Advice For Saxon Mathematics and Against "Everyday Math"

Email to Ms. Peggy Cooper Cafritz
President of the DCPS Board of Education
and Dr. Clifford B. Janey
Superintendent of the DCPS

Cc to other members of the Board

By Karen Budd-Jones
June 15, 2005

I am a parent of two daughters in Fairfax County. I hold a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh and did graduate work in structural engineering. I have been active in issues of mathematics education for over 10 years. The reason I became involved was because of the deleterious effect that Everyday Math had on my children. The ending for my children is and will be a happy one only because I supplemented their education in mathematics.

However I am concerned for the less fortunate children in the D.C. public schools whose parents have neither the means nor the education to supplement a weak program. I could tell you the reasons this program shortchanges the most vulnerable, but that is just words and is likely to be interpreted as nothing more than opinion. Instead, I wish to share with you the results from the implementation of programs such as Everyday Math compared to the results of programs that do help our most vulnerable. These results were from an analysis I did last year on the results of two different mathematics implementations in Fairfax County and Anne Arundel County. Both were as a result of overall efforts to close the achievement gap and to help our most compromised children.

Attached to this correspondence is a series of charts I created that showed the progress of the Anne Arundel County schools after Eric Smith took over in 2003 and implemented Saxon Math [See here]. I am sure that Dr. Smith would speak with you directly, but here are a few understandings that I have about the implementation. The program was announced as having been chosen for implementation in the 14 lowest performing schools during August. The extent of the training was a few days that could be spared during the in-service opportunity that month. The programs that were used before were an amalgam of methods and programs that use the same pedagogy as well as the same approach to teaching math as does Everyday Math.

The proof of the efficacy of programs such as Saxon math are shown clearly in the charts attached. If the Saxon program is kept fully implemented in Anne Arundel County schools, the children will not be left behind.

Respectfully submitted,

Karen Budd
Oakton Virginia

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