Math Textbooks Available For Review

Math textbooks under consideration for use in PWCS beginning in the fall of 2012 are available for public review.

Below is the press release from the PWCS web site.

N.R. #156, 9/23/2011

Contact: Irene Cromer
Supervisor, Community Relations

Proposed Mathematics Textbooks on View

Mathematics textbooks for kindergarten through calculus are available for public review and comment from now until December 21, 2011. Books for math instruction ranging from kindergarten through Algebra II will be available in the Professional Library of the Edward. L. Kelly Leadership Center, at Chinn Park and Bull Run Regional Libraries, and at the following school libraries: Ashland Elementary School, Battlefield High School, Ellis Elementary School, Forest Park High School, Fred Lynn Middle School, Lake Ridge Middle School, Occoquan Elementary School, Penn Elementary School, Pennington Traditional School, Saunders Middle School, Signal Hill Elementary School, Swans Creek Elementary School, Victory Elementary School, and T. Clay Wood Elementary School. Upper level books for mathematics electives above Algebra II will be available at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, located at 14715 Bristow Road in Manassas.

During the textbook adoption process, the Mathematics Office convenes teachers, administrators, School Board appointees, and parents who are tasked with evaluating textbooks. Feedback is solicited from all county schools and from the public. Citizens’ comments will be collected and considered by the textbook adoption committee as they prepare their recommendations to the School Board this winter. The final adoption report is planned for presentation to the School Board for information and approval in February 2012.

For more information or comments, contact Carol Knight, Mathematics supervisor, via email at or at 703.791.8849.


5 Responses to “Math Textbooks Available For Review”

  1. Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr. Says:

    Is the k-8 program “Math in Focus” – Singapore Math available for review?

    Teach Less, but Learn More

    Math in Focus teaches fewer topics in greater depth for increased mastery. The focused instruction provides time for students to learn, consolidate, and apply concepts.

    Singapore Math for Grade 6!
    Now Singapore math mastery extends beyond the elementary classroom!

    This exciting extension to the current Math in Focus™ elementary program is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and follows the authentic Singapore framework─teaching concepts to mastery and promoting deep understanding.

    What is “Singapore math” and why does it lead to student success?

    “Singapore math” is the term used to refer to the mathematics curriculum used in Singapore. Since 1995, Singapore’s students have been top performers in the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS). Their success can be largely attributed to the mathematics curriculum revision implemented by the Singapore Ministry of Education, which set forth key requirements for instructional materials.

    From the Singapore Ministry of Education

    The Singapore Ministry of Education uses a graphic to represent its vision for mathematics teaching: a pentagon, with problem solving in the center and five interdependent, necessary elements surrounding it. Textbooks, written specifically to address this structure, provide constant support for understanding all five elements. Students are encouraged to consider how they think, how they communicate, and how they solve problems, so they can apply their skills to subsequent problems. This way of teaching and thinking creates students who have mastered mathematical skills and are able to use them to solve both routine and non-routine problems at a level of complexity that allows them to compete globally.

  2. pwceducationreform Says:

    Unfortunately the folks at Singapore Math didn’t submit their materials for state review so the text isn’t recommended for use in Va schools. That’s a bummer because Singapore does align closely with Va Standards and the Common Core. I believe one of the reasons they didn’t submit was because Va requires calculators beginning in kindergarten and Singapore doesn’t allow them.

    Under state law we could technically consider Singapore Math if the other state recommended texts aren’t acceptable, but in lieu of the Five Ponds History textbook controversy I don’t see that happening.

  3. Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr. Says:

    The odd thing about most states review process is that it rarely if ever looks at results from actual use in various schools, rather recommendations are made with alignment of topics, ideological prejudices, etc. In 2008 WA State issued new Math Standards and shortly thereafter came a series of meetings to evaluate textbooks and then the WA state publishing of alignment etc. and eventually the three or fewer recommended texts at each of three levels: Elementary, Middle, and High School.

    Singapore Math was an outlier on the low side for alignment with state standards. It teaches the topics too early in many cases and has very few topics per grade level. Thus it had the lowest score by far of any elementary textbook in the WA State elementary textbook ratings. In the Spring of 2010 the State test for the first time tested the New Math standards and Schmitz Park elementary school in West Seattle fifth graders posted a pass rate that ranked #3 out of more than 1000 schools in the State. Schmitz Park uses Singapore Math.

    “Math in Focus” had not yet been released at the time of the State review. It was about 6 months late.

    “Math in Focus” has a much more teacher friendly format than the original Singapore primary math series.

    Ever since the original Richard Riley US Dept of Education proclamation of the “Exemplary and Promising” Math texts …. results apparently have not mattered….. I assume that VA follows this time honored farce.

    • pwceducationreform Says:

      Oh yea. Results are irrelevant in Va in textbook review. What matters at the state level is that the publishers were willing to sing the state’s CYA document that they developed following the Five Ponds controversy and that the content in the books “cover” the expectations set forth in the SOLs. How well they meet those expectations is irrelevant – so you could have a text that “covers” a topic, but covers it in an illogical and nonsensical manner, and it’ll get an adequate rating for that standards.

      At the local level the impetus appears to be on gut instinct – as in pick whichever text feels the best. As what feels best to each of us is subjective, the net is that whichever voices are the loudest are the ones that win.

  4. Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr. Says:

    Above stated:
    “How well they meet those expectations is irrelevant – so you could have a text that “covers” a topic, but covers it in an illogical and nonsensical manner, and it’ll get an adequate rating for that standards.”

    In WA state in the elementary adoption … Bridges was ranked #2 but was dropped as Mathematically unsound upon a review by Drs. Guershon Harel and Stephen Wilson (These guys are real mathematicians).

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