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10 May 2018

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scenes

"A cynical but totally rational explanation for this Left-promoted, government induced travesty is that the CC curriculum will surreptitiously yet reliably stifle the growth of a more numerate and critically thinking electorate"

That strikes me as giving too much credit to the Left for successful central planning and control.

I have to admit, as someone who has been fairly agnostic about K-12 as either a customer or as a business, that it seems to me that a big modern fault is the Leftist religion of pure equality. It's a kind of toxic egalitarianism.

The impression I get is that schools find the need to stay away from rigorous studies since a lot of kids would 'fall behind'. The question of what to do with the bottom decile or quarter is a thing I don't see discussed much, their primary role appears to be to drag down the other kids at this point.

Don't get me wrong, I can be convinced of most anything in terms of pre-college schooling, just make a good point.

Gregory

George, the Mathematics Content Standards for California Public Schools that were first published in '97 are still available at
https://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/mathstandards.pdf

It really isn't about "math teaching"; it was a remedy for the 1992 Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools which specified pedagogy but not the math kids needed to learn. My son entered the 1st grade when the '92 Frameworks inspired curriculum hit, and it took my late wife and I a year to get our son out of the Whole Language/Whole Math universe that was the Grass Valley School District and into the only St.Sensible in town that had, well, sense enough to not follow the fad.

The pedagogy/content split was not an accident; the authors of the Content Standards, mostly mathematics faculty (with PhDs in math) at Stanford and UC Berkeley, did not want to get caught up in the debates over how to present the material; they did want to outline a complete hierarchy of mathematical knowledge that could be followed all the way to enrolling in a Stanford or a UC Berkeley, hitting the ground running. That didn't mean every kid would succeed to that extent but that there was a path for every child walking into a public school in the formerly golden state as a kindergardener and graduate from high school prepared to study math, science or engineering at a great college.

To reiterate... one Phil Daro, who had entered UC Berkeley intent on studying physics but settled for a BA in English, was in charge of drafting the '92 Mathematics Framework which was a disaster... and when a private company was formed to create the Common Core in 2006 the very same Phil Daro was hired to chair the drafting of the CCSS-Mathematics.

Nothing was learned by the failure of the '92 document... true believers just knew they needed more time to show how their methods worked. Well, they had more time and they systematically scrubbed the schools of standardized tests before rolling it out, but it's the same old crap dressed up in a brand new suit.

Gregory

Scenes, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), a group dominated by high school math teachers and math education professors (NOT math professors), generated a document they called the NCTM Standards in 1989.

As an aside, Jaime Escalante, the Bolivian engineer turned California high school math teacher of "Stand and Deliver" fame, made a comment that the NCTM Standards looked like they were written by PE teachers.

George does fall into a common trap on both sides of the debate... this couldn't be a result of people with degrees in math 'n' stuff... it had to have been due to a desire to wreck education ... no, they really think that the traditional methods are gatekeepers to keep minority kids down... a strong back is a terrible thing to waste. This was very powerful to those teaching and administering K-12 who, to this day, don't understand why division by zero isn't defined (in most systems of math) or who never grokked how to rationalize a repeating decimal number, my epiphany in the 5th grade.

Jack Price, a math professor then at CalState Fullerton, gave a talk at Asilomar that my wife Teri attended at my request... before hearing Price, she thought I had my head where the sun didn't shine about her chosen new profession (math teaching) but coming in the door after returning from Monterey's annual shindig she had a message for me... it was worse that even I thought. Price was telling his fans (the room was packed) that Mathematically Correct and the foes of whole math had decided what kids would learn math, and it was kids that looked like us. White.

They really believe that crap, and they came up with these discovery methods to bring everyone up to the standards of white boys and certain honorary white boys, mainly Asian boys and girls. The NCTM Standards describe the Socratic Method, sans a Socrates to keep the discussion focused. The slowing down of the faster kids isn't meant to dumb them down... they really think they'll learn even more by not racing forward with Algebra in the 8th grade or even before... and helping their classmates learn the material deeply so that everyone can be ready to take Algebra I in the 9th or 10th.

George Rebane

Re 'math teaching standards' - I cited the material presented by Evers and Wurman.

Gregory

Checking, "teaching standards" does not appear to appear in the words of Evers and Wurman.

I understand how it's hard for those of us exposed to competent teachers and competent curricula in our years of education to see the difference, but standards for teaching and standards for content are separable and, unfortunately, separated in current education circles.

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