On Choosing Saxon Math, the Strongest Choice
The school district promised the residents of our district a choice between a traditional and a standards-based program. Instead they chose two standards-based programs and denigrated traditional math. In a reply from Vern Henshaw to several parents was this line after describing the other 6 choices, "Finally, in the strong traditional camp was Saxon." They have clearly stated it and it now becomes our option.
1) Saxon is a strong math program that will better meet the new state standards than any of the other choices. It is on California's approved list of programs and CA has the strongest math standards in the country.
2) Over a period of 4 years, Saxon math trippled the scores of schools in California that had been on a program identical to Investigations math.
3) A Maryland district that switched to Saxon had scores almost double after 1 year:
4) Charter school's that use Saxon math have scores well above Alpine.
5) Saxon has a research-based structure to encourage concepts to build on each other and help students retain that knowledge by periodically reviewing old content in new problems.
6) Homework consists of a 1 page practice set which the student learns about at school and does one side, and then brings home and does the other side so you can see what he/she is working on and help the child if needed.
7) Choosing Saxon math will start a healing process in the community for the thousands of families that have already moved to Charters over the Investigations math fiasco. This will facilitate a smoother integration as these students come back into the schools from the charters in the upper grades.
8)The Government's What Works website says of the Scott Foresman/Addison Wesley edition
Rating of Effectiveness [in the study]:
Average: –2 percentile points
Range: –7 to +3 percentile points
In contrast, Saxon math shows this:
Rating of Effectiveness:
Average: +7 percentile points
Range: +4 to +9 percentile points
That's a 9 point average swing in an upward direction for Saxon and on the low end of the range an 11 point swing. Why didn't the district choose Saxon instead of Scott Foresman/AW?
9) John Saxon said, "The NCTM denigrates the idea of practice, which is thoughtful, considered repetition, and confuses it with drill, which is blind, mindless repetition."
Saxon understood the need for practice to hone skills and develop deeper understanding. Mindless drill is not part of Saxon math.
10) Dr. E.D. Hirsch (a research educator) says "Saxon math's approach is reasonably close to what research is telling us about how students learn--much closer, than are the progressive methods advocated by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics." (page 131 of "The Schools We Need and Why We Don't Have Them)
11) A short Saxon story:
I was sitting at Sunday dinner when Jacob, my second grader, asks in a wistful sort of way, "Dad, what's three squared?"
"Nine," I answered, "Now you tell me, what's five squared?" I was happy that he answered correctly. "Okay," I said, "what's nine squared?"
This time I was thrilled that he got the answer right. "Hmm... what's the square root of sixteen?"
"Four", he answered.
"What's the square root of nine?" I asked.
"Three", he said.
"Okay, so what's the square root of ten?" I queried.
He thought for a minute, then he said, "It doesn't have one."
Just as I was ready to announce that there was indeed a square root of ten, Caleb, my fourth grader, jumped in and said, "Yeah, it does."
Jacob then said, "Actually I haven't learned that yet, but if it did have one, it would be between three and four."
Now I was somewhat amazed. Then Jacob asked, "What's one hundred to the hundredth power?"
"Ten thousand," I said (for a split second I thought I was right thinking of one hundred squared).
Then he dropped the bomb when he looked at me inquisitively and said, "Wouldn't there be at least 200 zeros in the answer?"
Saxon works and should be the clear choice for our schools. Please select this option for our school.
Investigations Math Menu
** Most important pages to read (all have value but if you will only read
a few pages make it these)
* Very important