May 25, 2020

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 introduced her/himself.

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 team
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 Mathematics
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 - yes
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 educators 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

5.0 Inquiries
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 partners
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 25?

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.