Friday, October 31, 2008

A Message from Ed, Sudhakar, and Dan

Ed writes the following:

> Math Education is only political. We have been formally teaching mathematics since > the temple schools of the First Dynasty, if not before. While I do believe there
> are some issues with learning disabilities, the vast majority of children are
> perfectly normal and we know, and have long known, everything there is to know
> about teaching mathematics to young children.
>
> Need I add that this long march of history has included a few intellectual
> giants? It is simply laughable to think that some know-nothing at a "school
> of education" has some deep insight that will revolutionize the practice.
> Rather, the Ed School Ayatollahs have something else in mind, some other
> agenda, and effective math instruction plainly is not a part of that. That
> William Ayers surfaces as an ed school professor speaks volumes in this
> regard.
>
> The only socially relevant education question is, "Who are these
> educationists and how do we get them out of our lives?" And that is an
> entirely political question.
>
> Ed

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As Sudhakar said:

In India they've been teaching math for thosands of years. They use what works and discard what does not in this incremental improvement process.

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I sure hope the USA figures out that the Better Idea in Math ED from the ED Schools is not working (a decade of data and TIMSS and PISA results are clear as are math remediation rates after high school graduation) . The National Math Advisory Panel has figured this out, but with Jeanne Century as an Obama education advisor don't expect the obvious to be carried out should Sen. Obama get elected.

Dan

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

How did "Where's the Math" meeting go? Any new information develop?

T^2

Sudhakar said...

When it comes to education, I am convinced that the buttons on the US President's desk are not connected to anything. The fact that every president since the 1960s has proclaimed that he would make America #1 in education, and exactly the opposite has happened, is a glaring example. The current administration had a great math advocate in Lynn Chaney, the wife of the esteemed Veep who helped convince the American public of WMDs in Iraq, but could not make a dent in the national trend towards fuzzy math. States and districts are chartered with majority of the funding and delivering of education, and I feel that is where the focus needs to be. Everywhere change has happened, for example in California, Massachusetts and Indiana, people of the states, in collaboration with University professors of mathematics (NOT math education, mind you), had to start grass roots movements and change state laws and standards. Focusing on national politics while the local politicians are swindling our children of a world class math education is a needless distraction in my mind.