[ProgressiveEd] More Updates: Sample Waiver/Request

[email protected] [email protected]
Sat, 1 Mar 2003 13:59:01 EST

Dear friends,
I'm sending a copy of a template used by a group of high schools to apply for 
the math waiver.  It is specific to the work of those schools but may provide 
useful ideas for you.  Please feel free to take ideas from it.  Below the 
sample is a request.  Later today, I will be sending the re-worked letter we 
will send to the Department of Education as an explanation of PENNY's 
position and support for individual schools' request for waivers.  Please 
respond with suggestions for changes as soon as you can.  Thank you.  Bruce 
College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) is a four-year secondary school 
curriculum which integrates algebra and geometry content with conceptual 
understanding and problem-solving skills.  It is consistent with the NCTM 
standards which suggest that real-life problems be used to show students that 
the mathematical concepts they are learning will be used after they leave the 
classroom.  This rigorous program concentrates on seven core ideas which are 
introduced, practiced, revisited and mastered.  Concepts are developed 
through guided instruction, individual team work, tactile and kinesthetic 
activities, data collection, class work and homework.  CPM has been 
designated an exemplary mathematics program by the United States Department 
of Education.
As one of the Bronx New Century High Schools which opened in September, this 
is the first year we have used the program.  We have found CPM to be a 
thoughtful, rigorous mathematics program which engages young people as they 
never have been before.  We have found it to be particularly effective for 
the great majority of our students who have come to us with little 
mathematical understanding and few skills.  As a new small high school which 
chose the CPM program after great consideration, we need the opportunity to 
maintain our continuity of instruction.  We are confident that our students 
will do remarkably well on the Math A Regents examination and will develop a 
deep understanding of the importance and value of mathematics.  We ask that 
you continue to demonstrate the faith in our commitment, understanding, and 
abilities which was implicit in our choice as a New Century High School.  We 
fully accept the need to be accountable for the success of our students.
Since CPM is new to New York City, we do not have data from city or state 
examinations to demonstrate its effectiveness.  At our school in the first 
semester ____% of students passed the first term of Math A.
In California, there is data which shows that for five years on the SAT 9 
examination, CPM schools have been “notably above the state average NPR” in 
grades 9, 10 and 11 (see www.cpm.org/info/).
In a study conducted by the University of California, Davis involving more 
than 30,000 students, it was determined “with great certainty that CPM has 
been a successful alternative to traditional mathematics curricula.  In 
general CPM helps all students equally, with a slight edge going to students 
at the lower end of the spectrum.  Equally important, both genders and 
students of all ethnic groups showed marked improvement.”
My request:  Please send me the name of your school if you are sending in 
your request for a waiver.  We want to be able to provide a complete list of 
schools with the cover letter.  Thank you.  Bruce Kanze