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View Full Version : Model for "No Child Left Behind" was a farce


Nightwish
05-17-2006, 10:43 PM
I don't know if this has been discussed before, but I just stumbled across it while I was googling for GoChief's question about Bush passing algebra. The article is from 2004, so it's a couple years old. It seems that the Houston school district that Bush praised for their low dropout rates and used for his model for "No Child Left Behind," was cooking their books to create those rates.

Here's a snippet, you can find the rest of the article http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/06/60II/main591676.shtml (http://<a href=)" target="_blank">here.
And it all came to light when one assistant principal took a close look at his school’s phenomenally low dropout rates – and found that they were just too good to be true.
<HR width="50%">
“I was shocked. I said, ‘How can that be,’” says Robert Kimball, an assistant principal at Sharpstown High School, on Houston’s West Side. His school claimed that no students – not a single one – had dropped out in 2001-2002.

But that’s not what Kimball saw: “I had been at the high school for three years, and I had seen many, many students, several hundred a year, go out the door. And I knew that they were quitting. They told me they were quitting.”


.....

All in all, 463 kids left Sharpstown High School that year, for a variety of reasons. The school reported zero dropouts, but dozens of the students did just that. School officials hid that fact by classifying, or coding, them as leaving for acceptable reasons: transferring to another school, or returning to their native country.

“That’s how you get to zero dropouts. By assigning codes that say, ‘Well, this student, you know, went to another school. He did this or that.’ And basically, all 463 students disappeared. And the school reported zero dropouts for the year,” says Kimball. “They were not counted as dropouts, so the school had an outstanding record.”

Sharpstown High wasn’t the only “outstanding” school. The Houston school district reported a citywide dropout rate of 1.5 percent. But educators and experts 60 Minutes checked with put Houston’s true dropout rate somewhere between 25 and 50 percent.

“But the teachers didn’t believe it. They knew it was cooking the books. They told me that. Parents told me that,” says Kimball. “The superintendent of schools would make the public believe it was one school. But it is in the system, it is in all of Houston.”

jAZ
05-17-2006, 10:48 PM
That's so shocking! Fraud and baseless rhetoric used to advance the GOP agenda? O! M! G!

:p

Boozer
05-17-2006, 11:04 PM
I'm shocked, SHOCKED!,that the "Photo-Op Administration" would stoop to such depths.

Nightwish
05-17-2006, 11:17 PM
Well, to be fair, I don't think the admin had anything to do with it, but when it came time to seize a poster opportunity, they sure didn't ask many questions.

BucEyedPea
05-17-2006, 11:18 PM
Wasn't it written with Ted Kennedy too?

Politics, gov't...neither of them can improve education.

Nightwish
05-17-2006, 11:24 PM
Wasn't it written with Ted Kennedy too?Maybe, but did he prop up the Houston school district as the model of how all schools should be?Politics, gov't...neither of them can improve education.Agreed. But I don't think completiely privatizing schools is the answer either. There needs to be some kind of standard preserved, and some authority to oversee it. Otherwise, what's to stop schools from teaching that Creationism is science, or that the Holocaust never happened, or whatever happens to fit the political agenda of whoever happens to be in charge of that particular school. I realize it is already that way to a degree, and that's a problem, but without some kind of central authority to maintain standards, it will be that way to a much greater degree. Of course, that's a whole nother topic.

Boozer
05-17-2006, 11:26 PM
Wasn't it written with Ted Kennedy too?

Politics, gov't...neither of them can improve education.

On a related note...why are people such fans of vouchers? Why would this work any better than Medicare/Medicaid (both essentially voucher systems)?

Nightwish
05-17-2006, 11:30 PM
On a related note...why are people such fans of vouchers? Why would this work any better than Medicare/Medicaid (both essentially voucher systems)?
It would help some smaller schools with higher teaching standards, at least in the short term, until they began to get overfilled and the student-teacher ratio became unmanageable to the point that they became a carbon copy of the larger, urban schools that would be hurt by vouchers.

Reaper16
05-17-2006, 11:33 PM
Screw the model, the bill itself is a giant farce.

But this is kind of funny, and totally unsurprising.

BucEyedPea
05-17-2006, 11:34 PM
On a related note...why are people such fans of vouchers? Why would this work any better than Medicare/Medicaid (both essentially voucher systems)?

Who me? I'm no fan of vouchers. Once you strip off the govt newspeak on those you'll see private ed fall under the micro-mgmnt yoke of govt control which will wind up wrecking it. No I want private education to remain free.

But just for the record:
This is one of Bush’s few genuinely bipartisan domestic-policy achievements. Cleared the House by a 381 to 41 margin with more Democratic than Republican votes.

If this is a Bush failure...it also a Democratic one too.

Boozer
05-17-2006, 11:37 PM
Who me? I'm no fan of vouchers. Once you strip off the govt newspeak on those you'll see private ed fall under the micro-mgmnt yoke of govt control which will wind up wrecking it. No I want private education to remain free.

But just for the record:
This is one of Bush’s few genuinely bipartisan domestic-policy achievements. Cleared the House by a 381 to 41 margin with more Democratic than Republican votes.

If this is a Bush failure...it also a Democratic one too.

I could care less about the Dem/GOP vote on the bill. I'm highly suspect of easy fixes. And that's what vouchers promise. But until someone explains why they'll be better than Medicare and Medicaid, I think it's BS. Who's a big voucher fan around here? Taco? Someone want to explain this to me?

BucEyedPea
05-17-2006, 11:51 PM
Maybe, but did he prop up the Houston school district as the model of how all schools should be?Agreed. But I don't think completiely privatizing schools is the answer either. There needs to be some kind of standard preserved, and some authority to oversee it. Otherwise, what's to stop schools from teaching that Creationism is science, or that the Holocaust never happened, or whatever happens to fit the political agenda of whoever happens to be in charge of that particular school. I realize it is already that way to a degree, and that's a problem, but without some kind of central authority to maintain standards, it will be that way to a much greater degree. Of course, that's a whole nother topic.
(1) Standards? Whose?
(2) Authority? Whose? But yuck I hate authoritarianism.
State control is a more accurate word anyway.
(3) Why does anyone care if someone learns creationism or evolution? Is it really going to affect anyone's life? There will still be those who believe in either one anyway.
(4) Holocaust deniers? How many are there to be concerned about? That's best answered with a free society speaking over their views anyway. I doubt this is a concern at all.
(5)"whatever happens to fit the political agenda of whoever happens to be in charge of that particular school."-- that's happening as we speak BECAUSE it is controlled by govt.
(6) "But without some kind of central authority to maintain standards..." "Central" control? That's the whole basis of what NCLBA is based on...central control. De-centralization was what worked before, when it was at least at the local level controlled by parents. What worked before, will work again. BTW accreditation is also done by private sector, not the govt. Thank Zeus!

Also, it's the central control that has taken the ability of the teacher to teach out of the classroom.


BTW my daughter's school's standards are higher than the public sector's. They're two years ahead of public schools and there are more than an average amount that even get accepted into college by age 16. They chuck most of what the govt says is good to do.

BTW...I don't mind you're not agreeing. That's okay. It's just how someone does. I got no problem with how you disagree,

BucEyedPea
05-17-2006, 11:57 PM
Maybe, but did he prop up the Houston school district as the model of how all schools should be?Agreed.
According to that apparently....so agreed!
Typical politician talk to me.

Pitt Gorilla
05-18-2006, 12:58 AM
I've know this for quite a few years. It gets even better when you find out Rod Paige's roll in the whole ordeal.

Jesus
05-18-2006, 06:45 AM
I've know this for quite a few years. It gets even better when you find out Rod Paige's roll in the whole ordeal.Yup. It was pretty sticky with Paige. It was a carmel roll, I think.

jspchief
05-18-2006, 06:58 AM
This is just the tip of the iceberg with No Child Left Behind.

Think about it. What's to keep the bad teachers from just BSing their way through it? Then the teacher the following year is saddled with an under-educated kid, and has the choice of being honest and getting bad results, or continuing to cook the kid's grades.

The is the worst example of a federal approach to a problem that should have been handled at state and local levels.

My wife's a teacher and from what she's told me, the legislation is going to be an utter failure.

tiptap
05-18-2006, 08:10 AM
(1) Standards? Whose?

(3) Why do does anyone care if someone learns creationism or evolution? Is it really going to affect anyone's life? There will still be those who believe in either one anyway.
Thank Zeus!

BTW my daughter's school's standards are higher than the public sector's. They're two years ahead of public schools and there are more than an average amount that even get accepted into college by age 16. They chuck most of what the govt says is good to do.

BTW...I don't mind you're not agreeing. That's okay. It's just how someone does. I got no problem with how you disagree,



Modern Syntheis of Biological Descent with Modification, or evolution is central not only to understanding our biological history but is central to establishing correct procedures and finding new agents to fight contagious diseases, cancer, inherited diseases and much of the ailments of old age (the promise of youth until you die). IT IS CENTRAL. So by teaching a notion of creationism that gives no direction in choosing correct procedures for infectious diseases and the correct combination methods for fighting cancers, etc., you delay the findings that will prelong life. It is like giving up the notion of germ theory of disease and going back to evil spirits. Oh that's right, that is what fundamentalist want us to understand. There is no biological foundation for disease so we shouldn't be surprised by miracles.

BucEyedPea
05-18-2006, 08:20 AM
Modern Syntheis of Biological Descent with Modification, or evolution is central not only to understanding our biological history but is central to establishing correct procedures and finding new agents to fight contagious diseases, cancer, inherited diseases and much of the ailments of old age (the promise of youth until you die). IT IS CENTRAL. So by teaching a notion of creationism that gives no direction in choosing correct procedures for infectious diseases and the correct combination methods for fighting cancers, etc., you delay the findings that will prelong life. It is like giving up the notion of germ theory of disease and going back to evil spirits. Oh that's right, that is what fundamentalist want us to understand. There is no biological foundation for disease so we shouldn't be surprised by miracles.
So it matters to a scientist or someone going in this direction then right?
So if some schools teach both* (not saying this should be just making an example) wouldn't that person be able to decide eventually and then choose a profession?
And if that profession had this as a credential wouldn't they have to learn it?
I see it as moot if there was a non-govt education system.
I see the market deciding this matter.

BTW There are many religious folks who believe evolution as part of God's making the world. It is not true of all religious people. It's a stereotype.

This subject has zero bearing on my life.

*Darwin’s Theory is a theory. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observation. This theory is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. What happens if later, it winds up being proven false or parts of it false...what happens to everyone's education then? Today's science often is tommorrow's fiction. A free market also exists for ideas and the most effective, workable one will dominate anyway w/o monopoly control over ideas in education.

Pitt Gorilla
05-18-2006, 02:07 PM
*Darwin’s Theory is a theory. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observation. This theory is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. What happens if later, it winds up being proven false or parts of it false...what happens to everyone's education then? Today's science often is tommorrow's fiction. A free market also exists for ideas and the most effective, workable one will dominate anyway w/o monopoly control over ideas in education. Like gravity, right?

BucEyedPea
05-18-2006, 03:05 PM
Like gravity, right?

What holes does gravity have?
I can at least directly observe that.
I can't do that with evolution.
Besides, I don't see any controversy or disagreement on it.
Do you?

Baby Lee
05-18-2006, 03:09 PM
Yup. It was pretty sticky with Paige. It was a carmel roll, I think.
I think it's fair to ask, if you're going to point out a misspelled word, spell your own post correctly when you do.

Nightwish
05-18-2006, 03:26 PM
I think it's fair to ask, if you're going to point out a misspelled word, spell your own post correctly when you do.It may have been deliberate. His screen name is Jesus, after all, and Mt. Carmel was an important biblical site.

Nightwish
05-18-2006, 03:38 PM
*Darwin’s Theory is a theory. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observation. This theory is still being tested as new evidence is discovered. What happens if later, it winds up being proven false or parts of it false...what happens to everyone's education then?
One of the most important things in science, when properly taught, is that a theory must be falsifiable in order to be considered valid. This means that it must allow for the possibility that future discoveries may controvert all or part of the current theory, thus the theory must be able to be amended or revised as new information warrants. Evolution does follow that guideline, as evidence by the fact that the theory has been modified a number of times, after new discoveries have forced scientists to re-examine certain aspects of the theory, and after proper peer review, to revise the written theory. When properly taught (I'm not saying it always is), students will already be aware that some aspects of the theory may be subject to change in the future.

Creationism is another story. Because it is religious, rather than scientific, in nature, it relies on a very heavy preponderance of presupposition. It is largely unfalsifiable, as it does not allow that any aspect of its explanation can be incorrect, and it does not allow for the explanations it offers to be amended or revised in the face of controverting evidence. Instead, it relies on the "because that's the way God planned it" explanation to wave off any controverting evidence. Of course, evolution also relies, at least in part, on presuppositions, but the difference is that it allows for revision, whereas Creationism does not.

I'm not saying that Creationism shouldn't be taught or taught about in schools. I'm just saying that it should not be taught as science. It has a more proper place in a comparitive religions course, or perhaps even an anthropology course, but not a "hard science" course. At best, it may deserve mention in a science course as a competing theory with evolution among certain segments of the population, but the non-scientific nature of it should preclude it from being seriously taught as a science subject.

Boozer
05-18-2006, 04:56 PM
I think it's fair to ask, if you're going to point out a misspelled word, spell your own post correctly when you do.

Worst. Savior. Ever.

Jesus
05-18-2006, 05:57 PM
It may have been deliberate. His screen name is Jesus, after all, and Mt. Carmel was an important biblical site.
You are blessed, son. I figured a master of puns, would get a double pun; but, alas, he's become cynical.

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 05:47 AM
I'm not saying that Creationism shouldn't be taught or taught about in schools. I'm just saying that it should not be taught as science. It has a more proper place in a comparitive religions course, or perhaps even an anthropology course, but not a "hard science" course. At best, it may deserve mention in a science course as a competing theory with evolution among certain segments of the population, but the non-scientific nature of it should preclude it from being seriously taught as a science subject.

That may all be true about "theories" but I'm not making that my main point here. My main point is that if education operated in a free-market, one side would not be able to impose thier reality, scientific or not, on the other...that there would be competition for ideas and one would ultimately prevail...as is usually the case. There is nothing to fear, should some groups reject evolution wholly or a mixed view such as ID.

memyselfI
05-19-2006, 06:28 AM
Well, to be fair, I don't think the admin had anything to do with it, but when it came time to seize a poster opportunity, they sure didn't ask many questions.

To be fair, the skeptics here have good reason to be cynical about the WH/adminstration knowing this was a farce. See Armstrong Williams.

memyselfI
05-19-2006, 06:30 AM
This is just the tip of the iceberg with No Child Left Behind.

Think about it. What's to keep the bad teachers from just BSing their way through it? Then the teacher the following year is saddled with an under-educated kid, and has the choice of being honest and getting bad results, or continuing to cook the kid's grades.

The is the worst example of a federal approach to a problem that should have been handled at state and local levels.

My wife's a teacher and from what she's told me, the legislation is going to be an utter failure.


It is an utter failure. There is no teaching subjects anymore. It's teaching tests. Basically kids are learning how to take tests and memorizing answers. No real interest or comprehension of subject is needed. If you can memorize the answers then the child is considered a success. :shake: :rolleyes: :banghead: :cuss:

tiptap
05-19-2006, 06:32 AM
That may all be true about "theories" but I'm not making that my main point here. My main point is that if education operated in a free-market, one side would not be able to impose thier reality, scientific or not, on the other...that there would be competition for ideas and one would ultimately prevail...as is usually the case. There is nothing to fear, should some groups reject evolution wholly or a mixed view such as ID.

The pool of students is limited (that would be a market idea). To extend time to teach, that is informed in depth, ideas that are completely unproductive to extending health and life and such means that the students recieve the wrong background to be productive. It isn't easy to understand science. It isn't common sense. So to dilute the theories that are productive with nonsense is to waste the limited resource of the next generation. We all lose.

As far a evolution, every PART of Modern Synthesis is observable in one's lifetime. Evolution happens to population of animals not individuals. There are basically five parts to Modern Synthesis. Random Walks, Mutations, Natural Selection, Migration and Chance events. All of these STEPS are observable. The accumulation effects over vast quantities of time is not directly observable. We see evolution in animals with fast gestation rates including microbes. In larger animals the evidence is in the fossil records and in the genetic relationship between animals. (For example all New and Old World monkeys and apes share the same potentially lethal defect in the production of Vitamin C. The SAME, inherited, bad DNA sequence exists in all of those animals limiting the range of those animals to locations with good Vit. C sources. And that includes man. All genetically linked.)

The fact that you wish to dismiss evolution by saying it will change goes to gravity or atoms or any other concept. Einsteins notion of gravity superceded Newtons. Einstiens just happens to be right over a wider range of circumstances than Newton. The changes to evolutionary thought will refine that theory to meet more and more circumstances. The basic concepts though will still be valid.

So now I have to spend time to educate you on what evolution really is. Again could be construed as a waste of time, a limited resource. Economically that isn't good mangement of ideas, money and resources.

tiptap
05-19-2006, 06:43 AM
Within the science community especially within Biology their is no dissent about evolution. Why even ID advocate Behe thinks there is evolution just thinks it can't account for some really complicated systems. Yet when scientist started looking at his supposed 'unconcievalbe complex systems' scientist found precursors that served other functions that could accumulate for a new function in the complicated systems. (Such as the clear proteins in eyes whose original and still purpose includes heat stress reduction.) So the market of informed individuals, not superficial understanding blokes, has decided. And it is evolution.

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 07:08 AM
So now I have to spend time to educate you on what evolution really is. Again could be construed as a waste of time, a limited resource. Economically that isn't good mangement of ideas, money and resources.
First, if you're so scientific, you'd have to KNOW that I actually think about it. No? You haven't a clue as to what I "think" about evolution. I only say it's a "theory" and advocate freedom of thought. I'm just not an authoritarian on it and prefer (1) a decentralized education system ( at least) (2) a free-market one as an ideal...something I know is not about to happen in this country. Yet, I will still be a supporter of no less. Do you get it now?


Within the science community especially within Biology their is no dissent about evolution. Why even ID advocate Behe thinks there is evolution just thinks it can't account for some really complicated systems. Yet when scientist started looking at his supposed 'unconcievalbe complex systems' scientist found precursors that served other functions that could accumulate for a new function in the complicated systems. (Such as the clear proteins in eyes whose original and still purpose includes heat stress reduction.) So the market of informed individuals, not superficial understanding blokes, has decided. And it is evolution.
So what are you so worried about then? That's still not exactly my point though. (See above.)

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 07:26 AM
David Berlinski, a philosopher and mathematician and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institue, and Stanley N. Salthe, a visiting scientist at Binghamton University, State University of New York, who signed [Discovery Institute Petiton regarding evolution] but do not hold conservative religious beliefs.

Dr. Salthe, who describes himself as an atheist, said that when he signed the petition he had no idea what the Discovery Institute was. Rather, he said, “I signed it in irritation.”

He said evolutionary biologists were unfairly suppressing any competing ideas. “They deserve to be prodded, as it were,” Dr. Salthe said. “It was my way of thumbing my nose at them.”

Dr. Salthe said he did not find intelligent design to be a compelling theory, either. “From my point of view,” he said, “it’s a plague on both your houses.”

Absolutely no dissent, tiptap?

Velvet_Jones
05-19-2006, 07:58 AM
Hehehe. This started out as a discussion about the “No Kid Left Behind Act” and in less than a “paige” it turned into religion bashing. Get a life. The act attempts to put responsibility where it should be, at the school administration, the teachers and the parents. Yes, the same responsibility that the teachers union has successfully provided the shield from for the last 30+ years.

Lets translate this to real life for those of you that apparently haven’t ever experienced it. If you where a manager and you had an under performing employee, which of the following would you do?

1. Work with the employee to better train them for their tasks
2. Reprimand the employee if you determine its just laziness
3. Find a more suitable position for the employee
4. Fire the employee
5. Promote the employee within your organization

What the schools do is number 5. The exact wrong thing to do. I’m not saying that the teachers are totally at fault. I think the school administration and the parents pressure the teachers to pass students that have no business being “promoted”. 30+ years ago, they listened to the teachers. With the “No Kid Left Behind Act”, the responsibility is put on all three components and the kids.

I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to be held back when you are not ready to move to the next level. It sets a precedent for failure because the next level will expect that you know certain things and when you don’t, the entire class is set back or you fail. It’s as simple as that.

Try to take an upper level college class without the pre-requisite class or at least testing out of the pre-requisite class. The college doesn’t allow that because the student will very likely fail. This is a huge waste of resources.

I would look very closely at any teacher that biatches about the additional testing. Make room for it an STFU.

Of course if we want our kids to feel good about failing when they get into college or the work force then we should continue down the road of mediocrity.

Velvet

tiptap
05-19-2006, 08:09 AM
This is a dodge BucEyedPea. The market doesn't decide what is right in ideas of science. It is nature, those ideas that reflect nature. Berlinski is a philosopher, a mathematician, and while I like his books on Calculus and Algorythms, he simply does not understand biology. Not a biologist and has shown that in his lack of sophistication in talking about evolution. Salthe is a zoologist and his complaint is to the notion that Natural Selection as competition is morally wrong. What ever claim to atheism his objection rises from a moral crises. His objections certainly noted but he offers no explanation to replace evolutionary explanation as presently constituted. Notice he objects to competitions.

But for the record, there are more biologist name Steve (chosen for Stephen Gould) that accept evolution as fact than TOTAL number scientist that have sign off agaisnt evolution.

tiptap
05-19-2006, 08:46 AM
So all of the idea exist within a proper forum for discussion. Just like there are people who object to Einstien's theory or to Quantum Mechanics. But their ideas get no traction because there are no DEDUCED results from the ideas they offer. The offer no idea to supercede the one presently accepted in science. It is not enough to merely have an idea in SCIENCE. You need it to have predictions that can be tested and so an avenue to refine the idea to explain a broad range of phenomena.

Again the mechanics to understand science is not easy. To make one's understanding that more difficult by diluting time to unproductive ideas is wasteful and counter productive.

Markets are not always the answer. That in itself is in defiance of entertaining a broad number of ideas. Some valid ideas are not market driven. That is much a utopian fallacy and any that purports to be universal.

Nightwish
05-19-2006, 10:24 AM
That may all be true about "theories" but I'm not making that my main point here. My main point is that if education operated in a free-market, one side would not be able to impose thier reality, scientific or not, on the other...that there would be competition for ideas and one would ultimately prevail...as is usually the case. There is nothing to fear, should some groups reject evolution wholly or a mixed view such as ID.
The problem with "free-market" education is that it would be nearly impossible to maintain a level playing field throughout the entire community of education. On the high school level, a level playing field can be approached, but on the college and university level, that is much more difficult, due to the accreditation process, because the accrediting boards are comprised of members of the collegiate academic community, and they favor their own. Growing up with the "wrong" education can keep a lot of people out of certain programs at reputable schools, if not keep them out of the schools entirely. Of course, the importance of obtaining a college degree is somewhat overblown, it can still be a signicant hindrance.

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 10:29 AM
I would look very closely at any teacher that biatches about the additional testing. Make room for it an STFU.

If you are going to make statements like this, perhaps you should describe your understanding of the additional testing.

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 11:45 AM
The problem with "free-market" education is that it would be nearly impossible to maintain a level playing field throughout the entire community of education. On the high school level, a level playing field can be approached, but on the college and university level, that is much more difficult, due to the accreditation process, because the accrediting boards are comprised of members of the collegiate academic community, and they favor their own. Growing up with the "wrong" education can keep a lot of people out of certain programs at reputable schools, if not keep them out of the schools entirely. Of course, the importance of obtaining a college degree is somewhat overblown, it can still be a signicant hindrance.

Hmmmmmm....kids from my daughter's school don't have a lot of stuff that's found in a public school and they get into college; many even get scholarships.
Same with those who are home schooled. Not sure I buy this completely.
:hmmm:

For one thing, if colleges had certain requirements I would think lower schools would know what these are and provide them...and parents would want their kids to have them as well. I don't see this as an issue.

Level playing field...? Who'd want that? That could be interpreted as desiring a mediocre level. I teach college part-time ( my profession, as an adjunct faculty...have on an off for awhile. The kids are pretty illiterate from what I've observed.

If you mean the poor would be without an education, in the past the poor were accepted into private schools on a charitable basis. I wouldn't be opposed to things returning to a very local ( community) level....but the Feds have NO business in education. In fact the trouble in education is date coincident to federal funds ( all the experimental psychology crap) entering the schools. First in 1966 afterwhich SAT scores fell. Then post Dept of Education throughout the 1980's with the disasatrous implementation of the whole language experiment, followed by Clinton's Schools 2000 agenda to the new fuzzy math that came out around 1999. It's all about the affective domain to day. It has little to do with academics.

Funny, I have a neighbor who is a psychologist with one child my daughter's age who is married to an engineer. Their girl is considered "smart" so she made it into the accelerated classes for First Grade. My daughter, same age, had completely different methods and reads far above her. Just to see for myself I had her girl read and she could barely....with lots of um's and eh's and hesitations...same books. That was considered "accelerated." Take that into consideration with all the grade inflation going on. When people think grades are a sign of mastery we are in BIG trouble. So with public education the literacy rate has actually fallen. It's at 48% for my county.

Anyhow, I think if parents with school age children who pay private tuition
( and that has NOT always been easy for me) should at least get a tax credit or break during that time. But my property tax doesn't even come close to what I pay per year. I've already feel like I've paid for half of college and that's juse for elementary to mid-school.

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 11:51 AM
Could you explain "fuzzy math" to me?

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 11:52 AM
There are no right or wrong answers.
My neighbor told me about it, the same one. The dad, an engineer, goes in and helps with math.


EDIT: Here I went back and did a search on it.
http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_3_7_03mc.html

Funny, kids at my daughter's school has math taught with a strong emphasis on the basics including drilling multiplication tables to within 1 second time frame as well as other math facts. Even with that you can encountered some rough spots with a kid. Can you imagine kids teaching each other the same stuff?

Nightwish
05-19-2006, 11:55 AM
For one thing, if colleges had certain requirements I would think lower schools would know what these are and provide them...and parents would want their kids to have them as well. I don't see this as an issue.
Most schools probably would, but that doesn't speak for home-schooled kids (especially in those states that don't require specific standards for the teaching, testing and documentation of the home school curricula) or schools that may refuse to teach certain things on principle (such as religious schools not teaching evolution). What I'm remembering most strongly is an article I saw a couple or three years back about a girl who graduated from home-schooling, but her parents taught her only Creationism, and refused to allow her to learn anything about Evolution, even the most basic concepts. She went to college, but when she tried to get into one of the science programs, the school noticed her lack of proper science education, and required her to test out of the basic prerequisites, but she was unable to. She couldn't grasp some of the most basic concepts of evolutionary biology, and was forced to take a number of remedial science courses (extra money, extra time) before she could even enter the program. That's what I'm talking about, about there needing to be standards on education, on what is going to be taught to prepare students for higher education.

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 12:07 PM
There are no right or wrong answers.
My neighbor told me about it, the same one. The dad, an engineer, goes in and helps with math.


EDIT: Here I went back and did a search on it.
http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_3_7_03mc.html

Funny, kids at my daughter's school has math taught with a strong emphasis on the basics including drilling multiplication tables to within 1 second time frame as well as other math facts. Even with that you can encountered some rough spots with a kid. Can you imagine kids teaching each other the same stuff?I see, however, I can tell you that in the linked article, Everyday Mathematics was not being taught correctly. I'm not a huge fan of that program, but it appears that it was the teacher who was responsible for the "bad curriculum." Learning "basic facts" is a good idea, but "drill and kill" is a very bad idea.

BTW,
I can think of NO single curriculum where "there are no right or wrong answers" regarding mathematical solutions. None (and that includes Everyday Mathematics). Do you know of any?

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 12:07 PM
Nightwish,
We go through that where I teach college...particularly remedial reading and math...even how to study. And this is WITH standards.

Regarding the homeschooled child that is still the free market at work, regulating itself with corrections when more data is known. It's not the end of the world. She got it fixed.

I was able to skip out of nearly all science, because I was considered a "talent" and was shifted to a program more versed in the arts. I had to take one science course...biology and got conveniently sick on frog dissection day. :)

I actually kinda regret that. But I believe education should be lifelong and there is nothing stopping me from learning some of that now if I so desire.

To me the ability to read is the highest skill because when one has that they can learn anything. Seems to me that homeschooler may have been strong in that area to pick up what she needed in due time. I think basic numeracy is important too. But let's face it, even if algebra is all around us, higher mathematics is not used by everyone.

BTW not all homeschooling today is just the province of the religious. More mainstream Americans are getting into it, as a mass exodus continues from the state school system.

Velvet_Jones
05-19-2006, 12:26 PM
If you are going to make statements like this, perhaps you should describe your understanding of the additional testing.
The tests are standardized across the US so we can actually find the problem areas both geographically and socially/economically. This helps ensure that 5th grade aptitude is generally the same if you are in New York, California, or the middle of Kansas. Additionally, the test are timed, just like the most state standardized tests.

I’m not sure how many phases there are but I know that the test difficulty at each grade level is being phased in to not create a huge shock as to what is expected.

When this act was signed into law, most biatching was centered on it being an un-funded mandate and how some schools had a majority of students who were unable to pass the first level of exams. BS. First off it is not an unfounded mandate. The school systems are getting money from the DOE. Secondly, sounds to me if no one can pass these exams, the school, not necessarily the teacher, is failing the student. This is a result of accepting mediocrity and is no longer unacceptable. It’s taken years to get into this mess and it’s going to be painful to get out.

My point is, build the testing and preparation into your curriculum and STFU. Help the kids that want help and STFU. Flunk the kids that need flunked and STFU. As I said in my first post, this also applies to the parents as well.

I’ve tried to hire a few high school and college graduates in the last few years. About 85% cannot write a freaking paragraph that actually makes sense. About 90% have little if no critical thinking abilities. But they all want 50k to start. Yep, they have all the self-esteem in the world but they are unemployable for the entry-level positions I had to offer.

Pitt, I’m sure you’re a teacher so go ahead and tell me how good your school is. From my standpoint, the product coming out of the public school system sucks. Maybe my standards are too high but I doubt it. Maybe your standards are too low.

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 12:28 PM
I see, however, I can tell you that in the linked article, Everyday Mathematics was not being taught correctly. I'm not a huge fan of that program, but it appears that it was the teacher who was responsible for the "bad curriculum." Learning "basic facts" is a good idea, but "drill and kill" is a very bad idea.

BTW,
I can think of NO single curriculum where "there are no right or wrong answers" regarding mathematical solutions. None (and that includes Everyday Mathematics). Do you know of any?


I first heard about the term the new "fuzzy" math from my neighbor,the engineer, who went into our local school to help out. I have a friend who teaches math in Boston. This is what I heard from them. And yes I heard there are no right and wrong answers because correct answers are less important than the thinking process behind them. I've also heard it referred to in politics from time to time. That's enough for me to know to stay away. So I figured you would want a link, right? That was a quick search. But if you want specifics..there's .pdf on it you find on Google under 2+2=5: Fuzzy Math Invades Wisconsin Schools and what some parents did about it.

"Drill and kill?"
Are you a teacher? If so you must be trained in the new methods.
I can do without the "kill" part but I definitely believe in "drill" especially on basic. They make it fun though....they teach, even 5-6 year olds how to use the computer keypad without looking, and a truck drives out on the screen and it will have say 2 +2=...then they have to plug in the number. They
start with slower speeds and then increase over time as they get older. It's really amazing what they get these kids to do.

Drive's me crazy when I'm at the Mall and the teens can't figure change.

So....I'll take a more traditional approach, as will most parents, then what some govt bureaucrat says is better any day. Afterall, what worked before will work again.

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 12:35 PM
I’ve tried to hire a few high school and college graduates in the last few years. About 85% cannot write a freaking paragraph that actually makes sense. About 90% have little if no critical thinking abilities. But they all want 50k to start. Yep, they have all the self-esteem in the world but they are unemployable for the entry-level positions I had to offer.

ROFL ROFL ROFL

Tell me about that...and they have NO work ethic either.
They're always trying to worm out of any elbow grease especially if something seems remotely difficult. They want the grade for nothing.

Lack of critical thinking...yep! I see the same thing!
They can't write worth a darn either.
And I'm not teachin' rocket science either.

I've had to revert to by passing our $70 textbook which NONE of them will read without biatchin' and using pictures I create in a Power Point presentation.

If I didn't I'd have to flunk half of them.


Pitt, I’m sure you’re a teacher so go ahead and tell me how good your school is. From my standpoint, the product coming out of the public school system sucks. Maybe my standards are too high but I doubt it. Maybe your standards are too low.
I say it goes back to how teachers are trained.
Unfortunately, these same teachers will defend these things the most.
And it's really too bad...because it's a noble profession.

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 12:47 PM
I first heard about the term the new "fuzzy" math from my neighbor,the engineer, who went into our local school to help out. I have a friend who teaches math in Boston. This is what I heard from them. And yes I heard there are no right and wrong answers because correct answers are less important than the thinking process behind them. I've also heard it referred to in politics from time to time. That's enough for me to know to stay away. So I figured you would want a link, right? That was a quick search. But if you want specifics..there's .pdf on it you find on Google under 2+2=5: Fuzzy Math Invades Wisconsin Schools and what some parents did about it.

"Drill and kill?"
Are you a teacher. If so you must be trained in the new methods.
I can do without the "kill" part but I definitely believe in "drill" especially on basic. They make it fun though....they teach, even 5-6 year olds how to use the computer keypad without looking, and a truck drives out on the screen and it will have say 2 +2=...then they have to plug in the number. They
start with slower speeds and then increase over time as they get older. It's really amazing what they get these kids to do.

Drive's me crazy when I'm at the Mall and the teens can't figure change.

So....I'll take a more traditional approach, as will most parents, then what some govt bureaucrat says is better any day. Afterall, what worked before will work again.Sure, the process is important, but that doesn't make the results any less meaningful. Once again, there is NO curriculum (that I have seen) where there are no right or wrong answers. Did you take the time to read the article you posted? Look at the problems they post. They HAVE a right answer.

I understand that you know little about these curricula; that is clear. What you also need to understand is that most people who whine about them actually know very little about them as well. These curricula are based on problem solving, which just about everyone will agree is critical to mathematical proficiency. And the statement that "basic facts" are unimportant is ignorant.

Honestly, I don't need to defend the curricula, because the results speak for themselves. The "old way" of teaching math is a large reason why we were behind in the first place (knowing addition facts isn't quite enough to keep you globally competitive). Reform mathematics is a large step in the right direction.

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 12:57 PM
The tests are standardized across the US so we can actually find the problem areas both geographically and socially/economically. This helps ensure that 5th grade aptitude is generally the same if you are in New York, California, or the middle of Kansas. Additionally, the test are timed, just like the most state standardized tests.

I’m not sure how many phases there are but I know that the test difficulty at each grade level is being phased in to not create a huge shock as to what is expected.

When this act was signed into law, most biatching was centered on it being an un-funded mandate and how some schools had a majority of students who were unable to pass the first level of exams. BS. First off it is not an unfounded mandate. The school systems are getting money from the DOE. Secondly, sounds to me if no one can pass these exams, the school, not necessarily the teacher, is failing the student. This is a result of accepting mediocrity and is no longer unacceptable. It’s taken years to get into this mess and it’s going to be painful to get out.

My point is, build the testing and preparation into your curriculum and STFU. Help the kids that want help and STFU. Flunk the kids that need flunked and STFU. As I said in my first post, this also applies to the parents as well.

I’ve tried to hire a few high school and college graduates in the last few years. About 85% cannot write a freaking paragraph that actually makes sense. About 90% have little if no critical thinking abilities. But they all want 50k to start. Yep, they have all the self-esteem in the world but they are unemployable for the entry-level positions I had to offer.

Pitt, I’m sure you’re a teacher so go ahead and tell me how good your school is. From my standpoint, the product coming out of the public school system sucks. Maybe my standards are too high but I doubt it. Maybe your standards are too low.
Wouldn't it be nice if all of that was true?

The tests that count are NOT standardized across states. Where did you get that? While that may be true in the future (due to complaints about the lack of standardization), it has not been the case. Every state gets to chose their own test and gets to set their own benchmarks for success. Some schools participate in NAEP, which is standardized across schools. However, to this point, it has no teeth.

The act also wasn't funded to a level NEAR what is costs to make and grade the exams. I didn't realize that people didn't know that.

The system just stinks. Many of the tests aren't a good measure of what the student knows, how well the teacher teaches, or how good of a job the school is doing. Some tests are better than others (the Missouri test isn't too bad), but many schools are still viewed as "failing" because the state set the benchmark so high.

There are ways to find the bad teachers, but, unfortunately, they would be expensive. Bad teachers exist and nobody thinks they should remain employed. Systematically figuring out who they are just isn't as easy as it would seem.

Velvet_Jones
05-19-2006, 12:58 PM
it's a noble profession.
I totally agree. I got two kids in public schools and I am happy to say that their schools are taking responsibility to push the kids. My eight year old’s teacher is awesome and really keeps the parents informed on where the kids require additional help. Just that communication was missing a few years ago.
I have to say that they are doing very well. It means a lot having the district administration promote this testing as a challenge to show how well the district really does.

I’m sorry, let me rephrase that last sentence for those in the KCMO school district. “It means a fair bit when dah princple say these testings is more challengin than a deaf match on WWF. We gunna show how good we really is.”

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 01:05 PM
Honestly, I don't need to defend the curricula, because the results speak for themselves. The "old way" of teaching math is a large reason why we were behind in the first place (knowing addition facts isn't quite enough to keep you globally competitive). Reform mathematics is a large step in the right direction.

No thanks, my daughter even notices it when she tells me how dumb the public school kids are when they have the good fortune to interface with them in certain activities. See, I won't shelter her and this is my sly way of having her appreciate what I'm doing. he, he! :)

Don't think I believe that all private schools are great either. Some aren't. You have to still go in and look at it, even sit in on some classes.

Your information about the old way stopped to some degree as I've read, back in the 1960s...so that is not date coincident to the problem. It's just that much worse in the past decade...especially how teachers get trained. But higher math is based on knowing math basics first without out which they can't make it at the higher levels. It's just common sense. These kids at my kid's school obviously advance beyond the basics too.

How 'about this one from the .pdf?

THIRD GRADE
Solve this problem 3 ways:

42+38+18=

First way:
Second way:
Third way"

Now I know one can arrive at the correct answer in different ways...(For example I'd use my fingers in that grade for one..but then I'd run out of digits.) that's what you're saying...but were they graded on the right answer or the process?

And wtf is this next step?

Birthday: Pantomime holding a newborn baby in your arms. Tell students that the baby was just born,and write today’s date on the board. Explain that this is the baby’s birthday. Sing “Happy Birthday,” and encourage students to sing with you. Ask for volunteers to sing the song in their native languages. Students might also make a poster with the words “Happy Birthday” in all the languages spoken in the class. Have each student point to his or her birthday on the calendar. This is a good opportunity to make a graph of the months of students’ birthdays.

Whoopeeee!
Is that the new "constructivist" graphing?


The California Experiment
Armed with a new math education manifesto
— the NCTM Standards — teachers around the country pushed forward with a
new sense of purpose and eagerly unleashed the constructivist ideology in their classrooms. California heavily bought into "new-new" math in the early 1990s, and by 1992 had released the California Mathematics Framework — a document based largely on the NCTM Standards.

Before long, this unorthodox approach to teaching math was noticed by a group of California parents. Largely hailing from scientific fields, these parents believed their own children would never be able to function in professions similar to their own with the scant skills and weak foundation they were developing in their new math classrooms. Calling themselves "Mathematically Correct," these parents organized through the Internet and mounted a fierce opposition to California's NCTM-modeled math standards.

In a strong and authoritative voice, the mathematicians and scientists who run the site warn parents that:

Although there are many variations in the methods of these new programs, they have one clear characteristic in common — they are weak in mathematics. The expectations for our students are seriously undermined.
And, as the mathematics is leeched out of the textbooks, the opportunities for ourstudents to learn is withering away.

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 01:20 PM
No thanks, my daughter even notices it when she tells me how dumb the public school kids are when they have the good fortune to interface with them in certain activities. See, I won't shelter her and this is my sly way of having her appreciate what I'm doing. he, he! :)

Your information about the old way stopped to some degreem as I've read, back in the 1960s...so that is not date coincident to the problem.

How 'about this one from the .pdf?

THIRD GRADE
Solve this problem 3 ways:

42+38+18=

First way:
Second way:
Third way"

Now I know one can arrive at the correct answer in different ways...(For example I'd use my fingers in that grade for one..but then I'd run out of digits.) that's what you're saying...but were they graded on the right answer or the process?

And wtf is this next step?

Birthday: Pantomime holding a newborn baby in your arms. Tell students that the baby was just born,and write today’s date on the board. Explain that this is the baby’s birthday. Sing “Happy Birthday,” and encourage students to sing with you. Ask for volunteers to sing the song in their native languages. Students might also make a poster with the words “Happy Birthday” in all the languages spoken in the class. Have each student point to his or her birthday on the calendar. This is a good opportunity to make a graph of the months of students’ birthdays.

Whoopeeee!


The California Experiment
Armed with a new math education manifesto
— the NCTM Standards — teachers around the country pushed forward with a
new sense of purpose and eagerly unleashed the constructivist ideology in their classrooms. California heavily bought into "new-new" math in the early 1990s, and by 1992 had released the California Mathematics Framework — a document based largely on the NCTM Standards.

Before long, this unorthodox approach to teaching math was noticed by a group of California parents. Largely hailing from scientific fields, these parents believed their own children would never be able to function in professions similar to their own with the scant skills and weak foundation they were developing in their new math classrooms. Calling themselves "Mathematically Correct," these parents organized through the Internet and mounted a fierce opposition to California's NCTM-modeled math standards.

In a strong and authoritative voice, the mathematicians and scientists who run the site warn parents that:
Although there are many variations in the methods of these new programs, they have one clear characteristic in common — they are weak in mathematics. The expectations for our students are seriously undermined.
And, as the mathematics is leeched out of the textbooks, the opportunities for ourstudents to learn is withering away.The "Back to Basics" pendulum swing after the 1960's "New Math" hurt our mathematical achievement as much as New Math did (both were terrible).

As to 3 solutions, I didn't consider fingers. One method would be to use your "basic facts" standard algorithm. Another way would likely include a mental grouping of the first two numbers, as they form a natural "10." Another, couls include grouping the first and third numbers into another "10," before adding the final value. Other variations could include thinking about 42 as 40 and 2 and 18 as 10 and 8 and buidling on an understanding of place value. Each of these is mathematically powerful.

As to the birthday thing, I've used Investigations hundreds of times and have never seen such a passage. It could certainly be in one of the books, but it must not be a focal point. Of course, if I was trying to discredit an entire series, I might pick out something as obscure and hold it as exemplar. Either way, that birthday thing is pretty stupid.

BTW,
The list of mathematicians and mathematical organizations that helped to author and literally SIGNED in approvement of the Principles and Standards is extensive. Just FYI.

Velvet_Jones
05-19-2006, 01:26 PM
The tests that count are NOT standardized across states. Where did you get that? While that may be true in the future (due to complaints about the lack of standardization), it has not been the case. Every state gets to chose their own test and gets to set their own benchmarks for success. Some schools participate in NAEP, which is standardized across schools. However, to this point, it has no teeth.

I disagree. The tests are standardized to a minimum requirement. The states are welcome to increase it if they want but the minimum competency has been established. Therefore, there is a standard.


The act also wasn't funded to a level NEAR what is costs to make and grade the exams. I didn't realize that people didn't know that.

So you are telling me that you don’t get any funding from the Department of Education? The DE was appropriated over 65 billion not counting any additional appropriations for 2006. Sounds to me like it’s funded. I would say that a little budget realignment would fix what is troubling you. Not more money. I think people know it was funded.

The system just stinks. Many of the tests aren't a good measure of what the student knows, how well the teacher teaches, or how good of a job the school is doing. Some tests are better than others (the Missouri test isn't too bad), but many schools are still viewed as "failing" because the state set the benchmark so high
Sounds like a State issue, not a “No Child Left Behind” issue.

There are ways to find the bad teachers, but, unfortunately, they would be expensive. Bad teachers exist and nobody thinks they should remain employed. Systematically figuring out who they are just isn't as easy as it would seem.

I’m not trying to bag on you Pitt and I’m sure that you are a good teacher. It is a profession that is admirable. But I don’t think its very hard at all find the bad teachers. All you have to do is look at the minimum competency requirements for each subject by testing the knowledge of the students periodically throughout the semester or year. No improvement = bad teacher. Not hard at all.

Additionally, I think that most of the faculties know who is and who is not a good teacher. Peer review is a good thing. It keeps people honest and humble.

The last thing you do is protect a bad teacher with some mechanism such as tenure. It’s just ridiculous.

I invite you to go to the library and check out John Stossel’s new book. About in the middle of it is a flow chart on what it takes to attempt to fire a bad teacher. It’s three pages long and very interesting and very telling.

Nothing personal.

Velvet

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 01:28 PM
As to 3 solutions, I didn't consider fingers. One method would be to use your "basic facts" standard algorithm. Another way would likely include a mental grouping of the first two numbers, as they form a natural "10." Another, couls include grouping the first and third numbers into another "10," before adding the final value. Other variations could include thinking about 42 as 40 and 2 and 18 as 10 and 8 and buidling on an understanding of place value. Each of these is mathematically powerful.

And how many third graders are capable of doing what you just did?
Seems to be much too high a gradient for most of them.

Did those same people approve of the methods?
Doesn't matter to me. I go by results. I don't see them.
I don't have to be an expert to know that.
Talk to college professors...they know that a high school diploma is not what it once was. Talk to the Nat's Assoc of Manufacturers...they'll tell 'ya that a college degree is equivalent to what a HS diploma once was. I just don't trust those in the education industry to be able to see the problem objectively enough.

At my kid's school they have to get 100% on all basic subjects and are tested before moving to the next level. By the time they reach 4th grade, they are able to take an algebra book and teach it to themselves. In fact that's one of the abilities they have to achieve. I don't know many that can do that coming from public school milieu...not counting those that are exceptions who can get through any system.

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 03:01 PM
I disagree. The tests are standardized to a minimum requirement. The states are welcome to increase it if they want but the minimum competency has been established. Therefore, there is a standard.


So you are telling me that you don’t get any funding from the Department of Education? The DE was appropriated over 65 billion not counting any additional appropriations for 2006. Sounds to me like it’s funded. I would say that a little budget realignment would fix what is troubling you. Not more money. I think people know it was funded.


Sounds like a State issue, not a “No Child Left Behind” issue.



I’m not trying to bag on you Pitt and I’m sure that you are a good teacher. It is a profession that is admirable. But I don’t think its very hard at all find the bad teachers. All you have to do is look at the minimum competency requirements for each subject by testing the knowledge of the students periodically throughout the semester or year. No improvement = bad teacher. Not hard at all.

Additionally, I think that most of the faculties know who is and who is not a good teacher. Peer review is a good thing. It keeps people honest and humble.

The last thing you do is protect a bad teacher with some mechanism such as tenure. It’s just ridiculous.

I invite you to go to the library and check out John Stossel’s new book. About in the middle of it is a flow chart on what it takes to attempt to fire a bad teacher. It’s three pages long and very interesting and very telling.

Nothing personal.

VelvetThe tests are NOT standardized. If you can provide some information idicating otherwise, please do.

If you read my statement, I did not ONCE say it was unfunded. It was funded, just not adequately.

And I agree, there is nothing wrong with peer review. However, peers are going to more than likely let some slip who should be out. I guess I could see myself being harder on the teachers than the actual teachers themselves.

I agree, nothing personal. However, I've written several articles on NCLB over the last 3 or so years. I haven't kept up lately, but at the time, there was no standardization (look at the test Texas used the first couple of years versus the test Maryland used; Texas used an 8th grade minimum proficiency test at the 10th grade level while Maryland's test was incredibly demanding) and the mandate was largely unfunded. Those are facts. They may be currently working on these problems, at least I hope they are.

I would invite you to read Gerald Bracey's work in Phi Delta Kappan over the last 3 years on the topic.

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 03:04 PM
And how many third graders are capable of doing what you just did?
Seems to be much too high a gradient for most of them.
.Over 80% of the students I've worked with (grades 3-4) have been able to do this well. My sample includes "at risk" students in urban areas as well as students in affluent school systems. Honestly, low expectations are a part of the problem.


BTW,
I do talk to college math professors every day; I am one.

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 04:18 PM
Over 80% of the students I've worked with (grades 3-4) have been able to do this well. My sample includes "at risk" students in urban areas as well as students in affluent school systems. Honestly, low expectations are a part of the problem.
I wouldn't have been able to do that then. I had trouble with math in the third grade and by grade 4 it was a disaster...and that was in a private school. My parents gave me a tutor and everything...still didn't handle it. That experience, was one reason that led me to pick the school I picked.


BTW,
I do talk to college math professors every day; I am one.

Of the ones you talk to do they not see a difference from say ten years ago or more? Or does your math dept only get the naturals or smart ones in that subject?

Nightwish
05-19-2006, 07:26 PM
Could you explain "fuzzy math" to me?
I always thought the term "fuzzy math" referred to the practice of skewing statistics to paint a biased picture of an argument. People do this with averages a lot, saying that whatever they're arguing for or against represents "the average number of [whatever]," or that it's "above the average," or "below the average," by choosing the type of average (mean, median, or mode) that fits their agenda best. You see this a lot in sports negotiations, for instance. A player's agent may say, "My guy is an A-list player, so he needs to get more than the average pay, and the average pay is ___________." He may choose the median (the figure which exactly half of the pay schedules are above, and half of them are below) or the mode (the single amount that appears most often) to claim as the "average" he wants above, if they are higher than the mean (all the amounts added together, and divided by the number of players). And when the agent comes forward with that average, the owners will say, "Uh uh, that's not the average we're using, we're using this one," and they'll whip out whichever one is the lowest. And the negotiations start from somewhere in between. Since both parties are using the same terms to bring different statistics to the same table, it's called "fuzzy math." It's common in politics, too, especially during campaign runs.

BucEyedPea
05-19-2006, 07:34 PM
Since both parties are using the same terms to bring different statistics to the same table, it's called "fuzzy math." It's common in politics, too, especially during campaign runs.
No wonder the govt likes it...preparing a future generation of politicians. ROFL

Pitt Gorilla
05-19-2006, 07:52 PM
I wouldn't have been able to do that then. I had trouble with math in the third grade and by grade 4 it was a disaster...and that was in a private school. My parents gave me a tutor and everything...still didn't handle it. That experience, was one reason that led me to pick the school I picked.




Of the ones you talk to do they not see a difference from say ten years ago or more? Or does your math dept only get the naturals or smart ones in that subject?Yeah, on average, the student is not as good. Of course, more people are going to college than ever, and many students don't come to learn; they just want a degree. I suppose kids are a bit too "fat and happy" these days.