Wednesday, December 31, 2008

First Things First

Many parents across the country are shocked to find that their child is not prepared for college-level coursework in any area that would require a strong math background. They are left picking up the tab for mediocre K-12 math programs, and then again in college because it takes 6+ years to complete a 4-year degree when they place into remedial math courses.

One of the first things that President-Elect Obama should do when he takes the oath of office is instruct both Inspector Generals of the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation to thoroughly investigate entry-level math placement for incoming college freshmen, the names of the schools that they attended, and the names of the math programs that those schools used while the child was attending.
It's the right thing to do and it would definitely demonstrate to tax-payers that he is ready to embrace "change that we can believe in" Let's see "transparency and accountability" come to life in 2009!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

LETTER TO PARENTS

THANK YOU PROFESSOR WILSON!!

So many mathematicians have given their
honest opinions of math programs over the years... We truly appreciate all of their efforts!!

Professor Wilson's
letter, posted yesterday in the Frederick News, is aimed to inform parents of the ill-effects of TERC.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Over 8 Years Later... (and counting...)

Scroll down on this link to read the full
Testimony of David Klein (April 2000) regarding the composition of the "Expert Panel" that brought us our "exemplary" and "promising" math programs which were formally opposed by so many mathematicians in the Letter to Richard Riley.
Here's an excerpt:

I quote from the November 15 and 16, 1996 minutes of the second meeting of the Expert Panel.

"Some members expressed their concern about serving as chair, because their organizations develop products that may be reviewed by the panel, and they were concerned about conflict of interest. The panel agreed that if conflict of interest were an issue, it would not matter whether one served as chair or simply as a member. The panel agreed that whoever is panel chair ought to be able to act independently of his or her own interests."

I urge the distinguished members of the Appropriations Committee to investigate the possibility of conflict of interest within the Expert Panel.

I also urge the distinguished members of this committee not to allocate funds to promote mathematics programs premised on the misguided notion that women and minority groups need a different and inferior kind of mathematics.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fight the Good Fight

From the Canadian band Triumph

Fight the Good Fight!
(lyrics here)


Stacy,
Thanks for reminding me of this song.

Prophetic!!

From It's Action Time

"Clearly, there is a broken link between our K-12 system and its view of 21st century jobs, and our university system and its view of 21st century jobs. I will continue to assert that this is one broken link that we cannot afford to have. If it is not obvious now, it will be obvious a few more years into the greatest economic downturn since the last great depression."

and

"I will maintain that only if we act like our lives depend on rectifying the current sorry state of math and science education can we redeem ourselves. One thing that we appear to be good at, is to come together at a time of crisis and commit to a solution that leads to common good. My hope is that most people who read this can make this connection, and drive changes in their schools and communities."

Friday, December 5, 2008

Parents ARE Finding Their Voices

Why American Kids Aren't Learning Math
Full Post Here
(Beautifully written by Professor Ralph A. Raimi)

Parents across the country, now with the support of scientists and mathematicians ... have also been finding their voices.

The real contest in ... hundreds of school districts across the country - is between mathematics and non-mathematics, between academic content and childish time-wasting, between what children can learn and what the present curriculum is pretending to have them "develop." A good mathematics program takes advantage of the mathematical discoveries of thousands of years of civilized effort, while [some would have] them counting with sticks, starting history all over again.

The systems of decimal and fraction notation are marvels of compressed information, intellectual advances that Euclid did not have available. Arithmetic is not trivial mathematics, and it certainly will not be "discovered" by school children. It must be taught, and practiced.

Arithmetic is not "a list of formulas to memorize"; its algorithms, such as "long division" and "invert and multiply," are not made obsolete by hand calculators. They are not merely "ways to get answers"; their understanding is basic to the understanding (not the "memorization") of more advanced mathematics such as is used in the daily work of electricians and machinists - among many, many others, including of course college mathematics and the scientific professions.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Show Me" (us) The Money!

(from a Missouri tax-payer!)


EVERY TAX-PAYER SHOULD READ DAN DEMPSEY'S POST

at "Math Underground"
What is NSF possibly thinking? My Thoughts on PD^3

The education establishment has cornered the market on MATH education research and programs. We are paying big bucks to produce our national math crisis!

NSF--PLEASE stop the nonsense and let real mathematicians get this country back on track!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NSF Funding for K-12 Math Programs

School math books, nonsense, and the National Science Foundation
http://www.csun.edu/~vcmth00m/nsf.html

On Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness: Judging the Quality of K-12 Mathematics Evaluations, Committee for a Review of the Evaluation Data on the Effectiveness of NSF-Supported and Commercially Generated Mathematics Curriculum Materials
http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309092426

That is an "and" I'm reading, right?

Exactly when were tax-payers recruited as investors?

Missouri State Board of Education

I hope that Missouri's State Board of Education has read the IMPORTANT INFORMATION available at: http://missourimath.org/

If we want our children to be prepared for college level study, we need to follow the advice of the people who know mathematics. Mathematics professors know what is needed for students to experience success at higher levels of study.

When children are not provided the opportunity to learn basic concepts needed for future success, they (and their parents) experience unnecessary frustration and possible failure in reaching their personal goals.

I sincerely appreciate the time that these reviewers have generously given to analyze Missouri's document. Through their substantial time committment, they have demonstrated they truly care about Missouri's students!

Parents and teachers throughout the state need to stand up and say "no" to mediocre math standards and assessments. Read these reviews for yourself, and let our State Board of Education know what you think.

The BOE has an opportunity to lead the way in improving our math standards by rejecting the current draft K-12 math document and allowing college and university math faculty to steer us back on course - preparing K-12 students for success in college.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Show Me State

What's happening with Missouri's K-12 Math Standards?

Check out: missourimath.org

The Sept 20 entry is especially disturbing:
"Since I had already pointed out these issues in my original invited review of these standards, I can only assume that the authors are consciously determined to deprive Missouri students of the opportunity to learn this more and more vital part of elementary mathematics well enough to be able to realistically major in technical areas at the university level."

Check out: Missouri's Algebra I End of Course Exam

Does this look like Algebra I to you?
If you're not sure, ask an Algebra II teacher.

Is this really a problem? Ask a college math professor how many in-coming freshmen are placing into remedial math courses. Ask their opinion of our math standards.




Saturday, November 1, 2008

Leading Us Astray

If you've read the misleading Ed Week article
"Where has all the knowledge Gone?" http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/10/08/07boaler_ep.h28.html?tmp=82481106

you should also read this "Close Examination..."
ftp://math.stanford.edu/pub/papers/milgram/combined-evaluations-version3.pdf

It's time for Americans to stop letting this "research" hurt our children and insist that schools teach the "Major Topics of School Algebra" outlined in the NMP report.

What can you do to improve math education in your area?

1) Compare your state's math standards, learning goals and/or assessments to the list of "Major Topics of School Algebra."
2) Find out how many college freshmen are placing into remedial math courses. Has that percentage increased with the use of "reform" materials in the schools?
3) Express your concerns to local school boards, state representatives, and the state department of education.

Sunday, October 5, 2008