WashMath Archive

The concept of this archive came up in a WaToToM conference held in February 2010. The idea was to start a common repository so that things that are cool but old can stay around without cluttering things up in the main pages.

Hence this page, where one can find Opinions, News and Commentary, Past Events, Resources and Research Articles that are collected by Washington Mathematics over many years and are invaluable assets towards Teaching of Mathematics.

Archive: The Idea

- What is Reform Math? – An explanation of the idea of Reform Ma7h, the kind of mathematical teaching we talk about.

Archive: Setting the Record Straight

- Misapprehensions about Reform Math – A list of commonly held misapprehensions, and our attempt to set the record straight by sorting through the facts, clarifying facts and opinions.

Archive: Opinions |
Go To Current Opinions Page |

- "I got to the last page of the last icon-shattering piece Gerald W. Bracey will ever write, and felt sad and empty. As usual, he had skewered--with great erudition and insight--some of my fondest beliefs about how to improve schools." - writes Jay Mathews in Washington Post. Take a peek at the Last Report from the legendary Gerald Bracey. Read the article - Bracey's last report--trashing our educational assumptions
- "I was going to stop writing about education for a while, because it can be frustrating. But too much is going on." - says Jerry Large, the noted educational expert and staff columnist of Seattle Times. So he writes about the Final Report of Gerald Bracey and presents supporting ideas. Read the article - Red flags on the road to reform
- "We are in the midst of paradox in math education. As more states strive to improve math curricula and raise standardized test scores, more students show up to college unprepared for college-level math." This prompted noted Maryland physicist and author Joseph Ganem to reflect on the causes. Read the article - A Math Paradox: The Widening Gap Between High School and College Math
- "It might be good then to pause a moment and ask: Where did these programs come from? And why?" - Discovery-based math, although often criticized, has produced some encouraging results, writes guest columnist Michael Sparks in The Seattle Times. Read the article
- School-testing expert Gerald W. Bracey says that Washington schools chief Randy Dorn's plan to replace WASL is good, but replacing WASL with shorter, multiple-choice tests is not so good an idea: Replace the WASL but do it right
- Gerald W. Bracey, a researcher and former state director of assessment, moves beyond hyperbole to deconstruct the numbers about performance of U.S. students: Education success depends on unspun data
- A guest editorial from the Seattle Times by Catherine Taylor, a professor in the UW College of Education: Making math instruction add up
- A guest editorial from the Seattle Post Intelligencer by Virginia Warfield, a Senior Lecturer in the University of Washington mathematics department: Many math 'truths' are in fact myths
- An article by Thomas O'Brien in the Kappan (journal of the Phi Beta Kappa Society) on the contrast between what Reform Math is working on and what he calls Parrot Math
- A guest editorial by Steve Kinholt in the Seattle PI on the steady gains in WASL scores.
- An opinion piece from the Notices of the American Mathematical Society by Solomon Garfunkel, Because Math Matters
- A professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Missouri-Columbia argues very clearly that Keeping pupils engaged in mathematics is what counts
- It Just Adds Up: Students need much more than WASL Math -- BCC's President speaks up in the Redmond Reporter
- Don't Dump the WASL, from the Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties Daily World

Archive: News and Commentary |
Go To Current News & Commentary Page |

- Mathematics, the Makeover - Sums, it seems, are hot. Arithmatic rocks. A sexy band of number crunchers is taking maths away from the geeks and frumps. Read the full article written by Susie Mesure for the Education column of The Independent.
- Breaking the Cycle: An International Comparison of U.S. Mathematics Teacher Preparation - TEDS-M, an international study focusing on the preparation of teachers of mathematics, released its initial findings, which concluded that mathematics teachers in US need better training if the nation's K-12 students are going to compete globally.
- The New York Times' Mathematics Series - Steven Strogatz, professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, manages his weekly column on explaining mathematical concepts to a lay audience in Sunday's issue of The New York Times. Follow the blog for the articles in this series to date, and keep visiting often to stay updated with the new ones.
- In New Book, Ravitch Recants Long-Held Beliefs - Debra Viadero posts an article in Education Week about the new book by New York University scholar Diane Ravitch -
"The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education", where, like any other good historian, Ms. Ravitch tries to set the records straight.- An interaction with Arne Duncan - U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan participated in an education Town Hall meeting in Atlanta, GA, fielding questions ranging from standardized testing to the cost of college from parents, teachers, and students. Here is the CNN transcript.
- An Open Letter to Arne Duncan - In his blog named
Walt Gardner's Reality Check, Mr. Gardner posts an open letter to Arne Duncan, the United States Secretary of Education, reminding him of his responsibilities regarding boosting the morale of teachers, as opposed to squandering them.- Success adds up for D.C. schools' math program - Washington Post publishes an article about the math curriculum that is yielding promising results for D.C. public school children. The road to mastery no longer runs strictly through rote memorization and drilling, District educators say. It requires deeper conceptual understanding.
- Playing to Learn - Through this article in the New York Times, Susan Engel, a senior lecturer in psychology and the director of the teaching program at Williams College, talks about her opinion about the educational reform suggested by the Obama Government.
- Teaching By Numbers: Deconstructing the Discourse of Standards and Accountability in Education - Peter Taubman, in his new book, puts forward a glaring issue in front of the teaching society - If "paint by numbers" is not art, should one accept "performance outcomes" to be synonymous to education?
- Studying Young Minds, and How to Teach Them - Bendict Carey writes in NY Times about how the studies in Brain Science and the findings of Educational research can converge and complement each other and help the students in a more wholesome fashion.
- Creating Mathematical Futures through an Equitable Teaching Approach: The Case of Railside School - Jo Boaler & Megan Staples present a five-year, longitudinal, mixed-method study of approximately 700 students as they progressed through three high schools that taught mathematics in different ways.
- Educator: 'Race to the Top's' 10 false assumptions - An interesting article discussing why the "Race to the Top" will fail based on false assumptions."
- More Oregon students are getting math - An article to highlight how Oregon teachers of mathematics are reforming the standard of math in the state.
- New Math vs. Reform Math - An essay comparing the backgrounds and strengths and weaknesses of each.
- Several takes on Standards:

- Reform Standards are (part of) the Solution, not the Problem - Some background information about the NCTM Standards and Washington's original standards (the Essential Academic Learning Requirements).
- National Standards as now envisioned produce some strong doubts and objections - The subject of standards is again a hot issue in the U.S. This video might be of interest, in this regard. In this film, Yong Zhao, a professor at Michigan State University, argues for giving kids room to innovate by following their passions, not subscribing to a set of rules and interests dictated to them from the outside.
- Or for an even stronger set of views, check the Stop the National Standards website.
- Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) - A description written before the most recent legislation, but still valid.
- Equity and Mathematics: An Interview with Deborah Ball and Bob Moses - When Algebra Project creator Bob Moses and math researcher Deborah Ball talk, their conversation is less about the mechanics of math and more about issues of equity and education.
- Teaching Teachers Mathematics [held at MSRI on May 30â€“June 2, 2007] - This workshop focused on mathematical preparation and professional development for teachers from kindergarten to grade 12. Each presentation is available as streaming video on the MSRI Website. To access a particular video, use the link: www.msri.org/communications/vmath/VMathVideos/VideoInfo/#num/show_video where #num is the number to the left of the session title.

Archive: Past Events

Critical Issues in Mathematics Education Workshop

"Reasoning and Sense-Making in the Math Curriculum"

MSRI, Berkeley, CA, June 07-09, 2010

Movers & Shakers: HS EOC Item Writing

Olympia, May 18-20, 2010

Washington State Assoc. for Multicultural Education Workshops

North Seattle Community College, College Center Bldg. (Club Room)

Strategies to Address Racial Harassment: January 14, 2010

Gender, Bias and Aggression in Adolescent Girls: February 26, 2010

Improving Cross-Cultural Communications: March 12, 2010

Cultural Competence in the Classroom: April 23, 2010

The Role of Whites in a Multicultural Society: May 14, 2010

Regional Math Coaching Institute [Training]

West Side Center: Bellevue, Washington, February 10-11, 2010

East Side Center: Spokane, Washington, February 16-17, 2010

Parent Student Math Advisory Night

Green River, Auburn, February 8, 2010

EIM's 4th annual MathFest

Rainier Community Center, November 12, 2009

Archive: Resources

- No items archived yet.

Archive: Research

- No items archived yet.