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Gather Support

Gather Evidence

Before adopting CMP, school personnel should take time to gather evidence in the following ways:

  • Seek reviews of research that might answer the question, "Why do we want to change? What more do we want for our students that the current textbooks do not provide?"
  • Seek reviews of research that might answer the question, "Why do we want to change? What more do we want for our students that the current textbooks do not provide?"
  • Seek reviews of research that might guide evaluation of textbooks, rather than rely solely on the data provided by the publisher. "What are we seeking in a new text, and how can we find helpful and reliable information?"
  • Know how middle school students in your district are performing on state or local assessments. Ask teachers to provide input into where they see strengths or weaknesses in the current curriculum materials. Involve a parent group in reviewing the evidence and establishing goals. "Are there particular areas of strength or weakness?"
  • Seek, or request from the publisher, data describing the effectiveness of CMP or any other curricula under consideration. "Was the curriculum used in a district like ours?"
  • Create an evaluation plan for measuring student achievement. Plan to collect baseline data the year before implementation. "What is our goal for student achievement? What can we realistically expect? How will we evaluate student achievement over the long run?"
  • Seek information about the preparation and confidence level of teachers in the district. "What support is there for teachers either in the textbook itself or from other sources?"

Plan for Support

After gathering evidence, school personnel should garner administrative and community support.

  • Superintendents, principals, and other administrators as well as school boards and parents must have access to clear information about the CMP materials. The administration and staff need a well-developed strategy for providing the mechanisms through which such information is made available to the school board and to parents and kept updated.
  • Familiarize principals and other administrators with CMP. They should know the rationale for the change in curricular emphasis and how CMP will better meet the needs of students.
  • Work with parents to gain support. Some districts have found that a parent/community advisory group is helpful. Involving parents during the conceptualization of the implementation can avoid misunderstandings later.
  • Work with teachers to gain support. Request and respect input from all teachers.

Address Questions

CMP supporters should be prepared to address the following questions.

  • How does CMP "fit" with district and state frameworks? CMP supporters should be ready with correlations of curriculum goals with local and state requirements and assessment instruments.
  • How does CMP handle basic skills? The answer to this question, evidence of the impact of the curriculum on students' basic skills, is readily available. The results of independent research consistently show that CMP students do as well as, or better than, non-CMP students on tests of basic skills. And CMP students outperform non-CMP students on tests of problem-solving ability, conceptual understanding, and proportional reasoning. For more information on these studies, see Connected Mathematics Project 3 (CMP3), Grades 6-8.
  • Will CMP be used in all grades (6-8), with all levels of students? Will students with learning difficulties or reading difficulties find it too difficult? See the section called A Curriculum for All Students in this Guide.
  • If algebra is offered as a separate course in middle school, will CMP be used in this course? If so, how does CMP support the development of algebra concepts and skills? Experiences of other schools that are successfully using CMP in 6-8, including for an eighth-grade algebra class, can be a powerful resource.
  • How will students make the transition from CMP to high school? Who should be involved in making a transition plan?
  • Are students coming out of our K-5 ready for CMP? Should we involve elementary teachers in making a transition plan from upper elementary to CMP?