21st Century project, Ms. Kamarck was a senior policy adviser to Vice President Gore from 1993 to 1997, working with him to create and manage the National Performance Review. The review, better known as the "reinventing government" initiative, focused on streamlining the federal government and cutting bureaucracy.
Before joining the Clinton administration, she was also a senior fellow at the PPI, where she and Mr. Galston published many of the policy papers that later became the foundation for the centrist "New Democrat" philosophy that President Clinton and Vice President Gore have espoused.
Mr. Gore has also listened to the many teachers, parents, and local school officials he has met in his travels in recent months, according to Mr. Schnur. During the vice president's "school days" visits on the campaign trail, Mr. Gore spends an entire day at a school meeting with administrators, teachers, parents, and others to solicit advice and opinions.
In the Bush 'Kitchen'
One of the biggest differences in this year's campaign agenda-setting for education, Washington observers say, is that Gov. Bush has a much more detailed education platform than previous Republican presidential candidates, and thus, more detail-oriented advisers.
"The difference is, I think [Mr. Bush is] calling on more of his own experience and people who have been there with him doing this," said Christopher T. Cross, the president of the Council for Basic Education.
Mr. Cross--who served a stint as an assistant secretary of education during the administration of President George Bush, the governor's father--advised former Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas during his 1988 and 1996 presidential bids.
Margaret La Montagne is perhaps the Texas associate with the most experience working with Gov. Bush, having worked with him on education initiatives in the early 1990s and later serving as the political director of his 1994 gubernatorial campaign.
Now the senior adviser on education policy in the governor's office in Texas, she is also a prominent voice within his campaign, according to aides. Before joining Mr. Bush, she worked as an associate executive director of the Texas Association of School Boards.
Gov. Bush, Ms. La Montagne said, has consistently been passionate and goals-oriented about education. "He's very focused on the bottom line, but he gives his staff a lot of latitude to work on the details," she said.
"We're pretty homegrown here," added a campaign aide who did not want to be quoted by name. But the aide noted that Gov. Bush has also reached out to national experts in areas such as higher education and special education.
The aide said the governor also checks in occasionally with Nina Shokraii Rees, the senior education policy adviser at the Heritage Foundation and Chester E. Finn Jr., the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and a former assistant secretary of education under President Reagan.
Mr. Bush can also chat with another prominent conservative voice on education: Lynne V. Cheney, the wife of his running-mate, former Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney.
Ms. Cheney, the chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under Presidents Reagan and Bush, stirred debate with her 1995 attack on proposed voluntary national standards for U.S. history. She is also a champion of phonics-based reading instruction and a critic of so-called "whole math."
Ms. Cheney has had a role in the Bush campaign since long before her husband was tapped for the No. 2 spot on the Republican ticket.
She, Ms. Rees, and Ms. La Montagne served on an 11-member panel that initially advised the governor on education policy when his campaign was getting under way...
Finally, Mr. Kress, a lawyer who served on the Dallas school board from 1992 to 1996, is another resource for the Texas governor...
* The Progressive Policy Institute, the think tank of the Democratic Leadership Council, maintains an issues page on education: http://www.ppionline.org/ppi_ka.cfm?knlgAreaID=110
* Jonathan Schnur, longtime education advisor to Vice President Gore, now heads the New Leaders for New Schools Program. http://www.nlns.org/#program
* The Gore campaign provides a breakdown of Vice President Gore's education agenda. http://www.algore2000.com/agenda/education_agenda.html
* Gov. Bush's contact, Nina Shokraii Rees, is senior education policy advisor at the Heritage Foundation, which also posts an issues page on education: http://www.heritage.org/
* Gov. Bush also checks in with Chester E. Finn Jr., head of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. http://www.edexcellence.net/index.html Read various views on major education reform issues: http://www.edexcellence.net/topics/topics.html
* The Bush campaign outlines Gov. Bush's education agenda. http://www.georgewbush.com/issues.asp?FormMode=FullText&ID=2
[From the Math Forum Internet News, 23 October 2000] A booklet that explores ways teachers can help children to experience the type of mathematics envisioned in the Standards, building on children's literature.
Each of the first seven chapters describes a way children's literature can be used to teach mathematics, by:
Each chapter contains examples of two to four books, with summaries of stories, sketches of proposed classroom activities and related print materials (models for manipulatives, activity cards, worksheets), and suggested follow-up activities.
COMET is sponsored in part by a grant from the California Mathematics Project.
COMET is produced by:
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