Friday, April 24, 2009

Cold Front Moves Through Hell

Think about the content of following article at your own risk .....
Remember how the Federal Government helped us out with home mortgage lending and other aspects of finance ....
I wonder who will be playing the part of Christopher Dodd, Barney Frank, and the Bush administration in the formation of common guidelines?

Thought it would never happen? It’s not freezing over yet, but the temperature is falling fast.

Representatives from 37 states are meeting in Chicago today, Edweek reports, for “what organizers hope will be a first, concrete step toward common guidelines in mathematics and English-language arts.” Michele McNeil has the scoop:

The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers—the Washington-based groups that are co-sponsoring the meeting—want to build a prototype of high school graduation standards by summer, and grade-by-grade academic standards in math and language arts by the end of the year. The undertaking would start with rigorous math and language arts standards that are aligned with college- and career-ready expectations and made available for states to adopt voluntarily. Following the meeting states ready to support common standards are to be asked to put their commitment in writing within weeks.


High School graduation does not mean college ready nor should it. This has never been the case nor should it be.

We may have the opportunity to watch the drop out rate soar as people with little to no knowledge of reality make rules for others. Focus on high school graduation requirements and helping schools improve educational practices for all students could well turn out to be close to mutually exclusive directions.

I would much rather see these folks immediately put energy into fixing NCLB.


Anonymous said...

I like this for a t-shirt
"I'm an everyday math graduate - no math, no career, no future."

If you think mathematicians aren't frosted by math hype - you can see how history gets rewritten everyday in the US:

The Ravages of the New Math
Posted: Apr 14, 2009 8:19 PM

The April/May 2009 issue of MAA FOCUS contains an article by John Loase, "How to Excel at Math Transformation," which is available at:

The article discusses five suggestions for improving remedial efforts for the ever-increasing numbers of pseudo-educated students.

To me, the following information in the first paragraph is what makes this article truly priceless.

"I started teaching math 41 years ago in an economically disadvantaged junior high school. On day one I was given the syllabus--adding and reducing fractions by prime factorization, least common multiples, an axiomatic approach to prove why the product of two negatives was positive. As most of my eighth grade class did not know the times table, the curriculum was sheer madness."

It is unfortunate that Loase does not point out that this "sheer madness" and the pseudo-education of his students reflected the devastating impact of the "new math," which demolished the traditional mathematics curriculum in the U.S. All subsequent "reforms" have also been abject failures.

I started eighth grade 48 years ago in the factory city of Everett, MA. We were packed like sardines in a classroom of about 40 students. I cannot believe that a single student in my class did not know the multiplication table. Some of my reminiscences about our teacher Mr. Hogan are at:

Anonymous said...

NCLB was never intended to improve school. It is a pressure cooker, designed to ratchet up reform. The purpose of reform is to attack teacher unions and poor communities. The government is practicing a social injustice that parallels apartheid.

Schools that are making their AYP now take students from low performing schools with a proviso that they have to be earning a 2.0GPA. How can this be taken seriously? NCLB is simply moving children around and that's going to increase the student failure rate. Schools are dumping failing students into non-academic programs.

The government is turning communities upside down to raise test scores? and providing poor materials for instructing students. To add insult, these test scores cannot even be used for making appropriate comparisons. Yet reformers carry on with their business as though what they did mattered. It is a virulent form of corrupt, amoral socio-parasitism.

Their should be limits set for schools - especially alternative programs. Teachers should not outnumber the students and graduation rates should be greater than 6%.

Where is the standard for a good and wise governent?