November 8 meeting recap

Here are notes from our November 8 CML meeting.


Attendees: Lisa R. (FFC8), Kim S. (Mesa 51), Marci H. (Jeffco), Katie J. (Englewood), Raymond J. (CDE), Amanda F. (Adams 12), Lindsey K. (Jeffco), Cheryl R. (Pueblo 60), Courtney G. (27J), Felicia C. (Mesa 51), John F. (Greeley), Ken J. (Aurora), Rachel S. (CCD), Stephanie C. (Boulder Valley), Susan H. (27J), Tabitha N. (Thompson)

Raymond began the meeting with a summary of the state leadership team's trip to Austin, Texas, for the Launch Years kickoff. That leadership team (summarized below) is just a team to get the process started, and our next step is to broaden our group to form a larger task force. We'll meet with the Dana Center on December 1st to get more direction about creating a task force. The roadmap the Dana Center has given us puts forming the task force as Objective 1, and it's a good reminder to be patient and not try to jump 5 or 6 steps forward to drafting recommendations. Along with the Dana Center staff, our trip to Austin also introduced us to the Launch Years Leadership Network, which includes almost all the national math and math education organizations you can think of: MAA, NCTM, NCSM, TODOS, AMTE, ASA, AMATYC, and the Benjamin Banneker Association. The two days in Austin started with a reminder that high school math does not work well for all students, and works least well for Black, Latinx, and students experiencing poverty. Colorado is participating in the Launch Years Cohort 2, which is for those states who have already made significant progress with pathways in higher education and now need to build a stronger bridge between K-12 and postsecondary. Learning from other states, especially from states like Georgia, Utah, Washington, and Oregon, that are a bit ahead of us, is a real benefit of participating in Launch Years. Comparing ourselves to other states, we have extremely strong community college representation with Danen, Rachel, and Jennifer, and more K-12 school representation than many states with Lisa and Kim (and by extension, CML and CCTM) being so involved so early.

Lisa then reminded us that the goal of this work is to provide better opportunities for students to find success in relevant math courses. Amanda F. talked about conversations in Adams 12, where people are asking themselves if the opportunities they are creating are the right ones, especially as they invest in interventions for pathways that may not be the right ones for the students who are in them. Ken J. talked about building assessments to measure competency for postsecondary and workforce readiness, and how statistics needs to be elevated in order to provide more opportunities for more students. John F. talked about the challenges of getting multiple high schools on the same page across a district and how he's eager to see how this effort unfolds. Susan talked about how the pathways work might compliment their equity initiatives by giving students more access to higher-level math courses. They're trying to support a lot in all subjects, and they see how hard it is for people to let go of some content and ideas of what student success looks like. Lindsey echoed John's comment about how each school has determined their own pathways, and how they're wondering how AP Precalculus might shape their math pathways. Raymond followed on with some news that Steve Leinwand had drafted a letter and was organizing a pushback against AP Precalculus in the form that the College Board had proposed it, since it appeared to be codifying the "overstuffed" nature of our current Algebra 2/Precalculus courses and might become an obstacle to pathways work. Rachel chimed in with a higher ed perspective since they're also looking at how to use AP Precalculus. In a meeting of other faculty she was in, she said there was a general consensus that 3 of the 4 units of the course were agreeable, but the 4th unit appeared to include content that really isn't necessary. The 2-year schools were likely to agree that a AP Precalculus score would be worthy of higher education credit, but the 4-year schools had not yet met to make a similar determination. Those conversations are still ongoing and people are getting surveyed and within a few weeks we should know more about how AP might be positioned across the secondary and postsecondary landscape. Susan talked about how she finds people gravitating to the higher-level math options a high school student might have, but there's still so much work to do to improve the lower-level, core courses that provide students a solid foundation.

State Leadership team: Danen Jobe, Director of Academic Programs and Curriculum, CCCS; Carl Einhaus, Senior Director of Student Success & P20 Alignment, CDHE; Chris Rasmussen, Senior Director of Academic Pathways & Innovation, CDHE; Rachel Sefton, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Community College of Denver; Jennifer Lamanski, Colorado Northwestern Community College; Lisa Rogers, Mathematics Coordinator for Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, President of CML, and Secretary of CCTM; Kim Smith, Mathematics Specialist for Mesa County Valley School District 51, Past President of CML, and Vice President of the CCTM; and Raymond Johnson, Mathematics Specialist for CDE, ex officio board member of CML and CCTM


Attendees: Lisa R. (FFC8), Kim S. (Mesa 51), Marci H. (Jeffco), Katie J. (Englewood), Raymond J. (CDE), John F. (Greeley), Courtney G. (27J), Stephanie C. (Boulder Valley), Ken J. (Aurora), Felicia C. (Mesa 51), Jennifer K. (27J), Cheryl R. (Pueblo 60), Lindsey K. (Jeffco), Susan H. (27J)

Katie asked people to introduce themselves by sharing a question they've been getting a lot, even if they don't know the answer. Here are some replies: John ("What about our common assessments?"), Marci ("How do we raise our modeling and reasoning CMAS scores?"), Courtney ("Do I need to do it that way?"), Stephanie ("How are we going to get better?"), Ken ("What makes for a rigorous assessment?"), Lisa ("What do we do if they don't get it?"), Felicia ("How do we build a growth mindset?), Jennifer ("How can I do this in Educlimber?"), Kim ("What do we do if they don't get it?"), Cheryl ("What exactly is algebra content?"), Lindsey ("How do we help students with elementary-level skills access middle school math?"), Susan ("How do we help students catch up?"), Raymond ("What happened to the Common Core website?"), and Katie ("How do we fill gaps?").

Felicia led the math task for this meeting. It was a task oriented towards building a positive math identity and classroom community and we all shared a photo that "is worth a thousand numbers" and says something about us, and then we each shared how the photo represented our math identity. This led to a sharing of some struggles and successes that people are experiencing in their districts, such as curriculum implementation, scaling up professional development, and getting excited when teachers ask really good questions.

In other business, Kim shared that CCTM's November newsletter was out, including an announcement of two webinars for the month that people could register for. Marci shared NCSM's Coaching Corner resources, which are great resources to access for math supervisors. Raymond said he'd be hosting a CoMath Conversation about the Launch Years Initiative. It's the same information that we've shared in CML meetings, but scheduled after school to help get the word out to more people.


Attendees: Lisa R. (FFC8), Kim S. (Mesa 51), Marci H. (Jeffco), Katie J. (Englewood), Raymond J. (CDE), Stephanie C. (Boulder Valley), Jennifer K. (27J), Felicia C. (Mesa Valley)

Katie and Marci led the interventions part of the meeting. The first activity was to draft some "personas," which is a design activity that involves some creativity to imagine the perspectives and problems of those who will be impacted by our work. Our first set of personas focused on students and the second set focused on adults. Across the student personas, people made connections between math knowledge and student affect, and how it's not motivating for students to need extra help and feel like they need to "go backwards" to fill some gap or other identified need. Across the adult personas, we noticed the need to build adult capacity for better conceptual understanding and making more teachers more comfortable with the mathematics they're teaching or preparing students to learn in the future. We also noticed that our personas focused on teachers, but that there are other adults in the system who are also critical if we're going to have high-functioning intervention programs. These conversations raise questions about how we can provide teachers with the kind of PD that better reflects the kind of instruction we want them to support. We finished our interventions session by forming "How might we...?" questions. We noticed that some questions seemed to lead to "quick fixes" for students that need a little help, versus institutionalized programs that might support students for a year or multiple years, and how we're not always good at finding something in between. There was also some talk about how we collect and use data, and how might we more systematically use and value teacher observation. We also asked questions like, "How might we involve more stakeholders?" and "How might we help students and families make more use of the supports that are available?"