Our goal is to provide children with math textbook series and supplementary materials that follow current California Math Content Standards and Frameworks . . . .
Mountain View K-8 School District must adopt math textbook series and supplementary materials that follow California's rigorous Math Content Standards
Our goal is to educate children at their mastery level. . . .
Like Los Altos K-8
, Mountain View K-8 District should permit each child to progress to his or her ability in math by differentiation and by holding math classes at the same time each day so that children may attend classes at their ability level. Mountain View must also provide a program for its high ability children equivalent to the Los Altos program, including equally demanding textbooks.
[ Right now, there are no such district-wide opportunities in Mountain View K-8
Open Door Policy . . . .
Mountain View K-8 School District should openly and frequently meet with the community to describe, explain and discuss its policies.
[We have been told to leave the choosing of math programs to the Mountain View "experts" who want to ignore the state mandates.]
Chronology Leading to this Website
A number of residents have been actively trying to raise academic standards in Mountain View. The chronology below describes the events that led to Mountain View Achievement and the creation of this website.
School Year 97-98
Spring, 1998, S.A.T.-9 Testing
This was the first year that California school children took a nationally normed, standardized test called the S.A.T.-9.
School Year 98-99
In June, 1999, Vicki Hobel Schultz made an oral and written presentation
to the Mountain View school board which included the following:
The first SAT-9 results in spring 1998, showed that fourth graders at a Title One Qualifying School in Sunnyvale, San Miguel Elementary School, tested at 75th percentile in math on the SAT-9. This school had a large Hispanic, limited English and low income population. San Miguel's math S.A.T.-9 percentiles were much higher than similar Mountain View populations.
This school used Saxon Math series, the same math textbook series as private schools in the area, like Kings Academy in Sunnyvale, and other prestigious Bay Area schools like Trinity School in Menlo Park and the Athenian School in Danville.
Children in wealthier areas of Santa Clara County used math tutoring services extensively, like Kumon, Sylvan, Score, and private tutors. Saxon Math has a strong practice component similar to the practice offered by the expensive tutoring services. Many gifted math students in wealthier communities enrolled in Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth. (E.P.G.Y.)
The New York Times Magazine section about California after Prop 209
, detailed the Chancellor of U.C. Riverside's efforts to bring low income and minority children to the University of California. He was emphasizing the need for children to learn math skills and be prepared to take Algebra 1 in the eighth grade. These children were succeeding.
School Year 99-00
Fall, 1999, School Board Meeting About the Mountain View Math Program
At a school board meeting in the fall 1999, parents learned that the math program at Mountain View K-8 School District was not aligned with the California Math Content Standards, and that the Mountain View administration did not recommend teaching to those high Math Content Standards. At the same meeting, parents learned that Mountain View children had performed extremely poorly on a math assessment called the MARS test
. The performance level descriptions were from "1" to "4" and a score of "2" was described as "Performance Below Standards." It was reported that 75% of third graders tested at "2" or less, 72% of fifth graders tested at "2" or less and 74% of seventh graders tested at "2" or less.
Meeting With Los Altos Administrator to Learn About Los Altos Math Program Aligning with State Math Standards
Several days following the board meeting mentioned above, parents met with Assistant Superintendent Liewer of the Los Altos K-8 School District
and to learn the details of the Los Altos K-8 School District math program. They learned that in contrast to Mountain View, Los Altos aligns its program with the highly regarded and challenging California Math Content Standards, provides math at mastery level, and offers challenging accelerated and remedial programs.
By letter dated November 23, 1999 Parents Requested A Meeting With the Mountain View Superintendent, But She Would Not Meet Until January 11, 2000
On November 23, 1999, a group of Mountain View parents wrote to the Superintendent of the Mountain View K-8 District asking for a meeting to discuss low S.A.T.-9 scores, the need to improve the math program and the lack of programs for high ability children.
The Superintendent responded about a week after receiving the letter and this group learned that she would be unavailable to meet until January 11, 2000.
The Meeting On January 11, 2000 Led to Frustration
On January 11, 2000 a group of Mountain View parents and residents (including mathematicians and teachers) met with Superintendent Bubenik, Assistant Superintendent Archibeque and district math mentor Humphries to try convince them to improve the math program in Mountain View.
The community group presented (a) statistics from the high school district showing how poorly Mountain View children
, especially Hispanic children
, were doing in ninth grade math placement and honors and A.P. classes; (b) details of the Los Altos K-8 math program
with the argument that we are one high school community and deserve similar opportunities in math to children in the Los Altos K-8 district; (c) differences in math textbooks and programs
; (d) critiques of Mathland and Connected Math; (e) data from other districts with low SES (socio-economic status) that were succeeding where Mountain View was failing; (f) New York Times article
about low income, Hispanic children doing very well in math in southern California, and (g) research on success of Saxon Math on low income populations (a copy of the June, 1999, presentation to the board); (f) information on the California Math Content Standards and why we should follow them; (i) demographics of high performing science and math schools with large low income and minority populations, like Brooklyn Technical High School in New York.
At the end of the meeting, when Mr. Kleitman, former City Council member and former Mayor of Mountain View, asked the Superintendent if the group, or representatives of the group, could participate and give input with respect to choosing a math program, the Superintendent said "no," that the group should "leave it to the experts." The group was welcome at public meetings only.
One Public Meeting Was Highly Facilitated and Frustrating
Thereafter, there was one public meeting in the spring where Assistant Superintendent Archibeque presented draft math frameworks that were written by the Mountain View K-8 School District staff and that did not conform to the high level of the state Math Content Standards. Assistant Superintendent Archibeque was recommending to the school board that Mountain View create its own math standards, and NOT follow state Math Content Standards. This public meeting (the only one scheduled by the district) was unsatisfactory, highly facilitated and nothing like the "Town Hall" meetings the group was expecting. Parents subsequently expressed their dissatisfaction with the standards and with the process.
Creation of Website
This website was created as a direct result of that last meeting. From at least November 1999 through June 2000 parents and community members had been waiting for meaningful opportunities to give public input and to share the information contained in this website. Since parents had not had that opportunity, this website was created in June 1999 to facilitate community awareness.
School Year 00-01
Fall, 2000, the District Held Two Highly Facilitated Meetings And Did Not Allow For Community Discussion About the California Standards. Instead, the District Advocated Following the NCTM, PSSM Guidelines
The District scheduled two meetings for parents. During the first meeting, Ruth Parker, an educator who did not advocate following California Math Content Standards, spoke to the community. Thereafter, the district had one meeting where administrators advocated that Mountain View follow the NCTM Guidelines. These are not grade by grade standards. No grade by grade comparison of the NCTM guidelines to the California Math Content Standards was presented at any meeting.
September 18, 2000 The School Board Voted to Align the Mountain View Math Program with the New NCTM standards, PSSM, in lieu of the California Math Content Standards and Frameworks