1. Summary of parents’ comments on the Connected Math Project

2. “The Second Great Math Rebellion” by Tom Loveless

Oct. 15, 1997, Education Week

3. Supporting documents for the standardized test scores used in the
Dec. letter to Okemos Board of Education

3a. “Ames parents angry over drop in basic math skills”

The Daily Tribune, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 1995

3b. Stanford Achievement Test as reported to Palo Alto School
Board

world wide web: http:/www.rahul.net/dehnbase/hold/release-trd.html

4. Letter from Prof. Wayne Bishop, Mathematics and Computer Science
Professor, California State University, Los Angeles.

4a. Explanation

4b. Evaluation of one CMP assessment study titled “Effects of
the Connected Mathematics Project on Student Attainment”

4c. New Math No Help by Wayne Bishop

New York Times, Dec. 3, 1997

4d. “Effects of the Connected Mathematics Project on Student
Attainment” by Mark Hoover et al.

Office of the Connected Math Project, MSU

Respectfully submitted by:

Betty Tsang & Bill Lynch

Ed & Merry Morash

Kate See

Pawel & Ewa Danielewicz

Debbie Isom

Paul Freddolino

Linda Koons

Summary of parents’ comments on the Connected Math Project

I. Traditional math works well at Okemos and the school district math
test scores are one of the highest in the state:

==>What problems are we trying to fix by introducing the CMP program?

==>Is the CMP program appropriate for the Okemos School district?

==>Are we repeating the failed reforms of the new math in the 60’s?

==>Why are there differences in parents’ response to the Kinawa and
Chippewa math programs?

==> How will CMP fit in with existing high school math curriculum especially
with regard to the honors math classes and Advanced Placement classes?

==> How will CMP affect National standardized tests scores used for
college admissions?

II. Different students learn differently

==> Some children learn well in traditional math but not in the CMP
program.

==> Some good math students are frustrated by the CMP approach and
don’t enjoy math anymore.

III. CMP philosophy

==> emphasizes verbal teaching methods

may not be appropriate for some students who view math as a concise
language

equations are seldom used to summarize what have been learned

==> emphasizes group learning

works well for some students but not for all

==> relies on discovery methods

slow and frustrating with no systematic or clear explanations

==> tedious journal writings

IV. Textbooks

==> unstructured, confusing and frustrating to parents

some parents need teacher’s guides to help their kids

==> only 3-4 books out of the expected 8 books were taught last year

==> there is not enough practice or examples to illustrate how problems
are solved

V. Controversial program

==> There is no definitive proof of the effectiveness of such programs.

==> Leading educators and mathematicians are divided about such programs.

==> The California State Board of Education reversed its endorsement
of the CMP type programs after 5 years of experimentation.

VI. Parents’ involvement

==> Parents are responsible for and should be partners in their own
children’s education.

==> In CMP, parents’ involvement is excluded because the program and
textbooks are confusing.

==> It is unrealistic to expect a large proportion of parents to learn
a new approach to mathematics education so that they can participate in
their children’s education. Monthly math meetings can acquaint the
parents with the new teaching approach, but will not enable all parents
to be involved in their children’s learning.

VII. Give parents and students choices

==> Adopt a policy that allows some choice in math teaching approach,
so that “traditional” math is an alternative program in both Kinawa
and Chippewa Middle Schools.

==> Adopt a policy of involving parents with teachers and students
in the selection of the “best fit” math teaching approach for the child.

Proposal for a math program permitting choice in Okemos Middle
Schools

1. Beginning in the 1998-1999 school year, the traditional math program should be offered as an alternative to the CMP program in both Kinawa and Chippewa Middle Schools.

2. The traditional program should use non-CMP math texts and materials
because:

- they have already been proven to work effectively with some
children; and

- the teaching expertise for these materials already exists among
middle school staff.

3. The traditional math program should make it possible for students
to take the traditional Algebra I class in the eighth grade.

- It should be noted that traditional Algebra is included in
the curriculum of eighth grade students in all of the top ranking countries
in international studies of mathematics.

4. Placement in these classes should be decided by teachers, students, and parents working together.

Providing CHOICE makes all children winners because it permits them to be engaged in learning mathematics in the way that maximizes their chances for success.