Weekly Math Updates
March 11, 2009
Saxon Scores Big
Well we finally have a large-scale federal study of commercial math programs performed that compares SFAW, Investigations, Saxon, and Math Expressions. Not that this is a shock to any readers of this newsletter, but when all was said and done:
This study only examined first grade but will be followed up in the future by additional reports that cover subsequent years.
ASD again promotes fuzzy math to teachers
I previously sent out information regarding the district's math newsletter and how it was promoting "balanced" math, the code name for fuzzy math. The district continues to push this philosophy and now they're getting more aggressive. In the March 2009 "Math Messenger", ASD says:
So, traditional classrooms are defined by the district as valuing a child's ability to follow the teacher's example... Yeah, right.
Not to contradict the district or anything, but the National Math Advisory Panel report contains these little tidbits they may want to consider about student achievement (oh and there's nothing in the report about the vast benefits of inquiry-based learning, FYI).
http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/report/final-report.pdf (pg 20)
Note to ASD: Effort trumps talent. Practice trumps thinking.
How does ASD push this attitude toward teachers? By shaming them into compliance.
ASD attempts to shame teachers into compliance
After sending out the math newsletter, Alpine sent this out to their teachers.
Unwittingly I think Alpine proves the point. they are trying to tell their teachers to comply and use constructivist teaching in the classroom, but what they're really doing is announcing to their teachers that if just a handful will resist and continue to use traditional math, you can't make a difference in turning your school around! Thank you ASD for this encouragement to the heroic teachers who have put their neck on the line and continued to teach real math to our children.
ACTION ITEM: I am not sure the school board even knows the district folks did this. I encourage you to send letters to the board asking them to find out who sent this out and fire the individuals responsible. I also encourage you to send notes to your children's teachers asking them to continue to incorporate strong math skills and traditional math in the classroom.
I.O.U.S.A. The Movie
I think I sent out information about this movie a long time ago. There is a full-length movie version but this link will take you to a 30 minute version which should be sufficient to give you an idea of the vast financial problem our country is facing. The film was produced by the former comptroller (head accountant) of the United States and I highly recommend that you watch this film.
Obama's Pros and Cons (Charters and Offending our Greatest Ally)
I'd like to thank those of you you took the time to write your legislator about the charter school bill. Just this week President Obama said we needed to continue to grow charter schools. This is a big positive and hopefully legislators will continue to support charters.
Unfortunately, this week President Obama created a very difficult situation with our ally Great Britain. If you haven't heard about this, don't be surprised because the media isn't reporting it. Here's a link to get the full story and then if you would like to write the British Embassy and apologize on behalf of America, here's the address as well. Really, I'm not kidding about sending them a letter...
Great Videos-Inspirational, and Humorous
This first video is just under two minutes in length and is about our innate desire to create.
The next video is a satire of the British education system, or are they really talking about America???
Atlas Shrugged Sales Trend (fascinating)
Mark Perry, a great guy with a great blog, has a really cool couple of charts at the top of his site right now. Go take a look at how Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged has sold over the last few years with notes about current events next to the spikes.
Then scroll down Mark's site and see some of the other fascinating charts.
How an idea become a bill becomes a law
I was asked by someone this past week about how a bill becomes law in Utah. I'll try to do a better job in the future, but for now here's a quick link.
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