To improve teaching and learning with our diverse student population, teachers need access to equally diverse instructional tools, Key Curriculum Press Product Manager Jim Ryan told the National Mathematics Advisory Panel Monday at Stanford University.
"By unshackling teachers from a curriculum that does not address their students' needs and giving them the breadth of quality tools and training necessary to the task, we will close the achievement gap and significantly improve student performance," Ryan
has 10 years experience in public education as a high school mathematics teacher and administrator.
He also worked as a programmer and analyst at Apple Computers before joining Key Curriculum Press, a publisher of instructional materials and technology learning tools.
More than 90 percent of high school math textbooks in use come from four major publishers, and most are strikingly similar in both content and pedagogy.
California's textbook adoption process has been particularly restrictive.
Seven years ago, the state adopted only three Algebra textbooks for eighth grade.
called the results disheartening:
In the Los Angeles Times article Ryan cited, "A Formula for Failure in L.A. Schools," Tina Norwood, a student taking Algebra 1 for the third time wrote to her teacher on a chapter test, "Still don't get it, not gonna get it, guess I'm seeing you next year!"
"Tina's sense of futility is no doubt a consequence of her repeated exposure to a curriculum she lacks the ability to decode," Ryan