An article in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer profiles one of the few schools in the Delaware Valley to use Singapore Math: the five-year-old Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS) in Philadelphia's Chinatown, whose math scores have risen impressively:

In 2006, 27 percent of fifth graders passed the state math test; this year, as seventh graders, 67 percent passed.For a reaction, the article turns to Janine Remillard, a professor of math education at University of Pennsylvania, who cautions against giving too much credit to the Singapore Math curriculum:

Remillard... said that while Singapore math may be responsible for the improved test scores at FACTS, other curricula - such as Everyday Math, used in many districts around the country, including Philadelphia - have also shown promise when taught well.How true. Good teachers trump nearly everything. Including--though I challenge you to find a math education professor who will admit this--the most "traditional", "drill-and-kill" of math programs."A curriculum provides a way of representing the mathematics, but it is only one piece of the puzzle," Remillard said. "How the teacher uses that curriculum is really, really critical."

But the one thing a good teacher can't trump--unless s/he simply tosses most of it out the window--is a curriculum that places too low a ceiling on conceptual challenge.

And that is why Singapore math trumps Everyday Math--and Investigations, and Trailblazers, and Mathland, and Connected Math, and the rest of the lot.

## 3 comments:

It's it interesting . . .

If they had a course called "Everyday Literature" and studied the latest bestselling beach books, English teacher would have a fit.

But introduce a curriculum that is the same in math, and no one care . . .

Um, they DO have courses like that!!! Check out your local elementary and see for yourself. :]

I gave my seventh grade math class the Singapore Math 4A placement test because I needed a really good map as to where they were with core skills.

Median score 11%.

Here's the five point... 0,3,11,14,68

Makes my head explode!

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