Thursday, April 16, 2009

Is this a Ponzie Scheme?
...................NSF or Bernie Madoff?

As strange as the Seattle Schools definition of math is:
Mathematics is the language and science of patterns and connections. Learning and doing mathematics are active processes in which students construct meaning through exploration and inquiry of challenging problems.
Do NOT expect it to change anytime soon ..... an explanation follows.

Follow the Money here:

In regard to the development of reform math text books that are inquiry and exploration oriented:

The NSF provides the Universities with grants to develop materials (A few years ago the total was over 80 million bucks and rising). A university like Michigan State that developed Connected Math or Western Michigan that developed Core-Plus is then free to sell these materials to a publisher and put those dollars in the University back pocket.
Everyday Math and UCSMP make a k-12 combo for University of Chicago.

Other universities apply for NSF grants aimed at professional development of teachers in using these materials.

How could we expect Universities to do much else but support these materials whether they worked or not with a $$$ deal like the above.

We are now well into if not through the second decade of this plan. The University budgets have benefited but the students have not.

Ruth Parker’s MEC is another beneficiary of NSF funds.

The Mathematics Education Collaborative (MEC), under the leadership of Ruth Parker and Patty Lofgren, recognizes the critical need to improve mathematics education for every learner.

MEC works in partnership with schools and communities, providing powerful mathematics workshops for parents, teachers, administrators, business and community leaders, higher education faculty and others. MEC’s leadership development component builds capacity to implement and sustain continuous mathematics improvement.

The data indicates that in regard to NSF reform math:
It has not resulted in a sustained continuous mathematics improvement.
PISA and TIMSS reveal a continued math decline for much of the lifespan of this push toward NSF materials. It seems the futher the use of these materials spread the worse our USA results. {Dr Bergeson pushed WA Math deep into reform math the result was NOT anything close to a continual improvement. UW math placement scores declined and Dr Bergeson lost in Nov 2008 accompanied by lots of frustration about WA math results and direction.}

Japan, which changes their standards every ten years, even changed their standards to be more Reform like in 2002. The results from this were so bad that they are now going back to 1992 standards.

For Math Education team USA it seems the $$$$ engine of the NSF is too big to change direction, regardless of the results.

The losers in this Ponzie Scheme are the kids and most of those citizens who love mathematics (don't forget the math crippled nation that will need to replace NASA scientists with native born .. national defense security issues etc.). It seems that only a strong parental uprising will stop this decline, but the NSF does not fund the parents.

This has become more about parents that would like their children to have a chance at Science, Engineering, Technology, Mathematics success at the collegiate level and school districts that refuse to use the math materials that will provide students with a k-12 foundation for that success.

Bobby Knight:
Many have the will to win,
Few have the will to prepare to win.

Many school districts have little idea what proper math preparation for collegiate success looks like.

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