Thank you for your post. I wasn't clear on something so I should clarify. The strong pass rates and outcomes in later courses that I mentioned are based on our traditional beginning and intermediate algebra courses in our redesign. Those are the courses that, while successful in the traditional sense, are what spurned me to develop MLCS at my school. Those courses do a very good job at getting students ready for college algebra, but really don't serve our students heading in the non-STEM direction. One could argue that there are also better ways to prepare students for college algebra, but that's not my goal at the moment. I wanted a course with more depth, more connections, more mathematics. We're in the second semester pilot of MLCS and are just beginning the tracking process of students who passed the fall semester and are taking a college level course this semester. We're almost to the 3 year mark on the course's development. That work began in April/May 2009 with the New Life group that Jack Rotman has organized and led.
Regarding the name, MLCS was not my creation but something that evolved. The New Life group had other names originally but they either weren't descriptive enough or had a negative connotation. MLCS was a compromise and a mouthful at that.
As far as the show and tell, I am doing both. I've been giving many presentations and show and tell are a part of each. I would like less "telling" because it's more engaging to "do." Workshops on this course are fun because I put attendees through parts of 2 lessons and allow them to talk, problem solve, and engage. And they do. Lively debate and discussion follow, which mirrors the classroom. But for a project like this that is so new, it is important to give clear information with lots of detail to help interested parties make sense of it. I'm sure there are still questions from those reading this board. That's to be expected. My goal in these posts was not to explain every facet of the course but instead give broad information. Those who want more will continue to have many opportunities to get it.
As for research, I've read quite a lot and I know the Carnegie and Dana Center groups place research as a hallmark of the course's development. For example, I've read some of Ed's work on the brain and found it fascinating and incredibly helpful in making the course work. The goal of this course, by all who are working on it, is thoughtfulness in development, approach, and assessment. I believe we all want to get it "right." That's not likely to happen straight out of the gate, but there is commitment to improve and finesse this course so that it does work. It's not a band-aid to a big problem. It's meant to help solve some (but not all) of the major issues at the forefront of developmental math. I hope that is case.