State Money is Available Right Now To Purchase Textbook Series That Are Aligned with the State Math Content Standards
California has adopted textbook series that are aligned with the State Math Content Standards. What this means is that if classroom teachers use these textbook series as they have been approved by the state, children will have classwork that follows the Math Content Standards. In this way, teachers, students and parents can access the tools needed to teach, to learn and to understand the mathematics reflected in the Standards.
California has also made money ready and available to school districts to purchase the textbook series that conform to the standards. The list of approved textbook series that meet the State Math Content Standards are contained in the links below. The A.B. 2519 1999 adoption linked to below is an interim adoption which remains in place through 2003. In January 2001, California adopted textbooks that align with the state standards, and this adoption remains in place through 2007.
Even Before California Adopted Rigorous Math Standards, MathLand, the Program Used By Mountain View, Was Denounced By Math Professors And Others in the Field of Mathematics
MathLand, the K-5 math program used by Mountain View K-8 School District is not aligned with the California Math Content Standards, and it does not teach algorithms in a way that most parents would expect. An algorithm is a short hand way of solving a math problem. The daily practice of math problems using algorithms leads to mastery and competency. An example is the long division algorithm. Learning how to do long division, and practicing long division is a skill most parents would expect their children to master. Its downplay and/or removal has been so controversial that papers have been written on the subject. Read "The Role of Long Division in the K-12 Curriculum" for a mathematician's view as to why it is essential for children to learn and practice the long division algorithm.
MathLand does not have the daily practice sufficient to build competent computational skills for the majority of students. It is missing the practice piece that would allow students to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division—of whole numbers, fractions, per cents and decimals. With scant daily practice and no traditional textbooks, many parents, students and teachers are at a loss. Parents should compare the MathLand program with the textbooks with solid mathematical content used by Cupertino schools (Silver, Burdett & Ginn) and Los Altos schools (Holt’s Mathematics Unlimited and recently adopted SRA Explorations), and San Miguel Elementary School in Sunnyvale, Trinity in Menlo Park (Saxon Math).
This view of Mathland is shared by numerous mathematicians and teachers:
Connected Math Used At Graham Middle School for Sixth and Seventh Graders Has Received Much The Same Criticism As MathLand
Sixth and seventh graders at Graham Middle School in Mountain View use the Connected Math Program. This program has been disapproved by the state; it does not meet state standards.
Prentice Hall, the publisher of Connected Math Program, does NOT recommend Connected Math as a stand alone math program in California. It recommends that Connected Math Program be used as a supplement only. For sixth and seventh graders, Prentice Hall recommends its Middle Grades Math Program which is approved by the State of California because it meets the California Math Content Standards and because there is state money to purchase the textbooks.
Prentice Hall provided written confirmation that the program is not recommended for stand alone use in California
Connected Math has also suffered the same criticism as MathLand. Read about it in the links below:
MathLand and Connected Math Programs are Not Like Japanese Programs
District officials have presented arguments and materials to the school board that Mountain View's math program should be more like Asian programs and less like the California Math Standards. Professor R. James Milgram's article debunks that argument
. Connected Math Program and MathLand are not like solid Asian math programs.
There Is No District-Wide Supplementation of MathLand or Connected Math Program
There is no district wide supplementation of the MathLand or Connected Math program in the Mountain View K-8 School District.
Many committed teachers and principals recognize the failure of MathLand, and they supplement accordingly. For example, some children at Huff School used Saxon Math which is aligned with the California frameworks and is one of the California approved textbook series. This year, the Huff fifth grade class used Saxon Math series, and their SAT-9 scores rose by a dramatic 13 percentage points. As fourth graders this group of children averaged 77th percentile, but after one year of Saxon as fifth graders, they averaged 90th percentile on the math portion. Congratulations to these fifth graders and their talented teacher!
These Saxon texts were donated by the publisher, and are not part of the Mountain View K-8 School District program. Other teachers supplement to the best of their abilities.
Many parents pay for supplementation of their children's math education by tutoring, or enrolling in learning centers like Sylvan, Score or Kumon. According to Janet Kwei of Kumon, in this greater area, an average of 1,000 children do Kumon for an average of a year and a half, at a cost of about $85 per month.
Hundreds of gifted students in the S.F. Bay Area and elsewhere enroll in Stanford University's E.P.G.Y.
(Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth (E.P.G.Y.)
where they can accelerate from kindergarten through university level mathematics courses at their own pace. The E.P.G.Y. program meets or exceeds the California Math Content Standards.
All Mountain View teachers, parents and children should have access to the best programs for achieving mastery of subject matter. Children should work to their optimum levels with challenging school work, and they should be prepared to do well on standardized achievement tests which lead to university admittance. At the very least, Mountain View children deserve a math program aligned to the California Math Content Standards.