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Back to Oct. Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 165 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS OCTOBER 1999

Analyzing Math Textbooks

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The founders of Mathematically Correct conducted an analysis of "standards-based" and "classical" math textbooks, which was published by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) and the Education Connection of Texas. Mathematically Correct is a national organization of mathematicians, scientists, engineers, and concerned individuals who volunteer to improve the academic integrity of elementary and secondary math education. Their web site, http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com is considered a primary resource for mathematics information.

The analysts based their conclusions on three principles: (1) That students should be prepared to study algebra in 8th grade. Both the U.S. Secretary of Education and the President have called for states to aim for this goal in order to compete with nations scoring high on the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS). (2) That instruction should be thorough and clear, with both exposition and examples that will enable students to acquire explicit math concepts and skills. (3) The model for learning expectations draws upon the Mathematically Correct Standards and the San Diego Standards, which were designed to be in line with both the California State Standards and the achievement goals in Singapore and Japan.

Textbooks for the 2nd, 5th and 7th grades were analyzed as markers for the progression through the material leading to algebra readiness. Some of the major textbook series available for use in public schools were identified.

Analysis of grade 2 textbooks identified three broad clusters of instructional quality:

Cluster I -- Instruction meets most of the high level expectations for student learning.

SRA Math Explorations and Applications, SRA/McGrawHill

Cluster II -- Instruction meets many, but falls short of high level expectations for learning. Supplementation of these textbooks would be required to provide students the opportunity to attain high level expectations for student learning.

Math in My World, McGrawHill School Division

Math Grade 2, Scott ForesmanAddison Wesley

Math 2: An Incremental Approach, Saxon Publishers

Math Advantage, Harcourt Brace

Mathematics: The Path to Math Success, Silver Burdett Ginn

Cluster III -- Instruction does not meet minimal expectations for student learning. Programs not recommended for use.

* Everyday Mathematics, Everyday Learning

* Investigations in Number, Data and Space, Dale Seymour Publications

Analysis of grade 5 textbooks identified four broad clusters of instructional quality:

Cluster I -- Instruction comes close to high level expectations, although an experienced teacher would be necessary for students to attain such a high level of learning.

SRA Math: Explorations and Applications, SRA/McGrawHill

Cluster II -- Instruction, although moderately effective, falls short of preparing students to attain high levels of achievement. Acquiring the level of achievement targeted by this analysis would require supplmentation.

Math 65: An Incremental Development, Saxon Publishers

MathematicsTexas Edition, Silver Burdett Ginn

Cluster III -- Instruction falls below expectations for learning established by this analysis. Achievement with these programs would be limited to modest mastery without substantial supplementation.

MathTexas Edition, Scott Foresman Addison Wesley

Math Advantage, Harcourt Brace

Math in My World, McGrawHill

Cluster IV -- Not recommended for use in 5th or higher grades.

* Everyday Mathematics, Everyday Learning

* Investigations in Number, Data and Space, Dale Seymour Publications

Analysis of grade 7 textbooks identified four broad clusters of instructional quality:

Cluster I -- Instruction that prepares students well to sequence next into algebra.

PreAlgebra, an Integrated Transition to Algebra and Geometry, Glencoe/McGraw Hill

Passport to Algebra and Geometry, McDougal Littell

Algebra , Saxon Publishers

Cluster II -- Instruction that prepares students at a lower level of learning to sequence next into algebra but might be effective with an experienced teacher.

Middle School Math Course 2, Scott Foresman Addison Wesley

Mathematics: Applications and Connections, Course 2, Glencoe/McGrawHill

Math Advantage Middle School Preparation for Algebra, Harcourt Brace

Middle Grades Math: Tools for Success Course 2, Prentice Hall

Cluster III -- Instruction not suitable for transitioning students directly into algebra, but might be suitable as pre prealgebra.

Math 87, Saxon Publishers

Passport to Mathematics Book 2, McDougal Littel

Cluster IV -- Instruction that fails to meet criteria for preprealgebra (5th) grade.

*Math Thematics, McDougal Littell

*Connected Mathematics, Addison Wesley Longman

NOTE: * Asterisks denote National Science Foundationsponsored math programs.

See complete analysis on the Internet at http://mathematicallycorrect.com/


 
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