Math Ed Forum Meeting Minutes
Saturday, January 24, 1998
Ed Barbeau, Bill Allen, Maggie Cheverie, Don Curran, Judy Crompton,
Shirley Dalrymple, Don Dawson, Gordon Dowsley, Lynda Graham, Gila Hanna,
Bill Higginson, Myrna Ingalls, John Kezys, George Knill, Bill Langford,
Neal Madras, Ken Marchant, Doug McDougall, Joan Wick Pelletier, Donald
Rousson, Jeff Shifrin, Peter Taylor, Cheryl Turner, Marg Warren, Mike
Wierzba, David Zimmer
Gary Flewelling, Steve Halperin, Brendan Kelly, Mary Lou Kestell, Eric
Muller, Peter Saarimaki, Ron Scoins
1. Welcome and Introductions
Don Dawson welcomed returning and new members to the Forum. Each member
2. Announcements: Bill Langford
· MathCamp Canada/USA will be held in Toronto, July-August 1998. This
is aimed at top math students, at the high school level. It will be
co-hosted by the Fields Institute.
· A Fields/Nortel Speaker will visit selected high schools this March,
to advise students of exciting career opportunities in Canadian high-tech
industries such as Nortel, and the importance of high school mathematics
and science to these careers. This is a pilot project which may expand
in future years.
· MathFest'98, a major conference on post-secondary mathematics education,
will be in Toronto this year, July 16-18 at Ryerson University.
· The Note/Minutes of the Forum Meeting of November 22, 1997 were accepted.
3. Presentation re: Secondary RFP by Myrna Ingalls - chair of RFP proposal
· Myrna and Judy Crompton will attend the MET Bidder's Meeting on Monday,
January 26, 1998
· Request For Proposal pages can be shared only for purposes of bidding
so cannot be shared outside of this group
Myrna drew attention to the following points in the RFP
· Introduction - Notice that the document will no longer be called a
guideline but rather a Policy Statement
· group decided that this state i.e. policy stage is the stage that
we should be involved in since all other stages i.e. profiles must be
consistent with the policy
· Dave Zimmer asked if profiles will be policy. Myrna responded that
at this point we do not think so
· Background & Expert Paper - will be shared if we get the bid, Synthesis
paper will be ready by the time the bid is awarded
There followed a point-by-point discussion of the RFP.
3.0 Project Scope
3.1.1Provisions For Cooperative Curriculum Development With A French-Language
Team Maybe should ask the question on Monday - Would the Ministry consider
a bid from a joint English-French team to support collaborative development
of the Math Curriculum
3.2 Table of Contents For the Secondary Curriculum Policy Document for
· Are half credits, part credits allowed or will they all be full courses?
· Who is going to decide exactly what the 15 courses will be? Has this
already been decided? - unclear
· Is there any need to pay attention to overlaps with other subjects
i.e. business - probably some need especially to interdisciplinary requirements
3.3 Curriculum Development Team
· Note that Expert Panel, Background and Synthesis paper people cannot
be writers - hope that these people will be part of a Review team formed
by the Ministry
· Is it possible for one person to satisfy more than one of the requirements
· None of the requirements for team makeup are a surprise
· criteria for business/workplace writers interesting - seems to indicate
that non post-secondary focus is very important - some concern about
how easy these people will be to find
· noted that many of the descriptions seem to narrow the field to Ontario
18.104.22.168 Mandatory Criteria For Professional Writer
· would seem that publishing companies would be a good place to look
· authors for textbooks would be another avenue to pursue
4.0 Specifications For Deliverables
· attention drawn to timelines on page 18
· First deliverable date necessary in order to give info to secondary
schools for course calendars for September 99
· Second deliverable - date not really what is seems because there is
a three week period given to the Ministry to prepare feedback. Thus
it would be hard to work on some parts of the 2nd deliverable until
that feedback is received - suggestion made that if ongoing liason with
Ministry then it really shouldn't need to be a wait for feedback situation
· IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT ALL INQUIRIES RE: RFP MUST BE SUBMITTED IN
WRITING BY MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 1998
· this is to ensure consistent information for all bidders - i.e. if
question asked orally - all bidders need to have both the question and
the response in writing so that consistency of information is ensured
8.0 Selection/Evaluation Criteria
· note that at phase 4 the contract will be given to the lowest bidder
· What happens if none meets the 80% criteria? They will either remark
it or buy curriculum from outside - better make sure an Ontario bid
makes the 80% criteria
6.0 Proposal Requirements
· concern re: o. declaration of absence of any existing or potential
conflict of interest, actual or perceived - How does this statement
impact on the involvement of authors, editors for publishers? - BIG
difference between actual & perceived
· What are the confidentiality requirements?? Can information be shared
throughout the process? This impacts who could be perceived as having
unfair advantage due to involvement on this team.
Should probably put these and other questions that have arisen i.e.
conflict of interest in writing to the Ministry.
Who will act as proponent?
The Fields Institute probably cannot do this alone. Possibly a university,
a school board, a consortium of publishers, OSSTF. If Fields goes into
a joint venture with one of these, then are there certain things that
Fields will say must be there? Or will we just sit back and let one
of these groups take over?
It would seem that the main contribution of the proponent would be their
support in terms of financial and reputation backing.
Fields /University Partnership - Would it be perceived that there was
too much of a university focus. Waterloo would put some conditions on
this - i.e. 10%, secrecy, timeline would be three of their concerns
and they would probably want to handle these by writing a letter from
the president to the Ministry.
Can the proponent be a Consortium?
Should School Boards be pursued?
Judy Crompton will approach the Publisher's Council.
Bill Langford and Don Dawson will approach Nortel.
Mike Wierzba will approach the Toronto Board and possibly others
One model might be some form of a limited partnership.
The other partner(s) needs to be somebody that we think provides some
kind of a moral partnership, as well as financial.
Some concern raised about the perception of ONE university partner only.
It might be a really good idea to bring in another university or another
organization within an university into it.
What do we say if everyone says yes or if everyone says no? yes is a
good thing - we have a bigger, stronger partnership. If everyone says
no - problematic.
Still need to organize some legal entity in the next few weeks. Waterloo
seems ok with organizing the funds. A legal structure can be done fairly
easily according to the lawyer Ken. Ask them for some up front money
and some ongoing commitment.
Writing a curriculum which is actually going to be very innovative -
maybe something very different than what the government is expecting.
- Important to have a partner with some moral clout - Nortel seems to
have a nice ring. If we produce a curriculum which doesn't necessarily
have all of the skills listed which this government might see as important
then having a name of a company like Nortel might be very important.
There probably should be a hierarchy as to who we should approach first
- having one or limited partners might be simpler than a huge number.
There is an implementation issue which should be considered too.
Is there a credibility problem with Nortel or publishers as the partner
due to the privatization issue? This may not ring well with teachers
although it may ring very well with the current government.
The Fields Institute Mathematics Education Forum in partnership with:
is probably the way to go.
We are the best group to write the document but we need financial backing.
Could the Fields send a letter to all of the organizations represented
at the Fields asking them for Financial and/or moral backing? Yes.
Arrange a time when each of those organizations who agree to support
us can come to a meeting/ presentation.
There may be problems with Board releasing teachers if they are not
These people will need a brief summary of who the Fields is , what the
project is, what this group intends to do in response to the RFP and
what we are asking them to do.
The 10% financial commitment may in fact be a lot more up front because
of the way that the Ministry is reimbursing funds
The Fields Institute brings together the leaders in mathematics education
from the Province of Ontario. Summarize the history of both the Fields
and its members in curriculum development initiatives in the Province
in the past. I.e. background paper, expert paper, OAME/OMCA contribution
to the writing of the 1-8 curriculum.
We should pursue other corporations for financial backers - i.e. Hewlett
Packard, IBM, etc.
It seems that there needs to be a person who can take on the responsibility
of seeking financial backing. Don Dawson, Bill Langford, and Doug McDougall
will take on responsibility for this. They will solicit input as to
possible people to approach through e-mail. They will try to seek backing
from a diverse group of companies, groups.
· Who will decide whether or not the deliverables are acceptable?
We hope that associations, expert panel people will be involved. Maybe
business, community people.
· What will be the feedback process from MET to the writing team?
· Is it possible to meet these timelines?
Concern about this one but yes we will meet the timelines.
· How much collaboration with secondary teachers is really possible?
Probably good idea to build this consultation into the process through
making those people part of the advisor group.
· Will we be ready to put forward our view of the curriculum by February
Next Meeting of The Fields Institute Forum will be on Tuesday, February
17 at 5 p.m. The purpose of this meeting will be for the Proposal Writing
Team to share their progress. Also, this will be the last chance for
Forum members to provide input to the RFP bid.