Weekly Math Updates
August 13th , 2008
It was three years ago this week that I sent out my first math update after a few months of working on the math issue. The quote I included in that email from Steven Leinwand, an expert panel member of the NSF was this:
Way back then I had no idea the time commitment this fight would require or the lengths that would have to be gone through to bring about success. I was in the blissful ignorance stage thinking "hey, people just need to be alerted to the problem enough and then reasonable minds will see the wisdom in changing math to something better." I had no idea the politics and powerful forces that were behind fuzzy math. The above quote just shows how deeply our nation has been infiltrated and damaged by these people.
Connected Math Downgraded - no longer acceptable as a primary text
Here's where you can find the great news for yourself. Please know that Connected Math is one of the worst programs available for middle schoolers. The only reason it's not as dangerous as Investigations is because the foundation of a child's math learning is more crucial to future development than what follows. That's why we initially focused on Investigations. However, once the state was asked to examine this program and see how devoid of content it is, they moved it from being recommended as a primary text to one of limited use. Here's where to see the great news for yourself:
Here's an outside review of the program should you want to see how poor the program really is.
ACTION TO TAKE:
Now what I need all of you to do is contact your local school principals and make sure they know this. Most of the middle schools in ASD are using CMP (Connected Math) in several of their classrooms as a primary text. It might not be all of the classrooms that teach math, but several of them are doing it and they need to know about this change right now so they can be ready for school to start in just a couple weeks. Please forward them the instructions above if needed so they can find this information themselves.
Please let your children's teachers know this too because I have been informed by both parents and teachers how information from the district either doesn't come down to the teachers or it's distorted by telling them it's OK to use a program like Investigations because even though the state removed it as an approved primary text, they've been assured it'll be put back on the approved list in the near future. Gotta love those educrats.
For you out-of-staters, I know some of you are in bondage to this program and this is great news for you as well. You should point out that Utah has just dropped CMP use as a primary text to anyone that needs to know someone has examined this program and found it to be deficient.
The state has not updated the description of their review of CMP, but in looking around I found this review of McDougal-Littell's Integrated Math which is listed as a "Recommended Limited" program as well with these notes from the state reviewers (I would expect a similar description to be posted for CMP in the future):
MUST WATCH VIDEO
I was sent this short video and it's an excellent reminder about Common Sense (by Thomas Paine).
I've sent some of these out previously so I'm recapping them here to archive them
Utah May Get New Math
The Greatest Commentary Piece on American Media Ever
I'm not sure how I came across this article but it's spot-on with it's analysis of why American media is nearly worthless.
The Bravest Man in Hollywood?
Poster Project Funds Complete
Thanks for your generous donations to the poster project. All funds have now been raised and within a couple/few weeks, Utah will be the first state in the union to have "In God We Trust" posters distributed to every public school teacher along with a copy of the state law allowing for its posting in the classroom. Here's to hoping other states follow this lead.
Timez Attack Software
I'm always on the lookout for good math related software. Earlier this year I found a program that looked interesting but I didn't try it out for some reason. Last week I installed the program on my kids' computer and got my 8 year old playing it. Two days later she said, "dad, do I have to do this program for my math everyday now?" Trying to sound positive I said, "yeah, sure." She quickly said, "thanks dad" and loaded it up. Weird, but true. :)
There are two versions of this software. The free version, and then a paid version which adds cooler environments to the game to keep it more visually appealing. Either way, I recommend you check it out for any of your kids that are working on their multiplication tables. Once you're on the site, click the "How to Play" link at the top for an in-depth video tour of the product.
Till next time,
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