PA Coalition for World Class Math

                                     Update on Palo Alto Math Wars (7/27/2011)

Everyday Math in Palo Alto CA

July 27, 2011

UPDATE: from a parent:

Parents in Palo Alto led a huge fight against the adoption of EDM a few years back during which parents collected and put out tons of information. Included was the experiences of schools which dropped EDM (posted yesterday). Our research is archived in a yahoogroup and some if it is recorded in the on-line forum which gets tons of eyes around town. Links are below.

The “data and details” registered with 2 of our board members who voted no. What seemed to get the other 3′s attention (though did not persuade them) was a petition opposing EDM signed by 700 parents (aka potential re-election voters).

BTW- In sharp contrast to the district’s enthusiasm about EDM pre-adoption, the district’s post-adoption EDM updates have been somber. Here are a few signs of how EDM is faring in our town:

– This year our district dropped the question in its annual teacher math survey which asked teachers to rate EDM (excellent, good, fair, poor). The year before 31% of PAUSD teachers reported that they disliked EDM.

– Parents report that many teachers are not using it. (It is rumored that the district allowed one high-socio-economic elementary school to drop it entirely.)

– 94% of our teachers report that they supplement the EDM materials (up from 89% the year before)
– 51% because the EDM curriculum is not sufficient
– 84% because it does not sufficiently challenge students
– 61% because more is needed to help struggling students too,
despite district and EDM direction that math should be taught using EDM only, no supplemental materials allowed.
2009-10 survey:,
2010-11 survey:

- At one board member’s insistence (who voted in EDM because of its built-in differentiation which she was certain would challenge all levels of learners), the district just set up an Elementary Math Task Force of parents and teachers (no district staff involvement) to figure out how to challenge students in math, with this important restriction: “It is not the role of the Task Force to debate the merits of the existing adopted curriculum or to recommend new curriculum.”