Monday, February 08, 2010
TO TAKE A HARDER LOOK AT FUZZY MATH TEXTS
This is a victory for fans of traditional math instruction! A group of citizens filed a lawsuit against the Seattle Public Schools for selecting a "discovery math" curriculum, even though the evidence showed that it increased the racial achievement gap, rather than helped low-income and minority students succeed more in math.
The judge recently ruled that the school board should take another look at the evidence for and against that curriculum. While he stopped short of ordering them to throw it out, he agreed with the citizens that it looked counter-productive to the goal of helping low-income and minority students succeed in math:
"Discovery math" is the style of many, many public school boards these days. It keeps the low-income kids down, and prevents more advantaged kids from achieving as much in math as they could, if they had traditional math instruction.
Wouldn't it be great if school boards would come to their senses, drop-kick "fuzzy math" and get tried-and-true, computation-based math textbooks back in the classroom?
Or do we have to SUE 'em?
Probably somebody with deep pockets will have to sue school boards and administrators who persist in using sub-standard methodologies, when proven ones are available.The threat of a lawsuit might make the administrators, who heavily influence school boards, to get with the proven programs.Obviously, something is badly wrong in Nebraska, with one of the worst racial learning gaps in the nation, and which ranks 35th out of 42 states tested in the Hispanic learing gap also.Post a Comment
Alternatives to costly and divisive lawsuits are charter schools, tuition tax credits, tuition aid funds, vouchers. Public schools, if they had some real competition, would have to shape up or close their doors.