Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Math Presentation

Just wanted to let you know that the complete presentation from the Math Planning Team is now available on the homepage of the District website. Click here. This includes the PowerPoint plus all the links to the data, scores, parent and teacher ratings, etc., that were used to make the selection of enVision Math as the K-5 textbook. There's a lot of info available -- much more than was presented at the meeting. There's also all the historical documents, including the vision statement created by the committee, the criteria by which the textbooks were judged, and more. The webcast of the meeting is also available, click here.


Anonymous said...


Consider what Bridgewater produced from its math review and what the Ridgewood administrators did. Do we pay our people so much less, or do our people just produce far, far less in quality and effort?

I was ashamed for us over the comparison. Aren't you?

Do you as a board member believe that you set a high bar for the performance of our administrators?

Laurie said...

The BBRD report is focused on one thing only: evaluating Everyday Math. There are elements of the report that I like. For example, the intro from the superintendent is thoughtful and well written. I like the individual committee member statements.

Personally, I think the rest of the report focuses too much on test scores. 56 pages (over half the report) are spreadsheets of test scores. Clearly, test scores were ranked as very important by the BBRD team. Ridgewood’s Math Planning Team, on the other hand – which was not just Mrs. Botsford or Dr. Fishbein but included all the elementary principals and math supervisors – weighted achievement by other districts as one of the lowest-priority criteria. The committee felt there are too many other variables in those other districts’ scores – different students, different teachers, unknown professional development, unknown classroom structure/practices, unknown supplementation…this was decided early in the process, was discussed with the curriculum committee and the Board. I do think our team addressed the criteria that the team laid out.

Lots of pages of comparative test scores don’t really mean much to me.

The transparency of BBRD’s thought processes, however, is appealing to me. They did a good job of explaining themselves.

Does our Board set the bar high enough for our administrators? (And I say the Board because of course individual board members have no standing to set bars high or low.) I think we do set the bar high overall, but I think we are not transparent enough about it, so that it can appear otherwise.

P.S. One of the elements of the BBRD report was a survey of parents. The Ridgewood BOE is currently developing an annual survey of parents to rate satisfaction and opinions on quality of education, etc. I think it will be a move toward greater transparency and accountability.

Anonymous said...

Test score are the only thing that matter. They tell us what has been learned and retained by a student. All this nonsense ridiculing test scores is from the same folks who ridicule drills as "drill and kill." Laurie, you have bought into the liberal mindset of the educrats who we have hired to administrate our district. How unfortunate for our students that you abhor critical thinking.