Credit to From: jmackinlay@acm. org
The clarity of the Seattle Court decision motivated me to type it in
as plain text. Please let me know if I made any mistakes Finding
number 4 is particularly powerful.
The Honorable Julie Spector
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON IN AND FOR KING COUNTY
No. 09-2-21771-8 SEA
FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSION OF LAW, AND ORDER
THIS MATTER having come on for hearing, and the Court having consider
the pleadings, administrative record, and argument in this matter, the
Court hereby enters the following Findings of Fact, Conclusions of
Law, and Order:
FINDINGS OF FACT
1. On May 6, 2009, in a 4-3 vote, the Seattle School District Board of
Directors chose the Discovering Series as the District’s high school
basic math materials.
2. In making its decision the Board considered:
a. A recommendation from the District’s Selection Committee;
b. A January, 2009 report from the Washington State Office
of Public Instruction ranking High School math textbooks, listing a
series by Holt Company as number one, and the Discovering Series as
c. A March 11, 2009 report from the Washington State Board
of Education finding that the Discovering Series was “mathematically
d. An April 8, 2009 School Board Action Report authored by
e. The May 6, 2009 recommendation of the OSPI recommending
only the Holt Series, and not recommending the Discovery Series;
f. WASL score showing an achievement gap between racial groups;
g. WASL scores from an experiment with a different inquiry-based math text at Cleveland and Garfield High Schools, showing that WASL scores overall declined using the inquiry-based math texts, and dropped significantly for English Language Learners, including a 0% pass rate at one high school;
h. The National Math Achievement Panel (NMAP) Report;
i. Citizen comments and expert reports criticizing the
effectiveness of inquiry-based math and the Discovering Series;
j. Parent reports of difficulty teaching their children
using the Discovering Series and inquiry=based math;
k. Other evidence in the Administrative Record;
l. One Board member also consider the ability of her own
child to learn math using the Discovery Series.
3. The court finds that the Discovery Series is an inquiry-based math program.
4. The court finds, based upon a review of the entire administrative
record, that there is insufficient evidence for any reasonable Board
member to approve the selection of the Discovering Series.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. The court has jurisdiction under RCW 28A.645.010 to evaluate the
Board’s decision for whether it is arbitrary, capricious, or contrary
2. The Board’s selection of the Discovery Series was arbitrary;
3. The Board’s selection of the Discovery Series was capricious;
4. This court has the authority to remand the Board’s decision for
5. Any Conclusion of Law which is more appropriately characterized as
a Finding of Fact is adopted as such, and any Finding of Fact more
appropriately characterized as a Conclusion of Law is adopted as such.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
The decision of the Board to adopt the Discovery Series is remanded
for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Dated this 4th of February, 2010
THE HONORABLE JULIE SPECTOR
KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE