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  1. #1 "The Peoples Socialistic Republic Short Changes Little School Kids !" 
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    Aug 2005
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    How Math is (not) being taught in Massachusetts public schools

    "How about count how many wives aunt Sara has ?"


    My wife and I have 3 children (ages 1, 3, and 5), and we recently purchased a home in Winchester, Massachusetts, because its schools have a good reputation and its students do well on the MCAS . I looked at the "Academics" section of the school district web site and found "Math literature lists" (what happened to textbooks?) for various grades. The 4th grade list at

    http://mail.winchester.k12.ma.us/~mk...mathlists4.doc

    lists dozens of books, including

    Count your Way Through Africa

    Count Your Way Through Arab World

    and 7 move "Count your Way" books

    Amazon says the "Count your Way Through Africa" book "uses the Swahili words for the numbers from one to ten to introduce the land, history, and culture of Africa."

    A school teacher who reviewed the book says

    "Learn How to Count in Kiswahili! [...]

    A very nice informative book that taught me a lot about the African continent and how to count in Kiswahili too! I wll share this with my class during Black History Month."

    Fine, teach about Africa in social studies class, but this has nothing to with math! Even if the books were a serious effort teach kids to count, that ought to be mastered in 1st grade or kindergarten, not 4th grade. They need to work on abstract concepts such as fractions and decimals.

    "Homeschool!", I hear you Freepers shout. We probably will not, since my wife is a doctor, but it's clear that if we send him to the public school, we had better take the math education into our own hands. We have been using the Singapore Math series, and our precocious 5yo is already in book 2A adding and subtracting 3-digit numbers with carry over.

    Winchester is an affluent, mostly white (with some Asians) suburb of Boston, where most students do go on to college. I suppose most kids learn math anyway, maybe directly from their parents or through tutoring programs like Kumon. But what are we paying teachers to do? It reminds me of the recent article about "renegade parents" who teach their kids basic skills such as long division at home, because they are not covered in school.

    http://www.boston.com/news/education...th_on_the_sly/ .
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member
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    Real subjects like math and science are being deliberately obstructed. Math, science and real language skills are keys to power. If you can infiltrate these things with lots of garbage, you can prevent most students from accessing power.
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  3. #3  
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    Real subjects like math and science are being deliberately obstructed. Math, science and real language skills are keys to power. If you can infiltrate these things with lots of garbage, you can prevent most students from accessing power.
    If they can keep them as dumb as they are they will vote liberal/gay every time !
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  4. #4  
    I make big bucks off their parents eventually. Counting in Swahili is not a skill unless you plan to live and work in Africa. Nobody cares about your Swahili skills over here.

    Some "new" math ideas are worth developing at the right moment in time. Manipulatives can be a good skill if you already have a solid background in functions. Most of it is just garbage. It's easy for a traditionally taught math student to take advantage of shortcuts but it's impossible for a fuzzy math student to achieve the speed and accuracy of a traditionally taught student.
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