on math reform

**Table of Contents**

- Are you concerned?
- Steering Committee
- Board of Advisers
- News Releases
- Bibliography
- Other Information Sources

** Alternative K-12 Mathematics Standards for California**
(Sept. 1997)

*Even authors of the frameworks show uncertainty and concern.*
Professor Alan Schoenfeld (from UC Berkeley, and one of the authors of
the frameworks) writes:

"The fact is that, in the absence of either large-scale empirical proof of success or the existence of compelling and documentable standards, there is reason to be cautious. The traditionalists are nervous for good reason. It should be noted, however, that the resistance to change is not based on the purported success of the current curricula, ... but on the fear that the replacement will be even worse." (Alan Schoenfeld, "What do we know about mathematics curricula?")

*If authors who wrote the frameworks are concerned, shouldn't we be?*
Why should Palo Alto children, long known for mathematical excellence, be
part of the state of California's educational experiment?

H.O.L.D. is an organization of people in the Palo Alto community that feel that some of the changes being made in the name of educational reform are being implemented too rapidly, and without community input.

**Are you concerned about:**

- the de-emphasis on basic math skills?
- the lack of textbooks and standard student materials?
- the hours that your child spends writing and illustrating a Problem of the Week (P.O.W.) that took him/her fifteen minutes to solve?
- the fact that 8th grade standardized test scores in computation have plummeted from the 90th to the 58th percentile in the past two years?
- the level to which your child is challenged in math?
- the ability of teachers to meet all children's needs in a heterogeneous (mixed ability) class?
- the failure of PAUSD to communicate with parents before changing the entire direction of a successful math program?
- the fact that PAUSD seems to have a different view of mathematics than you do?

- basic mathematical skills are the foundation of an excellent mathematics program.
- textbooks and standard student materials are important. They ensure quality, consistency across the program, and are necessary for parent involvement.
- while writing in math may be valuable, the primary emphasis should be on obtaining mathematical skills.
- declining test scores indicate weaknesses that need to be dealt with.
- some children want or need a more rigorous math program than others.
- challenging children of all abilities is not always best done in heterogeneous (mixed ability) classrooms.
- PAUSD needs to communicate with its parent community about proposed
changes to programs
*before*implementing them. - schools should reflect the values of the community that they serve. Parents and community members have the right to be heard and provide input to programs.

*
If we want our concerns heard and dealt with, we must organize.
PAUSD needs to respect the concerns of parents and promote a real public
dialogue about its mathematics program.*

- Bill Evers <Bill.Evers@dehnbase.fidonet.org>
- Hanna Hoffman (650-858-1688, evening)
- Michal Plume
- Zeev Wurman <zeev@netcom.com>

- Parents' Group Forms to Combat "Fuzzy Math"
- Parents' Math Group Establishes Site on Info Superhighway
- Parents' Math Group Says Test Results Distorted
- Tuomy Endorses Classroom Choice; HOLD Endorses Him, also Feinstein, Maples
- HOLD-endorsed Tuomy Heads School Board Balloting

- Richard Lee Colvin, "Parents Skilled at Math Protest New Curriculum", Los Angeles Times, 19 December 1995, page 1.
- Elizabeth Darling, "Assessing the Lessons of School Race: Maples, Feinstein hope school board doesn't forget their message", Palo Alto Weekly, 15 November 1995, p. 13.
- Jeff Colflesh et al. (Sixth Grade Teachers at Jordan Middle School), "Campaign Potshots", Palo Alto Weekly, 15 November 1995, pp. 27-28.
- Jim Maples, "Maples Replies", Palo Alto Weekly, 15 November 1995, pp. 28-29.
- Elizabeth Darling, "Voters Pick Tuomy and Incumbents", Palo Alto Weekly, 10 November 1995, p. 5 School board election results.
- Lori Aratani, "Incumbent Victory in P.A. Seen as Vote of Confidence: Winners promise better communication", San Jose Mercury News, Peninsula section, 9 November 1995, pp. 1B, 4B. School board election results.
- Bill Workman, "Measure R Rejected in Palo Alto Vote", San Francisco Chronicle, 8 November 1995, p. A18. School board election results.
- Lori Aratani, "More Taxes OK'd by Voters in 2 Districts", San Jose Mercury News, Peninsula morning ed., 8 November 1995, p. 22A.
- Bill Workman, "Most Divisive School Board Race in Years: Curriculum, Shrinking Funds Dominate Palo Alto Debate", San Francisco Chronicle, Peninsula section, 3 November 1995, p. P1.
- Lori Aratani, "3 Challenge 2 School Incumbents", San Jose Mercury, Peninsula section, 3 November 1995, pp. 1B, 4B.
- Jim Maples, "Primary Customers", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 1 November 1995, pp. 20-21.
- Jean Lambert, "Problems Go Deeper", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 1 November 1995, p. 19. District error in reporting Stanford Achievement Test scores.
- Elizabeth Darling, "Math Test Scores Rise", Palo Alto Weekly, 1 November 1995, p. 12.
- Tom Elke, "Innovative Math Attempt Falls Flat", The Campanile [Palo Alto High School], volume LXXVI, no. 2 (30 October 1995), p. 1.
- "Palo Alto School Board; Top Choices: John Tuomy, Kate Feinstein, and Jim Maples", editorial, San Jose Mercury News, 24 October 1995.
- Elizabeth Darling, "What the Kids Think", Palo Alto Weekly, 18 October 1995, p. 4.
- Elizabeth Darling, "Fiscal Issues Are Focus of Debate", Palo Alto Weekly, 18 October 1995, p. 13.
- Bill Evers, "Math Teacher Choice", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 30 August 1995, p. 17.
- Elizabeth Darling, "HOLD Member Enters School Board Race", Palo Alto Weekly, 28 July 1995, p. 7.
- Peter West, "Palo Alto Parents Square Off Over Math Curriculum", Education Week, 7 June 1995.
- Bill Evers, "The need for choice", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 17 May 1995.
- Ze'ev Wurman, "No Signs of Improvement", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 3 May 1995, pp. 23-24
- Michal Anne Plume, "A Closed System", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 3 May 1995, p. 22.
- Larry Cuban, "How We Teach Our Children", San Jose Mercury News, Perspective sec., date unknown, pp. 1F, 3F.
- Richard H. Davis, "Quality Sacrificed", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 19 April 1995, p. 21.
- Elizabeth Darling, "Brown defends district math: Superintendent supports direction, leaves door open for change", Palo Alto Weekly, 12 April 1995.
- Joe Lipsick, "'New Math' Doesn't Teach Basic Concepts, Is a Form of Social Engineering", letter to the editor, Stanford Daily, 11 April 1995, p. 4.
- Maureen DiMarco, Secretary, California State Office of Child Development and Education, "Newest Math Doesn't Add Up to Much", San Jose Mercury News, 7 April 1995.
- Barbara Chu, "New-New Math Debate", letter to the editor, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 April 1995.
- Lori Arantani, "'New' New Math = Controversy: Kids love it; some adults say trying to invent equations doesn't compute", San Jose Mercury News, 3 April 1995, pp. 1A, 12A.
- Maureen DiMarco, State Secretary, Child Development and Education, "Back to Fundamentals", letter to the editor, San Francisco Chronicle, 24 March 1995, p. A22.
- "Horrors of the New New Math," Long Beach Press-Telegram, 19 March 1995.
- Elizabeth Darling, "Debate Divides Crowd: Controversy Over Math Curriculum Brings Parents to District Forum", Palo Alto Weekly, 17 March 1995. pp. 5-6.
- Lori Aratani, "Crowd of 200 Divided by Best Way to Teach Math: P.A. Opponents Having a Problem with New Approach", San Jose Mercury News, 16 March 1995.
- Joe Lipsick, "Falling Test Scores", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 15 March 1995, pp. 19-20.
- Debra J. Saunders, "New-New Math: Bootlicking 101", San Francisco Chronicle, 13 March 1995, p. A19.
- Debra J. Saunders, "Problems of New-New Math", San Francisco Chronicle, 10 March 1995, p. A23.
- Elizabeth Darling, "Parents to Air Math Views: Changes in Palo Alto Curriculum Will Be Topic of March 15 Forum", Palo Alto Weekly, 10 March 1995, pp. 5-6.
- Peter Schrag, "Misreading", Sacramento Bee, 8 March 1995.
- S. L. Wykes, "Parents Talk Math on Internet: P.A. Curriculum Debate is Expanded", San Jose Mercury News, 6 March 1995, p. 1B.
- Katie and Joe Gray, "Condescending to Parents", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 1 March 1995.
- Bill Evers, "Hoover Fellow Clarifies Stance on Proposal To Alter Math Curriculum", letter to the editor, Stanford Daily, 24 February 1995, p. 4.
- Hussein Kanji, "Expressing Their Wrath Against the New Math", Stanford Daily, 22 February 1995.
- John Wildermuth, "Palo Alto Parents Upset by the Even Newer Math", San Francisco Chronicle, 22 February 1995.
- "In-Class Calculus Activities Leave Students Annoyed", letter to the editor, The Campanile [Palo Alto High School], 21 February 1995.
- Michal Anne Plume, "Our Taxes, Our Schools", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 17 February 1995.
- Chris Kenrick, "Notes & Comments: Tradition and Change", Palo Alto Weekly, 8 June 1994.
- R. H. Davis, "A Step Backward", letter to the editor, Palo Alto Weekly, 8 June 1994.
- Elizabeth Darling, "Middle School Math Changes Planned: Parents Don't Want to Lose Traditional Offerings", Palo Alto Weekly, 27 May 1994.
- Jon Ann Steinmetz, "Math Plan Uproar: P.A. Parents Oppose Proposal To Redo Middle-School Instruction", San Jose Mercury News, 23 May 1994.
- Elizabeth Darling, "JLS to Change Tracks in Math: New Approach to Help Kids Learn Cooperatively", Palo Alto Weekly, 27 January 1993. Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School.
- Edward Garcia, "Untracking of Math Classes Derails Gifted Kids, Some Say", San Jose Mercury News, 27 December 1992, Peninsula sec., pp. 1B, 4B.

NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) Standards

- "After CLAS", editorial, Sacramento Bee, 6 April 1995, p. B8.
- Nanette Asimov, "Don't Ignore Basics, School Advisers Say", San Francisco Chronicle, 8 August 1995.
- Ruth Asmundson, School Board Member, Davis Joint Unified School District, "Mathland Concerns", Davis Enterprise, October 1995.
- California Department of Education, Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, K-12 (Sacramento, 1992). $7.50, 1-800-995-4099, Visa or Mastercard accepted.
- Richard Lee Colvin, "Eastin Names Panels to Probe Education Failure; Schools: The move is designed to find reasons for dismal showing revealed this week in CLAS scores. Fundamental approaches to teaching will be examined." Los Angeles Times, 6 April 1995, pp. A3, A17.
- Richard Lee Colvin, "Math Group Stops Short of Urging Major Reforms", Los Angeles Times, 13 September 1995, pp. A24-A25.
- Richard Lee Colvin, "State's Reading, Math Reforms Under Review as Scores Fall", Los Angeles Times, 23 March 1995. Shortened version, San Jose Mercury News, 23 March 1995.
- Richard Lee Colvin, "Will New Math Add Up to Plus for Schoolkids? State will switch to word-oriented learning this fall. Parents may not be ready; teachers definitely aren't", Los Angeles Times, 12 March 1995.
- Karen Crother, "Confused", letter to the editor, Mendocino (Calif.) Beacon, 8 June 1995.
- Karen Diegmueller, "More Basic-Skills Instruction in Calif. Urged", Education Week, 27 September 1995, pp. 14, 17. State Superintendent's task-forces on math and reading.
- "Eastin Releases Reading and Math Task Force Reports -- Calls for Restoring Balance", Department of Education, State of California, Release 95-50, 13 September 1995.
- Jo Anne Erickson, "New-New Math Untested", letter to the editor, Pleasanton (Calif.) Valley Times, 16 May 1995.
- Chester E. Finn, Jr., "What If Those Math Standards Are Wrong?", Education Week, 20 January 1993.
- Bill Evers, "Alternative K-12 Mathematics Standards for California", 15 September 1997
- David M. Green, "Foundations of Math", letter to the editor, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 March 1995. p. A22.
- D. Hart, "New Math is Like a Tabloid Newspaper", letter to the editor, The Bakersfield Californian, 17 April 1995.
- Jerry Hershberg, "Students Should Avoid 'Inferior' Math Course", letter to the editor, Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze, 16 June 1995. College Preparatory Mathematics program.
- H.O.L.D., "The California Mathematics Framework", March 1995.
- H.O.L.D., letter to California Mathematics Task Force, "The Problems with the California Mathematics Framework", 16 May 1995.
- Joanne Jacobs, "The New New Math Is A Good Idea That Will Add Up to Less Than Zero", San Jose Mercury News, 9 February 1995.
- Joanne Jacobs, "We Don't Know What We're Doing in Education", San Jose Mercury News, 18 September 1995.
- Richard J. Klutch, "The Calulator Crutch", New York Times, 29 September 1991.
- Leah Y. Latimer, "Calculators in Schools: Doubts Persist", Washington Post, 15 August 1983.
- Kirsten Mangold, "New-New Math Framework Raises Controversy", California Journal Weekly, 26 December 1994 - 2 January 1995.
- Elena Marcus, "Ain't We Got Fun: Anchovy pizza, rap math, and the relevant classroom", Coast Weekly (Monterey County), 9 March 1995.
- Teresa Mariani, "Manipulated Math: Does This Program Add Up?", San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, 19 December 1994.
- "Math Matters", The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, 1 February 1989, Transcript #3358. John Paulos and John Saxon.
- "The Math Mess", editorial, Orange County Register, 6 January 1995.
- Jay Mathews, "Divide and Confound", Washington Post, 23 May 1993.
- Jay Mathews. "Testing the Textbooks", Washington Post, 4 April 1993. How texts chosen (not effectiveness).
- Claudia Miller, "Math Teaching Methods Divide Some Parents and Educators", Oakland Tribune, 23 April 1995. Repr. "Math Theories Add to Book-Buying Flap," Review (Alameda County), 25 April 1995.
- "More Low Scores, California Kids Aren't Learning", editorial, San Jose Mercury News, 27 March 1995.
- "A New Math Experiment: Educators must be wary of using untested system", Pleasanton Valley Times, 13 April 1995.
- "New Math Questions: Debate continues over whether new math's 'constructivist' approach is best for all", Political Pulse's Education Beat, vol. 5, no. 2 (23 December 1994)
- Marilyn Press, "Drill and Practice Add Up", San Jose Mercury News, 27 February 1995.
- Bill Quirk, "Our Students Need Math Skills", letter to the editor, Hayward Daily Review, 9 March 1995.
- "Re-think the New-New Math", editorial, Chico Enterprise-Record, 16 July 1995.
- Jane Rosenberg, "Back with the Old: School Officials Agree to Keep Traditional Math, Science Classes", Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze, 14 June 1995.
- Jane Rosenberg, "Parents to Petition for Traditional Math Classes", Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze, 4 June 1995.
- Jane Rosenberg, "Teachers Start Survey of New Math Program", Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze, 2 June 1995.
- Debra J. Saunders, "Am I Blue?", San Francisco Chronicle, 21 October 1994, p. A25. Evaluations of textbooks, other instructional material.
- Debora J. Saunders, "California Flunks Again", San Francisco Chronicle, 31 March 1995.
- Debra J. Saunders, "Creatures from the New-New Math Lagoon," San Francisco Chronicle, 20 September 1995.
- Debra J. Saunders, "Did Your Mommy Eat Your Homework? Schools Shift the Blame for Academic Failure to Parents", Policy Review, no. 72 (Spring 1995), pp. 68-71.
- Debra J. Saunders, "Duck, It's the New-New Math", San Francisco Chronicle, 26 September 1994, p. A23. Repr. "New Math: No Matter How You Figure It, the Proposed New Math Doesn't Add Up as an Effective Learning Tool for Young Students", Orange County Register, 4 October 1994.
- Debra Saunders, "Educrats Need Not Apply", San Francisco Chronicle, 7 August 1995; repr. "It's Well Past Time to Move the Educrats Out", Orange County Register, 10 August 1995.
- Debra J. Saunders, "It's Well Past Time to Move the Educrats Out", Orange County Register, 10 August 1995.
- Debra J. Saunders, "New New Math", National Review, 23 September 1995, pp. 48-50.
- Debra J. Saunders, "New-New Math Blunders On", San Francisco Chronicle, 23 December 1994, p. A27.
- Debra J. Saunders, "A Test for the Educrats", San Francisco Chronicle, 5 May 1995.
- Debra J. Saunders, "There Is No One Answer", San Francisco Chronicle, 1 February 1995, p. A25. Repr. "Is Education a Science - or Science Fiction", Orange County Register, 2 February 1995.
- Debra J. Saunders, "What Math Task Force Should Say", San Francisco Chronicle, 9 August 1995.
- Debra J. Saunders, "You Are the Problem", San Francisco Chronicle, 7 April 1995.
- John Saxon, "Classroom Calculators Add to Math Illiteracy", Wall Street Journal, 16 May 1986.
- John Saxon, "The New 'New Math'--a New Disaster", San Francisco Examiner, 27 March 1994 [edited version of piece in Notices of the American Mathematical Society, February 1994].
- John Saxon, "The New 'New Math' Is Coming", National Association of Secondary School Principals Bulletin, vol. 73, no. 516 (April 1989), p. 48 ff.
- Alan Schoenfeld, "What do we know about mathematics curricula?", Journal of Mathematical Behavior, March 1994
- Peter Schrag, "The School Reform File (II)", Sacramento Bee, 7 September 1995.
- "A State Dummies Down", editorial, The Business Journal (Sacramento), 10 April 1995.
- James D. Stein, professor of mathematics, Cal State Long Beach, "Educational Reforms Review", letter to the editor, Los Angeles Times, 3 April 1995.
- "Teaching the R's", editorial, Sacramento Bee, 31 March 1995.
- Abigail Thompson, "Program is Flawed", letter to the editor, Davis Enterprise, 12 October 1995.
- Harry Tietelbaum, "We Fix Education Systems That Aren't Broken", Orange County Register, 24 April 1995.
- Collen Trinko, "'New Old Math' Will Raise Scores", letter to the editor, San Jose Mercury News, 1 April 1995.
- "2+2=?" editorial, The North County Blade-Citizen, 17 March 1995. Repr. "'Feeling Good' About Math Comes from Right Answers", editorial, Eureka Times-Standard, 28 March 1995.
- Mark Walsh, "School Experts Found Out of Sync With Public", Education Week, 12 October 1994.
- Dan Walters, "Johnny Can't Read or Write", Sacramento Bee, 5 April 1995.
- Denise Zapata, "Math Scores Don't Add Up in CSU [California State University] System", Bakersfield Californian, 25 June 1995.

- Chester E. Finn, Jr., "Made in Japan: Low-Tech Method for Math Success", Wall Street Journal, 12 July 1989. On the Kumon method.
- Chester E. Finn, Jr., "Math Angles and Saxon; Math Educator John Saxon", National Review, vol. 40, no. 23 (25 November 1988), p. 30 ff. On John Saxon's series of math textbooks.
- Edward B. Fiske, "Schools' Back-to-Basics Drive Found To Be Working in Math", New York Times, 8 June 1988. National Assessment of Educational Progress.
- Patricia L. Hollingsworth, "A Reformer's Retrogression: Speaking Out for Kumon Mathematics", Education Week, 27 November 1991.
- Mary Madison, "Young Geniuses Whiz Ahead Via Computers", San Francisco Chronicle, Peninsula Section, 6 October 1995. Education Program for Gifted Youth, Stanford University.
- Jay Mathews, "Psst, Kid, Wanna Buy a Used Math Book? They're Old-Fashioned and a Bit Tedious, But John Saxon's Texts Are Hot Stuff in the Education Underground", Newsweek, 1 March 1993, p. 62.
- Jay Mathews, "Stand by Your Math", Washington Post, 3 April 1994. North Dallas High School.
- Lee Mitgang, Associated Press, "Math Maverick's Practice Regimen Challenges 'Establishment' Methods", Los Angeles Times, 23 December 1990, Part A; Page 25; Column 1. On John Saxon's series of math textbooks.
- Andrew Murr, "Samurai Math Gets a Tryout: 'Kumon Is Coming", Newsweek, 10 April 1989.
- "New Angle on Algebra: One Teacher Takes on the Math Establishment", Time, 21 December 1981. John Saxon's textbooks.
- Gary Putka and Hilary Stout, "Tradition Cited as Factor in Math Scores", Wall Street Journal, 7 June 1991.
- John Saxon, "Needed: A Little Common Sense in High School Math Education", Christian Science Monitor, 21 October 1983.
- John Saxon, "The Way We Teach Our Children Is a Disgrace", Washington Post, 30 October 1983.
- Albert Shanker, "Repetition Crucial to Mastery of Math; Students Do Better With Incremental Approach", New York Times, sec. 4, 17 June 1984. Column, American Federation of Teachers advertisement. On John Saxon's series of math textbooks.
- Laurel Shaper Walters, "Math Mastery the Japanese Way", Christian Science Monitor, 11 February 1991. On the Kumon method.
- Aleta Watson, "Kumon Method Adds Up: Popularity of Math Class from Japan Multiplies", San Jose Mercury News, 2 December 1990.
- Betsy White, "Does Math Rebel's System Add Up?", The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 30 November 1994, Section B; Page 3. On John Saxon's series of math textbooks.
- Betsy White, "Saxon Math Books = Controversy; Former Georgian Touches Off a Firestorm by Panning Mainline Teaching Methods", The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 30 November 1994, Section B; Page 3.
- George White, "Japanese Company Tutors U.S. in Math; Kumon Franchised Centers Are Spreading Across the Country as Americans See the Need to Help Their Children Learn Everything from Simple Arithmetic to Calculus", Los Angeles Times, 19 November 1990.

- Barbara Clark, "Implications of Research for Parents and Educators: An Update on Ability Grouping and Its Importance for Gifted Learners", Communicator, Journal of the California Association for the Gifted, vol. 20, no. 5, November 1990. Repr. Advocate (Connecticut Association for the Gifted), January-February 1991, pp. 11, 18.
- Joanne Jacobs, "The Easier Track Fails to Challenge the Best Students", San Jose Mercury News, 11 April 1994.

- Jeffrey W. Miller, "Whatever Happened to New Math?", American Heritage Magazine, December 1990.