It is with great interest that my colleagues and I in Portland have been reading the messages regarding our test scores and Investigations. While the test scores, specifically, will be addressed in a later message, I want to correct some inaccuracies that have been shared regarding the adoption and implementation of Investigations in our district.
1) Investigations was adopted K-5 (not K-6) and Connected Math for 6-8. We are now entering the 4th year of this district- wide adoption.
2) The first two years of the adoption (1999 - 2001), the school board committed to a high level of support for the successful implementation of the programs. There were five elementary TOSA's (and 2.5 positions at middle school) to support teachers in this district of approximately 54,000 students.
To address the issue of pacing, a year-long plan was developed for each grade level. This was supported by daily lesson plans for grades K-5; again, the primary issue was pacing, not a sense that "the program was too combersome for teachers to develop their own lesson plans" as Mark wrote. The lesson plans are offered only as a guide for teachers who might find them helpful - it is not a "mandate" that they be followed. The idea was to help reduce the initial anxiety -common to any new curriculum adoption - with some of the pacing and alignment done centrally so that classroom teachers would have time freed up to focus on the important mathematical ideas in the units. The response from teachers concerning the plans has been overwhelmingly positive.
I hope this will help to clarify some of the information concerning our district.