Date: Aug 31, 2000 12:45 PM
Author: by way of Gene Klotz
Subject: Re: Ruth Parker in Mountain View


Hello,

Re < I expect that many readers are already aware that the "mile wide and
an inch deep" slogan, while catchy and initially heavily promoted by
TIMSS in the US, turned out to be unsupported by a more detailed
evidence from TIMSS. I believe it is rarely used anymore by TIMSS
staff.

I would be interested in a concrete explanation of "turned out to be
unsupported by a more detailed evidence from TIMSS."

In Facing the Consequences*, Schmidt et al. provide a more detailed
examination of the consequences of our "mile wide and an inch deep"
curricula. While other countries manage to achieve highly in at least one
topic area, suggesting a deeper focus on those topics, U.S. achievement as
a function of topic area never reaches the top. From what I have read, it
seems that in-depth analysis of the curricula reveals that we, indeed, do
try to cover too much with little depth.

Thanks.

Patsy

*William H. Schmidt, Curtis C. McKnight, Leland S. Cogan, Pamela M.
Jakwerth, Richard T. Houang, Facing the Consequences: Using TIMSS for a
Closer Look at U.S. Mathematics and Science Education, Kluwer Academic
Publishers, 1999.
_______________________________________________________
Patsy Wang-Iverson
Mid-Atlantic Eisenhower Consortium (http://www.rbs.org/eisenhower)
Research for Better Schools
444 N. Third Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123-4107
vox: 215.574.9300 x264
fax: 215.574.0133
net: wang@rbs.org



Zeev Wurman
<zeev@easic.com> To: AMTE <amte@esunix.emporia.edu>
Sent by: cc:
owner-amte@esunix.e Subject: Re: Ruth Parker in Mountain View
mporia.edu


08/31/00 12:14 PM
Please respond to
amte





Just a couple of quickies before the gates slam...

Ruth Parker wrote:

> K-5 program called Investigations in Number, Data and Space, is
> currently used in districts like Palo Alto, San Mateo, Oak Park and
> Las Virgenes as well as many other districts throughout the nation.
> Students from these districts score well on state and national tests.


Palo Alto does indeed use the "Investigations" series in, but it is
heavily supplemented with the previously adopted textbooks (Holt, Math
Unlimited). Detailed cross-correlation were developed by the staff in
recognition of the deficient content in Investigations.

> However, if we are using the wrong measures, and I believe that
> California is with the SAT 9 and the STAR augmentation, then we should
> not pretend that children will be well prepared for their future.


So are the "state and national tests" that districts using
"Investigations" get good scores on, indicative of the quality of
"Investigations", as they do not prepare children for their
future? Just curious :-)

> The standards fairly well ensure that education in California will
> continue to be "a mile wide and an inch deep" - a state of affairs
> decried in reports of the Third International Math and Science Study
> (TIMSS).


I expect that many readers are already aware that the "mile wide and
an inch deep" slogan, while catchy and initially heavily promoted by
TIMSS in the US, turned out to be unsupported by a more detailed
evidence from TIMSS. I believe it is rarely used anymore by TIMSS
staff.

Ze'ev