Thursday, February 18, 2010

Key Curriculum Press Responds to Seattle Lawsuit over their awful "Discovering Algebra" series


Key's Response (PDF)

Discovering Mathematics is the Highest-Ranking, Mathematically Sound, High School Math Curriculum

The Seattle lawsuit is about the choice of curriculum, not about the results for children. Read more…

Discovering Mathematics had not been used in the Seattle School District when the lawsuit was filed. The plaintiffs reacted to the choice of materials and not the results from the classroom.

The plaintiffs relied on data from other curricula to make their claims, not on any data regarding Discovering Mathematics.

Seattle’s textbook selection process chose Discovering Mathematics after exhaustive review by administrators, educators, curriculum and instruction department staff, parents, school board members, and mathematicians.

Discovering Mathematics was chosen in Seattle because the School Board could see the potential to serve a diverse student population and improve mathematical achievement across the district.

The series is entirely mathematically correct and makes no errors or misrepresentations.

The Discovering Mathematics Series offers advanced curriculum that is nationally recognized and widely used. Read more…

The Discovering Mathematics Series teaches high school Algebra, Advanced Algebra, and Geometry. Key also offers other advanced curriculum in Precalculus, Calculus, and Statistics, among others.

Key Curriculum Press was founded in 1971 and brings 40 years of the best math and science education experience together. Key was started by teachers who wanted to help more of their students learn the basics. To this day, all of our authors and editors are current or former math educators.

The Discovering Series is currently in use in all 50 states, by over 1200 schools, reaching nearly 1 million students nationally.

In the Seattle area, the Discovering Series is in use in the Everett, Franklin-Pierce, Highline, Lake Washington, Seattle, and South Whidbey school districts, plus many other smaller districts and private schools. Other districts nationally include Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and New York City.

Books from the Discovering Series are used abroad by the U.S. Department of Defense for its high schools, as well as by the schools in the US Virgin Islands, American International Schools, and have been translated for schools in Asia.

The series has been awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Educational Publishers and a Certificate of Merit from Bookbuilders.

Discovering Mathematics is mathematically sound and is the highest match for or fully matches all Washington State teaching standards. Read more…

Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) ranked the Discovering curriculum highest among 12 publishers in its overall ranking of core Algebra 1 and 2 series. (OSPIMathematicsHS-IMR-Report06-19-09.pdf, page 14.)

OSPI ranked the Discovering Math statistically tied in first place in its ranking of publisher bundles of three-year series. (OSPIMathematicsHS-IMR-Report06-19-09.pdf, page 21.)

A team of over 50 experts and staff conducted OSPI’s extensive and professional review. (OSPIMathematicsHS-IMR-Report06-19-09.pdf, page 9.)

These experts served with the Instructional Materials Advisory Group, the State Board of Education Math Panel, and other groups.

Discovering Mathematics is strongly aligned with Washington standards.

Studies such as the Report of Year 1 of the Comparison of Three Mathematics Curricula at East High School in Madison, Wisconsin, point to the effectiveness of the Discovering Mathematics texts.

Download Key's Response (PDF)

Steve's Letter (PDF)

Letter from Steve Rasmussen, Publisher, Key Curriculum Press

Discovering Mathematics (PDF)

More information on Discovering Mathematics Support from Mathematics Professionals

Confrey (PDF)

Dr. Jere Confrey, North Carolina State University

“… we reported positively on multiple studies in which what you are calling inquiry curricula reported progress in closing the gaps between students from groups underrepresented in many mathematical fields and students with access to more resources and assistance.”

Read more.

Schoenfeld (PDF)

Dr. Alan H. Schoenfeld, University of California at Berkeley

“The plaintiffs' case in Seattle represents a very skewed view of what the literature says. The Discovery Mathematics series lies within a research-based tradition of curricula that, objectively evaluated, are superior to the approach championed by the plaintiffs in the Seattle case. ”

Read more.

Olive (PDF)

Dr. John Olive, University of Georgia

“To base a ruling on the plaintiffs' unsubstantiated claims that inquiry-based learning is only successful for the mathematically gifted, and therefore, selection of an inquiry-based series discriminates against minorities and ELL students, is both insulting to ethnic minorities (it implies they are not mathematically gifted) and flies in the face of well-established research. ”

Read more.

Reys (PDF)

Dr. Barbara Reys, University of Missouri

“At a time when mathematics performance of U.S. students is widely criticized and schools are urged to improve, it is ironic and sad that school systems are stymied in making transformative and productive changes. ”

Read more.

Isaacs (PDF)

Dr. Andy Isaacs, University of Chicago

“'Various findings across 138 analyzed studies indicate a clear, positive trend favoring inquiry-based instructional practices, particularly instruction that emphasizes student active thinking and drawing conclusions from data' (Minner, Levy, & Century, 2009). ”

Read more.

Robinson (PDF)

Dr. Eric Robinson, Ithaca College, New York

“I could not be more supportive toward the efforts of Key Curriculum Press to provide instructional materials in mathematics that include an inquiry-based design.”

Read more.

Schattschneider (PDF)

Dr. Doris Schattschneider, Moravian College, Pennsylvania

“Mathematics texts such as the "Discovering" series by Key Curriculum Press have been well tested in classrooms across the country and meet all mathematics standards outlined by state boards and the NCTM standards. They are thoughtfully written, mathematically accurate, and interesting to teach and learn from. Teachers and students give them high marks. They belong in the list of recommended texts for mathematics courses at the middle and high school level. ”

Read more.

Callahan (PDF)

Dr. Patrick Callahan, California

“The National Research Council articulated a balanced approach to how children learn mathematics in the 2001 report Adding It Up. I am familiar with the research and I am familiar with the Discovering Mathematics series. I find that these materials correlate well with the vast majority of research on student learning. ”

Read more.

Lesh (PDF)

Dr. Richard Lesh, Indiana University

“What I am wholeheartedly against is for local educational decision-making to be dictated by individuals and fringe groups with unfounded notions about teaching and learning. ”

Read more.

Malkevitch (PDF)

Dr. Joseph Malkevitch, York College (CUNY), New York

“These books, which rightly are organized so as not to allow students to have the mathematics they learn 'wash over' them without their active participation in the learning process, are truly extraordinary and should be used as widely as possible. ”

Read more.

Kapolka (PDF)

David Kapolka, President, Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics (CPAM)

“There is more at stake in this lawsuit than what happens in Seattle. This ruling is an affront on the value of teachers, administrators, parents and others to be free to make a choice for what happens in local schools. This ruling must be reversed.”

Read more.

Normington (PDF)

Sara Normington, President Elect, Council of Presidential Awardees in Mathematics (CPAM)

“The plaintiffs and Judge Spector completely dismiss the experience and judgment of these educators by deriding the inclusion of Discovering Mathematics series as a possible program under consideration for adoption.”

Read more.

Cagle (PDF)

Peg Cagle, Mathematics Teacher, LAUSD, CA

“I chose the Discovery Geometry textbook specifically because of its emphasis on developing students' mathematical reasoning and sense making over memorization and rote use of algorithms.”

Read more.

Braun (PDF)

Benjamin Braun, University of Kentucky

“I fully support the decision by the Seattle school board to adopt an IBL (Inquiry Based Learning) based curriculum for their schools... ”

Read more.

Libeskind (PDF)

Dr. Shlomo Libeskind, University of Oregon

“...students 'own' what they learn rather than memorize facts and procedures. This approach prepares students far better for future advanced topics in mathematics and other subjects.”

Read more.

Wainwright (PDF)

Dr. Camille Wainwright, Pacific University, Oregon, emerita

“Through the extensive work of mathematics and science educators in research with children of all ages, socio-economic levels and ethnicities, we now are certain that inquiry-based curricula are the ideal way for all students to learn. ”

Read more.

Cragg (PDF)

Melissa Cragg, High School Math Teacher, Madison Heights, MI

“At my high school, 44% of the students are on free/reduced lunches. Just over 12% of the student population is special education. Also, there are 77 different languages spoken by the student body, so the ELL department is extensive. This range of students is contained in a student body just over 800. My classes have a mixture of all of these students. With that said, my failure rate is less than 3% in my mathematics classes.”

Read more.

Hulbert (PDF)

Teri Hulbert, High School Math Teacher, Ocasta High School, WA

“I have been a teacher for 28 years and I have never taught out of a better written series of books in all of those years. The books are written so students have to 'think' in order to do the mathematics. ”

Read more.

Horton (PDF)

Christopher A. Horton, Ph.D., High School Mathematics and Physics

“Traditional geometry courses leave a large proportion of the students behind, primarily because to those students the 'self-evident' postulates are 'anything but'. Discovering Geometry on the other hand treats geometry as an empirical science, the 'science of space', with the postulates having the role of physical theories: testable, disprovable but ultimately not provable statements about properties of nature. ”

Read more.

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