Concerns About Curriculum in Arkansas

 

Concerns About Curriculum in Arkansas

Math Crusades And

Qualifications of  a Math Specialist

            Another area where there has been total deception is with the math standards and math crusades.  Math Standards Dr. Ray Simon profusely praised Math Crusades (also known as Arkansas Crusades and the K-4 Crusades) in his address to the joint Educational Meeting on July 16, 1998, saying 7,000  to teachers had already been trained through that program and that he was going to make it a priority for these Math Crusade concepts to be institutionalized by our teachers.  Math Crusades functioned on a ten million dollar grant matched by Arkansas grant of  ten million dollars.  In Math Crusades material they say the following  (1)  “Grading can be detrimental to student willingness to learn and should be replaced.” p. 1  (2)  “The long tradition of grading students has a detrimental effect on many students.” p. 1 (3) “ Another self-assessment is daily writing in a journal.”  (This is math evaluation for K-4) (4)  A quote saying the “correct” answer is not as important as what the student thinks. p.1.  (5)

             All the teaching manuals (at least 6 of them) used in Math Crusades and the college courses and staff developments were produced in California. Scores in California plummeted to the bottom –last out of 39 states taking the NAEP.    In textbooks used in Arkansas Math Crusades at 13 university sites in Arkansas, college course textbooks say to “decreases attention to Rote Practice, Memorization, One Answer and One Method, Use of Worksheets, Written Practice and Teaching by Telling and to increase attention to “working in groups (cooperative learning) and writing about math.  [This is for K-4 – doing away with traditional education] 

             Following is an excerpt from a teacher concerning Math Crusades:  " In a K-4 Crusade college course (paid  for by the state through the Arkansas Crusades grant  -  a ten million dollar federal grant matched by a ten million dollar state grant)  the first two three hour classes were spent blowing bubbles.  The presenters used this as a modeling technique to show us how to take this fun activity back into our classrooms to introduce an integrated unit on bubbles  - also called thematic units. The  K-4 Crusades provides the basic teacher training for teachers teaching the remedial summer school programs for K-4.  Arkansas Crusades paid for six hour college credit for me and for about twenty other people in the class and for expensive text  materials for the course as well. "

            The main qualifications for a math specialist as outlined by the State Department are:       

·        A bachelor's degree and  three to five years of recent teaching experience within grades seven through twelve.

·        A teaching philosophy that supports the Arkansas Mathematics Curriculum

·         (Taken from fax from Christi Alexander, Math Specialist for ADE, May 30, 03. after a telephone conversation and request for it.

            It is obvious from these qualifications this is not about math but about philosophy.  Training in the philosophy is more important than training in math.  Numerous teachers have more training than a bachelor's degree and more than five years teaching experience.

            Willard R. Daggett, who was contracted to  head up the Character Education Program that is a component of Governor Huckabee's  Smart Start program in Arkansas,  is described in fliers as an "Eminent Outcome -Based Reformer & Implementer" who is "Shaping America's Future Through Outcome-Based Education."  Daggett is from New York and has been a featured speaker all over the nation with William (Bill) Spady,  the man who is known as the father of  OBE.  OBE is that philosophy that advocates:

          Government Controlled Schools

          Schools With No Grades

          No Grade Levels

          No Competition

          No Textbooks

          No elected school boards

          No memorization and drills

          Value and Attitude Outcomes  as part of  curriculum. 

             Daggett received from $7,000 to $10,000 a day for his presentations.   (For copies of  these fliers, contact AFA at 870- 932-5065).  One large Northeast Arkansas school district’s  school board refused to allow  Daggett to follow through on a scheduled  co-op staff development presentation (which costs $7,000.00 for one day) on their   campus after reading quotes from Daggett’s books and flyers.  Although Governor Huckabee denied it,   Daggett was also one of  the main experts hired through NSCI to do teacher staff development.

            Willard Daggett  addressed 1,500 teachers (May 2, 2002)  and principals concerning  Smart Step, Huckabee's new program in Little Rock,   (May 2, 2000, The May 2 Democrat-Gazette called Daggett a consultant to the state Education Department,  and printed  l02  lines summarizing Daggett's remarks at this Smart Step summit.  Simon is quoted as saying,  "We'll use national experts in the fields of assessment and standards."  Evidently Daggett is the main expert.

            However, the Governor said in a letter dated April 2, 2000,  "I am still emphatically opposed to OBE and will continue to ensure that the state is not mandating OBE to the schools. And people have been led to believe that Daggett  was contracted to head  up Character Education.  In fact, the Governor's office said in a letter,  "William Daggett is helping the Department of  Education compile a model character education. . .  Daggett will have no influence over any issue or subject that is mandated to schools from the state."  From the article in the paper it appears Daggett had  unbelievable influence.

            Willard  Daggett has also gained a reputation for dishonesty which has been reported  in several newspapers and academic journals for flat out lying about numerous facts and educational research, and personal information. He claimed to be the president of  a college when in actuality he was just a professor there and fabricated many other stories.   His dishonesty was the feature of one newspaper that earned a national award.  Yet thousands of  dollars have been used to disseminate his character education material to counselors across the state.

Expert Douglas Reeves  Hired By ADE

Says Competition Is Part Of  Modern Daly Psychosis

            Douglas Reeves was contracted to oversee Arkansas's standards, testing, and accountability programs a few years ago and was featured on Arkansas’s Smart Start web page.  This quote came from AR Dem-Gaz. Feb. 23, 1999. “Education Department officials developed the accountability system with advice from Doug Reeves, a Colorado educational consultant. Videos by Reeves were used all over the state in staff development. Reeves also helped the  state develop the Smart Start initiative supposedly rigorous standards. These are quotes from various writings by Douglas Reeves.  If one watches  carefully what educational reformers  say publicly  and go to the extreme opposite, that is usually what they are really  saying and doing. 

            Reeves's organization said  they did  tests for states all over the nation, but Arkansas is their biggest client and Arkansas is implementing these standards on a broader scale than all the other states with whom they were working. 

            A Smart Start pamphlet dated November, 1999 praised two schools for doing away with grades, reflecting the philosophy of Douglas Reeves.  All these are those rigorous standards they are setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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