Parent letter regarding Florida National Assessment of Educational Progress show that only 26 percent of eight graders scored at the proficient or advanced levels in math
Dear School Board,
As you know, under Florida law you are responsible for the adoption and approval of the District’s math curriculum and instructional materials. You should also know that math scores for Florida’s eighth grade students are dropping according to a new national assessment. Newly released scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that only 26 percent of eight graders scored at the proficient or advanced levels in math. That’s a significant dip from 2013. One state Board of Education member called the 8th grade scores a “disaster.” See,
I have attached a detailed letter from R. James Milgram, Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, Department of Mathematics, Stanford University, Stanford CA. You will recognize his name given his key role on the validation committee for the Common Core math standards. It is also worth noting that according to Dr. Milgram, “even with the added material ending with a weak version of Algebra II, if a student stopped with just the material in the final version of the common core standards, then there would be a less than a 40% chance of ever obtaining a college degree in any area, and if a student with only that background wished to major in a STEM area, there would only be a 2.1% chance (1 in 50) of an actual degree in STEM.” Also, according to Dr. Milgram, “Other areas where there are severe problems are (1) the crucial sixth and seventh grade material on ratios, rates, proportions and percents, where there are outright errors in the standards, besides the fact that this material is placed at least two years behind the grade level expectations in the high achieving countries, and (2) the handling of vectors and matrices in the high schools, where the definition of vectors is entirely incorrect. Finally, the standards have not been tested.”
If you have not done so already, I urge you to read the newly released book titled, “Drilling through the Core: Why Common Core is bad for America”. Contributors to this book include, Sandra Stotsky, R. James Milgram, Williamson Evers, Ze’ev Wurman and more. It is an outstanding book.
Also, the following are some excellent links that will provide you some additional background pertaining to the “disaster” that is occurring in Collier County, Florida and across our nation:
Please share with me your thoughts on the above. Warning voices are not only limited to nationally recognized experts. Watch the CCPS board meeting of Sept. 9th, 2015 and see what some of our local experts are saying about the defective math:
- Terry Clark at 1 hr 26 min 30 sec; and
- Von Jeffers at 1 hr 52 min 45 sec
These courageous teachers and local residents are also sounding the alarm, and I have spoken to many other courageous Math teachers in our District that are saying the same thing privately (but are fearful of coming forward publically). Parents and students in our community don’t like the “new” and unproven math. I have attached just two picture samples of the “new” math assignments that illustrate some of the problems. Additionally, the local math curriculum is taking needed emphasis off rote memory skills and math facts. Your Superintendent is fully aware of the problems that our HS teachers are facing with the need to spend a lot of time remediating students who are not at HS level math (talk to your HS math team leaders about this PROBLEM).
Just because a kid can make a model rocket or a remote controlled unit, does NOT mean the child can do the Math needed for a career in STEM. Look at our grades in AP, ACT, SAT tests….WE ARE IN DECLINE. I have shared these numbers with you before and am happy to forward this information to you again at your request.
According to the FOREMOST Math expert in the USA, James Milgram of Stanford, the type of math curriculum and instructional materials that we are using in the District will leave us 2 years behind in 8th grade compared to other countries. He also said high schoolers would only be able to get into a non-discriminate 2 year junior college, that our STEM programs would collapse, and that there would be no more American engineers coming out of top universities.
These are our wonderful children and this is YOUR watch. Let’s link arms and bring in the very best curriculum and instructional materials that are proven like Singapore Math. Can we all agree on doing what is best for all of our wonderful public school children. It is my hope and prayer that tonight this Board can come together and do something wonderful for the public school children of Collier County, Florida. I ask that this e-mail be placed into the formal record as I am unable to make the 4 PM meeting time today.
Thank you in advance,
Doug Lewis, parent,Collier County
Dr Milgram’ letter for reference