Weekly Math Updates
September 13, 2006
The Death of Constructivism
After the HUGE news in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the NCTM "Standards-Based" myth should finally find a nice grave to crawl into. If only the teachers and administrators could understand the major reversal in philosophy that occurred yesterday, they would understand that Constructivism was just given a solid kick in the pants and told to go home, lock yourself in your room, do not pass go, do not collect $200 (million) from any more school districts, and do us all a favor with the noose we conveniently left in your room (I am not an advocate of suicide but I will make this one exception).
Please, please, please print and deliver or email a link to the WSJ article to your principal, teachers, PTA president, and community council members and let them know Constructivism is dead and we should all be considering Singapore math as one of the replacement programs. This is a powerful article and should get everyone considering the use of Singapore math which is the very best program available and will produce superior students that can both compute and comprehend math. Further, we should stay as far away from Investigations version 2 as possible. It will not meet these new standards.
For your convenience in printing or emailing, click here for a copy of the article on my website:
After last week's update with several parent comments including one whose 8th and 10th graders who were having difficulty with multiplication tables, I got this email from another parent.
I am personally grateful for the teachers who shut their doors and taught the times tables when the district told them not to. They remind me of the highest quality of U.S. Marines who think before acting...you don't shoot innocent people just because your commanding officer gave you a direct order. You have to know when to disobey orders and stand for what's right. Whistleblowers often face the wrath of their company for standing up for something at great personal cost. There are quite a few of these types of people in our district who bear the title "teacher" and stood up against a system they knew to be wrong. It's painfully obvious how wrong the district got it when you read stories like the one above and from last week. For the district to get something so basic, so wrong, is unconscionable. Alpine's legacy is set. They have permanently disabled thousands of children for life. For those still in the system, I hope it's not too late but they need some serious remediation.
I received this email from a teacher in Draper who said I could use her name. She was taught constructivism in her education classes in college but has had a change of heart since then.
Tim Osborne-School Board Candidate
Tim Osborn (a supporter of our movement) is running against Keith Swain for the school board. He could use all the campaign contributions we can send his way. Please make a donation today. He also said he's happy to speak with anyone and that I could publish his phone number.
Dual Enrollment Summary
I have created a summary page of all the dual enrollment information including comments from you about how some of you are handling the situation for mid-day classes. For the whole scoop, click here.
Free Capitalist Meeting--I'm Speaking and You're Invited
If you've never heard about the Free Capitalist organization, it's an organization that believes in the constitution and making positive changes in society. They meet weekly in local chapter meetings and I have been invited to speak to their group this Thursday the 14th in Pleasant Grove from 7-8 PM. If any of you are interested in meeting me and checking out this organization I'd like to invite you to attend. The location for the meeting this week is the Utah Auto Sales building located at 17 N. State in Lindon.
If you can't make it this Thursday, I will be speaking to the Provo chapter on the 21st of this month at the FranklinSquires building at 85 East Bay Blvd. in Provo (use the Southeast entrance). This meeting will also be from 7-8 PM. Here's a link to the about page of the Free Capitalist organization.
Engineer Writes School Board
This is one of the best letters I've found simply because it pulls the best research together in one place. This would be a good resource to share with teachers and anyone that wants to have "non-flawed" :) research available to review.
As you know, the Wall Street Journal has picked up our story thanks to a contact in a high place who I am grateful chose to contact us. As you read, big things are coming. This is the national news I mentioned a few weeks ago would be coming on the focal points. I don't know all the ramifications yet, but as I learn them I'll pass them on.
These next two articles are from "John Dewey", the anonymous individual taking math coursework in college. I have previously linked to his first two articles and these are just as enlightening in how teachers are being indoctrinated in constructivism in their training. The teachers are big on NCTM standards and defend the lack of core items presented to children in the classrooms.
Star Trek--Taking Us Where No Classroom Has Gone Before (MATH RELATED BONUS)
Inspiring millions of children to grow up and dream of becoming Scotty the wonder-engineer, and millions more to painfully apply clothes-pins to create pointed Vulcan ears, Star Trek, The Original Series, returns this week running digitally remastered episodes with updated graphics and effects where possible, and enhanced audio as well. They're trying to stay very faithful to the original series look and feel but putting in updated CGI and effects to eliminate some of the velveeta (cheesy) look from the cutting-edge 60's special effects studio work. The first episode is Balance of Terror, one of the great classic episodes between the Federation and Romulans.
Let me just say for the record, this episode shows Kirk at his finest and in my book he clearly beats Picard as captain of the Enterprise almost solely for being the only academy student to ever beat the Kobayashi Maru simulator...
Start watching this Saturday the 16th (KUWB for locals) when the newly revamped show starts airing.
Let me further say regarding Star Trek, that after watching the first season of Babylon 5, I had to quit watching DS9 and Voyager (which were airing new episodes) as they were so pathetic compared to the story arc contained in the Babylon 5 sci-fi show. Excellent stories, excellent writing and acting, and the strictest attention to physics. Babylon 5 is the all time best sci-fi show...just an opinion, from someone that's watched them all.
Dedicated to NCTM...May you rest in peace.
Till next week,
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