Wednesday, July 8, 2009

On the Seattle Schools Blog .. Math Wars
it ain't over yet


Anonymous said...

This might help - maybe not.

But in generalizing I would guess that math reformers say that choosing a textbook from the DOE's list of NSF approved textbooks doesn't matter - its the teacher's approach. On the other hand, the traditionalists say the textbooks are the problem.

I thought it was mean-spirited and cynical of the UW ed dept to mislead readers with a link that says "where's the math". Its not the first time for them.

Watotom ought to rethink who they should invite as their guest speaker at the next retreat - colds have been going around lately.

dan dempsey said...

WaToTom ought to disband.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else seen the slide, I think it originated on Mathematically Sane, that cites a Phi Beta Kappan article as supporting inquiry math? I've tracked it and it's been reproduced wrongly repeatedly and for a while.

It cites an actual Phi Delta Kappan article but it makes it seem like the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society supports inquiry math.

Has anyone ever seen a peer reviewed report supporting inquiry math?

Why do we treat opinion journals as being sufficient evidence of support? If appearing in print is enough support, why not start citing blogs?

One side has repeated quantitative empirical data. The other has anecdotal. nonobjective assertions. Why do we treat them as 2 sides of an issue?

Anonymous said...

Tom O'Brien wrote Parrot Math and another more recent article both for PDK. O'Brien uses PDK as an AKA. He was submitting letters to some newspaper in Oregon (I'd have to look it up in my notes) during their math adoptions last Winter. He was not convincing enough to decide the board's vote.

Anonymous said...

PDK is emeritus, pontificates, and self-references himself - definitely reform, clodhopper mascot (golden's rational math clone).

Anonymous said...

UW Applied Math Department did a survey giving tacit approval on the math reform textbooks. I can reference it for you if you like.

Anonymous said...

is the cite. Does anyone think it's an accident that the article keeps saying it appeared in Phi Beta Kappan? It's an attempt to bolster its credibility and offer the deniability of a misprint at the same time.

Dan - Have you ever done a story on the Mathematically Sane site and the story and funding behind it?

Anonymous said...

Tom O'Brien (University of Illinois) is also Professor Tobbs and his articles have appeared in PDK. Parrot Math and Real Math are two examples. PDK says they don't have a position on the Math War.

You will find many of these authors use pseudonames in their writings and they often submit their opinions into local newspapers using AKAs or posing as retired teachers, especially during debates over textbook adoptions.

The example I've encountered was recognizing a 'consultant' in 'drag' addressing a school board meeting. He was pretty direct and open about his involvement. Told me it was none of my business.

They also embed codes into their writing to let informed readers know which side of a fence they are standing. In RP's writings you will see 'compass' used - referring to Compass Group.

An example - A sample of a WASL test question posted in PA contained the name of the McGraw Hill consultant embedded into the problem. He was referring to himself as the author of the problem.

Anonymous said...

At there is a ppt comparing holt and discovering algebra. In the notes for DA - the authors make up a rule that identifies DA as the textbook - "Just Undo it".

Notice the similarity to Nike's slogan - "Just do it" and if you include teenease - 'Just do it' has obvious other connotations.

One would have to ask - Why should this appear in a math textbook? There's no rational answer.

This is a problem that has not been addressed by critics - these are not really rules, but linguistic markers that help identify what textbooks students have been taught with and furthermore very difficult for learners to decipher. Undo has a variety of meanings that depend on the problem.

dan dempsey said...

Nope... No articles on Mathematically sane.

I think Geary and Sweller adequately explain the history and the psychological underpinnings of Reform Math. Now all it takes is the closing of the NSF checkbook to hasten the demise of crap math. Same flawed thinking that produced "Whole Language" brought "Reform Math".

Can rational thought overcome corporate interests?
Not to mention mindless allegiance to "Reform Math Club".

Anonymous said...

The webmaster for Mathematically Sane is W. Gary Martin, a math ed prof at Auburn and PI of the East Alabama MSP.

He was the NCTM Project Director of the 2000 "Standards" rewrite -PSSM.

In 2001 he gave an assignment in his math ed graduate course asking his students to determine how effective the Mathematically Sane website would be in countering the points made at the Mathematically Correct website?

The assignment asked how useful could the MS be to the debate?

How could it be improved?

This assignment occurred several weeks before there was any public announcement that the MS site was being established.

MS was designed to be a citable antidote to the data available from Mathematically Correct's website.

It was established to be a propaganda tool for reform math.

Anonymous said...

Research Companion to NCTM's Standards, edited by Jeremy Kilpatrick, W. Gary Martin, and Deborah Schifter. Reston Virginia: National Council of teachers of Mathematics, 2003

Anonymous said...

Hart, Eric W. and W. Gary Martin. “Standards for High School Mathematics: Why, What, How?” (2008, in press). Mathematics Teacher, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Eric Hart is at the Mahararishi University, IN.

Anonymous said...

This is another illuminating article wrt Hart, Martin, and Keller. Notice how the ideas parallel OSPI's wellness-grant (5 step process) This is called self-help and its costing taxpayers millions. Pure Majarishi totalitarian gibberish. You only have to enter a contract with the devil for a billion years.

Illuminating NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.

by Brian A. Keller , W. Gary Martin , Eric W. Hart

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Illuminations Project provides electronic resources to illuminate the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for all students. This paper describes the types of resources that are available and discusses how the Principles and Standards document has guided work on the project. Organized around the six principles, this paper provides a vehicle for further discussion of the vision put forth in the Principles and Standards.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' (NCTM) Illuminations Project is designed to illuminate the new vision for school mathematics put forth in the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000). Illuminations is a companion to the e-Standards project in which the Principles and Standards was produced in a web- and CD-based format. Illuminations is also part of the MarcoPolo Internet education partnership (http://, a consortium of seven professional organizations, with funding from the WorldCom Foundation. The main goal of Illuminations is to provide online resources to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for all students. Other goals include providing professional development for teachers and rich classroom materials for students.

Anonymous said...

Instead of Dinotopia, its Edudopia.