~ Bob Moses, quote in Math Literacy: Radical Equations, Time, 18 June, 2001.
Little wonder that so many City of Richmond Public School (RPS) students struggle with basic math skills when a majority of RPS School Board members and top administrators fail to do their own homework. (See information that immediately follows this report about Bob Moses' Algebra Project).
Upon learning that RPS had some of the worst SOL math scores in Virginia, Maurice Henderson, the vice chairman and 5th District member of the RPS School Board, had the gall to tell Richmond Times Dispatch reporter Zachary Reid:
"There's no alarm here ....There's no news here. We're headed in the right direction [...] My only concern is that we stay focused on the things that are broadly making our schools better and not get burdened with or wrapped up in this singular moment."
Really? Some of the worst scores in Virginia? No alarm? No News?
How can Henderson honestly think that a 97 percent failure rate (only 3 percent passed) at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School is not news nor cause for alarm?
How can it not be news if only 7 percent of the kids at Henderson Middle School (a 93 percent failure rate) passed the test? The Capital City Program, located in Gilpin Court at a school once attended by tennis-great Arthur Ashe but now serves students with behavior issues, had a 4 percent pass rate.
How can it not be news when all Richmond middle schools failed to pass the test? When pressed on this issue, key members of RPS central administration tried to explain away these scores by claiming that they did not receive fundamental information about the new math test from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) until February 2012?
Really? When asked about this, VDOE spokesman Charles Pyle and Julie Grimes, provided the following materials that seem to contradict RPS claims they were not provided necessary information in time to prepare students and teachers for the new math tests.
Here is a release and additional information regarding efforts that VDOE undertook to assist school divisions in preparing their students for the new Math SOLs:
- This is from our website concerning the Math Institutes http://www.doe.virginia.gov/instruction/mathematics/index.shtml
VDOE has provided targeted professional development in a “train-the-trainer” format through Mathematics Standards of Learning Institutes in 2009, 2010, and 2011. The 2011 Mathematics SOL Institutes continue to support implementation of the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning, framed by the five goals for students becoming mathematical problem solvers, communicating mathematically, reasoning mathematically, making mathematical connections, and using mathematical representations to model and interpret practical situations.
- This is a page that has been on our website for a while with multiple resources related to the new Math SOLs http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/mathematics/index.shtml
If you look at the dates on the documents in the chart under the “Test Blueprint” column, you can see that these have been available since 2010 (with the Algebra II one having revision date of 2011). Math instructional videos for teachers have been available on our website for a number of years, and have been added to:
- SOL Practice Items: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/practice_items/index.shtml#math
- Mathematics Crosswalks have been available since 2010: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/mathematics/math_crosswalk_09_01.pdf
Here are a few of the supts. memos related to new 2009 Math SOL resources:
· MEMO #317-09 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework and the Impact on Assessment
· MEMO #230-09 K-12 Mathematics Standards of Learning Training Institutes
· MEMO #139-09 Changes in Standards of Learning Mathematics Tests in 2012
· MEMO #223-10 Implementation of New Standards of Learning Test Blueprints for the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning
· MEMO #210-10 K-12 Mathematics Institutes
· MEMO #274-10 Public Comment on the Supplement to the Curriculum Framework for the 2009 Mathematics Standards of Learning
· MEMO #303-11 K-12 Mathematics Standards of Learning Institutes and Professional Development Resources
· MEMO #240-11 English and Mathematics Capstone Course Implementation
· MEMO #234-11 K-12 Mathematics Standards of Learning Institutes
· MEMO #035-11 Mathematics Standards of Learning Curriculum Framework Supplement & Analysis of Virginia’s 2010 Mathematics Standards of Learning Compared with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics
· MEMO #230-12 K-12 Mathematics Standards of Learning Institutes
· MEMO #123-12 Mathematics Word Wall Vocabulary Cards for Grades K-5