Future of Math in Seattle Schools: Will Singapore Prevail?

This is a Call to Action to Share Your Singapore Math Story

This is a critical time to voice your personal support for Singapore – Math in Focus to the Seattle School Board. Schmitz Park Elementary staff, teachers, parents, and the PTA board all agree that a Singapore Math program is the best possible curriculum for our kids—and over the last 7 years our kids math scores prove it. Please contact the School Board and tell them why you believe Singapore – Math in Focus is the right choice for your child.

What’s at stake?

The School Board is voting this Wednesday, June 4th, on which math curriculum will be adopted for all K-5 Schools over the next seven years. Now is the time to put all of our efforts into influencing the vote. We only have time for one last effort to reach School Board Directors and ask them to vote for Singapore – Math in Focus.

How did we get here?

During the Math Adoption Committee’s process, a Public Input period occurred and the results from parents were overwhelmingly in favor of Math in Focus. Schmitz Park Principal, Mr. Gerrit Kischner, our teachers, Schmitz Park PTA, and parents have each stated the same, over and over again. Our collective public opinion was not factored into the recommendation. Since then, more and more parents and schools are coming forward saying they want Singapore – Math in Focus as the preferred math curriculum across the District. What’s more, Seattle schools and Singapore Math advocates have challenged this recommendation. Fortunately, Singapore Math in Schmitz Park Elementary still remains a viable option. After the initial School Board recommendation, School Director McClaren submitted an amended Board Action Report which was co-sponsored by Director Sue Peters, outlining a “dual adoption” to provide schools a choice between enVision OR Math in Focus (Singapore). This amendment may be at risk, facing a potential legal challenge. Now, a new amendment is also in consideration which asks the School Board to adopt Math in Focus as a sole curriculum.

Here are Five Good Reasons why Singapore – Math in Focus is the Right Choice:

  1. Test Scores Prove It - Of Schmitz Park’s 70 graduating 5th graders, 51% will or are likely to bypass 6th grade math after 2014 Spring MAP Scores. (A score of 235+ qualifies recommended students to enter 7th grade math and 27 students scored 235+. A score of 228-234 qualifies a student to take the middle school placement test to confirm they will advance to 7th grade math. Nine students scored 228-234.) Of STEM at Boren’s 36 graduating 5th graders, 81% will or are likely to bypass 6th grade math after review of the 2014 Spring MAP Scores. (27 students scored 235+, two scored 228-234.)
  2. Buy- In: Schools Approve It – Singapore Math has backing from elementary schools (and middle and high schools) across the district. It was chosen 7 years ago as a “supplementary” curriculum by SPS. The problem was “supplementary” did not come with any district support in the form of professional development or materials for students. Buy in from parents is not easy to achieve and here is an example of where it is only growing, yet, SPS is ready to dismiss it. Read Testimonials.
  3. Anyone Can Learn It – Math in Focus is language neutral, ensuring “Equity for EVERY Student”. In contrast, the enVision curriculum is text heavy and will continue to present an English language barrier for ELL students. Children of ethnicity comprise 62% of the district (Bilingual children (ELL) have a 38% proficiency rate). Increasing their proficiency rates requires a program that has proven success for students struggling with text intensive math programs. Math in Focus would “Improve systems District wide to Support Academic Outcomes”, which has been proven by Schmitz Park Math scores and K5 Stem at Boren scores.
  4. Student Mobility-Consitency – There is frequent student mobility in the Southern sections of our district, where students may transfer in and out of Seattle Schools with the Highline School District. Highline uses Math in Focus and has achieved such strong results they are extending their curriculum to their middle schools. Math consistency during a transition into the Seattle School District will help make school transition easier for students.
  5. Teacher’s and Principal’s TestimonialsRead the testimonials made by teachers and parents who feel strongly about Singapore Math. There is a reason Singapore Math was selected at our newest Science, Technology, Mathematics & Engineering (STEM) School. There is a reason Schmitz Park Elementary achieves high middle school placement scores year over year.

Please Share Your Story on How Singapore Math has Benefited Your Student

Do not think for a moment that someone else will, or can, share your perspective. Every person (parent, student, teacher, principal, community member) needs to share their opinion on what is best for our students and families. School Board Members

School District Staff

For quick reference, these are the email addresses to cut and paste into your response martha.mclaren@seattleschools.orgsharon.peaslee@seattleschools.org; sherry.carr@seattleschools.org; harium.martin-morris@seattleschools.org; stephan.blanford@seattleschools.org ; sue.peters@seattleschools.org ; betty.patu@seattleschools.org ; isvela@seattleschools.org;  superintendent@seattleschools.org;  anna.box@seattleschools.org ; Shauna Heath ; slheath@seattleschools.org ; mftolley@seattleschools.org

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