Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pod people

Over at edspresso a prospective teacher has discovered that the pod people have invaded math education:

Math education is in a shambles, starting from the so-called standards put out by the National Council of Mathematics (NCTM) in 1989 and revised in 2000. These standards were then copied by many states that thought they were great. State boards of education paid no mind to the shrieks of horror from mathematicians, simply not believing that the resulting standards took the math out of mathematics in the name of fun, and whose approach for eliminating the achievement gap eliminated the mastery of any math knowledge that matters. The well-intentioned but ill-conceived standards have actually widened the gaps between the rich and the poor by motivating those who can do so to hire tutors for their children, to enroll them in learning centers like Sylvan and Kumon, or to put them in private schools.
Fuzzy math was ostensibly invented to make math "accessible" to what's termed "minorities". But as the writer points out, taking math out of math only widens the achievement gap.

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