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Blind Dumb American "Teachers"

 

It is the dumbing-down crowd, Stotsky says, that considers Euclid a "dead
white male." Her fellow panel members Gilmore, Carol Greenes, Margaret
Kenney, and Deborah Hughes-Hallet were among those working to prevent the
standard algorithms of arithmetic from being taught in Massachusetts
elementary schools. In a taped meeting, this group claimed that there is
no such thing as standard arithmetic algorithms, and also that the
standard algorithm for adding numbers if mathematically incorrect. As
Mathematically Correct noted, "It was never explained by these allies of
Hyman Bass how the standard procedure for adding two numbers could both
be incorrect and not exist."

Those Massachusetts panel members are also at odds with the American
Mathematical Society, headed by Hyman Bass, which says that "standard
algorithms may be viewed analogously to spelling" and that "it is highly
desirable that everyone (that is, nearly everyone--we recognize that
there are always exceptional cases) learn a standard way of doing the
four basic arithmetic operations."

 

We need this video tape.

This proves that a huge percentage of American teachers (if not ALL of them), plain flat do not, can not, and will not ever understand math.

If they can't understand math--they cannot teach it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

An article from the Education News

http://www.educationnews.org/heterodoxy.htm

Jim Mahoney


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------

Heterodoxy
"Mathematically Correct." This is it
Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley

"The state has appointed a woman," read the warning, sent by Professor
Maurice Gilmore, professor of mathematics at Northeastern University, to
Professor Hyman Bass, professor of mathematics at the University of
Michigan and the president of the American Mathematical Society, a man
with an IQ allegedly off the charts. The woman in question was Sandra
Stotsky, a deputy commissioner of education in Massachusetts, and for
these heavy hitting professors she posed a special problem.

Stotsky, Gilmore said, was "ignorant," a serious charge against someone
in a position of authority on educational matters. But she wasn't, as Dr.
Evil might say, quasi-ignorant, or Pepsi-Lite-ignorant. Rather, said
Professor Gilmore, she was "so ignorant of mathematics that she debated
for 30 minutes with us to remove 'classical Greek constructions' from our
document because it was 'constructivist pedagogy.'" Something would
clearly have to be done about this menace, a kind of covert operation,
and indeed it turned out to be part of a larger conflict in which Sandra
Stotsky had already logged battle experience on a different front.

It happened to be English, not math, where Stotsky earned her spurs. She
first entered the fray by editing "Research in Teaching of English,"
published by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she earned
her Ph.D., and directed Harvard's Summer Institute on Writing, Reading
and Civic Education. Her duties gave her a strategic vantage point on the
far-flung campaigns of political correctness in the nation's schools.

In a development largely ignored by national media, Stotsky discovered
that many of the members of the 90,000-strong National Council of
Teachers of English object to the very use of the word "English" as
"non-inclusive" and imperialistic. Some even objected to the word
"teaching," since in their view the kids learn it all by themselves and
instead need someone to "facilitate." This approach is part of the larger
"language arts" that include such skills as "oracy" and "mediacy."

Many in the education field would champion these developments, but
Stotsky is not one of them. A careful thinker and researcher, yet
pleasant and deferential, she recalls that one influential "good teacher"
that many remember from their high school days. But social engineers who
try to foist their schemes on children will find her a tough opponent.

"They want to break the hold of English in the classroom, deconstruct the
language," said Stotsky, noting that Massachusetts teachers were pushing
bilingual education for all students starting in kindergarten. She also
knew that the devastation wrought by "whole language" theory, ebonics,
and self-esteem quackery was hardly an academic issue. The result of her
insights and confrontation was her 1998 _Losing Our Language How
Multicultural Classroom Instruction Is Undermining Our Children's Ability
to Read, Write and Reason_ (Free Press), a courageous effort for someone
in Stotsky's position as a professional educator, particularly in
Massachusetts. As Stotsky authored this thoughtful work on language, the
junkthought was carving out lebensraum on other classroom fronts.

Many math teachers, it turns out, are as opposed to both math and math
teaching as some are to English and English teaching. This group has
clashed with a number of very smart people in mathematics, science, and
engineering. The shrapnel from that conflict would soon be flying in
Stotsky's direction.

For those with a grudge against reality, mathematics poses special
problems. Two plus two really does equal four, and that is true for
Trevor, Julio, Mohammed, Kwami, and Brenda, despite the classic
formulation of "new math" satirist Tom Lehrer

So you've got thirteen And you take away seven, And that leaves five...
...Well, six actually But the idea is the important thing.

The idea is not the important thing. Math knowledge can be tested, and
some children do better at it than others. This places math at odds with
the bogus egalitarianism which mandates that all groups must perform at
the same level, and which ignores the relity that statistical
disparitities are the rule, rather than the exception, between
individuals and groups.

It bothers the multiculturalists, who also tend to be anti-intellectual,
that white males and Asians do well in math. Rather than endure that
outcome, they would prefer to dumb everything down to a shared ignorance,
a kind of "math appreciation." Instead of following the get-tough, "Stand
and Deliver" approach of Jaime Escalante, whose success in the East Los
Angeles barrio stunned the educaiton establishment, they take the
position of former baseball scout Al Campanis, although without
Campanis's forthrightness. They clearly believe that blacks and other
minorities lack the necessary equipment to deliver the goods. So they
don't expect them to, and the results are what you might expect from such
a vision.

As University of Massachusetts mathematician Stanley Spiegel has noted,
many of today's high school graduates can't handle multiplication without
sub-contracting the operation to a calculator, a device that
anti-intellectual educators want to inflict on children from the early
grades. Some students, Spiegel laments, can't even multiply by 100 or
recognize that the decimal equivalent of one-half is .5. Many of the best
California students arrive at the University of California in need of
remedial math--a situation that Stotsky critic Maurice Gilmore concedes
is true across the country, where math scores and knowledge have been in
decline ce the 1060s.

Though not a mathematician, Stotsky knew the issues and the players, and
found herself in a position where she could do something about it. As an
education commissioner, she was placed on a panel revising a math
framework for Massachusetts. There her past experience served her well.
The fuzzy math forces, she soon realized, were serving up their rotgut in
bottles labeled "reforms," a classic fraud with national implications and
backed by powerful players.

In October 1999, the United States Department of Education, headed by
education secretary Richard Riley, endorsed as "promising" a number of
math programs including Mathland, which does not teach standard
arithmetic operations such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and
dividing and instead herds children into groups where they invent their
own ways, away form "teacher-imposed rules." Connected Math, also billed
as "promising," ignores crucial skills such as division of fractions.
Everyday Math depends on calculators from kindergarten and one of its
grade 5 worksheets includes this gem

A. If math were a color, it would be_______because________. B. If it were
a food, it would be________because________. C. If it were weather, it
would be ______because______.

The federal panel that came up with these recommendations included Steven
Leinwand, author of a 1994 Education Week article in which he argued that
"It's time to recognize that, for many students, real mathematical power,
on the one hand, and facility with multidigit, pencil-and-paper
computational algorithms, on the other, are mutually exclusive. In fact,
it's time to acknowledge that continuing to teach these skills to our
students is not only unnecessary, but counterproductive and downright
dangerous."

This and similar statements recall Jean Cocteau's dictum that the trouble
with the modern world is that stupidity has begun to think. It is as
though Wynton Marsalis were to issue a diatribe against the teaching of
scales and harmony, or Rafer Johnson to pronounce weightlifting and wind
sprints counterproductive to the development of an Olympic athlete. A
number of the nation's leading mathematicians and scientists saw the true
danger in precisely that sort of non-thinking.

Two former presidents of the Mathematical Association of America, seven
Nobel Laureates, department heads at Caltech, Harvard, Stanford, Yale,
and 12 other universities, and winers of the FIelds Medal, the highest
award in mathematics, published an open letter to Secretary Riley in the
November 18 Washington Post. The letter, which prompted a congressional
hearing, cited "serious mathematical shortcomings" in the programs and
included specific criticisms by leading scholars. The letter urged the
public withdrawal of the entire list of "exemplary" and "promising"
curricula and warned school districts about adopting them. In the future,
they said, "we urge you to include well-respected mathematicians in any
future evaluation of mathematics curricula."

Signatories included mathematics professors Richard Askey of the
University of Wisconsin, a member of the National Academy of Sciences,
Hung-Hsi Wu of UC-Berkeley, Betsy Tsang of the National Semiconducting
Cyclotron Laboratory, and scores of others from departments of
mathematics and physics at prominent universities nationwide, a veritable
who's-who of math, physics, astronomy, and engineering. Junk-science
debunker Paul Gross of the University of Virginia signed on, and so did
Sandra Stotsky, then in the midst of tackling the Massachusetts math
framework, and soon to encounter professor Hyman Bass.

Bass, then the incoming president of the American Mathematical Society,
won that group's Cole Prize in algebra. The former Columbia professor is
a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a former chair of the
Mathematical Science Education Foundation. His writings reveal a profound
mathematical thinker

"Call a group L linear if it has a faithful (finite dimensional) complex
representation, and representation rigid if, in each dimension, there are
only finitely many classes of simple representations. Platanov
conjectured that if L is linear and representation rigid then L is
essentially an arithmetic group. Lubotsky and I have constructed a
counter-example. If F is the rank 1 form of the exceptional group F4, and
if H is a suitable cocompact lattice in F, then we produce an L of
infinite index in H x H. This construction uses the fact that H is a
hyperbolic group, a new theorem of Ol'shanskii about quotients of
hyperbolic groups, and a theorem of Grothendieck connecting
representation theory with profinite completions. The representation
rigidity of L then follows from the super-rigidity of L then follows from
the super-rigidity theorem of Corlette and Gromov-Schoen, which says that
H is super rigid in F."

Bass had not risen to that level by following the pedagogy of Mathland or
Everyday Math, and he would seem to be a natural ally for someone like
Stotsky, who wanted the very highest standards and a rigorous approach to
the teaching of his own discipline. But Bass not only condemned the open
letter from prominent scientists, denouncing the authors, but defended
the very curricula that secretary Riley thought so exemplary and
promising.

"What appear to be very sensible reservations about what the Department
of Education did," said Bass in his widely distributed notice, "becomes
in fact part of a veiled and systematic assault on the professional
educational community, in which Askey and Wu are perhaps inadvertently
allied with people who have much more insidious political agendas."

Professor Bass, who did not return calls from Heterodoxy, did not explain
whether he believed that the professional education community was doing a
great job, nor how an open letter backed by 200 signatories and published
in the Washington Post could constitute a "veiled" attack. Neither did he
elaborate on the "insidious political agendas," of Askey and Wu. Though
his own political campaign was the veiled one, his actions came to the
attention of Mathematically Correct, a San Diego-based network of
mathematicians and scientists in Bass's intellectual league, who are open
as possible about their own agenda, "the concerns raised by parents and
scientists about the invasion of our schools by the new new-math and the
need to restore basic skills to math education."

"The advocates of the new, fuzzy math have practiced their rhetoric
well," says the Mathematically Correct Web sie , headlined by the logo "2
+ 2 = 4." "They speak of higher-order thinking, conceptual understanding
and solving problems, but they neglect the systematic mastery of the
fundamental building blocks necessary for success in any of these areas.
Their focus is on things like calculators, blocks, guesswork, and group
activities and they shun things like algorithms and repeated practice.
The new programs are shy on fundamentals and they also lack the
mathematical depth and rigor that promotes greater achievement."

Mathematically Correct commented that the insidious agendas cited by
professor Bass "presumably include the teaching of the standard
algorithms of arithmetic to elementary school children."

Math educators, a different breed than mathematicians, have a huge
financial stake in the adoption of the type of MTV math curricula
recommended by the Department of Education. Massachusetts math educators
saw the open letter as a stalking horse for the school-choice movement,
which would allow parents to escape junk math, junk English, and junk
multiculturalism, and take their money with them to some school where
they can learn. That is what those in the "professional education
community" are trying to prevent, though many, like President Clinton,
send their own children to the best private schools.

Bass's fevered calculations cast Askey, Wu, and their fellow stellar
signatories as mindless dupes of shadowy voucher propagandists. They are
of course no such thing, and neither is Stotsky, but the view includes a
fascinating dialectic. Individual choice, after all, is the basis for
higher education, in which grants go not to institutions but to students,
who select the school, often on the basis of famous professors such as
Hyman Bass. Voucher proponents simply want to extend that choice to the
K-12 system. But that irony escaped the reactionary math educrats, who
leveraged Bass into attacking the open letter.

He also took some swings at Mathematically Correct as "an important agent
in promoting this Open Letter." The group, he wrote, "has been
politically active around the country. In Massachusetts it is allied with
efforts of the Deputy Commissioner of Education, Sandra Stotsky." While
the astronomers, scientists, and Nobel laureates were dupes, Stotsky was
the villain. Said Bass, "her ideological and uninformed opposition to
"constructivist ideas" has reached the incredible state where she is
opposed to inclusion of discussion of 'Classical Greek constructions' as
being 'constructivist pedagogy.' Is this what serious mathematicians want
to associate themselves with?"

Hyman Bass wrote that without taking the trouble to speak with Sandra
Stotsky. He gained his misinformation from Maurice Gilmore's note about
the "ignorant" woman, a judgment Gilmore has retracted, though he still
insists that Stotsky doesn't know much about math and that traditonal
teaching, rather than the new new-math, is responsible for the current
decline. Stotsky learned about Bass's charges from Richard Askey.

"Absolutely bizarre," she responded. "I have never said or written
anything whatsoever regarding 'Classical Greek constructions.' I wouldn't
have even known what was being referred to if you hadn't explained that
it was related to geometry. I can't imagine what it could even be a
distortion of. If anything, I have been concerned about the teaching of
Euclidean geometry, wanting to be sure it's there in the curriculum."

It is the dumbing-down crowd, Stotsky says, that considers Euclid a "dead
white male." Her fellow panel members Gilmore, Carol Greenes, Margaret
Kenney, and Deborah Hughes-Hallet were among those working to prevent the
standard algorithms of arithmetic from being taught in Massachusetts
elementary schools. In a taped meeting, this group claimed that there is
no such thing as standard arithmetic algorithms, and also that the
standard algorithm for adding numbers if mathematically incorrect. As
Mathematically Correct noted, "It was never explained by these allies of
Hyman Bass how the standard procedure for adding two numbers could both
be incorrect and not exist."

Those Massachusetts panel members are also at odds with the American
Mathematical Society, headed by Hyman Bass, which says that "standard
algorithms may be viewed analogously to spelling" and that "it is highly
desirable that everyone (that is, nearly everyone--we recognize that
there are always exceptional cases) learn a standard way of doing the
four basic arithmetic operations."

It was Stotsky who insisted, in the fact of much status quo opposition,
that these standards be included as requirements, receiving support from
Stanley Spiegel, math professor at U-Mass at Lowell, in a Boston Globe
article. He openly defended Stotsky's support for algebra in the eighth
grade and concluded that "it seems clear that the public school
mathematics curriculum needs more rigor not less, more algebra not less,
and that the modest changes in the math frameworks now being proposed are
an important step in that direction."

Stotsky sent out tapes of the meeting with Gilmore and attempted to get a
retraction from Bass, without success. When it became clear that there
was no evidence for his charges, the mathematician went on to claim that
Stotsky made the anti-Euclidian statements in an earlier meeting.
Unfortunately, Gilmore was not in that meeting and Stotsky never made the
statement then or at any time. Indeed, such a stance would contradict her
current purpose.

The fuzzy math advocates in her state, she says, are "fit to be tied over
new standards in California," a state whose new math standards dumped
dumbed-down curricula and the calculator approach, just as they
eliminated the bilingual education programs that were leaving thousands
of children intellectually handicapped for life.

"Social engineers are driving this from the bottom," says Stotsky. "They
are trying to equalize achievement across demographic groups." They can't
dump math content altogether, so they try to "lower the ceiling" through
the use of vague standards disguised as "reforms," something that gets by
because, she says, "most of the public doesn't understand the vocabulary
of math." Stotsky, who does, also sees the stakes.

"Are public schools goig to be places where bright students can get an
education like their counterparts in private schools?" she asks. "Or will
they be retarded?" Such issues have left Stotsky little time to
contemplate what to do about the widespread falsehoods and slanders
against her.

"Bass is wrong and he knows it," says Maurice Gilmore. But as of this
writing, Bass hasn't shown himself capable of an apology and a
retraction. On the other hand, he provides a lesson that many of his
colleagues in the academy have yet to learn.

Call it the Bass Theorem. He who tries to be mathematically correct and
politically correct at the same time, no matter how high his IQ or lofty
his reputation, will wind up looking foolish.

----Kenneth Lloyd Billingsley
Post your comments on this article

 

TRAITOR McCain

jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law

f.ck Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition

 

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