I'm fortunate to be able to compare three different surrounding districts: my wife's, my sister's and my own. I'm not here to say which is best or to say that any district's process is better than the other. Furthermore, as I state questions, I'm not implying that any of the aforementioned districts are sufficient or insufficient, competent or incompetent, correct or incorrect.
Therefore, here's something I'm wondering when a district pilots a math program:
Are teachers given a comprehensive list of metrics regarding the effectiveness of piloting a math program in their classroom?For example, are teachers asked to pay attention to any of the following (and more)?
- How are lesson objectives structured?
- How are content standards unpacked?
- How are lessons/activities launched?
- What's the level of student engagement?
- What are students doing during the lesson/activity?
- What are teachers doing during the lesson/activity?
- What conclusion do students make at the end of the lesson/activity?
- Is the practice (homework/classwork) effective and meaningful?
- Are the assessments a fair representation of the lesson objectives and content standards?
- What's the distribution of application, procedural, and conceptual understanding mixed with problem-solving or performance activities?
- How applicable are the statistics and probability standards in your grade level and are they imbedded in the other grade level content standards?
If a veteran teacher and first-year teacher are both piloting the same program, how can they both objectively measure the quality of a pilot?
How is any teacher expected to give meaningful feedback to their district if they're not given direction ahead of time?
I've noticed that districts are giving their teachers a chance to voice their opinion on the pilot program, but if there's no common metric, how does one make it a fair comparison?
Again, I'm not saying that my district, my wife's district, or my sister's district have the math adoption process right or wrong. I'm curious if it makes sense for any district to front-load their teachers with ways to measure the effectiveness of a program.
Thankfully, I've noticed the most patient participants (or bystanders) in this transition (including adoption) are the students. Be sure to thank them for their patience and perseverance as we work hard to do our best getting it right. How long will that patience last?
P.S. Chris Hunter shared a very thorough post by our NCTM president.