Sunday, June 1, 2014

Math Wars: Once Again Into the Fray

Math Wars: Once Again Into the Fray




 Having a granddaughter in the fifth grade has brought the Math Wars home to roost. Our three children learned Math in an ABEKA curriculum using Saxon Math. All three scored off the charts on standardized tests in Math and have gone on to careers where that proficiency was important (Engineering, Marketing, and Business).

I earned my degree in education in 1972 at a time of revolution in education. A world shift in education came about at that time to manipulate children for social engineering purposes de-emphasizing individualism and competition toward team/group learning and peer tutoring. (Read the Whole Language Catalog by Ken and Yetta Goodman.) Individual excellence was headed for the chopping block.  

In the early 1990s, I ran for the Dothan City School Board twice with a Back to Basics agenda. I thought the fact that 60% of first time entering freshmen at the local community college being required to take remedial Math and English was a pretty telling indictment against OBE/Whole Language/Progressive Education agenda of the prevailing education establishment. Others thought that was important as well and we had lively discussions on the Ramsey/Moore Report, a talk show I co-hosted on a conservative radio station. The campaign against me was pretty much directed from the system's central office. They won. 

Before the Dothan City School Board paid someone to rewrite the Board bylaws, the bylaws stated that learning would be "sequential." That is important to note because the shift in the late 60s was to Progressive educators' preferred method of having learning be inferential and thematic. With the centralization of education in the Department of Education the words "drill and repetition" became dirty words not to be repeated in polite education society unless you wanted to be labeled an educational "flat earther." The Elementary and Secondary Education Act created the environment for Progressive educators to practice their experiments on America's school children under the guise of leveling the playing field for all children. Then in 1979 President Jimmy Carter established the Department of Education and local control of education became a thing of the past. Though we did not officially have a national curriculum, professional educators with a progressive agenda more focused on social engineering than academic excellence distributed funds for participation in special programs. Local boards got addicted to the funding and found themselves bound, gagged and disenfranchised by those dollars. With Goals 2000 Sequential learning became a thing of the past. 

Twenty years later the disturbing numbers of those needing remediation have not improved but those administrators of the early 90s did go on to bigger and better jobs, salaries and lucrative retirement. I must admit to being shocked that something so basic as teaching children to read and do math was now political!

I threw my hands in the air, retreated to my garden and genealogy and started writing books. 

Then my smart, sweet, precocious fifth grade granddaughter who lives in Panama City started dreading Math. Though she reads several grades above her grade level (we made sure she got a phonics based education early on) the new, new Math gave her problems. When our daughter (her mother) and I began asking for the reason for the shift from traditional Math to this new Math (InVision by Pearson) we were informed that the answer to a problem was not so important as the thinking process. Ergo, the need for a new direction in Math education. Several steps had been added to the process and that made no sense to my daughter, her husband, her grandfather or me. My daughter, an electrical engineer, could not help her. Thus far we have not been able to get anyone to answer how we got to the moon with traditional mathematics instruction and plummeted to 34th in Math when we gave over Math instruction to this new batch of professors in colleges of education and their colleagues in curriculum and technology sales. 

When I first called the Dothan City Schools in the early 90s for information on curriculum (the ABEKA Christian School our children had been attending did not at that time go past the 8th grade), the Director of Instruction asked me, "Who are you?Just a parent?" This time my answer would be 
"I am not 'just a parent,' I am also the grandmother of five VIPs including four still 3 and under who will be in Dothan City Schools and Bay District Schools eventually. That makes me a very important person... to them at least. Plus, I have two degrees in education and experience dealing with administrators using our children as guinea pigs for fads. 

So, once more I am jumping into the fray.

I spoke to the principal of the school she attends who told me no one else had spoken to him about having problems with the new Math program. Yet, my daughter had already emailed him with her concerns, an email to which he did respond. A congenial, affable man, he promised to look into it. In the meantime, our daughter has hired a tutor, but the method still seems laborious. Our granddaughter is still having problems and I have not heard again from the principal. 

We have been told that if she scores well on the FCAT and gets admitted to the Advanced Placement program, she will get out of Pearson EnVision Math and will then take Singapore Math. But, from what I read, placement tests tell parents/teachers on what level a student performs and not having been exposed to this program may present other problems. One parent wrote, "Singapore Math is  sequential and doesn’t re-teach concepts or skills, using the program may set these students up for failure, whether they’re moving into a district using it or out of district using it." 

Read this blog post and perhaps you can understand our confusion with EnVision: http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/castingoutnines/2010/08/31/in-the-trenches-with-envisionmath/
That child is beginning the program in the first grade. Imagine how confused our granddaughter is!

How much do you suppose all of these bells and whistles cost the school system? Watch this video and see the technology needed. Check out the "computer learning" assists at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H8ExSknCNY

In the New York Times article, October 8, 2011, "GRADING THE DIGITAL SCHOOL
"Inflating the Software Report Card," Trip Gabriel and Matt Richtel write: "School officials, confronted with a morass of complicated and sometimes conflicting research, often buy products based on personal impressions, marketing hype or faith in technology for its own sake."

“They want the shiny new one,” said Peter Cohen, chief executive of Pearson School, a leading publisher of classroom texts and software (including InVision). “They always want the latest, when other things have been proven the longest and demonstrated to get results.”


Pearson is connected to the hydra headed cabal promoting Common Core. (My own children learned Math with Saxon mathematics. One became a computer engineer, another holds a Masters in Marketing and another holds a Masters in Operations Management. So Pearson Math makes no sense to any of us.)

The Cabal begins with Bill Gates because money talks. But, is he involved with education because of altruism? Bill Gates is a Master Marketer. His first super success story was gifting computers to schools across the country. (See the movie The Pirates of Silicon Valley). Parents who wanted their children to have an edge on other children then had to buy a PC (personal computer) and the race was on. And now, as if that didn’t make him rich enough, he sees the computer taking the place of the teacher and Pearson, partnered with Gates, is along in this cabal restructuring education with e-books to profit even further. We are talking Billions to Trillions of dollars. (By the way, the license for those computers your school board just bought will be out in 3 years and they will have to update. Smart marketing. But good education?)

Twenty years ago when I pointed out according to studies conducted by Dr. Robert Slavin, the Computer Assisted Instruction program Writing To Read was totally ineffective, I was told they couldn't stop now because they had too much invested.  And now, Dothan City Schools has bought into Carnegie Learning. The New York Times addressed this program directly: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/technology/a-classroom-software-boom-but-mixed-results-despite-the-hype.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0THIS IS A MUST READ FOR DOTHAN CITY SCHOOL PARENTS.
Billions of education dollars spent and the result ... “there are no longitudinal, randomized trials linking eLearning to positive learning outcomes.” (Intel in a Web Document) “Decisions are made on marketing, on politics, on personal preference,” said Robert A. Slavin, director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University. “An intelligent, caring principal who’d never buy a car without looking at Consumer Reports, when they plunk down serious money to buy a curriculum, they don’t even look at the evidence.”




Addendum
Since I wrote this I have found out much more about how Math education became politicized. I recommend you read my more recent articles on Paulo Freire, the Whole Language Catalog (excerpts that explain the philosophy behind Progressive Education that dominates public schools) and also visit the website on Radical Math http://www.radicalmath.org/docs/SJMathGuide.pdf

See also Connie Schrock (president of NCSM) on Tucker Carlson's show
Is math 'unjust and grounded in discrimination'?
http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/tucker-carlson-tonight/index.html#/v/5558567985001

I was not in tune to COMMON CORE when I wrote the above. I am now!


SECTION II COMMON CORE MATH


First, understand that MANY teachers in the trenches reject Common Core --Math and everything else!

Dr. James Milligram speaks on what happened on the Validation Committee on Common Core on which he sat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM8... He was one of only two educators involved in validating the Common Core Standards. The other, Dr. Sandra Stotsky, also refused to sign on to the Standards. 


So, what did we get? A weak Algebra II-- at Dr. Milligram’s insistence. 


From the chart below you can see that compared to the chart below only 7% of students who have only Algebra 1 WILL EVEN CONTINUE TO COMPLETE AN EARNED BACHELOR’S DEGREE. That is how handicapped our children will be with Common Core. 


 Look here to see where ACHIEVE appears on this chart. Where is your state, your school board? Parents? Whatever happened to local control of education? 


 No Pilots! No Research! No Vetting! 
So who was the lead writer and what did he say about the Math standards? 




















The major writers of Common Core included David Coleman, known as the architect of Common Core. His degree is in Sociology. He is the son of the former president of Bennington College, Liz Coleman, graduate of the University of Chicago, a big proponent of big government and Marxist ideology. Coleman’s prior association with Ayers, Obama and Arne Duncan probably helped his appointment. Or it could be his philosophy: “These standards are the most serious attempt this country has yet made to come to grips with those early sources of inequality.” He has no background as a teacher. He is a Sociologist! 

JAMES MILGRIM



DAVID COLEMAN is also president of the College Board (yearly salary $550,000 total compensation $750,000) and will make changes to the SAT to make it more socially just. (This should set up red alert warning flags for Home and Christian schooled children who will need to pass these tests to get into college.)

Coleman’s childhood friend, Jason Zimba, teaches mathematical physics at Bennington College and like Coleman attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He admitted that his creation, the Common Core math standards, would only prepare students for a minimum junior college level--not STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). 



Coleman and Zimba, co-founders of the New York based GROW network, came to Chicago to produce data studies for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) at the time Obama was on the CAC Board brought on board by Bill Ayers and Chicago’s Superintendent of Schools, Arne Duncan--later U.S. Secretary of Education. CAC paid $2.2 million for the services of Coleman and Zimba in data studies. It was this relationship that threw these people together. The Chicago connection here is quite interesting. 



Now, you know Bill Gates, with an agreement with the United Nations through UNESCO, put about 8 billion dollars into this. He will make a lot more on the data he collects and sells on our children. But, his children will not be affected. They attend a private school. But, your children and my grandchildren are guinea pigs. So he can play Russian roulette with our children, but not his own.



Coleman’s childhood friend, Jason Zimba, teaches mathematical physics at Bennington College and like Coleman attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He admitted that his creation, the Common Core math standards, would only prepare students for a minimum junior college level--not STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  



So, while Dr. Milligram blames Bill Gates, David Coleman, Jason Zimba, and all of those agencies participating above, he postulates this rhetorical question and lets someone else answer for him below. 



And so we return to the title at the top of this page. What is the real goal of Math Education that has led us to this point?  The radical agenda hidden within the Common Core curriculum has been a part of the colleges of education for quite awhile. It is just now, with the uproar over what has become so obvious with Common Core, that parents have become educated to how this movement has become so entrenched within our schools. 


You must remember that the purpose of education these days is producing Social Justice warriors and EQUITY. That means you must lower the standards so that everyone can RACE TO THE TOP (see the chart above on the Race to the Top (RTT). So where is the TOP? Much lower.

 





Now, if that makes sense to you, you will love Common Core. But to the rest of us, those of us who believe that children are individuals who are unique in their talents and abilities. Do they try to help all children play the violin at the same level, sing at the same level, run triathlons at the same time?


Integrating Sex Ed in Math Education.

You thought we were making this up, didn’t you? 









Do you think there is an agenda hidden within this paragraph?

Math fairness?













Part III The Tragedy of the Math Mess and Another Way


The Tragedy of the Math Mess and ANOTHER WAY


When one criticizes the modern mathematics program one often finds that the listener, wishing to be sympathetic and not knowing where to stand, remarks that undoubtedly the truth lies between the traditional and the modern mathematics versions. Such compromise may be correct in some controversies, but it is not applicable here. If someone argues that the earth turns from east to west and another that the earth turns from west to east, one cannot compromise, however well-meaning one may be, by saying that the truth lies between these alternatives." Morris Kline, Why Johnny Can't Add, p. 123.


Examples of Indoctrination rather than Truth in Mathematics Education


  • "Does away with absolutes and promotes relativism"
  • "Is man-centered (humanistic) -- seeks to create truth or denies that mathematics is true."
  • Leads students to worship the human mind because of all the imaginary worlds it can construct.
  • Emphasizes abstractions, which it calls "concepts." Does not give the child anything solid to learn and use."







GET THAT?
"... create their own mathematical knowledge."
Chao, Murray and Guitierrez
...  and you wonder why bridges fall and planes fall out of the sky?



Distribute the Wealth (A Leftist Agenda-- preparing children for Socialism)


Social Self-Organization?


Sex Education Integrated into Math





"Along the four dimensions of learning, reflect on your experience as a math learner." 

"What kinds of privilege and power did you have or not have as a math student?"





Reading and Writing 


AND DATA COLLECTION? MEET PEARSON AND BILL GATES
PEARSON BOUGHT UP ALL OF THESE TEXTBOOK COMPANIES.
Pearson has bought up all of these imprints (publishing houses)





And why do we want children at computers? Because that is the most effective way to change attitudes and beliefs and collect data on how each lesson has succeeded. (Let me just mention here that some wonder if Wi-Fi waves contribute to the growing epidemic of autism. Just a caveat.)

Every keystroke provides more information to the data collectors behind the process lifted up to the cloud. (Watch the movie Snowden to see what he reveals about government data collection.) 



I venture to say this has more to do with collecting information and changing attitudes and beliefs than it does to academics.

You think that cloud is secure and your personal information isn’t collected there-- to determine the job your child will get and every other aspect of their life. Every study conducted has proven that CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction) is inferior to direct instruction in teaching academics. Traditional Sage on the Stage (the Progressives’ derogatory name for traditional teachers) instruction has been replaced by computers with teachers becoming more and more simply mere technicians with Progressive Guide on the Side instruction as full blown Common Core makes it into our schools.





NOT MATH EDUCATION OR COMPUTATIONAL PROFICIENCY



NOW LOOK AT TRADITIONAL MATHEMATICS

Besides giving students a firm foundation for believing in absolutes, traditional mathematics gives them necessary tools for daily living (shopping, cooking, making and buying clothing, building homes, stewardship, etc. and the tools for subduing the physical universe for man's benefit (scientific technology). 

Teaches from concrete to abstract--line upon line, precept upon precept. Recognizes he nature of the child as created by God and fallen. Uses a great deal of drill and rote memory, because this is how God created little children to learn. Children's learning must go from the known to the unknown. 

  1. Firm foundation in Absolutes
  2. Concrete to Abstract
  3. Line upon Line
  4. Precept upon Precept
  5. Drill and rote memory
EXACT OPPOSITE OF COMMON CORE/WHOLE LANGUAGE/PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION WITH THEMATIC EDUCATION/INTEGRATED CURRICULUM/MULTICULTURALISM



Modern Math on the other hand....
  1. Does away with absolutes and promotes relativism
  2. Denies that mathematics is true
  3. Purports to have applications in linear programming, operations research, game theory, quality control etc.
  4. Emphasizes abstractions (called concepts)
  5. Does not give the child anything solid to learn and use






Look at what grade level these children scored in the 80s. I wonder how much higher ABEKA schools score now after the lunacy of the COMMON CORE MATH.


Students in first grade using A Beka Book materials are performing approximately 1 1/2 years ahead of the national average, third grade 1 1/2 years ahead, fifth grade 2 years ahead, and seventh grade 2 to 2 1/2 years ahead using A Beka Book materials. Now, this was in the 80s and 90s, I can only imagine how much better their scores are now.




In our present technological age, excellence in mathematical skills is imperative for our nation to keep its technological lead in our economic world. 

Now what about Math with no calculators or computers?

I have seen children educated in an ABEKA school compute long series in their heads. I had three children in this school. All scored extremely high on all standardized tests (Stanford Achievement Test (at least 90th percentile and often much, much higher) at that time. We should return to those tests and compare the scores. 

REMEMBER WHEN?

First they memorized these tables. 




















Then they are able to make these computations in their heads!














 Wow! You can really teach children without computers or calculators. My oldest daughter went on with this education to actually BUILD computers as an electrical engineer with a computer specialty.

She could build computers AND with her degree in electrical engineering do other things.

Can children do that with today's Math?


THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TEACHER OF MATH

                      
Can you see the potential for harm in this list, particularly when reading recommendations one, two, three, five and six, is lacking experience or discernment. 
  1. that problem solving be the focus of school mathematics
  2. that basic skills in mathematics be defined to encompass more than computational facility
  3. that mathematics programs take full advantage of the power of calculators and computers at all grade levels (Funny, those Silicon Valley gurus don't send their children to schools that use computers and calculators!)
  4. that success of mathematics programs and student learning be evaluated by a wider range of measures than conventional testing
  5. that more mathematics study be required for all students and a flexible curriculum with greater range of options be designed to accommodate the diverse needs of student population

This is where we are. Those emphasizing Academics were overrun by those who wanted Social Justice programs. Using the excuse of the Civil Rights Movement and motivated by the bigotry of low expectations, Mathematics, like Reading fell victim to radicals like Paolo Freire, a hero of the Whole Language/Progressive Educational Movement now institutionalized in COMMON CORE.  And now we have Bill Gates involved gathering data on all of our children through his association with Pearson and UNESCO. School boards across the country were lured into adopting with the promise of RACE TO THE TOP funding. There went independent boards and instruction.











(See also on this blog: 
TRADITIONAL OR PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION. DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE? HAS POLITICS AFFECTED YOUR CHILD'S MATH EDUCATION? https://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/11/look-at-this-headline-and-now-according.html
TEACHERS AS LIBERATORS PRODUCE STUDENTS AS REVOLUTIONARIES: Whole Language Live On!








The Tragedy of the Math Mess and Another Way

MATH WARS. ONCE AGAIN INTO THE FRAY

COMMON CORE MATH

The Reality of Bay District Schools. Only Fifty Percent Read Proficiently. Is there hope?

The Four Period Day: Students as Guinea Pigs and Professional advancement for "innovators"

The Tale of Last Hope for Local Control

DEMONIC ROOTS TO COMMON CORE? VISIT YOUR CHILD'S THERAPEUTIC CLASSROOM.

THE GENEALOGY OF COMMON CORE: BILL GATES/UNESCO/ROBERT MULLER//ALICE BAILEY/LUCIS TRUST 

THE CHICAGO CONNECTION TO COMMON CORE

does anybody really believe anymore? does anybody really care?https://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/12/does-anybody-really-believe-anymore.html

Sounding the Alarm! Today's Therapeutic Classroom. What are you going to do about it?

Spalding Writing Road to Reading and John Winston of Parks Elementary Natchitoches, Louisiana
https://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/12/spalding-writing-road-to-reading-and.html

RETARDING AMERICA THE IMPRISONMENT OF POTENTIAL

NOTE FROM ROBERT SWEET OF THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO READ FOUNDATION

The DARE PROGRAM 20 years later.
https://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-dare-program-20-years-later-more.html

Merry Christmas! Meet Alliwishus, The Elf Mother Met at the Battle of the Bulge

My Mother. My hero who won a Battle Ribbon at the Battle of the Bulge. December 16, 1944. A SCRAPBOOK LOOK FROM JEAN BRONSON GILLIS BURSON.

LEONARD COHEN HALLELUJAH PROJECT AT BAY HIGH SCHOOL AND ESTABLISHMENT RELIGION, SECULAR HUMANISM, IN OUR SCHOOLS
https://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/12/leonard-cohen-hallelujah-project-at-bay.html

WHY SHOULD CONSERVATIVES, CHRISTIANS AND THE THE FAITH COMMUNITY BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS? SUBSCRIBE TO THE PANAMA CITY NEWS HERALD AND GET WASHINGTON POST FREE

PEACE EDUCATION? CONFLICT RESOLUTION? TEACHING TOLERANCE? COMMON CORE 

TRADITIONAL OR PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION. DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE? HAS POLITICS AFFECTED YOUR CHILD'S MATH EDUCATION?


RETARDING AMERICA THE IMPRISONMENT OF POTENTIAL

NOTE FROM ROBERT SWEET OF THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO READ FOUNDATION
DELPHI TECHNIQUE, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND THE EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT CONVINCED A GULLIBLE PUBLIC TO BUY INTO COMMON CORE

COMMON CORE: PORNOGRAPHY 101

MIDDLE SCHOOL AGENDA FOR SEXUAL ORIENTATION AS A PART OF MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION

BEHAVIOR MODELS ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS

CULTURE WAR AND COMMON CORE

SOCIAL STUDIES AND COMMON CORE

TEACHERS AS LIBERATORS PRODUCE STUDENTS AS REVOLUTIONARIES: Whole Language Live On!

RADICAL POSSIBILITIES: YOUR CHILDREN 
https://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/11/radical-possibilities-your-children.html

Response to AL.Com article "Alabama Superintendent Proposal to Raise Academic Standards."
SECULAR HUMANISM IS NOW THE RELIGION OF OUR SCHOOLS

COMMON CORE: THE EMPEROR IS WEARING NO CLOTHES

COMMON CORE=PETRI DISH FOR RADICALS
https://sharmanbursonramsey.blogspot.com/2017/11/common-core-petri-dish-for-radicals.html

REVOLUTIONARY PEDAGOGY

Revolutionary Pedagogy: Or, so you thought reading, writing and calculating were why you sent your child to school?
EDUCATION TODAY:

Politics, Profits, Position, Power, and Prejudice published 1995

CAPSTONE EDUCATION (UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA) AND MY CONCERNS

CONFLICT RESOLUTION OR POLITICAL INDOCTRINATION?

DELPHI TECHNIQUE, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, AND THE EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT CONVINCED THE GULLIBLE NATION TO BUY INTO COMMON CORE

WHO DO WE HOLD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE FAILURE OF OUR SCHOOLS?

PUBLIC EDUCATION SHOULD EMPOWER PARENTS

CONSPIRACY THEORIES IN EDUCATION

THE CIVIL WAR IN EDUCATION 

SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS

TAKE A KNEE

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