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Re: G T and honors class in middle school

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  • david_thalheimer
    According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a big supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary excerpts from his workshop
    Message 1 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
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      According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a big supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary excerpts from his workshop descriptions:

      "We'll look at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined with art to intuitively and effectively communicate math."

      "In a segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."

      "In "Funny Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and three digit numbers in our heads."

      I think you may have a problem with your math program. We just need to find out how widespread this is in Howard County.

      - David T

      --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@...> wrote:
      >
      > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it is what this
      > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk.com/TERC.html I am quite certain
      > that they are teaching this form of math to all elementary students (regular
      > and above grade level) at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
      > Swansfield Elementary co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
      > http://www.gregtang.com/ last year to explain to parents how they will be
      > teaching their children math. My husband and I attended the workshop, along
      > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea. My
      > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they have a "whole
      > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a scientist myself, and I am very
      > nervous about this. I don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
      > learned them, or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
      > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
      > methods.
      >
      > Michelle Wood
      >
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
      > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of pamythompson
      > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39 PM
      > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
      >
      >
      > I am positive , they showed me two examples of his work and both had
      > TERC math on them however the three school personel did not know what TERC
      > math was . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth" which I
      > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind that exposure
      > to quality teachers and an education will produce high percentages on a GT
      > test whereas a truley gifted child which lacks this will not score well .
      > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other questionable
      > methods are used in our schools but it is quite likely that most of the
      > staff would not recognize it and merely accept it as part of the program .
      >
      > Jack
      >
      > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "david_thalheimer"
      > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Jack:
      > >
      > > Are you sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
      > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
      > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I thought that
      > some of the GT math homework my son was bringing home last year often did
      > not make sense or spent too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
      > computational skills.
      > >
      > > I don't see anything on the hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
      > what curriculum is used. Here is what I see:
      > >
      > > "The Howard County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
      > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland Voluntary
      > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the National Council of
      > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,
      > 2000."
      > >
      > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the National Council of
      > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and
      > the Maryland Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
      > Goals."
      > >
      > > - David T
      > >
      > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
      > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both the GT resource personel
      > from Glenwood as well as central office this week . There is a review
      > process for GT and there are guidelines however there is no concrete
      > procedure . What was imediately visible from these tests is that they not
      > only indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my son
      > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and that this had
      > not been identified or corected in elementary school so this became my
      > primary focus . Secondly we agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
      > regular science where he would be given the option of GT work until his
      > langauge skills allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
      > acceptable arangement for all involved .
      > > > Since GT testing and placement are optional the children are not
      > taught to the test therefore this and similar tests are good indicators of a
      > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage all
      > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that because of the
      > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is being used in the GT math program
      > (see frederickpubliced for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became aware
      > that HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
      > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method of
      > education .
      > > > What I have garnered most over the years as I look at tiered education
      > is that there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in Howard
      > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not all teachers
      > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class availability our children are
      > being tracked through school with Honors students being predominately
      > grouped together on a path towards higher education and the regular students
      > being grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it is
      > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the regular class
      > which indicates a problem in the system and this is unexceptable .
      > > > It is in my honest opinion that the HCPSS has failed to adequately
      > educate the average student to their highest potential but instead created a
      > class system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my opinion
      > that the quality of our education system if it is to adequately serve the
      > majority of our children needs serious attention and improvement . It is
      > further my view that in order for us to have a world class education system
      > it requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by the
      > stakeholder .
      > > >
      > > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
      > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog which is
      > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue .
      > > >
      > > > Jack
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "david_thalheimer"
      > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > I think that most parents would prefer that that their kids move
      > into the most advanced classes that they can handle. Some parents may push
      > their kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least get
      > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids find it too
      > hard, they can always be moved back.
      > > > >
      > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be having too easy a time in math in
      > elementary school, we asked to move him into an advanced class (1 grade
      > level ahead), but the teacher and administration declined to do so, saying
      > he wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a call
      > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held back when his test
      > scores showed that he should be in an advanced class. They proactively moved
      > him ahead, where he has done fine and has already completed the HS
      > graduation exam for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
      > elementary teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
      > > > >
      > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary school to move my
      > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead), but he started falling
      > behind, so we moved him back to the 1-grade ahead advanced class, where he
      > now finds it easy. In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help from
      > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that year. The
      > GT class also assigns much more homework.
      > > > >
      > > > > I think the school may be looking at the issue from a resource
      > perspective. If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who can
      > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT teachers, they will
      > want to fill the classes even if some of the students are not ready to
      > advance. While I cannot prove this, I suspect it is the case since, in some
      > years, the school seems more amenable to advance students who we
      > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen in a
      > previous year.
      > > > >
      > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching either a
      > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the class can't receive
      > more advanced assignments to help them progress faster (which will help them
      > to jump ahead next year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
      > enough so that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes when
      > there are enough students who need it.
      > > > >
      > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school withholds class assignments
      > until the Thursday evening before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
      > adjust the class assignments if more students than expected move into the
      > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they don't
      > want parents to request class changes and believe that they can avoid this
      > by withholding (until the last possible day) information that they have had
      > all summer. It is definately not a transparent process.
      > > > >
      > > > > - David T
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson"
      > <pamythompson@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I as did many parents suggest that people sign a waiver and move
      > their children in middle school to advanced classes and for all the parents
      > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests this
      > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he was not
      > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being met with resistance ,
      > in my case my 6th grade son was recomended for gt math but fell short of gt
      > science . Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move him
      > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can show me a
      > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have contacted central
      > office for advice . Their position is that advancsd class are only for those
      > that test in them and that they constantly evaluate the children in regular
      > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs primary
      > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows their child beter then
      > anyone and I interpret primary as superceding the judgment of anyone in the
      > HCPSS in regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
      > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
      > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior administrator if
      > not more . Secondly it is posible and does happen that children fail middle
      > school and are passed on to high school . I personally know a student that
      > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored by my
      > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was allowed to muve on to
      > high school by this same administration . Third , for years HCPSS has taught
      > to the test and still does as optimal class time is given to any class which
      > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th grade
      > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade scored proficient or
      > above on the HSA . It is my opinion that these children in regular class
      > will largely remain there and leave high school only to find they have
      > remedial education in college.It therefore is my opinion that most children
      > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class and
      > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children . I therefore
      > stil strongly suggest that every parent demand this level of education for
      > their child in middle school .
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Jack
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • cynthia vaillancourt
      David-The textbooks aren t my problelm with the math curriculum - particularly in the younger years (can t realy comment on high school yet since my son is a
      Message 2 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        David-
        The textbooks aren't my problelm with the math curriculum - particularly in the younger years (can't realy comment on high school yet since my son is a freshman and my daughter went to private school).  It is the homework that comes home with no textbook, no instructions, and no obvious point.  

        I am also not a fan of the "pre-tests" they like to give the kids BEFORE teaching the concept - supposedly so they can see what the kids know and guage how well they teach the concept.  INHO they mainly serve to demoralize the kids who feel "stupid" when they have no idea what they are supposed to do.

        cindy v



        To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
        From: dthalheimerusa@...
        Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 13:26:50 +0000
        Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

         
        According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a big supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary excerpts from his workshop descriptions:

        "We'll look at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined with art to intuitively and effectively communicate math."

        "In a segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."

        "In "Funny Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and three digit numbers in our heads."

        I think you may have a problem with your math program. We just need to find out how widespread this is in Howard County.

        - David T

        --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@ ...> wrote:
        >
        > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it is what this
        > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk. com/TERC. html I am quite certain
        > that they are teaching this form of math to all elementary students (regular
        > and above grade level) at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
        > Swansfield Elementary co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
        > http://www.gregtang .com/ last year to explain to parents how they will be
        > teaching their children math. My husband and I attended the workshop, along
        > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea. My
        > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they have a "whole
        > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a scientist myself, and I am very
        > nervous about this. I don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
        > learned them, or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
        > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
        > methods.
        >
        > Michelle Wood
        >
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
        > [mailto:howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of pamythompson
        > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39 PM
        > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
        > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
        >
        >
        > I am positive , they showed me two examples of his work and both had
        > TERC math on them however the three school personel did not know what TERC
        > math was . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth" which I
        > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind that exposure
        > to quality teachers and an education will produce high percentages on a GT
        > test whereas a truley gifted child which lacks this will not score well .
        > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other questionable
        > methods are used in our schools but it is quite likely that most of the
        > staff would not recognize it and merely accept it as part of the program .
        >
        > Jack
        >
        > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
        > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
        > >
        > > Jack:
        > >
        > > Are you sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
        > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
        > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I thought that
        > some of the GT math homework my son was bringing home last year often did
        > not make sense or spent too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
        > computational skills.
        > >
        > > I don't see anything on the hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
        > what curriculum is used. Here is what I see:
        > >
        > > "The Howard County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
        > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland Voluntary
        > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the National Council of
        > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,
        > 2000."
        > >
        > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the National Council of
        > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and
        > the Maryland Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
        > Goals."
        > >
        > > - David T
        > >
        > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@ >
        > wrote:
        > > >
        > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both the GT resource personel
        > from Glenwood as well as central office this week . There is a review
        > process for GT and there are guidelines however there is no concrete
        > procedure . What was imediately visible from these tests is that they not
        > only indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my son
        > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and that this had
        > not been identified or corected in elementary school so this became my
        > primary focus . Secondly we agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
        > regular science where he would be given the option of GT work until his
        > langauge skills allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
        > acceptable arangement for all involved .
        > > > Since GT testing and placement are optional the children are not
        > taught to the test therefore this and similar tests are good indicators of a
        > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage all
        > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that because of the
        > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is being used in the GT math program
        > (see frederickpubliced for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became aware
        > that HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
        > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method of
        > education .
        > > > What I have garnered most over the years as I look at tiered education
        > is that there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in Howard
        > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not all teachers
        > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class availability our children are
        > being tracked through school with Honors students being predominately
        > grouped together on a path towards higher education and the regular students
        > being grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it is
        > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the regular class
        > which indicates a problem in the system and this is unexceptable .
        > > > It is in my honest opinion that the HCPSS has failed to adequately
        > educate the average student to their highest potential but instead created a
        > class system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my opinion
        > that the quality of our education system if it is to adequately serve the
        > majority of our children needs serious attention and improvement . It is
        > further my view that in order for us to have a world class education system
        > it requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by the
        > stakeholder .
        > > >
        > > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
        > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog which is
        > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue .
        > > >
        > > > Jack
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
        > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > I think that most parents would prefer that that their kids move
        > into the most advanced classes that they can handle. Some parents may push
        > their kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least get
        > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids find it too
        > hard, they can always be moved back.
        > > > >
        > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be having too easy a time in math in
        > elementary school, we asked to move him into an advanced class (1 grade
        > level ahead), but the teacher and administration declined to do so, saying
        > he wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a call
        > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held back when his test
        > scores showed that he should be in an advanced class. They proactively moved
        > him ahead, where he has done fine and has already completed the HS
        > graduation exam for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
        > elementary teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
        > > > >
        > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary school to move my
        > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead), but he started falling
        > behind, so we moved him back to the 1-grade ahead advanced class, where he
        > now finds it easy. In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help from
        > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that year. The
        > GT class also assigns much more homework.
        > > > >
        > > > > I think the school may be looking at the issue from a resource
        > perspective. If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who can
        > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT teachers, they will
        > want to fill the classes even if some of the students are not ready to
        > advance. While I cannot prove this, I suspect it is the case since, in some
        > years, the school seems more amenable to advance students who we
        > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen in a
        > previous year.
        > > > >
        > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching either a
        > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the class can't receive
        > more advanced assignments to help them progress faster (which will help them
        > to jump ahead next year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
        > enough so that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes when
        > there are enough students who need it.
        > > > >
        > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school withholds class assignments
        > until the Thursday evening before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
        > adjust the class assignments if more students than expected move into the
        > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they don't
        > want parents to request class changes and believe that they can avoid this
        > by withholding (until the last possible day) information that they have had
        > all summer. It is definately not a transparent process.
        > > > >
        > > > > - David T
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson"
        > <pamythompson@ > wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I as did many parents suggest that people sign a waiver and move
        > their children in middle school to advanced classes and for all the parents
        > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests this
        > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he was not
        > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being met with resistance ,
        > in my case my 6th grade son was recomended for gt math but fell short of gt
        > science . Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move him
        > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can show me a
        > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have contacted central
        > office for advice . Their position is that advancsd class are only for those
        > that test in them and that they constantly evaluate the children in regular
        > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs primary
        > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows their child beter then
        > anyone and I interpret primary as superceding the judgment of anyone in the
        > HCPSS in regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
        > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
        > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior administrator if
        > not more . Secondly it is posible and does happen that children fail middle
        > school and are passed on to high school . I personally know a student that
        > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored by my
        > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was allowed to muve on to
        > high school by this same administration . Third , for years HCPSS has taught
        > to the test and still does as optimal class time is given to any class which
        > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th grade
        > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade scored proficient or
        > above on the HSA . It is my opinion that these children in regular class
        > will largely remain there and leave high school only to find they have
        > remedial education in college.It therefore is my opinion that most children
        > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class and
        > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children . I therefore
        > stil strongly suggest that every parent demand this level of education for
        > their child in middle school .
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Jack
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >




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      • MICHELLE WOOD
        I have not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school. One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first textbook EVER come
        Message 3 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          I have not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.  One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first textbook EVER come home with her son this week (for math).  I was at a PTACHC meeting last year where one representative from the county (Cindy somebody?) said that NO school in the county should have any shortage of textbooks.  Both this other parent and I said we had never seen a single textbook in use at our school.
           
           
          -----Original Message-----
          From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of david_thalheimer
          Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27 AM
          To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

           

          According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a big supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary excerpts from his workshop descriptions:

          "We'll look at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined with art to intuitively and effectively communicate math."

          "In a segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."

          "In "Funny Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and three digit numbers in our heads."

          I think you may have a problem with your math program. We just need to find out how widespread this is in Howard County.

          - David T

          --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it is what this
          > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk. com/TERC. html I am quite certain
          > that they are teaching this form of math to all elementary students (regular
          > and above grade level) at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
          > Swansfield Elementary co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
          > http://www.gregtang .com/ last year to explain to parents how they will be
          > teaching their children math. My husband and I attended the workshop, along
          > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea. My
          > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they have a "whole
          > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a scientist myself, and I am very
          > nervous about this. I don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
          > learned them, or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
          > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
          > methods.
          >
          > Michelle Wood
          >
          >
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
          > [mailto:howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of pamythompson
          > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39 PM
          > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
          > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
          >
          >
          > I am positive , they showed me two examples of his work and both had
          > TERC math on them however the three school personel did not know what TERC
          > math was . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth" which I
          > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind that exposure
          > to quality teachers and an education will produce high percentages on a GT
          > test whereas a truley gifted child which lacks this will not score well .
          > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other questionable
          > methods are used in our schools but it is quite likely that most of the
          > staff would not recognize it and merely accept it as part of the program .
          >
          > Jack
          >
          > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
          > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
          > >
          > > Jack:
          > >
          > > Are you sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
          > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
          > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I thought that
          > some of the GT math homework my son was bringing home last year often did
          > not make sense or spent too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
          > computational skills.
          > >
          > > I don't see anything on the hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
          > what curriculum is used. Here is what I see:
          > >
          > > "The Howard County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
          > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland Voluntary
          > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the National Council of
          > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,
          > 2000."
          > >
          > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the National Council of
          > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and
          > the Maryland Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
          > Goals."
          > >
          > > - David T
          > >
          > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@ >
          > wrote:
          > > >
          > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both the GT resource personel
          > from Glenwood as well as central office this week . There is a review
          > process for GT and there are guidelines however there is no concrete
          > procedure . What was imediately visible from these tests is that they not
          > only indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my son
          > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and that this had
          > not been identified or corected in elementary school so this became my
          > primary focus . Secondly we agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
          > regular science where he would be given the option of GT work until his
          > langauge skills allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
          > acceptable arangement for all involved .
          > > > Since GT testing and placement are optional the children are not
          > taught to the test therefore this and similar tests are good indicators of a
          > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage all
          > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that because of the
          > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is being used in the GT math program
          > (see frederickpubliced for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became aware
          > that HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
          > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method of
          > education .
          > > > What I have garnered most over the years as I look at tiered education
          > is that there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in Howard
          > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not all teachers
          > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class availability our children are
          > being tracked through school with Honors students being predominately
          > grouped together on a path towards higher education and the regular students
          > being grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it is
          > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the regular class
          > which indicates a problem in the system and this is unexceptable .
          > > > It is in my honest opinion that the HCPSS has failed to adequately
          > educate the average student to their highest potential but instead created a
          > class system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my opinion
          > that the quality of our education system if it is to adequately serve the
          > majority of our children needs serious attention and improvement . It is
          > further my view that in order for us to have a world class education system
          > it requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by the
          > stakeholder .
          > > >
          > > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
          > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog which is
          > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue .
          > > >
          > > > Jack
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
          > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > I think that most parents would prefer that that their kids move
          > into the most advanced classes that they can handle. Some parents may push
          > their kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least get
          > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids find it too
          > hard, they can always be moved back.
          > > > >
          > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be having too easy a time in math in
          > elementary school, we asked to move him into an advanced class (1 grade
          > level ahead), but the teacher and administration declined to do so, saying
          > he wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a call
          > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held back when his test
          > scores showed that he should be in an advanced class. They proactively moved
          > him ahead, where he has done fine and has already completed the HS
          > graduation exam for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
          > elementary teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
          > > > >
          > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary school to move my
          > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead), but he started falling
          > behind, so we moved him back to the 1-grade ahead advanced class, where he
          > now finds it easy. In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help from
          > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that year. The
          > GT class also assigns much more homework.
          > > > >
          > > > > I think the school may be looking at the issue from a resource
          > perspective. If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who can
          > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT teachers, they will
          > want to fill the classes even if some of the students are not ready to
          > advance. While I cannot prove this, I suspect it is the case since, in some
          > years, the school seems more amenable to advance students who we
          > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen in a
          > previous year.
          > > > >
          > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching either a
          > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the class can't receive
          > more advanced assignments to help them progress faster (which will help them
          > to jump ahead next year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
          > enough so that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes when
          > there are enough students who need it.
          > > > >
          > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school withholds class assignments
          > until the Thursday evening before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
          > adjust the class assignments if more students than expected move into the
          > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they don't
          > want parents to request class changes and believe that they can avoid this
          > by withholding (until the last possible day) information that they have had
          > all summer. It is definately not a transparent process.
          > > > >
          > > > > - David T
          > > > >
          > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson"
          > <pamythompson@ > wrote:
          > > > > >
          > > > > > I as did many parents suggest that people sign a waiver and move
          > their children in middle school to advanced classes and for all the parents
          > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests this
          > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he was not
          > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being met with resistance ,
          > in my case my 6th grade son was recomended for gt math but fell short of gt
          > science . Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move him
          > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can show me a
          > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have contacted central
          > office for advice . Their position is that advancsd class are only for those
          > that test in them and that they constantly evaluate the children in regular
          > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs primary
          > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows their child beter then
          > anyone and I interpret primary as superceding the judgment of anyone in the
          > HCPSS in regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
          > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
          > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior administrator if
          > not more . Secondly it is posible and does happen that children fail middle
          > school and are passed on to high school . I personally know a student that
          > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored by my
          > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was allowed to muve on to
          > high school by this same administration . Third , for years HCPSS has taught
          > to the test and still does as optimal class time is given to any class which
          > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th grade
          > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade scored proficient or
          > above on the HSA . It is my opinion that these children in regular class
          > will largely remain there and leave high school only to find they have
          > remedial education in college.It therefore is my opinion that most children
          > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class and
          > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children . I therefore
          > stil strongly suggest that every parent demand this level of education for
          > their child in middle school .
          > > > > >
          > > > > > I would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Jack
          > > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >

        • david_thalheimer
          The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method, although is it possible that they just don t bring them home? This is from the web site
          Message 4 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method, although is it possible that they just don't bring them home? This is from the web site I referenced earlier:

            "Go get your child's math textbook, and get the exact publisher title. If your child's math program doesn't use textbooks (first clue!) go get some of the worksheets or other materials your child has dragged home; publisher's copyright identifiers are often in tiny type along the edges."

            http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html

            If your child doesn't have a textbook, they are probably learning "fuzzy" reform math.

            - David T

            --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@...> wrote:
            >
            > I have not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.
            > One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first textbook
            > EVER come home with her son this week (for math). I was at a PTACHC meeting
            > last year where one representative from the county (Cindy somebody?) said
            > that NO school in the county should have any shortage of textbooks. Both
            > this other parent and I said we had never seen a single textbook in use at
            > our school.
            >
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
            > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of david_thalheimer
            > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27 AM
            > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
            >
            >
            > According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a big
            > supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary excerpts from
            > his workshop descriptions:
            >
            > "We'll look at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined
            > with art to intuitively and effectively communicate math."
            >
            > "In a segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into
            > pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."
            >
            > "In "Funny Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and
            > three digit numbers in our heads."
            >
            > I think you may have a problem with your math program. We just need to
            > find out how widespread this is in Howard County.
            >
            > - David T
            >
            > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it is what
            > this
            > > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk.com/TERC.html I am quite certain
            > > that they are teaching this form of math to all elementary students
            > (regular
            > > and above grade level) at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
            > > Swansfield Elementary co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
            > > http://www.gregtang.com/ last year to explain to parents how they will
            > be
            > > teaching their children math. My husband and I attended the workshop,
            > along
            > > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea. My
            > > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they have a
            > "whole
            > > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a scientist myself, and I am
            > very
            > > nervous about this. I don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
            > > learned them, or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
            > > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
            > > methods.
            > >
            > > Michelle Wood
            > >
            > >
            > > -----Original Message-----
            > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
            > > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of pamythompson
            > > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39 PM
            > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
            > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
            > >
            > >
            > > I am positive , they showed me two examples of his work and both had
            > > TERC math on them however the three school personel did not know what
            > TERC
            > > math was . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth"
            > which I
            > > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind that
            > exposure
            > > to quality teachers and an education will produce high percentages on a
            > GT
            > > test whereas a truley gifted child which lacks this will not score well
            > .
            > > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other questionable
            > > methods are used in our schools but it is quite likely that most of the
            > > staff would not recognize it and merely accept it as part of the program
            > .
            > >
            > > Jack
            > >
            > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "david_thalheimer"
            > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Jack:
            > > >
            > > > Are you sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
            > > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
            > > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I thought
            > that
            > > some of the GT math homework my son was bringing home last year often
            > did
            > > not make sense or spent too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
            > > computational skills.
            > > >
            > > > I don't see anything on the hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
            > > what curriculum is used. Here is what I see:
            > > >
            > > > "The Howard County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
            > > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland Voluntary
            > > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the National Council of
            > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,
            > > 2000."
            > > >
            > > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the National Council
            > of
            > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
            > and
            > > the Maryland Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
            > > Goals."
            > > >
            > > > - David T
            > > >
            > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
            > > wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both the GT resource
            > personel
            > > from Glenwood as well as central office this week . There is a review
            > > process for GT and there are guidelines however there is no concrete
            > > procedure . What was imediately visible from these tests is that they
            > not
            > > only indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my
            > son
            > > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and that this
            > had
            > > not been identified or corected in elementary school so this became my
            > > primary focus . Secondly we agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
            > > regular science where he would be given the option of GT work until his
            > > langauge skills allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
            > > acceptable arangement for all involved .
            > > > > Since GT testing and placement are optional the children are not
            > > taught to the test therefore this and similar tests are good indicators
            > of a
            > > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage all
            > > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that because of
            > the
            > > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is being used in the GT math
            > program
            > > (see frederickpubliced for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became
            > aware
            > > that HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
            > > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method
            > of
            > > education .
            > > > > What I have garnered most over the years as I look at tiered
            > education
            > > is that there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in
            > Howard
            > > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not all teachers
            > > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class availability our children are
            > > being tracked through school with Honors students being predominately
            > > grouped together on a path towards higher education and the regular
            > students
            > > being grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it
            > is
            > > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the regular
            > class
            > > which indicates a problem in the system and this is unexceptable .
            > > > > It is in my honest opinion that the HCPSS has failed to adequately
            > > educate the average student to their highest potential but instead
            > created a
            > > class system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my
            > opinion
            > > that the quality of our education system if it is to adequately serve
            > the
            > > majority of our children needs serious attention and improvement . It is
            > > further my view that in order for us to have a world class education
            > system
            > > it requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by
            > the
            > > stakeholder .
            > > > >
            > > > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
            > > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog which
            > is
            > > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue .
            > > > >
            > > > > Jack
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "david_thalheimer"
            > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > > I think that most parents would prefer that that their kids move
            > > into the most advanced classes that they can handle. Some parents may
            > push
            > > their kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least
            > get
            > > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids find it too
            > > hard, they can always be moved back.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be having too easy a time in math in
            > > elementary school, we asked to move him into an advanced class (1 grade
            > > level ahead), but the teacher and administration declined to do so,
            > saying
            > > he wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a
            > call
            > > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held back when his
            > test
            > > scores showed that he should be in an advanced class. They proactively
            > moved
            > > him ahead, where he has done fine and has already completed the HS
            > > graduation exam for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
            > > elementary teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
            > > > > >
            > > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary school to move my
            > > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead), but he started falling
            > > behind, so we moved him back to the 1-grade ahead advanced class, where
            > he
            > > now finds it easy. In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help
            > from
            > > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that year.
            > The
            > > GT class also assigns much more homework.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > I think the school may be looking at the issue from a resource
            > > perspective. If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who
            > can
            > > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT teachers, they
            > will
            > > want to fill the classes even if some of the students are not ready to
            > > advance. While I cannot prove this, I suspect it is the case since, in
            > some
            > > years, the school seems more amenable to advance students who we
            > > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen in
            > a
            > > previous year.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching either a
            > > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the class can't receive
            > > more advanced assignments to help them progress faster (which will help
            > them
            > > to jump ahead next year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
            > > enough so that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes
            > when
            > > there are enough students who need it.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school withholds class
            > assignments
            > > until the Thursday evening before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
            > > adjust the class assignments if more students than expected move into
            > the
            > > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they
            > don't
            > > want parents to request class changes and believe that they can avoid
            > this
            > > by withholding (until the last possible day) information that they have
            > had
            > > all summer. It is definately not a transparent process.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > - David T
            > > > > >
            > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson"
            > > <pamythompson@> wrote:
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > I as did many parents suggest that people sign a waiver and move
            > > their children in middle school to advanced classes and for all the
            > parents
            > > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests this
            > > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he was not
            > > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being met with
            > resistance ,
            > > in my case my 6th grade son was recomended for gt math but fell short of
            > gt
            > > science . Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move
            > him
            > > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can show me a
            > > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have contacted central
            > > office for advice . Their position is that advancsd class are only for
            > those
            > > that test in them and that they constantly evaluate the children in
            > regular
            > > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs
            > primary
            > > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows their child beter
            > then
            > > anyone and I interpret primary as superceding the judgment of anyone in
            > the
            > > HCPSS in regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
            > > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
            > > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior administrator
            > if
            > > not more . Secondly it is posible and does happen that children fail
            > middle
            > > school and are passed on to high school . I personally know a student
            > that
            > > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored by
            > my
            > > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was allowed to muve on to
            > > high school by this same administration . Third , for years HCPSS has
            > taught
            > > to the test and still does as optimal class time is given to any class
            > which
            > > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th
            > grade
            > > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade scored
            > proficient or
            > > above on the HSA . It is my opinion that these children in regular class
            > > will largely remain there and leave high school only to find they have
            > > remedial education in college.It therefore is my opinion that most
            > children
            > > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class and
            > > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children . I
            > therefore
            > > stil strongly suggest that every parent demand this level of education
            > for
            > > their child in middle school .
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > I would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Jack
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • cynthia vaillancourt
            It is not just a question of whether each kid has a textbook. I would bet it is, in fact, true that every school has a textbook for every child. If only that
            Message 5 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              It is not just a question of whether each kid has a textbook.  

              I would bet it is, in fact, true that every school has a textbook for every child.

              If only that were the textbook your child's teacher was using.

              In some grades the curriculum is pulled from several textbooks - not just the one your child has access to, in his possession or not.

              It is not uncommon for a child to have homework pulled from a different textbook, without explanations or instructions.  We assume the kid was given instructions at school - but that is no help at 7pm when you're trying to help your kid with the homework but have no idea what the assignment is.

              One might assume that as a "universal language", math assignments ought to be decipherable by anyone with a math understanding.

              But this is not true either - since the kids are being asked to perform math functions in specific (though apparently secret) ways, using "new" vocabulary.  

              cindy v



              To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
              From: michelle_wood@...
              Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:37:29 -0400
              Subject: RE: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

               

              I have not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.  One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first textbook EVER come home with her son this week (for math).  I was at a PTACHC meeting last year where one representative from the county (Cindy somebody?) said that NO school in the county should have any shortage of textbooks.  Both this other parent and I said we had never seen a single textbook in use at our school.
               
               
              -----Original Message-----
              From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:howardpubli ced@yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of david_thalheimer
              Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27 AM
              To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
              Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

               
              According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a big supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary excerpts from his workshop descriptions:

              "We'll look at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined with art to intuitively and effectively communicate math."

              "In a segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."

              "In "Funny Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and three digit numbers in our heads."

              I think you may have a problem with your math program. We just need to find out how widespread this is in Howard County.

              - David T

              --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@ ...> wrote:
              >
              > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it is what this
              > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk. com/TERC. html I am quite certain
              > that they are teaching this form of math to all elementary students (regular
              > and above grade level) at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
              > Swansfield Elementary co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
              > http://www.gregtang .com/ last year to explain to parents how they will be
              > teaching their children math. My husband and I attended the workshop, along
              > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea. My
              > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they have a "whole
              > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a scientist myself, and I am very
              > nervous about this. I don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
              > learned them, or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
              > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
              > methods.
              >
              > Michelle Wood
              >
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
              > [mailto:howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of pamythompson
              > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39 PM
              > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
              > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
              >
              >
              > I am positive , they showed me two examples of his work and both had
              > TERC math on them however the three school personel did not know what TERC
              > math was . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth" which I
              > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind that exposure
              > to quality teachers and an education will produce high percentages on a GT
              > test whereas a truley gifted child which lacks this will not score well .
              > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other questionable
              > methods are used in our schools but it is quite likely that most of the
              > staff would not recognize it and merely accept it as part of the program .
              >
              > Jack
              >
              > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
              > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
              > >
              > > Jack:
              > >
              > > Are you sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
              > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
              > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I thought that
              > some of the GT math homework my son was bringing home last year often did
              > not make sense or spent too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
              > computational skills.
              > >
              > > I don't see anything on the hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
              > what curriculum is used. Here is what I see:
              > >
              > > "The Howard County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
              > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland Voluntary
              > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the National Council of
              > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,
              > 2000."
              > >
              > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the National Council of
              > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and
              > the Maryland Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
              > Goals."
              > >
              > > - David T
              > >
              > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@ >
              > wrote:
              > > >
              > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both the GT resource personel
              > from Glenwood as well as central office this week . There is a review
              > process for GT and there are guidelines however there is no concrete
              > procedure . What was imediately visible from these tests is that they not
              > only indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my son
              > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and that this had
              > not been identified or corected in elementary school so this became my
              > primary focus . Secondly we agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
              > regular science where he would be given the option of GT work until his
              > langauge skills allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
              > acceptable arangement for all involved .
              > > > Since GT testing and placement are optional the children are not
              > taught to the test therefore this and similar tests are good indicators of a
              > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage all
              > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that because of the
              > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is being used in the GT math program
              > (see frederickpubliced for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became aware
              > that HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
              > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method of
              > education .
              > > > What I have garnered most over the years as I look at tiered education
              > is that there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in Howard
              > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not all teachers
              > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class availability our children are
              > being tracked through school with Honors students being predominately
              > grouped together on a path towards higher education and the regular students
              > being grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it is
              > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the regular class
              > which indicates a problem in the system and this is unexceptable .
              > > > It is in my honest opinion that the HCPSS has failed to adequately
              > educate the average student to their highest potential but instead created a
              > class system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my opinion
              > that the quality of our education system if it is to adequately serve the
              > majority of our children needs serious attention and improvement . It is
              > further my view that in order for us to have a world class education system
              > it requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by the
              > stakeholder .
              > > >
              > > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
              > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog which is
              > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue .
              > > >
              > > > Jack
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
              > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > I think that most parents would prefer that that their kids move
              > into the most advanced classes that they can handle. Some parents may push
              > their kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least get
              > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids find it too
              > hard, they can always be moved back.
              > > > >
              > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be having too easy a time in math in
              > elementary school, we asked to move him into an advanced class (1 grade
              > level ahead), but the teacher and administration declined to do so, saying
              > he wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a call
              > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held back when his test
              > scores showed that he should be in an advanced class. They proactively moved
              > him ahead, where he has done fine and has already completed the HS
              > graduation exam for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
              > elementary teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
              > > > >
              > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary school to move my
              > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead), but he started falling
              > behind, so we moved him back to the 1-grade ahead advanced class, where he
              > now finds it easy. In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help from
              > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that year. The
              > GT class also assigns much more homework.
              > > > >
              > > > > I think the school may be looking at the issue from a resource
              > perspective. If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who can
              > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT teachers, they will
              > want to fill the classes even if some of the students are not ready to
              > advance. While I cannot prove this, I suspect it is the case since, in some
              > years, the school seems more amenable to advance students who we
              > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen in a
              > previous year.
              > > > >
              > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching either a
              > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the class can't receive
              > more advanced assignments to help them progress faster (which will help them
              > to jump ahead next year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
              > enough so that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes when
              > there are enough students who need it.
              > > > >
              > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school withholds class assignments
              > until the Thursday evening before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
              > adjust the class assignments if more students than expected move into the
              > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they don't
              > want parents to request class changes and believe that they can avoid this
              > by withholding (until the last possible day) information that they have had
              > all summer. It is definately not a transparent process.
              > > > >
              > > > > - David T
              > > > >
              > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson"
              > <pamythompson@ > wrote:
              > > > > >
              > > > > > I as did many parents suggest that people sign a waiver and move
              > their children in middle school to advanced classes and for all the parents
              > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests this
              > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he was not
              > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being met with resistance ,
              > in my case my 6th grade son was recomended for gt math but fell short of gt
              > science . Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move him
              > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can show me a
              > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have contacted central
              > office for advice . Their position is that advancsd class are only for those
              > that test in them and that they constantly evaluate the children in regular
              > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs primary
              > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows their child beter then
              > anyone and I interpret primary as superceding the judgment of anyone in the
              > HCPSS in regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
              > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
              > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior administrator if
              > not more . Secondly it is posible and does happen that children fail middle
              > school and are passed on to high school . I personally know a student that
              > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored by my
              > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was allowed to muve on to
              > high school by this same administration . Third , for years HCPSS has taught
              > to the test and still does as optimal class time is given to any class which
              > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th grade
              > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade scored proficient or
              > above on the HSA . It is my opinion that these children in regular class
              > will largely remain there and leave high school only to find they have
              > remedial education in college.It therefore is my opinion that most children
              > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class and
              > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children . I therefore
              > stil strongly suggest that every parent demand this level of education for
              > their child in middle school .
              > > > > >
              > > > > > I would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Jack
              > > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >





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            • MICHELLE WOOD
              OK, the next question is what can be done about it? Clearly the staff and the principal are sold on the thing (sponsoring the workshop). Are they the ones
              Message 6 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                OK, the next question is what can be done about it?  Clearly the staff and the principal are sold on the thing (sponsoring the workshop).  Are they the ones who decide the curriculum or is it the BOE?  Is it possible that every elementary school in the county is doing their own thing?  I was told that every school in this county had the same curriculum.  That is the primary reason they give to support their "no transfer" policy - that all schools are the same.  Not that I believe that, but it is what they claim.
                 
                 
                -----Original Message-----
                From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:50 AM
                To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

                 

                The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method, although is it possible that they just don't bring them home? This is from the web site I referenced earlier:

                "Go get your child's math textbook, and get the exact publisher title. If your child's math program doesn't use textbooks (first clue!) go get some of the worksheets or other materials your child has dragged home; publisher's copyright identifiers are often in tiny type along the edges."

                http://www.illinois loop.org/ mathprograms. html

                If your child doesn't have a textbook, they are probably learning "fuzzy" reform math.

                - David T

                --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@ ...> wrote:
                >
                > I have not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.
                > One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first textbook
                > EVER come home with her son this week (for math). I was at a PTACHC meeting
                > last year where one representative from the county (Cindy somebody?) said
                > that NO school in the county should have any shortage of textbooks. Both
                > this other parent and I said we had never seen a single textbook in use at
                > our school.
                >
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                > [mailto:howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27 AM
                > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                >
                >
                > According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a big
                > supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary excerpts from
                > his workshop descriptions:
                >
                > "We'll look at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined
                > with art to intuitively and effectively communicate math."
                >
                > "In a segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into
                > pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."
                >
                > "In "Funny Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and
                > three digit numbers in our heads."
                >
                > I think you may have a problem with your math program. We just need to
                > find out how widespread this is in Howard County.
                >
                > - David T
                >
                > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@ >
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it is what
                > this
                > > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk. com/TERC. html I am quite certain
                > > that they are teaching this form of math to all elementary students
                > (regular
                > > and above grade level) at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
                > > Swansfield Elementary co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
                > > http://www.gregtang .com/ last year to explain to parents how they will
                > be
                > > teaching their children math. My husband and I attended the workshop,
                > along
                > > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea. My
                > > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they have a
                > "whole
                > > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a scientist myself, and I am
                > very
                > > nervous about this. I don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
                > > learned them, or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
                > > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
                > > methods.
                > >
                > > Michelle Wood
                > >
                > >
                > > -----Original Message-----
                > > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                > > [mailto:howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of pamythompson
                > > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39 PM
                > > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                > >
                > >
                > > I am positive , they showed me two examples of his work and both had
                > > TERC math on them however the three school personel did not know what
                > TERC
                > > math was . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth"
                > which I
                > > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind that
                > exposure
                > > to quality teachers and an education will produce high percentages on a
                > GT
                > > test whereas a truley gifted child which lacks this will not score well
                > .
                > > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other questionable
                > > methods are used in our schools but it is quite likely that most of the
                > > staff would not recognize it and merely accept it as part of the program
                > .
                > >
                > > Jack
                > >
                > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
                > > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Jack:
                > > >
                > > > Are you sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
                > > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
                > > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I thought
                > that
                > > some of the GT math homework my son was bringing home last year often
                > did
                > > not make sense or spent too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
                > > computational skills.
                > > >
                > > > I don't see anything on the hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
                > > what curriculum is used. Here is what I see:
                > > >
                > > > "The Howard County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
                > > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland Voluntary
                > > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the National Council of
                > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,
                > > 2000."
                > > >
                > > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the National Council
                > of
                > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
                > and
                > > the Maryland Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
                > > Goals."
                > > >
                > > > - David T
                > > >
                > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@ >
                > > wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both the GT resource
                > personel
                > > from Glenwood as well as central office this week . There is a review
                > > process for GT and there are guidelines however there is no concrete
                > > procedure . What was imediately visible from these tests is that they
                > not
                > > only indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my
                > son
                > > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and that this
                > had
                > > not been identified or corected in elementary school so this became my
                > > primary focus . Secondly we agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
                > > regular science where he would be given the option of GT work until his
                > > langauge skills allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
                > > acceptable arangement for all involved .
                > > > > Since GT testing and placement are optional the children are not
                > > taught to the test therefore this and similar tests are good indicators
                > of a
                > > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage all
                > > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that because of
                > the
                > > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is being used in the GT math
                > program
                > > (see frederickpubliced for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became
                > aware
                > > that HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
                > > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method
                > of
                > > education .
                > > > > What I have garnered most over the years as I look at tiered
                > education
                > > is that there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in
                > Howard
                > > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not all teachers
                > > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class availability our children are
                > > being tracked through school with Honors students being predominately
                > > grouped together on a path towards higher education and the regular
                > students
                > > being grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it
                > is
                > > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the regular
                > class
                > > which indicates a problem in the system and this is unexceptable .
                > > > > It is in my honest opinion that the HCPSS has failed to adequately
                > > educate the average student to their highest potential but instead
                > created a
                > > class system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my
                > opinion
                > > that the quality of our education system if it is to adequately serve
                > the
                > > majority of our children needs serious attention and improvement . It is
                > > further my view that in order for us to have a world class education
                > system
                > > it requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by
                > the
                > > stakeholder .
                > > > >
                > > > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
                > > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog which
                > is
                > > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue .
                > > > >
                > > > > Jack
                > > > >
                > > > >
                > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
                > > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
                > > > > >
                > > > > > I think that most parents would prefer that that their kids move
                > > into the most advanced classes that they can handle. Some parents may
                > push
                > > their kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least
                > get
                > > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids find it too
                > > hard, they can always be moved back.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be having too easy a time in math in
                > > elementary school, we asked to move him into an advanced class (1 grade
                > > level ahead), but the teacher and administration declined to do so,
                > saying
                > > he wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a
                > call
                > > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held back when his
                > test
                > > scores showed that he should be in an advanced class. They proactively
                > moved
                > > him ahead, where he has done fine and has already completed the HS
                > > graduation exam for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
                > > elementary teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
                > > > > >
                > > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary school to move my
                > > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead), but he started falling
                > > behind, so we moved him back to the 1-grade ahead advanced class, where
                > he
                > > now finds it easy. In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help
                > from
                > > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that year.
                > The
                > > GT class also assigns much more homework.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > I think the school may be looking at the issue from a resource
                > > perspective. If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who
                > can
                > > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT teachers, they
                > will
                > > want to fill the classes even if some of the students are not ready to
                > > advance. While I cannot prove this, I suspect it is the case since, in
                > some
                > > years, the school seems more amenable to advance students who we
                > > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen in
                > a
                > > previous year.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching either a
                > > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the class can't receive
                > > more advanced assignments to help them progress faster (which will help
                > them
                > > to jump ahead next year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
                > > enough so that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes
                > when
                > > there are enough students who need it.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school withholds class
                > assignments
                > > until the Thursday evening before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
                > > adjust the class assignments if more students than expected move into
                > the
                > > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they
                > don't
                > > want parents to request class changes and believe that they can avoid
                > this
                > > by withholding (until the last possible day) information that they have
                > had
                > > all summer. It is definately not a transparent process.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > - David T
                > > > > >
                > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson"
                > > <pamythompson@ > wrote:
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > I as did many parents suggest that people sign a waiver and move
                > > their children in middle school to advanced classes and for all the
                > parents
                > > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests this
                > > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he was not
                > > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being met with
                > resistance ,
                > > in my case my 6th grade son was recomended for gt math but fell short of
                > gt
                > > science . Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move
                > him
                > > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can show me a
                > > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have contacted central
                > > office for advice . Their position is that advancsd class are only for
                > those
                > > that test in them and that they constantly evaluate the children in
                > regular
                > > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs
                > primary
                > > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows their child beter
                > then
                > > anyone and I interpret primary as superceding the judgment of anyone in
                > the
                > > HCPSS in regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
                > > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
                > > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior administrator
                > if
                > > not more . Secondly it is posible and does happen that children fail
                > middle
                > > school and are passed on to high school . I personally know a student
                > that
                > > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored by
                > my
                > > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was allowed to muve on to
                > > high school by this same administration . Third , for years HCPSS has
                > taught
                > > to the test and still does as optimal class time is given to any class
                > which
                > > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th
                > grade
                > > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade scored
                > proficient or
                > > above on the HSA . It is my opinion that these children in regular class
                > > will largely remain there and leave high school only to find they have
                > > remedial education in college.It therefore is my opinion that most
                > children
                > > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class and
                > > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children . I
                > therefore
                > > stil strongly suggest that every parent demand this level of education
                > for
                > > their child in middle school .
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > I would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > Jack
                > > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                >

              • cynthia vaillancourt
                I think it would be interesting to poll the recent hcpss graduates and see how their math education has prepared them for advanced math courses in college. I
                Message 7 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
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                  I think it would be interesting to poll the recent hcpss graduates and see how their math education has prepared them for advanced math courses in college.

                  I am aware of a number of kids who feel woefully under prepared.

                  if the end product is the test of a program --- then let's test it.  We love testing, don't we?

                  Cindy V



                  To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                  From: michelle_wood@...
                  Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:54:45 -0400
                  Subject: RE: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

                   

                  OK, the next question is what can be done about it?  Clearly the staff and the principal are sold on the thing (sponsoring the workshop).  Are they the ones who decide the curriculum or is it the BOE?  Is it possible that every elementary school in the county is doing their own thing?  I was told that every school in this county had the same curriculum.  That is the primary reason they give to support their "no transfer" policy - that all schools are the same.  Not that I believe that, but it is what they claim.
                   
                   
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:howardpubli ced@yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                  Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:50 AM
                  To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                  Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

                   
                  The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method, although is it possible that they just don't bring them home? This is from the web site I referenced earlier:

                  "Go get your child's math textbook, and get the exact publisher title. If your child's math program doesn't use textbooks (first clue!) go get some of the worksheets or other materials your child has dragged home; publisher's copyright identifiers are often in tiny type along the edges."

                  http://www.illinois loop.org/ mathprograms. html

                  If your child doesn't have a textbook, they are probably learning "fuzzy" reform math.

                  - David T

                  --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@ ...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I have not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.
                  > One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first textbook
                  > EVER come home with her son this week (for math). I was at a PTACHC meeting
                  > last year where one representative from the county (Cindy somebody?) said
                  > that NO school in the county should have any shortage of textbooks. Both
                  > this other parent and I said we had never seen a single textbook in use at
                  > our school.
                  >
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                  > [mailto:howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                  > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27 AM
                  > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                  > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                  >
                  >
                  > According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a big
                  > supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary excerpts from
                  > his workshop descriptions:
                  >
                  > "We'll look at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined
                  > with art to intuitively and effectively communicate math."
                  >
                  > "In a segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into
                  > pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."
                  >
                  > "In "Funny Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and
                  > three digit numbers in our heads."
                  >
                  > I think you may have a problem with your math program. We just need to
                  > find out how widespread this is in Howard County.
                  >
                  > - David T
                  >
                  > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@ >
                  > wrote:
                  > >
                  > > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it is what
                  > this
                  > > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk. com/TERC. html I am quite certain
                  > > that they are teaching this form of math to all elementary students
                  > (regular
                  > > and above grade level) at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
                  > > Swansfield Elementary co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
                  > > http://www.gregtang .com/ last year to explain to parents how they will
                  > be
                  > > teaching their children math. My husband and I attended the workshop,
                  > along
                  > > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea. My
                  > > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they have a
                  > "whole
                  > > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a scientist myself, and I am
                  > very
                  > > nervous about this. I don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
                  > > learned them, or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
                  > > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
                  > > methods.
                  > >
                  > > Michelle Wood
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > -----Original Message-----
                  > > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                  > > [mailto:howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com]On Behalf Of pamythompson
                  > > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39 PM
                  > > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                  > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > I am positive , they showed me two examples of his work and both had
                  > > TERC math on them however the three school personel did not know what
                  > TERC
                  > > math was . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth"
                  > which I
                  > > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind that
                  > exposure
                  > > to quality teachers and an education will produce high percentages on a
                  > GT
                  > > test whereas a truley gifted child which lacks this will not score well
                  > .
                  > > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other questionable
                  > > methods are used in our schools but it is quite likely that most of the
                  > > staff would not recognize it and merely accept it as part of the program
                  > .
                  > >
                  > > Jack
                  > >
                  > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
                  > > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Jack:
                  > > >
                  > > > Are you sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
                  > > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
                  > > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I thought
                  > that
                  > > some of the GT math homework my son was bringing home last year often
                  > did
                  > > not make sense or spent too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
                  > > computational skills.
                  > > >
                  > > > I don't see anything on the hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
                  > > what curriculum is used. Here is what I see:
                  > > >
                  > > > "The Howard County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
                  > > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland Voluntary
                  > > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the National Council of
                  > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,
                  > > 2000."
                  > > >
                  > > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the National Council
                  > of
                  > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
                  > and
                  > > the Maryland Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
                  > > Goals."
                  > > >
                  > > > - David T
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@ >
                  > > wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both the GT resource
                  > personel
                  > > from Glenwood as well as central office this week . There is a review
                  > > process for GT and there are guidelines however there is no concrete
                  > > procedure . What was imediately visible from these tests is that they
                  > not
                  > > only indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my
                  > son
                  > > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and that this
                  > had
                  > > not been identified or corected in elementary school so this became my
                  > > primary focus . Secondly we agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
                  > > regular science where he would be given the option of GT work until his
                  > > langauge skills allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
                  > > acceptable arangement for all involved .
                  > > > > Since GT testing and placement are optional the children are not
                  > > taught to the test therefore this and similar tests are good indicators
                  > of a
                  > > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage all
                  > > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that because of
                  > the
                  > > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is being used in the GT math
                  > program
                  > > (see frederickpubliced for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became
                  > aware
                  > > that HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
                  > > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method
                  > of
                  > > education .
                  > > > > What I have garnered most over the years as I look at tiered
                  > education
                  > > is that there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in
                  > Howard
                  > > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not all teachers
                  > > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class availability our children are
                  > > being tracked through school with Honors students being predominately
                  > > grouped together on a path towards higher education and the regular
                  > students
                  > > being grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it
                  > is
                  > > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the regular
                  > class
                  > > which indicates a problem in the system and this is unexceptable .
                  > > > > It is in my honest opinion that the HCPSS has failed to adequately
                  > > educate the average student to their highest potential but instead
                  > created a
                  > > class system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my
                  > opinion
                  > > that the quality of our education system if it is to adequately serve
                  > the
                  > > majority of our children needs serious attention and improvement . It is
                  > > further my view that in order for us to have a world class education
                  > system
                  > > it requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by
                  > the
                  > > stakeholder .
                  > > > >
                  > > > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
                  > > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog which
                  > is
                  > > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue .
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Jack
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "david_thalheimer"
                  > > <dthalheimerusa@ > wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I think that most parents would prefer that that their kids move
                  > > into the most advanced classes that they can handle. Some parents may
                  > push
                  > > their kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least
                  > get
                  > > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids find it too
                  > > hard, they can always be moved back.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be having too easy a time in math in
                  > > elementary school, we asked to move him into an advanced class (1 grade
                  > > level ahead), but the teacher and administration declined to do so,
                  > saying
                  > > he wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a
                  > call
                  > > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held back when his
                  > test
                  > > scores showed that he should be in an advanced class. They proactively
                  > moved
                  > > him ahead, where he has done fine and has already completed the HS
                  > > graduation exam for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
                  > > elementary teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary school to move my
                  > > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead), but he started falling
                  > > behind, so we moved him back to the 1-grade ahead advanced class, where
                  > he
                  > > now finds it easy. In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help
                  > from
                  > > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that year.
                  > The
                  > > GT class also assigns much more homework.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I think the school may be looking at the issue from a resource
                  > > perspective. If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who
                  > can
                  > > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT teachers, they
                  > will
                  > > want to fill the classes even if some of the students are not ready to
                  > > advance. While I cannot prove this, I suspect it is the case since, in
                  > some
                  > > years, the school seems more amenable to advance students who we
                  > > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen in
                  > a
                  > > previous year.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching either a
                  > > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the class can't receive
                  > > more advanced assignments to help them progress faster (which will help
                  > them
                  > > to jump ahead next year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
                  > > enough so that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes
                  > when
                  > > there are enough students who need it.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school withholds class
                  > assignments
                  > > until the Thursday evening before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
                  > > adjust the class assignments if more students than expected move into
                  > the
                  > > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they
                  > don't
                  > > want parents to request class changes and believe that they can avoid
                  > this
                  > > by withholding (until the last possible day) information that they have
                  > had
                  > > all summer. It is definately not a transparent process.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > - David T
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson"
                  > > <pamythompson@ > wrote:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I as did many parents suggest that people sign a waiver and move
                  > > their children in middle school to advanced classes and for all the
                  > parents
                  > > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests this
                  > > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he was not
                  > > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being met with
                  > resistance ,
                  > > in my case my 6th grade son was recomended for gt math but fell short of
                  > gt
                  > > science . Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move
                  > him
                  > > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can show me a
                  > > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have contacted central
                  > > office for advice . Their position is that advancsd class are only for
                  > those
                  > > that test in them and that they constantly evaluate the children in
                  > regular
                  > > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs
                  > primary
                  > > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows their child beter
                  > then
                  > > anyone and I interpret primary as superceding the judgment of anyone in
                  > the
                  > > HCPSS in regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
                  > > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
                  > > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior administrator
                  > if
                  > > not more . Secondly it is posible and does happen that children fail
                  > middle
                  > > school and are passed on to high school . I personally know a student
                  > that
                  > > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored by
                  > my
                  > > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was allowed to muve on to
                  > > high school by this same administration . Third , for years HCPSS has
                  > taught
                  > > to the test and still does as optimal class time is given to any class
                  > which
                  > > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th
                  > grade
                  > > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade scored
                  > proficient or
                  > > above on the HSA . It is my opinion that these children in regular class
                  > > will largely remain there and leave high school only to find they have
                  > > remedial education in college.It therefore is my opinion that most
                  > children
                  > > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class and
                  > > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children . I
                  > therefore
                  > > stil strongly suggest that every parent demand this level of education
                  > for
                  > > their child in middle school .
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Jack
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  >





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                • pamythompson
                  Let me go back to Glenelg in the mid 90 s ..... My daughter had a terible time , repeatedly I went to the school and spoke to Ms. Wise the assistant principal
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Let me go back to Glenelg in the mid 90's ..... My daughter had a terible time , repeatedly I went to the school and spoke to Ms. Wise the assistant principal and repeatedly she assured me that she had looked into the math class and all was well . I pulled out the math book she brought home and decided to teach her but the material she was working on was not in the book so there was no way she could have helped her self nor could a parent with limited math skills help their child . Since I have a very good understanding of math this concerned me deeply . I asked my daughter how she was being instructed in math class and she replied that the teacher did not use the book but rather that she used the overhead and that the class was so disruptive that no one could learn , in fact it was so disruptive that the teacher was often in the hall crying . I had a meeting with Ms. Wise , the principal , the teacher , the book and I . The teacher admitted that the book was inadequate , that the class was out of controll and that she was unable to teach these children . The principal then apologized for the incompetance of his staff , his exact words and then he went on to accept responsibility for their behavior . We still have all of these problems and all that Ms. Vailancourt has mentioned . Ms Wood asks what can we do ? I will answer you by asking a very disheartening question . Where is Ms. Wise now and how can this still be going on ? I am sory , I have asked this question before to the senior administration of the HCPSS and the BOE . I guess some things just defy reason or perhaps explamation . I wonder what ever hapened to that principal that had the balls to accept responsibility , you don't see much of that in the HCPSS .

                    Jack


                    --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > I think it would be interesting to poll the recent hcpss graduates and see how their math education has prepared them for advanced math courses in college.
                    > I am aware of a number of kids who feel woefully under prepared.
                    > if the end product is the test of a program --- then let's test it. We love testing, don't we?
                    > Cindy V
                    >
                    > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                    > From: michelle_wood@...
                    > Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:54:45 -0400
                    > Subject: RE: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > OK,
                    > the next question is what can be done about it? Clearly the staff and the
                    > principal are sold on the thing (sponsoring the workshop). Are they the
                    > ones who decide the curriculum or is it the BOE? Is it possible that every
                    > elementary school in the county is doing their own thing? I was told that
                    > every school in this county had the same curriculum. That is the primary
                    > reason they give to support their "no transfer" policy - that all schools are
                    > the same. Not that I believe that, but it is what they
                    > claim.
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From:
                    > howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                    > Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                    > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009
                    > 11:50 AM
                    > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject:
                    > [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                    > school
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method,
                    > although is it possible that they just don't bring them home? This is from the
                    > web site I referenced earlier:
                    >
                    > "Go get your child's math textbook, and
                    > get the exact publisher title. If your child's math program doesn't use
                    > textbooks (first clue!) go get some of the worksheets or other materials your
                    > child has dragged home; publisher's copyright identifiers are often in tiny
                    > type along the edges."
                    >
                    > http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html
                    >
                    > If
                    > your child doesn't have a textbook, they are probably learning "fuzzy" reform
                    > math.
                    >
                    > - David T
                    >
                    > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                    > "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I have
                    > not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.
                    > >
                    > One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first
                    > textbook
                    > > EVER come home with her son this week (for math). I was at a
                    > PTACHC meeting
                    > > last year where one representative from the county
                    > (Cindy somebody?) said
                    > > that NO school in the county should have any
                    > shortage of textbooks. Both
                    > > this other parent and I said we had never
                    > seen a single textbook in use at
                    > > our school.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                    > >
                    > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                    > Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                    > > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27
                    > AM
                    > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                    > >
                    > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                    > >
                    >
                    > >
                    > > According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a
                    > big
                    > > supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary
                    > excerpts from
                    > > his workshop descriptions:
                    > >
                    > > "We'll look
                    > at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined
                    > > with art
                    > to intuitively and effectively communicate math."
                    > >
                    > > "In a
                    > segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into
                    > >
                    > pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."
                    > >
                    > > "In "Funny
                    > Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and
                    > > three
                    > digit numbers in our heads."
                    > >
                    > > I think you may have a problem
                    > with your math program. We just need to
                    > > find out how widespread this
                    > is in Howard County.
                    > >
                    > > - David T
                    > >
                    > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                    > "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@>
                    > > wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it
                    > is what
                    > > this
                    > > > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk.com/TERC.html
                    > I am quite certain
                    > > > that they are teaching this form of math to
                    > all elementary students
                    > > (regular
                    > > > and above grade level)
                    > at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
                    > > > Swansfield Elementary
                    > co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
                    > > > http://www.gregtang.com/ last year to
                    > explain to parents how they will
                    > > be
                    > > > teaching their
                    > children math. My husband and I attended the workshop,
                    > > along
                    > >
                    > > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea.
                    > My
                    > > > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they
                    > have a
                    > > "whole
                    > > > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a
                    > scientist myself, and I am
                    > > very
                    > > > nervous about this. I
                    > don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
                    > > > learned them,
                    > or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
                    > > >
                    > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
                    > >
                    > > methods.
                    > > >
                    > > > Michelle Wood
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > > -----Original Message-----
                    > > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                    > >
                    > > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                    > Behalf Of pamythompson
                    > > > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39
                    > PM
                    > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                    > >
                    > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                    > school
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > I am positive , they showed me
                    > two examples of his work and both had
                    > > > TERC math on them however
                    > the three school personel did not know what
                    > > TERC
                    > > > math was
                    > . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth"
                    > > which
                    > I
                    > > > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind
                    > that
                    > > exposure
                    > > > to quality teachers and an education will
                    > produce high percentages on a
                    > > GT
                    > > > test whereas a truley
                    > gifted child which lacks this will not score well
                    > > .
                    > > >
                    > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other
                    > questionable
                    > > > methods are used in our schools but it is quite
                    > likely that most of the
                    > > > staff would not recognize it and merely
                    > accept it as part of the program
                    > > .
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > Jack
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                    > "david_thalheimer"
                    > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > >
                    > > > > Jack:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Are you
                    > sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
                    > > >
                    > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
                    > >
                    > > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I
                    > thought
                    > > that
                    > > > some of the GT math homework my son was
                    > bringing home last year often
                    > > did
                    > > > not make sense or spent
                    > too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
                    > > > computational
                    > skills.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > I don't see anything on the
                    > hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
                    > > > what curriculum is
                    > used. Here is what I see:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > "The Howard
                    > County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
                    > > >
                    > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland
                    > Voluntary
                    > > > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the
                    > National Council of
                    > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and
                    > Standards for School Mathematics,
                    > > > 2000."
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > > > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the
                    > National Council
                    > > of
                    > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles
                    > and Standards for School Mathematics
                    > > and
                    > > > the Maryland
                    > Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
                    > > >
                    > Goals."
                    > > > >
                    > > > > - David T
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                    > "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
                    > > > wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both
                    > the GT resource
                    > > personel
                    > > > from Glenwood as well as central
                    > office this week . There is a review
                    > > > process for GT and there are
                    > guidelines however there is no concrete
                    > > > procedure . What was
                    > imediately visible from these tests is that they
                    > > not
                    > > > only
                    > indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my
                    > >
                    > son
                    > > > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and
                    > that this
                    > > had
                    > > > not been identified or corected in
                    > elementary school so this became my
                    > > > primary focus . Secondly we
                    > agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
                    > > > regular science where
                    > he would be given the option of GT work until his
                    > > > langauge skills
                    > allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
                    > > > acceptable
                    > arangement for all involved .
                    > > > > > Since GT testing and
                    > placement are optional the children are not
                    > > > taught to the test
                    > therefore this and similar tests are good indicators
                    > > of a
                    > > >
                    > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage
                    > all
                    > > > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that
                    > because of
                    > > the
                    > > > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is
                    > being used in the GT math
                    > > program
                    > > > (see frederickpubliced
                    > for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became
                    > > aware
                    > > > that
                    > HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
                    > > >
                    > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method
                    > >
                    > of
                    > > > education .
                    > > > > > What I have garnered most
                    > over the years as I look at tiered
                    > > education
                    > > > is that
                    > there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in
                    > >
                    > Howard
                    > > > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not
                    > all teachers
                    > > > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class
                    > availability our children are
                    > > > being tracked through school with
                    > Honors students being predominately
                    > > > grouped together on a path
                    > towards higher education and the regular
                    > > students
                    > > > being
                    > grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it
                    > >
                    > is
                    > > > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the
                    > regular
                    > > class
                    > > > which indicates a problem in the system and
                    > this is unexceptable .
                    > > > > > It is in my honest opinion that
                    > the HCPSS has failed to adequately
                    > > > educate the average student to
                    > their highest potential but instead
                    > > created a
                    > > > class
                    > system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my
                    > >
                    > opinion
                    > > > that the quality of our education system if it is to
                    > adequately serve
                    > > the
                    > > > majority of our children needs
                    > serious attention and improvement . It is
                    > > > further my view that in
                    > order for us to have a world class education
                    > > system
                    > > > it
                    > requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by
                    > >
                    > the
                    > > > stakeholder .
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
                    > >
                    > > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog
                    > which
                    > > is
                    > > > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue
                    > .
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Jack
                    > > > >
                    > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                    > "david_thalheimer"
                    > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > I think that most parents
                    > would prefer that that their kids move
                    > > > into the most advanced
                    > classes that they can handle. Some parents may
                    > > push
                    > > > their
                    > kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least
                    > >
                    > get
                    > > > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids
                    > find it too
                    > > > hard, they can always be moved back.
                    > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be
                    > having too easy a time in math in
                    > > > elementary school, we asked to
                    > move him into an advanced class (1 grade
                    > > > level ahead), but the
                    > teacher and administration declined to do so,
                    > > saying
                    > > > he
                    > wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a
                    > >
                    > call
                    > > > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held
                    > back when his
                    > > test
                    > > > scores showed that he should be in an
                    > advanced class. They proactively
                    > > moved
                    > > > him ahead, where
                    > he has done fine and has already completed the HS
                    > > > graduation exam
                    > for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
                    > > > elementary
                    > teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
                    > > > > >
                    > >
                    > > > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary
                    > school to move my
                    > > > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead),
                    > but he started falling
                    > > > behind, so we moved him back to the
                    > 1-grade ahead advanced class, where
                    > > he
                    > > > now finds it easy.
                    > In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help
                    > > from
                    > > >
                    > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that
                    > year.
                    > > The
                    > > > GT class also assigns much more
                    > homework.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > I think the
                    > school may be looking at the issue from a resource
                    > > > perspective.
                    > If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who
                    > >
                    > can
                    > > > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT
                    > teachers, they
                    > > will
                    > > > want to fill the classes even if some
                    > of the students are not ready to
                    > > > advance. While I cannot prove
                    > this, I suspect it is the case since, in
                    > > some
                    > > > years, the
                    > school seems more amenable to advance students who we
                    > > >
                    > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen
                    > in
                    > > a
                    > > > previous year.
                    > > > > > >
                    > >
                    > > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching
                    > either a
                    > > > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the
                    > class can't receive
                    > > > more advanced assignments to help them
                    > progress faster (which will help
                    > > them
                    > > > to jump ahead next
                    > year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
                    > > > enough so
                    > that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes
                    > >
                    > when
                    > > > there are enough students who need it.
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school
                    > withholds class
                    > > assignments
                    > > > until the Thursday evening
                    > before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
                    > > > adjust the class
                    > assignments if more students than expected move into
                    > > the
                    > > >
                    > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they
                    > >
                    > don't
                    > > > want parents to request class changes and believe that they
                    > can avoid
                    > > this
                    > > > by withholding (until the last possible
                    > day) information that they have
                    > > had
                    > > > all summer. It is
                    > definately not a transparent process.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > > - David T
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                    > "pamythompson"
                    > > > <pamythompson@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > I as did many parents
                    > suggest that people sign a waiver and move
                    > > > their children in
                    > middle school to advanced classes and for all the
                    > > parents
                    > > >
                    > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests
                    > this
                    > > > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he
                    > was not
                    > > > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being
                    > met with
                    > > resistance ,
                    > > > in my case my 6th grade son was
                    > recomended for gt math but fell short of
                    > > gt
                    > > > science .
                    > Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move
                    > >
                    > him
                    > > > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can
                    > show me a
                    > > > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have
                    > contacted central
                    > > > office for advice . Their position is that
                    > advancsd class are only for
                    > > those
                    > > > that test in them and
                    > that they constantly evaluate the children in
                    > > regular
                    > > >
                    > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs
                    > >
                    > primary
                    > > > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows
                    > their child beter
                    > > then
                    > > > anyone and I interpret primary as
                    > superceding the judgment of anyone in
                    > > the
                    > > > HCPSS in
                    > regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
                    > > >
                    > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
                    > >
                    > > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior
                    > administrator
                    > > if
                    > > > not more . Secondly it is posible and
                    > does happen that children fail
                    > > middle
                    > > > school and are
                    > passed on to high school . I personally know a student
                    > > that
                    > >
                    > > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored
                    > by
                    > > my
                    > > > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was
                    > allowed to muve on to
                    > > > high school by this same administration .
                    > Third , for years HCPSS has
                    > > taught
                    > > > to the test and still
                    > does as optimal class time is given to any class
                    > > which
                    > > >
                    > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th
                    > >
                    > grade
                    > > > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade
                    > scored
                    > > proficient or
                    > > > above on the HSA . It is my opinion
                    > that these children in regular class
                    > > > will largely remain there
                    > and leave high school only to find they have
                    > > > remedial education
                    > in college.It therefore is my opinion that most
                    > > children
                    > > >
                    > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class
                    > and
                    > > > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children
                    > . I
                    > > therefore
                    > > > stil strongly suggest that every parent
                    > demand this level of education
                    > > for
                    > > > their child in middle
                    > school .
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > I
                    > would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
                    > > > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > > > > > Jack
                    > > > > > >
                    > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > _________________________________________________________________
                    > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
                    > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
                    >
                  • pamythompson
                    Message 9 of 29 , Sep 10, 2009
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Let me go back to Glenelg in the mid 90's ..... My daughter had a terible time , repeatedly I went to the school and spoke to Ms. Wise the assistant principal and repeatedly she assured me that she had looked into the math class and all was well . I pulled out the math book she brought home and decided to teach her but the material she was working on was not in the book so there was no way she could have helped her self nor could a parent with limited math skills help their child . Since I have a very good understanding of math this concerned me deeply . I asked my daughter how she was being instructed in math class and she replied that the teacher did not use the book but rather that she used the overhead and that the class was so disruptive that no one could learn , in fact it was so disruptive that the teacher was often in the hall crying . I had a meeting with Ms. Wise , the principal , the teacher , the book and I . The teacher admitted that the book was inadequate , that the class was out of controll and that she was unable to teach these children . The principal then apologized for the incompetance of his staff , his exact words and then he went on to accept responsibility for their behavior . We still have all of these problems and all that Ms. Vailancourt has mentioned . Ms Wood asks what can we do ? I will answer you by asking a very disheartening question . Where is Ms. Wise now and how can this still be going on ? I am sory , I have asked this question before to the senior administration of the HCPSS and the BOE . I guess some things just defy reason or perhaps explamation . I wonder what ever hapened to that principal that had the balls to accept responsibility , you don't see much of that in the HCPSS .
                      >
                      > Jack
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I think it would be interesting to poll the recent hcpss graduates and see how their math education has prepared them for advanced math courses in college.
                      > > I am aware of a number of kids who feel woefully under prepared.
                      > > if the end product is the test of a program --- then let's test it. We love testing, don't we?
                      > > Cindy V
                      > >
                      > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                      > > From: michelle_wood@
                      > > Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:54:45 -0400
                      > > Subject: RE: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > OK,
                      > > the next question is what can be done about it? Clearly the staff and the
                      > > principal are sold on the thing (sponsoring the workshop). Are they the
                      > > ones who decide the curriculum or is it the BOE? Is it possible that every
                      > > elementary school in the county is doing their own thing? I was told that
                      > > every school in this county had the same curriculum. That is the primary
                      > > reason they give to support their "no transfer" policy - that all schools are
                      > > the same. Not that I believe that, but it is what they
                      > > claim.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > From:
                      > > howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                      > > Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                      > > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009
                      > > 11:50 AM
                      > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Subject:
                      > > [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                      > > school
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method,
                      > > although is it possible that they just don't bring them home? This is from the
                      > > web site I referenced earlier:
                      > >
                      > > "Go get your child's math textbook, and
                      > > get the exact publisher title. If your child's math program doesn't use
                      > > textbooks (first clue!) go get some of the worksheets or other materials your
                      > > child has dragged home; publisher's copyright identifiers are often in tiny
                      > > type along the edges."
                      > >
                      > > http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html
                      > >
                      > > If
                      > > your child doesn't have a textbook, they are probably learning "fuzzy" reform
                      > > math.
                      > >
                      > > - David T
                      > >
                      > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                      > > "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > I have
                      > > not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.
                      > > >
                      > > One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first
                      > > textbook
                      > > > EVER come home with her son this week (for math). I was at a
                      > > PTACHC meeting
                      > > > last year where one representative from the county
                      > > (Cindy somebody?) said
                      > > > that NO school in the county should have any
                      > > shortage of textbooks. Both
                      > > > this other parent and I said we had never
                      > > seen a single textbook in use at
                      > > > our school.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                      > > >
                      > > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                      > > Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                      > > > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27
                      > > AM
                      > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                      > > >
                      > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > > According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a
                      > > big
                      > > > supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary
                      > > excerpts from
                      > > > his workshop descriptions:
                      > > >
                      > > > "We'll look
                      > > at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined
                      > > > with art
                      > > to intuitively and effectively communicate math."
                      > > >
                      > > > "In a
                      > > segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into
                      > > >
                      > > pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."
                      > > >
                      > > > "In "Funny
                      > > Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and
                      > > > three
                      > > digit numbers in our heads."
                      > > >
                      > > > I think you may have a problem
                      > > with your math program. We just need to
                      > > > find out how widespread this
                      > > is in Howard County.
                      > > >
                      > > > - David T
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                      > > "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@>
                      > > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it
                      > > is what
                      > > > this
                      > > > > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk.com/TERC.html
                      > > I am quite certain
                      > > > > that they are teaching this form of math to
                      > > all elementary students
                      > > > (regular
                      > > > > and above grade level)
                      > > at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
                      > > > > Swansfield Elementary
                      > > co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
                      > > > > http://www.gregtang.com/ last year to
                      > > explain to parents how they will
                      > > > be
                      > > > > teaching their
                      > > children math. My husband and I attended the workshop,
                      > > > along
                      > > >
                      > > > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea.
                      > > My
                      > > > > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they
                      > > have a
                      > > > "whole
                      > > > > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a
                      > > scientist myself, and I am
                      > > > very
                      > > > > nervous about this. I
                      > > don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
                      > > > > learned them,
                      > > or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
                      > > > >
                      > > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
                      > > >
                      > > > methods.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Michelle Wood
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > > -----Original Message-----
                      > > > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                      > > >
                      > > > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                      > > Behalf Of pamythompson
                      > > > > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39
                      > > PM
                      > > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                      > > >
                      > > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                      > > school
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > I am positive , they showed me
                      > > two examples of his work and both had
                      > > > > TERC math on them however
                      > > the three school personel did not know what
                      > > > TERC
                      > > > > math was
                      > > . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth"
                      > > > which
                      > > I
                      > > > > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind
                      > > that
                      > > > exposure
                      > > > > to quality teachers and an education will
                      > > produce high percentages on a
                      > > > GT
                      > > > > test whereas a truley
                      > > gifted child which lacks this will not score well
                      > > > .
                      > > > >
                      > > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other
                      > > questionable
                      > > > > methods are used in our schools but it is quite
                      > > likely that most of the
                      > > > > staff would not recognize it and merely
                      > > accept it as part of the program
                      > > > .
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > Jack
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                      > > "david_thalheimer"
                      > > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > > Jack:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Are you
                      > > sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
                      > > > >
                      > > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
                      > > >
                      > > > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I
                      > > thought
                      > > > that
                      > > > > some of the GT math homework my son was
                      > > bringing home last year often
                      > > > did
                      > > > > not make sense or spent
                      > > too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
                      > > > > computational
                      > > skills.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > I don't see anything on the
                      > > hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
                      > > > > what curriculum is
                      > > used. Here is what I see:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > "The Howard
                      > > County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
                      > > > >
                      > > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland
                      > > Voluntary
                      > > > > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the
                      > > National Council of
                      > > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and
                      > > Standards for School Mathematics,
                      > > > > 2000."
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the
                      > > National Council
                      > > > of
                      > > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles
                      > > and Standards for School Mathematics
                      > > > and
                      > > > > the Maryland
                      > > Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
                      > > > >
                      > > Goals."
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > - David T
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                      > > "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
                      > > > > wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both
                      > > the GT resource
                      > > > personel
                      > > > > from Glenwood as well as central
                      > > office this week . There is a review
                      > > > > process for GT and there are
                      > > guidelines however there is no concrete
                      > > > > procedure . What was
                      > > imediately visible from these tests is that they
                      > > > not
                      > > > > only
                      > > indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my
                      > > >
                      > > son
                      > > > > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and
                      > > that this
                      > > > had
                      > > > > not been identified or corected in
                      > > elementary school so this became my
                      > > > > primary focus . Secondly we
                      > > agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
                      > > > > regular science where
                      > > he would be given the option of GT work until his
                      > > > > langauge skills
                      > > allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
                      > > > > acceptable
                      > > arangement for all involved .
                      > > > > > > Since GT testing and
                      > > placement are optional the children are not
                      > > > > taught to the test
                      > > therefore this and similar tests are good indicators
                      > > > of a
                      > > > >
                      > > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage
                      > > all
                      > > > > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that
                      > > because of
                      > > > the
                      > > > > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is
                      > > being used in the GT math
                      > > > program
                      > > > > (see frederickpubliced
                      > > for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became
                      > > > aware
                      > > > > that
                      > > HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
                      > > > >
                      > > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method
                      > > >
                      > > of
                      > > > > education .
                      > > > > > > What I have garnered most
                      > > over the years as I look at tiered
                      > > > education
                      > > > > is that
                      > > there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in
                      > > >
                      > > Howard
                      > > > > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not
                      > > all teachers
                      > > > > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class
                      > > availability our children are
                      > > > > being tracked through school with
                      > > Honors students being predominately
                      > > > > grouped together on a path
                      > > towards higher education and the regular
                      > > > students
                      > > > > being
                      > > grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it
                      > > >
                      > > is
                      > > > > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the
                      > > regular
                      > > > class
                      > > > > which indicates a problem in the system and
                      > > this is unexceptable .
                      > > > > > > It is in my honest opinion that
                      > > the HCPSS has failed to adequately
                      > > > > educate the average student to
                      > > their highest potential but instead
                      > > > created a
                      > > > > class
                      > > system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my
                      > > >
                      > > opinion
                      > > > > that the quality of our education system if it is to
                      > > adequately serve
                      > > > the
                      > > > > majority of our children needs
                      > > serious attention and improvement . It is
                      > > > > further my view that in
                      > > order for us to have a world class education
                      > > > system
                      > > > > it
                      > > requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by
                      > > >
                      > > the
                      > > > > stakeholder .
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
                      > > >
                      > > > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog
                      > > which
                      > > > is
                      > > > > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue
                      > > .
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Jack
                      > > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                      > > "david_thalheimer"
                      > > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > I think that most parents
                      > > would prefer that that their kids move
                      > > > > into the most advanced
                      > > classes that they can handle. Some parents may
                      > > > push
                      > > > > their
                      > > kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least
                      > > >
                      > > get
                      > > > > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids
                      > > find it too
                      > > > > hard, they can always be moved back.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be
                      > > having too easy a time in math in
                      > > > > elementary school, we asked to
                      > > move him into an advanced class (1 grade
                      > > > > level ahead), but the
                      > > teacher and administration declined to do so,
                      > > > saying
                      > > > > he
                      > > wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a
                      > > >
                      > > call
                      > > > > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held
                      > > back when his
                      > > > test
                      > > > > scores showed that he should be in an
                      > > advanced class. They proactively
                      > > > moved
                      > > > > him ahead, where
                      > > he has done fine and has already completed the HS
                      > > > > graduation exam
                      > > for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
                      > > > > elementary
                      > > teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
                      > > > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary
                      > > school to move my
                      > > > > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead),
                      > > but he started falling
                      > > > > behind, so we moved him back to the
                      > > 1-grade ahead advanced class, where
                      > > > he
                      > > > > now finds it easy.
                      > > In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help
                      > > > from
                      > > > >
                      > > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that
                      > > year.
                      > > > The
                      > > > > GT class also assigns much more
                      > > homework.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > I think the
                      > > school may be looking at the issue from a resource
                      > > > > perspective.
                      > > If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who
                      > > >
                      > > can
                      > > > > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT
                      > > teachers, they
                      > > > will
                      > > > > want to fill the classes even if some
                      > > of the students are not ready to
                      > > > > advance. While I cannot prove
                      > > this, I suspect it is the case since, in
                      > > > some
                      > > > > years, the
                      > > school seems more amenable to advance students who we
                      > > > >
                      > > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen
                      > > in
                      > > > a
                      > > > > previous year.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching
                      > > either a
                      > > > > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the
                      > > class can't receive
                      > > > > more advanced assignments to help them
                      > > progress faster (which will help
                      > > > them
                      > > > > to jump ahead next
                      > > year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
                      > > > > enough so
                      > > that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes
                      > > >
                      > > when
                      > > > > there are enough students who need it.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school
                      > > withholds class
                      > > > assignments
                      > > > > until the Thursday evening
                      > > before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
                      > > > > adjust the class
                      > > assignments if more students than expected move into
                      > > > the
                      > > > >
                      > > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they
                      > > >
                      > > don't
                      > > > > want parents to request class changes and believe that they
                      > > can avoid
                      > > > this
                      > > > > by withholding (until the last possible
                      > > day) information that they have
                      > > > had
                      > > > > all summer. It is
                      > > definately not a transparent process.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > > - David T
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                      > > "pamythompson"
                      > > > > <pamythompson@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > I as did many parents
                      > > suggest that people sign a waiver and move
                      > > > > their children in
                      > > middle school to advanced classes and for all the
                      > > > parents
                      > > > >
                      > > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests
                      > > this
                      > > > > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he
                      > > was not
                      > > > > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being
                      > > met with
                      > > > resistance ,
                      > > > > in my case my 6th grade son was
                      > > recomended for gt math but fell short of
                      > > > gt
                      > > > > science .
                      > > Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move
                      > > >
                      > > him
                      > > > > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can
                      > > show me a
                      > > > > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have
                      > > contacted central
                      > > > > office for advice . Their position is that
                      > > advancsd class are only for
                      > > > those
                      > > > > that test in them and
                      > > that they constantly evaluate the children in
                      > > > regular
                      > > > >
                      > > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs
                      > > >
                      > > primary
                      > > > > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows
                      > > their child beter
                      > > > then
                      > > > > anyone and I interpret primary as
                      > > superceding the judgment of anyone in
                      > > > the
                      > > > > HCPSS in
                      > > regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
                      > > > >
                      > > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
                      > > >
                      > > > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior
                      > > administrator
                      > > > if
                      > > > > not more . Secondly it is posible and
                      > > does happen that children fail
                      > > > middle
                      > > > > school and are
                      > > passed on to high school . I personally know a student
                      > > > that
                      > > >
                      > > > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored
                      > > by
                      > > > my
                      > > > > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was
                      > > allowed to muve on to
                      > > > > high school by this same administration .
                      > > Third , for years HCPSS has
                      > > > taught
                      > > > > to the test and still
                      > > does as optimal class time is given to any class
                      > > > which
                      > > > >
                      > > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th
                      > > >
                      > > grade
                      > > > > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade
                      > > scored
                      > > > proficient or
                      > > > > above on the HSA . It is my opinion
                      > > that these children in regular class
                      > > > > will largely remain there
                      > > and leave high school only to find they have
                      > > > > remedial education
                      > > in college.It therefore is my opinion that most
                      > > > children
                      > > > >
                      > > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class
                      > > and
                      > > > > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children
                      > > . I
                      > > > therefore
                      > > > > stil strongly suggest that every parent
                      > > demand this level of education
                      > > > for
                      > > > > their child in middle
                      > > school .
                      > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > I
                      > > would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > Jack
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > _________________________________________________________________
                      > > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
                      > > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
                      > >
                      >
                    • pamythompson
                      Let me go back a little further to Glenwood Middle .... My oldest daughter was geting good grades and one night I decided to sit down and look at her work and
                      Message 10 of 29 , Sep 11, 2009
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Let me go back a little further to Glenwood Middle .... My oldest daughter was geting good grades and one night I decided to sit down and look at her work and there were a lot of good grades . I picked up one packet marked 'A' 100% on the front and I opened it and to my disbeleif I saw that half of it is not done and the half that is is half wrong , so the true grade is 25% . I scheduled a meeting with the administration and the teacher and her graded work . I told them I wanted to discuss her grades and I sat her work in front of them and asked what they thought and the administrator looked at the A's and replied that ny daughter was doing very well in school . Then I reached over and turned a few pages and sat back and watched the expression on these peoples faces as it became clear that they had no idea what they were talking about and waited for an explanation . Eventually the administrator gathers herself together and tells me that they grade for self esteem , that they don't want to make the kids feel bad . I then explained to them how they had failed to do their jobs and asked how they thought it would be for these kids self esteem when they were fliping burgers for a living .
                        I have watched these kids for years , passed through our schools without the skills they need to survive in the world . Watched our seniors at the local stores unable to figure out 50% off . Watched them leave school with no job oportunities . Watched them enter HCC needing 1 or 2 years of remedial education , the majority lacking in math . The best conclusion I can come to is that HCPSS through inadaquacy amd unfortunatly incompetence has simply failed to educate many of our children and stubornly and repeatedly continues to fail our children .

                        Jack


                        --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Let me go back to Glenelg in the mid 90's ..... My daughter had a terible time , repeatedly I went to the school and spoke to Ms. Wise the assistant principal and repeatedly she assured me that she had looked into the math class and all was well . I pulled out the math book she brought home and decided to teach her but the material she was working on was not in the book so there was no way she could have helped her self nor could a parent with limited math skills help their child . Since I have a very good understanding of math this concerned me deeply . I asked my daughter how she was being instructed in math class and she replied that the teacher did not use the book but rather that she used the overhead and that the class was so disruptive that no one could learn , in fact it was so disruptive that the teacher was often in the hall crying . I had a meeting with Ms. Wise , the principal , the teacher , the book and I . The teacher admitted that the book was inadequate , that the class was out of controll and that she was unable to teach these children . The principal then apologized for the incompetance of his staff , his exact words and then he went on to accept responsibility for their behavior . We still have all of these problems and all that Ms. Vailancourt has mentioned . Ms Wood asks what can we do ? I will answer you by asking a very disheartening question . Where is Ms. Wise now and how can this still be going on ? I am sory , I have asked this question before to the senior administration of the HCPSS and the BOE . I guess some things just defy reason or perhaps explamation . I wonder what ever hapened to that principal that had the balls to accept responsibility , you don't see much of that in the HCPSS .
                        >
                        > Jack
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > I think it would be interesting to poll the recent hcpss graduates and see how their math education has prepared them for advanced math courses in college.
                        > > I am aware of a number of kids who feel woefully under prepared.
                        > > if the end product is the test of a program --- then let's test it. We love testing, don't we?
                        > > Cindy V
                        > >
                        > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                        > > From: michelle_wood@
                        > > Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:54:45 -0400
                        > > Subject: RE: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > OK,
                        > > the next question is what can be done about it? Clearly the staff and the
                        > > principal are sold on the thing (sponsoring the workshop). Are they the
                        > > ones who decide the curriculum or is it the BOE? Is it possible that every
                        > > elementary school in the county is doing their own thing? I was told that
                        > > every school in this county had the same curriculum. That is the primary
                        > > reason they give to support their "no transfer" policy - that all schools are
                        > > the same. Not that I believe that, but it is what they
                        > > claim.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > -----Original Message-----
                        > > From:
                        > > howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                        > > Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                        > > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009
                        > > 11:50 AM
                        > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                        > > Subject:
                        > > [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                        > > school
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method,
                        > > although is it possible that they just don't bring them home? This is from the
                        > > web site I referenced earlier:
                        > >
                        > > "Go get your child's math textbook, and
                        > > get the exact publisher title. If your child's math program doesn't use
                        > > textbooks (first clue!) go get some of the worksheets or other materials your
                        > > child has dragged home; publisher's copyright identifiers are often in tiny
                        > > type along the edges."
                        > >
                        > > http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html
                        > >
                        > > If
                        > > your child doesn't have a textbook, they are probably learning "fuzzy" reform
                        > > math.
                        > >
                        > > - David T
                        > >
                        > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                        > > "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > I have
                        > > not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.
                        > > >
                        > > One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first
                        > > textbook
                        > > > EVER come home with her son this week (for math). I was at a
                        > > PTACHC meeting
                        > > > last year where one representative from the county
                        > > (Cindy somebody?) said
                        > > > that NO school in the county should have any
                        > > shortage of textbooks. Both
                        > > > this other parent and I said we had never
                        > > seen a single textbook in use at
                        > > > our school.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > -----Original Message-----
                        > > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                        > > >
                        > > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                        > > Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                        > > > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27
                        > > AM
                        > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                        > > >
                        > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > > >
                        > > > According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a
                        > > big
                        > > > supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary
                        > > excerpts from
                        > > > his workshop descriptions:
                        > > >
                        > > > "We'll look
                        > > at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined
                        > > > with art
                        > > to intuitively and effectively communicate math."
                        > > >
                        > > > "In a
                        > > segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into
                        > > >
                        > > pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."
                        > > >
                        > > > "In "Funny
                        > > Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and
                        > > > three
                        > > digit numbers in our heads."
                        > > >
                        > > > I think you may have a problem
                        > > with your math program. We just need to
                        > > > find out how widespread this
                        > > is in Howard County.
                        > > >
                        > > > - David T
                        > > >
                        > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                        > > "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@>
                        > > > wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it
                        > > is what
                        > > > this
                        > > > > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk.com/TERC.html
                        > > I am quite certain
                        > > > > that they are teaching this form of math to
                        > > all elementary students
                        > > > (regular
                        > > > > and above grade level)
                        > > at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
                        > > > > Swansfield Elementary
                        > > co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
                        > > > > http://www.gregtang.com/ last year to
                        > > explain to parents how they will
                        > > > be
                        > > > > teaching their
                        > > children math. My husband and I attended the workshop,
                        > > > along
                        > > >
                        > > > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea.
                        > > My
                        > > > > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they
                        > > have a
                        > > > "whole
                        > > > > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a
                        > > scientist myself, and I am
                        > > > very
                        > > > > nervous about this. I
                        > > don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
                        > > > > learned them,
                        > > or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
                        > > > >
                        > > punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
                        > > >
                        > > > methods.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Michelle Wood
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > > -----Original Message-----
                        > > > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                        > > >
                        > > > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                        > > Behalf Of pamythompson
                        > > > > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39
                        > > PM
                        > > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                        > > >
                        > > > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                        > > school
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > I am positive , they showed me
                        > > two examples of his work and both had
                        > > > > TERC math on them however
                        > > the three school personel did not know what
                        > > > TERC
                        > > > > math was
                        > > . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth"
                        > > > which
                        > > I
                        > > > > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind
                        > > that
                        > > > exposure
                        > > > > to quality teachers and an education will
                        > > produce high percentages on a
                        > > > GT
                        > > > > test whereas a truley
                        > > gifted child which lacks this will not score well
                        > > > .
                        > > > >
                        > > Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other
                        > > questionable
                        > > > > methods are used in our schools but it is quite
                        > > likely that most of the
                        > > > > staff would not recognize it and merely
                        > > accept it as part of the program
                        > > > .
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > Jack
                        > > > >
                        > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                        > > "david_thalheimer"
                        > > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > Jack:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Are you
                        > > sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
                        > > > >
                        > > curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
                        > > >
                        > > > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I
                        > > thought
                        > > > that
                        > > > > some of the GT math homework my son was
                        > > bringing home last year often
                        > > > did
                        > > > > not make sense or spent
                        > > too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
                        > > > > computational
                        > > skills.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > I don't see anything on the
                        > > hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
                        > > > > what curriculum is
                        > > used. Here is what I see:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > "The Howard
                        > > County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
                        > > > >
                        > > developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland
                        > > Voluntary
                        > > > > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the
                        > > National Council of
                        > > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and
                        > > Standards for School Mathematics,
                        > > > > 2000."
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the
                        > > National Council
                        > > > of
                        > > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles
                        > > and Standards for School Mathematics
                        > > > and
                        > > > > the Maryland
                        > > Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
                        > > > >
                        > > Goals."
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > - David T
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                        > > "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
                        > > > > wrote:
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both
                        > > the GT resource
                        > > > personel
                        > > > > from Glenwood as well as central
                        > > office this week . There is a review
                        > > > > process for GT and there are
                        > > guidelines however there is no concrete
                        > > > > procedure . What was
                        > > imediately visible from these tests is that they
                        > > > not
                        > > > > only
                        > > indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my
                        > > >
                        > > son
                        > > > > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and
                        > > that this
                        > > > had
                        > > > > not been identified or corected in
                        > > elementary school so this became my
                        > > > > primary focus . Secondly we
                        > > agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
                        > > > > regular science where
                        > > he would be given the option of GT work until his
                        > > > > langauge skills
                        > > allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
                        > > > > acceptable
                        > > arangement for all involved .
                        > > > > > > Since GT testing and
                        > > placement are optional the children are not
                        > > > > taught to the test
                        > > therefore this and similar tests are good indicators
                        > > > of a
                        > > > >
                        > > child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage
                        > > all
                        > > > > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that
                        > > because of
                        > > > the
                        > > > > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is
                        > > being used in the GT math
                        > > > program
                        > > > > (see frederickpubliced
                        > > for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became
                        > > > aware
                        > > > > that
                        > > HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
                        > > > >
                        > > begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method
                        > > >
                        > > of
                        > > > > education .
                        > > > > > > What I have garnered most
                        > > over the years as I look at tiered
                        > > > education
                        > > > > is that
                        > > there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in
                        > > >
                        > > Howard
                        > > > > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not
                        > > all teachers
                        > > > > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class
                        > > availability our children are
                        > > > > being tracked through school with
                        > > Honors students being predominately
                        > > > > grouped together on a path
                        > > towards higher education and the regular
                        > > > students
                        > > > > being
                        > > grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it
                        > > >
                        > > is
                        > > > > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the
                        > > regular
                        > > > class
                        > > > > which indicates a problem in the system and
                        > > this is unexceptable .
                        > > > > > > It is in my honest opinion that
                        > > the HCPSS has failed to adequately
                        > > > > educate the average student to
                        > > their highest potential but instead
                        > > > created a
                        > > > > class
                        > > system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my
                        > > >
                        > > opinion
                        > > > > that the quality of our education system if it is to
                        > > adequately serve
                        > > > the
                        > > > > majority of our children needs
                        > > serious attention and improvement . It is
                        > > > > further my view that in
                        > > order for us to have a world class education
                        > > > system
                        > > > > it
                        > > requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by
                        > > >
                        > > the
                        > > > > stakeholder .
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
                        > > >
                        > > > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog
                        > > which
                        > > > is
                        > > > > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue
                        > > .
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Jack
                        > > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                        > > "david_thalheimer"
                        > > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > I think that most parents
                        > > would prefer that that their kids move
                        > > > > into the most advanced
                        > > classes that they can handle. Some parents may
                        > > > push
                        > > > > their
                        > > kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least
                        > > >
                        > > get
                        > > > > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids
                        > > find it too
                        > > > > hard, they can always be moved back.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be
                        > > having too easy a time in math in
                        > > > > elementary school, we asked to
                        > > move him into an advanced class (1 grade
                        > > > > level ahead), but the
                        > > teacher and administration declined to do so,
                        > > > saying
                        > > > > he
                        > > wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a
                        > > >
                        > > call
                        > > > > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held
                        > > back when his
                        > > > test
                        > > > > scores showed that he should be in an
                        > > advanced class. They proactively
                        > > > moved
                        > > > > him ahead, where
                        > > he has done fine and has already completed the HS
                        > > > > graduation exam
                        > > for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
                        > > > > elementary
                        > > teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
                        > > > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary
                        > > school to move my
                        > > > > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead),
                        > > but he started falling
                        > > > > behind, so we moved him back to the
                        > > 1-grade ahead advanced class, where
                        > > > he
                        > > > > now finds it easy.
                        > > In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help
                        > > > from
                        > > > >
                        > > the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that
                        > > year.
                        > > > The
                        > > > > GT class also assigns much more
                        > > homework.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > I think the
                        > > school may be looking at the issue from a resource
                        > > > > perspective.
                        > > If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who
                        > > >
                        > > can
                        > > > > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT
                        > > teachers, they
                        > > > will
                        > > > > want to fill the classes even if some
                        > > of the students are not ready to
                        > > > > advance. While I cannot prove
                        > > this, I suspect it is the case since, in
                        > > > some
                        > > > > years, the
                        > > school seems more amenable to advance students who we
                        > > > >
                        > > (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen
                        > > in
                        > > > a
                        > > > > previous year.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching
                        > > either a
                        > > > > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the
                        > > class can't receive
                        > > > > more advanced assignments to help them
                        > > progress faster (which will help
                        > > > them
                        > > > > to jump ahead next
                        > > year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
                        > > > > enough so
                        > > that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes
                        > > >
                        > > when
                        > > > > there are enough students who need it.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school
                        > > withholds class
                        > > > assignments
                        > > > > until the Thursday evening
                        > > before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
                        > > > > adjust the class
                        > > assignments if more students than expected move into
                        > > > the
                        > > > >
                        > > area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they
                        > > >
                        > > don't
                        > > > > want parents to request class changes and believe that they
                        > > can avoid
                        > > > this
                        > > > > by withholding (until the last possible
                        > > day) information that they have
                        > > > had
                        > > > > all summer. It is
                        > > definately not a transparent process.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > - David T
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                        > > "pamythompson"
                        > > > > <pamythompson@> wrote:
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > I as did many parents
                        > > suggest that people sign a waiver and move
                        > > > > their children in
                        > > middle school to advanced classes and for all the
                        > > > parents
                        > > > >
                        > > I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests
                        > > this
                        > > > > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he
                        > > was not
                        > > > > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being
                        > > met with
                        > > > resistance ,
                        > > > > in my case my 6th grade son was
                        > > recomended for gt math but fell short of
                        > > > gt
                        > > > > science .
                        > > Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move
                        > > >
                        > > him
                        > > > > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can
                        > > show me a
                        > > > > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have
                        > > contacted central
                        > > > > office for advice . Their position is that
                        > > advancsd class are only for
                        > > > those
                        > > > > that test in them and
                        > > that they constantly evaluate the children in
                        > > > regular
                        > > > >
                        > > classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs
                        > > >
                        > > primary
                        > > > > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows
                        > > their child beter
                        > > > then
                        > > > > anyone and I interpret primary as
                        > > superceding the judgment of anyone in
                        > > > the
                        > > > > HCPSS in
                        > > regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
                        > > > >
                        > > decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
                        > > >
                        > > > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior
                        > > administrator
                        > > > if
                        > > > > not more . Secondly it is posible and
                        > > does happen that children fail
                        > > > middle
                        > > > > school and are
                        > > passed on to high school . I personally know a student
                        > > > that
                        > > >
                        > > > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored
                        > > by
                        > > > my
                        > > > > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was
                        > > allowed to muve on to
                        > > > > high school by this same administration .
                        > > Third , for years HCPSS has
                        > > > taught
                        > > > > to the test and still
                        > > does as optimal class time is given to any class
                        > > > which
                        > > > >
                        > > has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th
                        > > >
                        > > grade
                        > > > > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade
                        > > scored
                        > > > proficient or
                        > > > > above on the HSA . It is my opinion
                        > > that these children in regular class
                        > > > > will largely remain there
                        > > and leave high school only to find they have
                        > > > > remedial education
                        > > in college.It therefore is my opinion that most
                        > > > children
                        > > > >
                        > > could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class
                        > > and
                        > > > > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children
                        > > . I
                        > > > therefore
                        > > > > stil strongly suggest that every parent
                        > > demand this level of education
                        > > > for
                        > > > > their child in middle
                        > > school .
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > I
                        > > would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Jack
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > _________________________________________________________________
                        > > With Windows Live, you can organize, edit, and share your photos.
                        > > http://www.windowslive.com/Desktop/PhotoGallery
                        > >
                        >
                      • Allen Dyer
                        two questions, 1. does anyone know how many howard county parents need to retain math tutors? basically, given the existing system, what kind of resources
                        Message 11 of 29 , Sep 11, 2009
                        • 0 Attachment
                          two questions,
                           
                          1.  does anyone know how many howard county parents need to retain math tutors?  basically, given the existing system, what kind of resources are necessary to assist students whose families can't afford math tutors?
                           
                          2.  are there any public school systems that have a top-notch mathematics program that serves all students?  basically, is there a model?
                           
                          allen
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 1:11 AM
                          Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

                          Let me go back to Glenelg in the mid 90's ..... My daughter had a terible time , repeatedly I went to the school and spoke to Ms. Wise the assistant principal and repeatedly she assured me that she had looked into the math class and all was well . I pulled out the math book she brought home and decided to teach her but the material she was working on was not in the book so there was no way she could have helped her self nor could a parent with limited math skills help their child . Since I have a very good understanding of math this concerned me deeply . I asked my daughter how she was being instructed in math class and she replied that the teacher did not use the book but rather that she used the overhead and that the class was so disruptive that no one could learn , in fact it was so disruptive that the teacher was often in the hall crying . I had a meeting with Ms. Wise , the principal , the teacher , the book and I . The teacher admitted that the book was inadequate , that the class was out of controll and that she was unable to teach these children . The principal then apologized for the incompetance of his staff , his exact words and then he went on to accept responsibility for their behavior . We still have all of these problems and all that Ms. Vailancourt has mentioned . Ms Wood asks what can we do ? I will answer you by asking a very disheartening question . Where is Ms. Wise now and how can this still be going on ? I am sory , I have asked this question before to the senior administration of the HCPSS and the BOE . I guess some things just defy reason or perhaps explamation . I wonder what ever hapened to that principal that had the balls to accept responsibility , you don't see much of that in the HCPSS .

                          Jack

                           
                          --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > I think it would be interesting to poll the recent hcpss graduates and see how their math education has prepared them for advanced math courses in college.
                          > I am aware of a number of kids who feel woefully under prepared.
                          > if the end product is the test of a program --- then let's test it.  We love testing, don't we?
                          > Cindy V
                          >
                          > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                          > From: michelle_wood@...
                          > Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:54:45 -0400
                          > Subject: RE: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >    
                          >                  
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > OK,
                          > the next question is what can be done about it?  Clearly the staff and the
                          > principal are sold on the thing (sponsoring the workshop).  Are they the
                          > ones who decide the curriculum or is it the BOE?  Is it possible that every
                          > elementary school in the county is doing their own thing?  I was told that
                          > every school in this county had the same curriculum.  That is the primary
                          > reason they give to support their "no transfer" policy - that all schools are
                          > the same.  Not that I believe that, but it is what they
                          > claim.


                          >
                          >   -----Original Message-----
                          > From:
                          >   howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                          >   Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                          > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009
                          >   11:50 AM
                          > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject:
                          >   [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                          >   school
                          >
                          >  
                          >  
                          >   The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method,
                          >   although is it possible that they just don't bring them home? This is from the
                          >   web site I referenced earlier:
                          >
                          > "Go get your child's math textbook, and
                          >   get the exact publisher title. If your child's math program doesn't use
                          >   textbooks (first clue!) go get some of the worksheets or other materials your
                          >   child has dragged home; publisher's copyright identifiers are often in tiny
                          >   type along the edges."
                          >
                          > http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html
                          >
                          > If
                          >   your child doesn't have a textbook, they are probably learning "fuzzy" reform
                          >   math.
                          >
                          > - David T
                          >
                          > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                          >   "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > I have
                          >   not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.
                          > >
                          >   One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first
                          >   textbook
                          > > EVER come home with her son this week (for math). I was at a
                          >   PTACHC meeting
                          > > last year where one representative from the county
                          >   (Cindy somebody?) said
                          > > that NO school in the county should have any
                          >   shortage of textbooks. Both
                          > > this other parent and I said we had never
                          >   seen a single textbook in use at
                          > > our school.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >   -----Original Message-----
                          > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                          > >
                          >   [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                          >   Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                          > > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27
                          >   AM
                          > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                          > >
                          >   Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                          > >
                          >  
                          > >
                          > > According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a
                          >   big
                          > > supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary
                          >   excerpts from
                          > > his workshop descriptions:
                          > >
                          > > "We'll look
                          >   at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined
                          > > with art
                          >   to intuitively and effectively communicate math."
                          > >
                          > > "In a
                          >   segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into
                          > >
                          >   pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."
                          > >
                          > > "In "Funny
                          >   Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and
                          > > three
                          >   digit numbers in our heads."
                          > >
                          > > I think you may have a problem
                          >   with your math program. We just need to
                          > > find out how widespread this
                          >   is in Howard County.
                          > >
                          > > - David T
                          > >
                          > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                          >   "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@>
                          > > wrote:
                          > >
                          >   >
                          > > > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it
                          >   is what
                          > > this
                          > > > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk.com/TERC.html
                          >   I am quite certain
                          > > > that they are teaching this form of math to
                          >   all elementary students
                          > > (regular
                          > > > and above grade level)
                          >   at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
                          > > > Swansfield Elementary
                          >   co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
                          > > > http://www.gregtang.com/ last year to
                          >   explain to parents how they will
                          > > be
                          > > > teaching their
                          >   children math. My husband and I attended the workshop,
                          > > along
                          > >
                          >   > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea.
                          >   My
                          > > > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they
                          >   have a
                          > > "whole
                          > > > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a
                          >   scientist myself, and I am
                          > > very
                          > > > nervous about this. I
                          >   don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
                          > > > learned them,
                          >   or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
                          > > >
                          >   punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
                          > >
                          >   > methods.
                          > > >
                          > > > Michelle Wood
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >   >
                          > > > -----Original Message-----
                          > > > From: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                          > >
                          >   > [mailto:howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com]On
                          >   Behalf Of pamythompson
                          > > > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39
                          >   PM
                          > > > To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                          > >
                          >   > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                          >   school
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > I am positive , they showed me
                          >   two examples of his work and both had
                          > > > TERC math on them however
                          >   the three school personel did not know what
                          > > TERC
                          > > > math was
                          >   . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth"
                          > > which
                          >   I
                          > > > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind
                          >   that
                          > > exposure
                          > > > to quality teachers and an education will
                          >   produce high percentages on a
                          > > GT
                          > > > test whereas a truley
                          >   gifted child which lacks this will not score well
                          > > .
                          > > >
                          >   Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other
                          >   questionable
                          > > > methods are used in our schools but it is quite
                          >   likely that most of the
                          > > > staff would not recognize it and merely
                          >   accept it as part of the program
                          > > .
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          >   Jack
                          > > >
                          > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                          >   "david_thalheimer"
                          > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                          > >
                          >   > >
                          > > > > Jack:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Are you
                          >   sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
                          > > >
                          >   curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
                          > >
                          >   > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I
                          >   thought
                          > > that
                          > > > some of the GT math homework my son was
                          >   bringing home last year often
                          > > did
                          > > > not make sense or spent
                          >   too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
                          > > > computational
                          >   skills.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > I don't see anything on the
                          >   hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
                          > > > what curriculum is
                          >   used. Here is what I see:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > "The Howard
                          >   County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
                          > > >
                          >   developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland
                          >   Voluntary
                          > > > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the
                          >   National Council of
                          > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and
                          >   Standards for School Mathematics,
                          > > > 2000."
                          > > >
                          >   >
                          > > > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the
                          >   National Council
                          > > of
                          > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles
                          >   and Standards for School Mathematics
                          > > and
                          > > > the Maryland
                          >   Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
                          > > >
                          >   Goals."
                          > > > >
                          > > > > - David T
                          > > >
                          >   >
                          > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                          >   "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
                          > > > wrote:
                          > > >
                          >   > >
                          > > > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both
                          >   the GT resource
                          > > personel
                          > > > from Glenwood as well as central
                          >   office this week . There is a review
                          > > > process for GT and there are
                          >   guidelines however there is no concrete
                          > > > procedure . What was
                          >   imediately visible from these tests is that they
                          > > not
                          > > > only
                          >   indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my
                          > >
                          >   son
                          > > > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and
                          >   that this
                          > > had
                          > > > not been identified or corected in
                          >   elementary school so this became my
                          > > > primary focus . Secondly we
                          >   agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
                          > > > regular science where
                          >   he would be given the option of GT work until his
                          > > > langauge skills
                          >   allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
                          > > > acceptable
                          >   arangement for all involved .
                          > > > > > Since GT testing and
                          >   placement are optional the children are not
                          > > > taught to the test
                          >   therefore this and similar tests are good indicators
                          > > of a
                          > > >
                          >   child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage
                          >   all
                          > > > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that
                          >   because of
                          > > the
                          > > > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is
                          >   being used in the GT math
                          > > program
                          > > > (see frederickpubliced
                          >   for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became
                          > > aware
                          > > > that
                          >   HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
                          > > >
                          >   begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method
                          > >
                          >   of
                          > > > education .
                          > > > > > What I have garnered most
                          >   over the years as I look at tiered
                          > > education
                          > > > is that
                          >   there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in
                          > >
                          >   Howard
                          > > > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not
                          >   all teachers
                          > > > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class
                          >   availability our children are
                          > > > being tracked through school with
                          >   Honors students being predominately
                          > > > grouped together on a path
                          >   towards higher education and the regular
                          > > students
                          > > > being
                          >   grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it
                          > >
                          >   is
                          > > > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the
                          >   regular
                          > > class
                          > > > which indicates a problem in the system and
                          >   this is unexceptable .
                          > > > > > It is in my honest opinion that
                          >   the HCPSS has failed to adequately
                          > > > educate the average student to
                          >   their highest potential but instead
                          > > created a
                          > > > class
                          >   system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my
                          > >
                          >   opinion
                          > > > that the quality of our education system if it is to
                          >   adequately serve
                          > > the
                          > > > majority of our children needs
                          >   serious attention and improvement . It is
                          > > > further my view that in
                          >   order for us to have a world class education
                          > > system
                          > > > it
                          >   requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by
                          > >
                          >   the
                          > > > stakeholder .
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          >   There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
                          > >
                          >   > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog
                          >   which
                          > > is
                          > > > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue
                          >   .
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Jack
                          > > > >
                          >   >
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                          >   "david_thalheimer"
                          > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                          > >
                          >   > > > >
                          > > > > > > I think that most parents
                          >   would prefer that that their kids move
                          > > > into the most advanced
                          >   classes that they can handle. Some parents may
                          > > push
                          > > > their
                          >   kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least
                          > >
                          >   get
                          > > > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids
                          >   find it too
                          > > > hard, they can always be moved back.
                          > > >
                          >   > > >
                          > > > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be
                          >   having too easy a time in math in
                          > > > elementary school, we asked to
                          >   move him into an advanced class (1 grade
                          > > > level ahead), but the
                          >   teacher and administration declined to do so,
                          > > saying
                          > > > he
                          >   wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a
                          > >
                          >   call
                          > > > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held
                          >   back when his
                          > > test
                          > > > scores showed that he should be in an
                          >   advanced class. They proactively
                          > > moved
                          > > > him ahead, where
                          >   he has done fine and has already completed the HS
                          > > > graduation exam
                          >   for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
                          > > > elementary
                          >   teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
                          > > > > >
                          >   >
                          > > > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary
                          >   school to move my
                          > > > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead),
                          >   but he started falling
                          > > > behind, so we moved him back to the
                          >   1-grade ahead advanced class, where
                          > > he
                          > > > now finds it easy.
                          >   In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help
                          > > from
                          > > >
                          >   the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that
                          >   year.
                          > > The
                          > > > GT class also assigns much more
                          >   homework.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > I think the
                          >   school may be looking at the issue from a resource
                          > > > perspective.
                          >   If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who
                          > >
                          >   can
                          > > > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT
                          >   teachers, they
                          > > will
                          > > > want to fill the classes even if some
                          >   of the students are not ready to
                          > > > advance. While I cannot prove
                          >   this, I suspect it is the case since, in
                          > > some
                          > > > years, the
                          >   school seems more amenable to advance students who we
                          > > >
                          >   (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen
                          >   in
                          > > a
                          > > > previous year.
                          > > > > > >
                          > >
                          >   > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching
                          >   either a
                          > > > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the
                          >   class can't receive
                          > > > more advanced assignments to help them
                          >   progress faster (which will help
                          > > them
                          > > > to jump ahead next
                          >   year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
                          > > > enough so
                          >   that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes
                          > >
                          >   when
                          > > > there are enough students who need it.
                          > > > >
                          >   > >
                          > > > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school
                          >   withholds class
                          > > assignments
                          > > > until the Thursday evening
                          >   before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
                          > > > adjust the class
                          >   assignments if more students than expected move into
                          > > the
                          > > >
                          >   area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they
                          > >
                          >   don't
                          > > > want parents to request class changes and believe that they
                          >   can avoid
                          > > this
                          > > > by withholding (until the last possible
                          >   day) information that they have
                          > > had
                          > > > all summer. It is
                          >   definately not a transparent process.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > >
                          >   > > > - David T
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          >   > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com,
                          >   "pamythompson"
                          > > > <pamythompson@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          >   > > > >
                          > > > > > > > I as did many parents
                          >   suggest that people sign a waiver and move
                          > > > their children in
                          >   middle school to advanced classes and for all the
                          > > parents
                          > > >
                          >   I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests
                          >   this
                          > > > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he
                          >   was not
                          > > > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being
                          >   met with
                          > > resistance ,
                          > > > in my case my 6th grade son was
                          >   recomended for gt math but fell short of
                          > > gt
                          > > > science .
                          >   Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move
                          > >
                          >   him
                          > > > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can
                          >   show me a
                          > > > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have
                          >   contacted central
                          > > > office for advice . Their position is that
                          >   advancsd class are only for
                          > > those
                          > > > that test in them and
                          >   that they constantly evaluate the children in
                          > > regular
                          > > >
                          >   classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs
                          > >
                          >   primary
                          > > > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows
                          >   their child beter
                          > > then
                          > > > anyone and I interpret primary as
                          >   superceding the judgment of anyone in
                          > > the
                          > > > HCPSS in
                          >   regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
                          > > >
                          >   decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
                          > >
                          >   > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior
                          >   administrator
                          > > if
                          > > > not more . Secondly it is posible and
                          >   does happen that children fail
                          > > middle
                          > > > school and are
                          >   passed on to high school . I personally know a student
                          > > that
                          > >
                          >   > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored
                          >   by
                          > > my
                          > > > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was
                          >   allowed to muve on to
                          > > > high school by this same administration .
                          >   Third , for years HCPSS has
                          > > taught
                          > > > to the test and still
                          >   does as optimal class time is given to any class
                          > > which
                          > > >
                          >   has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th
                          > >
                          >   grade
                          > > > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade
                          >   scored
                          > > proficient or
                          > > > above on the HSA . It is my opinion
                          >   that these children in regular class
                          > > > will largely remain there
                          >   and leave high school only to find they have
                          > > > remedial education
                          >   in college.It therefore is my opinion that most
                          > > children
                          > > >
                          >   could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class
                          >   and
                          > > > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children
                          >   . I
                          > > therefore
                          > > > stil strongly suggest that every parent
                          >   demand this level of education
                          > > for
                          > > > their child in middle
                          >   school .
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > I
                          >   would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
                          > > > > >
                          >   > >
                          > > > > > > > Jack
                          > > > > > >
                          >   >
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > >
                          > > >
                          >   >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >

                          >
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                          >    
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > _________________________________________________________________
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                          This is the Howard Public Education Mailing List.  All original messages posted here are placed in the public domain unless the poster states otherwise. Re-published messages (i.e. newspaper articles) retain their original copyright status.Yahoo! Groups Links

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                        • jnussb9427@aol.com
                          At Glenelg and in most high schools the NHS offers free after school tutoring to students. To find out what is offered or to request a specific type of
                          Message 12 of 29 , Sep 11, 2009
                          • 0 Attachment
                            At Glenelg and in most high schools the NHS offers free after school tutoring to students. To find out what is offered or to request a specific type of tutoring you can email the staff sponsors.  Some of the NHS chapters, like Glenelg's, offer Saturday academies at the middle school for students needing additional help. These are free and either a teacher or parent can opt to have a student use it.  Again, you can contact the either the high school NHS sponsor or the middle schools and they can give you the schedule.
                             
                            The Howard County Public Library offers free online tutoring in math as well as other subjects.  If you click on the link below it'll give you all the details.
                             
                             
                            Most, if not all of the school's counseling centers have a list of tutors they recommend and/or who will offer help at discount or on a need base scholarship.
                             
                            In the past Wilde Lake has partnered with community organizations to offer free tutoring to at risk kids. They might be a good resource for additional sources.
                             
                            I haven't researched any other school districts, so I can't offer any comment on that subject.  I do know that the HCPSS and the BOE displays and invites parents to view and comment on the text books they use. It's usually done prior to the end of the school year and/or in the summer months. 
                             
                            Johnnie
                             
                            In a message dated 9/11/2009 9:53:12 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, aldyer@... writes:
                            two questions,
                             
                            1.  does anyone know how many howard county parents need to retain math tutors?  basically, given the existing system, what kind of resources are necessary to assist students whose families can't afford math tutors?
                             
                            2.  are there any public school systems that have a top-notch mathematics program that serves all students?  basically, is there a model?
                             
                            allen
                             
                            \
                          • cynthia vaillancourt
                            We have used math tutors for our kids when they were in HCPSS. We are anticipating getting another one now.Cindy V To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com From:
                            Message 13 of 29 , Sep 11, 2009
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                              We have used math tutors for our kids when they were in HCPSS.  We are anticipating getting another one now.
                              Cindy V


                              To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                              From: aldyer@...
                              Date: Fri, 11 Sep 2009 09:39:58 -0400
                              Subject: Re: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

                               

                              two questions,
                               
                              1.  does anyone know how many howard county parents need to retain math tutors?  basically, given the existing system, what kind of resources are necessary to assist students whose families can't afford math tutors?
                               
                              2.  are there any public school systems that have a top-notch mathematics program that serves all students?  basically, is there a model?
                               
                              allen
                               
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 1:11 AM
                              Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

                              Let me go back to Glenelg in the mid 90's ..... My daughter had a terible time , repeatedly I went to the school and spoke to Ms. Wise the assistant principal and repeatedly she assured me that she had looked into the math class and all was well . I pulled out the math book she brought home and decided to teach her but the material she was working on was not in the book so there was no way she could have helped her self nor could a parent with limited math skills help their child . Since I have a very good understanding of math this concerned me deeply . I asked my daughter how she was being instructed in math class and she replied that the teacher did not use the book but rather that she used the overhead and that the class was so disruptive that no one could learn , in fact it was so disruptive that the teacher was often in the hall crying . I had a meeting with Ms. Wise , the principal , the teacher , the book and I . The teacher admitted that the book was inadequate , that the class was out of controll and that she was unable to teach these children . The principal then apologized for the incompetance of his staff , his exact words and then he went on to accept responsibility for their behavior . We still have all of these problems and all that Ms. Vailancourt has mentioned . Ms Wood asks what can we do ? I will answer you by asking a very disheartening question . Where is Ms. Wise now and how can this still be going on ? I am sory , I have asked this question before to the senior administration of the HCPSS and the BOE . I guess some things just defy reason or perhaps explamation . I wonder what ever hapened to that principal that had the balls to accept responsibility , you don't see much of that in the HCPSS .

                              Jack

                               
                              --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, cynthia vaillancourt <CynthiaVaillancourt @...> wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > I think it would be interesting to poll the recent hcpss graduates and see how their math education has prepared them for advanced math courses in college.
                              > I am aware of a number of kids who feel woefully under prepared.
                              > if the end product is the test of a program --- then let's test it.  We love testing, don't we?
                              > Cindy V
                              >
                              > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                              > From: michelle_wood@ ...
                              > Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 11:54:45 -0400
                              > Subject: RE: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >

                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >    
                              >                  
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > OK,
                              > the next question is what can be done about it?  Clearly the staff and the
                              > principal are sold on the thing (sponsoring the workshop).  Are they the
                              > ones who decide the curriculum or is it the BOE?  Is it possible that every
                              > elementary school in the county is doing their own thing?  I was told that
                              > every school in this county had the same curriculum.  That is the primary
                              > reason they give to support their "no transfer" policy - that all schools are
                              > the same.  Not that I believe that, but it is what they
                              > claim.


                              >
                              >   -----Original Message-----
                              > From:
                              >   howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:howardpubli ced@yahoogroups. com]On
                              >   Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                              > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009
                              >   11:50 AM
                              > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                              > Subject:
                              >   [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                              >   school
                              >
                              >  
                              >  
                              >   The lack of a textbook is a sign that you may be using the TERC method,
                              >   although is it possible that they just don't bring them home? This is from the
                              >   web site I referenced earlier:
                              >
                              > "Go get your child's math textbook, and
                              >   get the exact publisher title. If your child's math program doesn't use
                              >   textbooks (first clue!) go get some of the worksheets or other materials your
                              >   child has dragged home; publisher's copyright identifiers are often in tiny
                              >   type along the edges."
                              >
                              > http://www.illinois loop.org/ mathprograms. html
                              >
                              > If
                              >   your child doesn't have a textbook, they are probably learning "fuzzy" reform
                              >   math.
                              >
                              > - David T
                              >
                              > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com,
                              >   "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > I have
                              >   not seen a single textbook in the year since my son started school.
                              > >
                              >   One parent (who has a 5th grader and a 2nd grader) saw the first
                              >   textbook
                              > > EVER come home with her son this week (for math). I was at a
                              >   PTACHC meeting
                              > > last year where one representative from the county
                              >   (Cindy somebody?) said
                              > > that NO school in the county should have any
                              >   shortage of textbooks. Both
                              > > this other parent and I said we had never
                              >   seen a single textbook in use at
                              > > our school.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              >   -----Original Message-----
                              > > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                              > >
                              >   [mailto:howardpubli ced@yahoogroups. com]On
                              >   Behalf Of david_thalheimer
                              > > Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2009 9:27
                              >   AM
                              > > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                              > >
                              >   Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school
                              > >
                              >  
                              > >
                              > > According to his web site, this guy Greg Tang is obviously a
                              >   big
                              > > supporter of NCTM-supported reform math. Here are some scary
                              >   excerpts from
                              > > his workshop descriptions:
                              > >
                              > > "We'll look
                              >   at poems, riddles and fables to see how they can be combined
                              > > with art
                              >   to intuitively and effectively communicate math."
                              > >
                              > > "In a
                              >   segment called "Number Chunks", separating single digit numbers into
                              > >
                              >   pieces makes adding and subtracting easier."
                              > >
                              > > "In "Funny
                              >   Numbers", we use numbers like "forty-sixteen" to add two and
                              > > three
                              >   digit numbers in our heads."
                              > >
                              > > I think you may have a problem
                              >   with your math program. We just need to
                              > > find out how widespread this
                              >   is in Howard County.
                              > >
                              > > - David T
                              > >
                              > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com,
                              >   "MICHELLE WOOD" <michelle_wood@>
                              > > wrote:
                              > >
                              >   >
                              > > > I had never heard the term TERC math before, but I assume it
                              >   is what
                              > > this
                              > > > man is referring to: http://www.wgquirk. com/TERC. html
                              >   I am quite certain
                              > > > that they are teaching this form of math to
                              >   all elementary students
                              > > (regular
                              > > > and above grade level)
                              >   at Bryant Woods Elementary School. BWES and
                              > > > Swansfield Elementary
                              >   co-sponsored a workshop by Greg Tang
                              > > > http://www.gregtang .com/ last year to
                              >   explain to parents how they will
                              > > be
                              > > > teaching their
                              >   children math. My husband and I attended the workshop,
                              > > along
                              > >
                              >   > with my father who is an engineer. None of us were sold on the idea.
                              >   My
                              > > > son's first grade teacher said to me the other week that they
                              >   have a
                              > > "whole
                              > > > new way" of teaching/learning math. I am a
                              >   scientist myself, and I am
                              > > very
                              > > > nervous about this. I
                              >   don't know whether to teach my son the basics as I
                              > > > learned them,
                              >   or whether that will confuse him and he will ultimately be
                              > > >
                              >   punished (downgraded) for not solving the problems according to their
                              > >
                              >   > methods.
                              > > >
                              > > > Michelle Wood
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >   >
                              > > > -----Original Message-----
                              > > > From: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                              > >
                              >   > [mailto:howardpubli ced@yahoogroups. com]On
                              >   Behalf Of pamythompson
                              > > > Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:39
                              >   PM
                              > > > To: howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com
                              > >
                              >   > Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle
                              >   school
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > I am positive , they showed me
                              >   two examples of his work and both had
                              > > > TERC math on them however
                              >   the three school personel did not know what
                              > > TERC
                              > > > math was
                              >   . They did refer to the GT peogram as being "more in depth"
                              > > which
                              >   I
                              > > > see as quite diferent from being more advanced . Keep in mind
                              >   that
                              > > exposure
                              > > > to quality teachers and an education will
                              >   produce high percentages on a
                              > > GT
                              > > > test whereas a truley
                              >   gifted child which lacks this will not score well
                              > > .
                              > > >
                              >   Further I do not know to what extent TERC math or any other
                              >   questionable
                              > > > methods are used in our schools but it is quite
                              >   likely that most of the
                              > > > staff would not recognize it and merely
                              >   accept it as part of the program
                              > > .
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              >   Jack
                              > > >
                              > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com,
                              >   "david_thalheimer"
                              > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                              > >
                              >   > >
                              > > > > Jack:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > Are you
                              >   sure that GT math classes use the TERC (Investigations) math
                              > > >
                              >   curriculum? What do the regular math classes use? This is disturbing
                              > >
                              >   > considering what I've read about TERC. I'm an engineer and I
                              >   thought
                              > > that
                              > > > some of the GT math homework my son was
                              >   bringing home last year often
                              > > did
                              > > > not make sense or spent
                              >   too much time on "math vocabulary" rather than
                              > > > computational
                              >   skills.
                              > > > >
                              > > > > I don't see anything on the
                              >   hcpss.org web site that directly discusses
                              > > > what curriculum is
                              >   used. Here is what I see:
                              > > > >
                              > > > > "The Howard
                              >   County curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade was
                              > > >
                              >   developed in full support of and consistent with the Maryland
                              >   Voluntary
                              > > > State Curriculum (Pre-K through Grade 8) and the
                              >   National Council of
                              > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles and
                              >   Standards for School Mathematics,
                              > > > 2000."
                              > > >
                              >   >
                              > > > > "The Secondary Mathematics program is built upon the
                              >   National Council
                              > > of
                              > > > Teachers of Mathematics Principles
                              >   and Standards for School Mathematics
                              > > and
                              > > > the Maryland
                              >   Mathematics Voluntary State Curriculum and Core Learning
                              > > >
                              >   Goals."
                              > > > >
                              > > > > - David T
                              > > >
                              >   >
                              > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com,
                              >   "pamythompson" <pamythompson@>
                              > > > wrote:
                              > > >
                              >   > >
                              > > > > > I met with the principal of Glenwood and both
                              >   the GT resource
                              > > personel
                              > > > from Glenwood as well as central
                              >   office this week . There is a review
                              > > > process for GT and there are
                              >   guidelines however there is no concrete
                              > > > procedure . What was
                              >   imediately visible from these tests is that they
                              > > not
                              > > > only
                              >   indicate strengths but they also indicate weakness as well . For my
                              > >
                              >   son
                              > > > it was apparent that he was lacking in the langauge arts and
                              >   that this
                              > > had
                              > > > not been identified or corected in
                              >   elementary school so this became my
                              > > > primary focus . Secondly we
                              >   agreed to move my son to a GT teacher for
                              > > > regular science where
                              >   he would be given the option of GT work until his
                              > > > langauge skills
                              >   allowed him to progress . This was a reasonable and
                              > > > acceptable
                              >   arangement for all involved .
                              > > > > > Since GT testing and
                              >   placement are optional the children are not
                              > > > taught to the test
                              >   therefore this and similar tests are good indicators
                              > > of a
                              > > >
                              >   child's ability as well as weakness and therefore I would encourage
                              >   all
                              > > > parents to participate . Another thing I discovered is that
                              >   because of
                              > > the
                              > > > emphasis on langauge skills TERC math is
                              >   being used in the GT math
                              > > program
                              > > > (see frederickpubliced
                              >   for a discussion on TERC math ). I also became
                              > > aware
                              > > > that
                              >   HCPSS is considering teaching to a child's interests or strengths
                              > > >
                              >   begining as early as 3rd grade which brought to mind the Soviet method
                              > >
                              >   of
                              > > > education .
                              > > > > > What I have garnered most
                              >   over the years as I look at tiered
                              > > education
                              > > > is that
                              >   there are two distinct paths , two distinct school systems in
                              > >
                              >   Howard
                              > > > county because of the way GT/HONORS is implemented . 1)Not
                              >   all teachers
                              > > > teasch advanced class . 2)Because of class
                              >   availability our children are
                              > > > being tracked through school with
                              >   Honors students being predominately
                              > > > grouped together on a path
                              >   towards higher education and the regular
                              > > students
                              > > > being
                              >   grouped together towards a diploma that is not worth the paper it
                              > >
                              >   is
                              > > > printed on . 3)The bulk of the problems are encountered in the
                              >   regular
                              > > class
                              > > > which indicates a problem in the system and
                              >   this is unexceptable .
                              > > > > > It is in my honest opinion that
                              >   the HCPSS has failed to adequately
                              > > > educate the average student to
                              >   their highest potential but instead
                              > > created a
                              > > > class
                              >   system which leaves the majority disadvantaged . It is also my
                              > >
                              >   opinion
                              > > > that the quality of our education system if it is to
                              >   adequately serve
                              > > the
                              > > > majority of our children needs
                              >   serious attention and improvement . It is
                              > > > further my view that in
                              >   order for us to have a world class education
                              > > system
                              > > > it
                              >   requires the access , participation and most importantly oversight by
                              > >
                              >   the
                              > > > stakeholder .
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > >
                              >   There is a rather large ongoing discussion at Parents Coalition of
                              > >
                              >   > Montgomery county both on their yahoo group as well as their blog
                              >   which
                              > > is
                              > > > relavant because thia is a state mandated issue
                              >   .
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > Jack
                              > > > >
                              >   >
                              > > > > >
                              > > > > > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com,
                              >   "david_thalheimer"
                              > > > <dthalheimerusa@> wrote:
                              > >
                              >   > > > >
                              > > > > > > I think that most parents
                              >   would prefer that that their kids move
                              > > > into the most advanced
                              >   classes that they can handle. Some parents may
                              > > push
                              > > > their
                              >   kids beyond their capacity, but I do think they should at least
                              > >
                              >   get
                              > > > the chance to try if they feel it is important. If the kids
                              >   find it too
                              > > > hard, they can always be moved back.
                              > > >
                              >   > > >
                              > > > > > > When my oldest son seemed to be
                              >   having too easy a time in math in
                              > > > elementary school, we asked to
                              >   move him into an advanced class (1 grade
                              > > > level ahead), but the
                              >   teacher and administration declined to do so,
                              > > saying
                              > > > he
                              >   wasn't ready. However, when he moved to middle school, we received a
                              > >
                              >   call
                              > > > from their guidance office asking why we wanted him held
                              >   back when his
                              > > test
                              > > > scores showed that he should be in an
                              >   advanced class. They proactively
                              > > moved
                              > > > him ahead, where
                              >   he has done fine and has already completed the HS
                              > > > graduation exam
                              >   for Algebra (taken in 8th grade). So, obviously, the
                              > > > elementary
                              >   teachers had it wrong and never gave him the chance!
                              > > > > >
                              >   >
                              > > > > > > So, we signed a waiver and got the elementary
                              >   school to move my
                              > > > other son into GT math (2 grade levels ahead),
                              >   but he started falling
                              > > > behind, so we moved him back to the
                              >   1-grade ahead advanced class, where
                              > > he
                              > > > now finds it easy.
                              >   In reality, I think he just didn't get enough help
                              > > from
                              > > >
                              >   the GT teacher even though he had skipped a whole grade level that
                              >   year.
                              > > The
                              > > > GT class also assigns much more
                              >   homework.
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > I think the
                              >   school may be looking at the issue from a resource
                              > > > perspective.
                              >   If they do not have enough GT teachers, they will limit who
                              > >
                              >   can
                              > > > advance into the classes. If they more than enough GT
                              >   teachers, they
                              > > will
                              > > > want to fill the classes even if some
                              >   of the students are not ready to
                              > > > advance. While I cannot prove
                              >   this, I suspect it is the case since, in
                              > > some
                              > > > years, the
                              >   school seems more amenable to advance students who we
                              > > >
                              >   (personally) know are not as ready to advance as others we have seen
                              >   in
                              > > a
                              > > > previous year.
                              > > > > > >
                              > >
                              >   > > > > I'm not sure why every teacher isn't capable of teaching
                              >   either a
                              > > > regular or an advanced class or why some kids in the
                              >   class can't receive
                              > > > more advanced assignments to help them
                              >   progress faster (which will help
                              > > them
                              > > > to jump ahead next
                              >   year). I would think the teachers would be flexible
                              > > > enough so
                              >   that, if necessary, we could get more honors or GT classes
                              > >
                              >   when
                              > > > there are enough students who need it.
                              > > > >
                              >   > >
                              > > > > > > One more thing.... Our elementary school
                              >   withholds class
                              > > assignments
                              > > > until the Thursday evening
                              >   before school starts. This MIGHT help them to
                              > > > adjust the class
                              >   assignments if more students than expected move into
                              > > the
                              > > >
                              >   area over the summer. But we think they really do this because they
                              > >
                              >   don't
                              > > > want parents to request class changes and believe that they
                              >   can avoid
                              > > this
                              > > > by withholding (until the last possible
                              >   day) information that they have
                              > > had
                              > > > all summer. It is
                              >   definately not a transparent process.
                              > > > > > >
                              > > >
                              >   > > > - David T
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > >
                              >   > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com,
                              >   "pamythompson"
                              > > > <pamythompson@> wrote:
                              > > >
                              >   > > > >
                              > > > > > > > I as did many parents
                              >   suggest that people sign a waiver and move
                              > > > their children in
                              >   middle school to advanced classes and for all the
                              > > parents
                              > > >
                              >   I know that did this the results were good . My son took 3 AP tests
                              >   this
                              > > > year {11nth grade} and scored a 5 on 2 of them although he
                              >   was not
                              > > > recomended for advanced class . This year we are being
                              >   met with
                              > > resistance ,
                              > > > in my case my 6th grade son was
                              >   recomended for gt math but fell short of
                              > > gt
                              > > > science .
                              >   Knowing that math and science go hand in hand I sought to move
                              > >
                              >   him
                              > > > up in science . Since neither the guidance nor principal can
                              >   show me a
                              > > > policy on the subject or a written procedure they have
                              >   contacted central
                              > > > office for advice . Their position is that
                              >   advancsd class are only for
                              > > those
                              > > > that test in them and
                              >   that they constantly evaluate the children in
                              > > regular
                              > > >
                              >   classes for placement . My position is that the parent is the childs
                              > >
                              >   primary
                              > > > educator and that is HCPSS policy . The parent knows
                              >   their child beter
                              > > then
                              > > > anyone and I interpret primary as
                              >   superceding the judgment of anyone in
                              > > the
                              > > > HCPSS in
                              >   regards to my child's education , as the primary educator all
                              > > >
                              >   decisions regarding my child should be between the HCPSS and I and my
                              > >
                              >   > opinion as such should carry the same weight as any senior
                              >   administrator
                              > > if
                              > > > not more . Secondly it is posible and
                              >   does happen that children fail
                              > > middle
                              > > > school and are
                              >   passed on to high school . I personally know a student
                              > > that
                              > >
                              >   > failed 8th grade math , was held back and over the summer was tutored
                              >   by
                              > > my
                              > > > tenth grade son and based on his recomendation was
                              >   allowed to muve on to
                              > > > high school by this same administration .
                              >   Third , for years HCPSS has
                              > > taught
                              > > > to the test and still
                              >   does as optimal class time is given to any class
                              > > which
                              > > >
                              >   has a HSA TEST . Fourth , I personally know children that failed 8th
                              > >
                              >   grade
                              > > > and were passed on to high school and in the 9nth grade
                              >   scored
                              > > proficient or
                              > > > above on the HSA . It is my opinion
                              >   that these children in regular class
                              > > > will largely remain there
                              >   and leave high school only to find they have
                              > > > remedial education
                              >   in college.It therefore is my opinion that most
                              > > children
                              > > >
                              >   could be educated on a level that would place them in advanced class
                              >   and
                              > > > that in fact this should be the standard for all our children
                              >   . I
                              > > therefore
                              > > > stil strongly suggest that every parent
                              >   demand this level of education
                              > > for
                              > > > their child in middle
                              >   school .
                              > > > > > > >
                              > > > > > > > I
                              >   would like to hear any comment that any of you have .
                              > > > > >
                              >   > >
                              > > > > > > > Jack
                              > > > > > >
                              >   >
                              > > > > > >
                              > > > > >
                              > > >
                              >   >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >

                              >
                              >      
                              >
                              >    
                              >    
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
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                            • Lisa Schlossnagle
                              Singapore Math comes to mind. Has HCPSS ever considered it? Here is a recent slide stack about its usefulness with at-risk students.
                              Message 14 of 29 , Sep 11, 2009
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Singapore Math comes to mind. Has HCPSS ever considered it? Here is a recent slide stack about its usefulness with at-risk students.


                                ~Lisa

                                On Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 9:39 AM, Allen Dyer <aldyer@...> wrote:
                                 
                                2.  are there any public school systems that have a top-notch mathematics program that serves all students?  basically, is there a model?
                                 
                                allen
                                 

                              • Ray Lischner
                                ... Are there any public school systems that serve *all* students in any subject? Is that even possible? -- Ray Lischner
                                Message 15 of 29 , Sep 11, 2009
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  On Friday 11 September 2009 09:39 am, Allen Dyer wrote:

                                  > are there any public school systems that have a top-notch mathematics
                                  > program that serves all students?  basically, is there a model?

                                  Are there any public school systems that serve *all* students in any subject?
                                  Is that even possible?
                                  --
                                  Ray Lischner
                                • pamythompson
                                  What keeps coming to the surface is that we need to go back , teach reading , math , science etc. like we did years ago . In part the model has been retired .
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Sep 11, 2009
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                                    What keeps coming to the surface is that we need to go back , teach reading , math , science etc. like we did years ago . In part the model has been retired .

                                    Tutors work well for those that realize the need and can afford them , for those that can't , they languish and suffer behind for years . Then the question becomes why hire a tutor when we already paid a teacher .

                                    National Honor Society , at Glenelg it takes months to get going , two years ago it began on February 23 . Evem these children do not learn it well enough to make a diference especially in geometry . The teachers will stay after a few minutes to help . The issue then becomes transportation . At Glenelg they often make the kids leave and close the building . We need to either keep a section of the building open to acconnodate these kids or we need a late bus to take them to the library or rec center .

                                    We still get back to the issue that HCPSS is failing to teach our children . The parents as a community need transparent access to our schools . We need to abandon the idea administration has of what can we do for "your" child while turning a blind eye to the larger problems . We meed a hands on approach where the administration is in the classrooms . We need for any one to be able to come forth with issues without fear of retaliation and we need outside investigation . We need action on issues and those that do not perform need to be removed .

                                    The issue here is those that are educated vs. those that are abandoned . There is no excuse for a child to fail , a child by nature desires to learn , learning is a necesity of life . If our children are not learning , absorbing all that we present them then it is us , the system that has failed them and the first step ie to admit it .

                                    Jack


                                    --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Ray Lischner <rl.edu@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > On Friday 11 September 2009 09:39 am, Allen Dyer wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > are there any public school systems that have a top-notch mathematics
                                    > > program that serves all students?  basically, is there a model?
                                    >
                                    > Are there any public school systems that serve *all* students in any subject?
                                    > Is that even possible?
                                    > --
                                    > Ray Lischner
                                    >
                                  • pamythompson
                                    Below in a message I recieved today Jack happymemories4six The problem with this is that the true G/T students are finding that the middle school g/t classes
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Sep 14, 2009
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                                      Below in a message I recieved today

                                      Jack

                                      happymemories4six
                                      The problem with this is that the true G/T students are finding that the middle school g/t classes are moving at a snail's pace. For example, they leave 4th and 5th grade g/t math where they did 30 - 40 problems per night with no review and handled the material. They get to middle school and the material in 6th grade is review through most of the year and still some of the kids do not understand. The G/T kids are bored to tears! The Algebra 1 teachers are moving so slowly and spending so much time on MSA and HSA review that they are not getting to whole sections required by the Algebra 2 G/T teachers in the high school and it is not being reviewed there. The Geometry G/T curriculum has been watered down and no one knows that until they take the SAT or get to college. It is not fair to slow these classes down with kids who keep asking questions and can't learn at the same rate. I definitely do not agree with the previous post.


                                      --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > What keeps coming to the surface is that we need to go back , teach reading , math , science etc. like we did years ago . In part the model has been retired .
                                      >
                                      > Tutors work well for those that realize the need and can afford them , for those that can't , they languish and suffer behind for years . Then the question becomes why hire a tutor when we already paid a teacher .
                                      >
                                      > National Honor Society , at Glenelg it takes months to get going , two years ago it began on February 23 . Evem these children do not learn it well enough to make a diference especially in geometry . The teachers will stay after a few minutes to help . The issue then becomes transportation . At Glenelg they often make the kids leave and close the building . We need to either keep a section of the building open to acconnodate these kids or we need a late bus to take them to the library or rec center .
                                      >
                                      > We still get back to the issue that HCPSS is failing to teach our children . The parents as a community need transparent access to our schools . We need to abandon the idea administration has of what can we do for "your" child while turning a blind eye to the larger problems . We meed a hands on approach where the administration is in the classrooms . We need for any one to be able to come forth with issues without fear of retaliation and we need outside investigation . We need action on issues and those that do not perform need to be removed .
                                      >
                                      > The issue here is those that are educated vs. those that are abandoned . There is no excuse for a child to fail , a child by nature desires to learn , learning is a necesity of life . If our children are not learning , absorbing all that we present them then it is us , the system that has failed them and the first step ie to admit it .
                                      >
                                      > Jack
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Ray Lischner <rl.edu@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > On Friday 11 September 2009 09:39 am, Allen Dyer wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > > are there any public school systems that have a top-notch mathematics
                                      > > > program that serves all students?  basically, is there a model?
                                      > >
                                      > > Are there any public school systems that serve *all* students in any subject?
                                      > > Is that even possible?
                                      > > --
                                      > > Ray Lischner
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • cynthia vaillancourt
                                      A mind is a terrible thing to waste. cv To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com From: pamythompson@yahoo.com Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 05:48:41 +0000 Subject:
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Sep 15, 2009
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

                                        cv



                                        To: howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com
                                        From: pamythompson@...
                                        Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 05:48:41 +0000
                                        Subject: [howardpubliced] Re: G T and honors class in middle school

                                         
                                        Below in a message I recieved today

                                        Jack

                                        happymemories4six
                                        The problem with this is that the true G/T students are finding that the middle school g/t classes are moving at a snail's pace. For example, they leave 4th and 5th grade g/t math where they did 30 - 40 problems per night with no review and handled the material. They get to middle school and the material in 6th grade is review through most of the year and still some of the kids do not understand. The G/T kids are bored to tears! The Algebra 1 teachers are moving so slowly and spending so much time on MSA and HSA review that they are not getting to whole sections required by the Algebra 2 G/T teachers in the high school and it is not being reviewed there. The Geometry G/T curriculum has been watered down and no one knows that until they take the SAT or get to college. It is not fair to slow these classes down with kids who keep asking questions and can't learn at the same rate. I definitely do not agree with the previous post.

                                        --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, "pamythompson" <pamythompson@ ...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > What keeps coming to the surface is that we need to go back , teach reading , math , science etc. like we did years ago . In part the model has been retired .
                                        >
                                        > Tutors work well for those that realize the need and can afford them , for those that can't , they languish and suffer behind for years . Then the question becomes why hire a tutor when we already paid a teacher .
                                        >
                                        > National Honor Society , at Glenelg it takes months to get going , two years ago it began on February 23 . Evem these children do not learn it well enough to make a diference especially in geometry . The teachers will stay after a few minutes to help . The issue then becomes transportation . At Glenelg they often make the kids leave and close the building . We need to either keep a section of the building open to acconnodate these kids or we need a late bus to take them to the library or rec center .
                                        >
                                        > We still get back to the issue that HCPSS is failing to teach our children . The parents as a community need transparent access to our schools . We need to abandon the idea administration has of what can we do for "your" child while turning a blind eye to the larger problems . We meed a hands on approach where the administration is in the classrooms . We need for any one to be able to come forth with issues without fear of retaliation and we need outside investigation . We need action on issues and those that do not perform need to be removed .
                                        >
                                        > The issue here is those that are educated vs. those that are abandoned . There is no excuse for a child to fail , a child by nature desires to learn , learning is a necesity of life . If our children are not learning , absorbing all that we present them then it is us , the system that has failed them and the first step ie to admit it .
                                        >
                                        > Jack
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In howardpubliced@ yahoogroups. com, Ray Lischner <rl.edu@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > On Friday 11 September 2009 09:39 am, Allen Dyer wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > > are there any public school systems that have a top-notch mathematics
                                        > > > program that serves all students?  basically, is there a model?
                                        > >
                                        > > Are there any public school systems that serve *all* students in any subject?
                                        > > Is that even possible?
                                        > > --
                                        > > Ray Lischner
                                        > >
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