Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth

Wow!
M.J. McDermott explains the current state of math education in 4th and 5th grades in this YouTube video. Every parent of a child learning mathematics should watch this video.

It will astound you how "reform mathematics" is creating kids in this country who cannot compute, and now we know why.

M.J. totally fleshes out why and how the new mathematics programs create kids that cannot work alone, do not have math fluency, (they have no knowledge of mathematics symbols) and lack a basic knowledge of math skills. She explains why kids end up completely dependent on calculators for simple math computations.

It is quite an eye opener to see what math textbooks and programs our tax money is being used to pay for, and how these programs are creating a generation of math illiterates in the process.

If you have a child in school, you should make an effort to see what mathematics curriculum they are using. As for us homeschoolers... well, let's just say now I know why our kids are doing so well; we don't buy into these kinds of new fangled programs. The programs M.J. talks about make little sense in practical use, and in the end do not teach kids the real math skills that they need to know.

Do you realize that there are some high school geometry courses that no longer require a student to do proofs! Did you hear that noise? I think it was Pythagoras and Euclid turning over in their graves.

While textbook publishers share the blame here, I think we can all thank the NCTM standards which have helped to confuse, dumb down, and eventually mentally cripple our nation's students. One should not forget, however, that school boards and school systems are ultimately the ones that choose and pay for their curriculum. Do you know what your tax dollar is buying these days in your local schools?

This post is dedicated to Denise over at Let's Play Math; one math resource I certainly enjoy.