That third bullet reads, "Avoid Any Approach that Continually Reviews Topics without Closure." This finding by the National Mathematics Advisory Panel is from 2008. 2008! And we still have administrators and teachers in many districts fighting to defend spiral math curricula in elementary schools.
Go here to find links to the final report and the reports of the various task groups. For now, I'll limit myself to reading the Report of the Task Group on Conceptual Knowledge and Skills. The group “affirms that Algebra is the gateway to more advanced mathematics and to most postsecondary education.” The report goes on to outline the skill benchmarks of algebra readiness (p. 3-40), skills not mastered using a spiral approach. By the time our school system gets around to implementing a change away from the spiral math program they adopted in 2006, it will be much too late for my kids.
The longer my kids are in school, the more I agree with NYCHold’s Special Advice for parents:
Parents should not assume that the educational system will sufficiently provide for their children's needs, even if their children get good grades in math.
While my children have had some teachers who recognize the deficiencies of spiral math and do their best to mitigate those deficiencies, they just do not have enough time during the school day. With more and more experienced teachers taking retirement packages, I won't rely on teachers who attended schools of education in recent years to do more than parrot the "conceptual understanding" constructivist mantra. The big fourth grade “testing year” is exactly the year that students should be gaining proficiency in long division and learning to understand the relationship between fractions and decimals. That just won’t happen with the math programs that the majority of school systems outside of California and a few other places are using.