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Fri Nov 5, 2021, 09:49 AM

 

California Tries to Close the Gap in Math, but Sets Off a Backlash

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/04/us/california-math-curriculum-guidelines.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20211105&instance_id=44676&nl=the-morning®i_id=126406904&segment_id=73603&te=1&user_id=60772750d12b15f85907c4e211fc21f6

Proposed guidelines in the state would de-emphasize calculus, reject the idea that some children are naturally gifted and build a connection to social justice. Critics say math shouldn’t be political.

If everything had gone according to plan, California would have approved new guidelines this month for math education in public schools.

But ever since a draft was opened for public comment in February, the recommendations have set off a fierce debate over not only how to teach math, but also how to solve a problem more intractable than Fermat’s last theorem: closing the racial and socioeconomic disparities in achievement that persist at every level of math education.

The California guidelines, which are not binding, could overhaul the way many school districts approach math instruction. The draft rejected the idea of naturally gifted children, recommended against shifting certain students into accelerated courses in middle school and tried to promote high-level math courses that could serve as alternatives to calculus, like data science or statistics.


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The attack by honestly progressives that should know better against intelligence and education of children (See also NYC eliminating gifted programs and AP classes to help combat racism) is bizarre


Some people are better at math than others. Some are better athletes. Or more creative. We should help develop and celebrate these differences.


Harrison Bergeron is supposed to be a dystopian story not a fucking blueprint.


This kind of crap is exactly why we lose elections. No parent wants their kid uneducated, so they will be more equal with other children.


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Reply California Tries to Close the Gap in Math, but Sets Off a Backlash (Original post)
cinematicdiversions Nov 2021 OP
jimfields33 Nov 2021 #1
Pisces Nov 2021 #4
exboyfil Nov 2021 #12
Mz Pip Nov 2021 #13
MichMan Nov 2021 #19
Sympthsical Nov 2021 #28
Midnight Writer Nov 2021 #45
RobinA Nov 2021 #37
rickyhall Nov 2021 #42
MichMan Nov 2021 #43
Demsrule86 Nov 2021 #58
Ms. Toad Nov 2021 #68
Demsrule86 Nov 2021 #57
hunter Nov 2021 #61
Demovictory9 Nov 2021 #66
lostnfound Nov 2021 #71
Pisces Nov 2021 #74
Elessar Zappa Nov 2021 #17
jimfields33 Nov 2021 #18
MichMan Nov 2021 #20
Elessar Zappa Nov 2021 #21
cinematicdiversions Nov 2021 #27
Elessar Zappa Nov 2021 #30
cinematicdiversions Nov 2021 #32
Demovictory9 Nov 2021 #69
Demovictory9 Nov 2021 #67
cinematicdiversions Nov 2021 #72
mopinko Nov 2021 #23
Amishman Nov 2021 #26
MichMan Nov 2021 #47
Amishman Nov 2021 #51
Midnight Writer Nov 2021 #48
Demsrule86 Nov 2021 #59
madville Nov 2021 #63
iemanja Nov 2021 #73
cinematicdiversions Nov 2021 #75
Elessar Zappa Nov 2021 #2
Sympthsical Nov 2021 #31
JI7 Nov 2021 #3
JohnSJ Nov 2021 #5
Tetrachloride Nov 2021 #6
Elessar Zappa Nov 2021 #15
Bettie Nov 2021 #7
RobinA Nov 2021 #8
Tetrachloride Nov 2021 #9
mopinko Nov 2021 #24
Tetrachloride Nov 2021 #34
mopinko Nov 2021 #40
Mz Pip Nov 2021 #10
Wingus Dingus Nov 2021 #11
MichMan Nov 2021 #22
mopinko Nov 2021 #25
FakeNoose Nov 2021 #14
Elessar Zappa Nov 2021 #16
Hortensis Nov 2021 #35
FakeNoose Nov 2021 #56
OnDoutside Nov 2021 #60
nolabear Nov 2021 #29
mopinko Nov 2021 #33
PlanetBev Nov 2021 #36
sanatanadharma Nov 2021 #38
MissB Nov 2021 #39
hunter Nov 2021 #41
Dawson Leery Nov 2021 #44
Hekate Nov 2021 #46
madville Nov 2021 #64
Celerity Nov 2021 #49
cinematicdiversions Nov 2021 #62
Polybius Nov 2021 #50
Demovictory9 Nov 2021 #70
NowISeetheLight Nov 2021 #52
Hekate Nov 2021 #53
cinematicdiversions Nov 2021 #65
dalton99a Nov 2021 #54
Jim__ Nov 2021 #55

Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 09:55 AM

1. Math is one subject that can't have race. It's actually the one thing that is the same

the world over. 2+2=4 in the United States, India, France, and Nigeria. We need to stop dumbing down education. You think China is going to cancel calculus?

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:04 AM

4. Calculus is a waste of time for the majority of students. We need classes on how to budget and inves

90% of kids that take calculus only do it because it looks good for college. They will never apply it in real life. Not their future job, not at home. It is hard to change the way things are always done, but something has to give. If we want to equal the playing field kids need to be taught to budget,save and and invest. The stock market is something very few understand. Maybe kids should be taught about this as a lifeskill. Sales is something kids can use their whole life.

We shouldn’t be stuck in antiquated curriculum. I took calculus and no I have never used it not once outside the classroom.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:17 AM

12. Very good suggestion

The one problem is that around 15-16 you are deciding to select a career path. Other countries do this regularly but not so much the US. My daughter finished all of her math requirements for an engineering degree while in high school so that can be done. My other daughter basically stopped her Calculus track with 10th grade and went on to Nursing. Both decisions were correct.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:19 AM

13. It shouldn't matter why kids take it.

Of course looks good for college. It’s also a requirement for anyone going into a STEM field.

Just because you never used it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taught. I disagree that 90% who take it don’t use it. If they go into STEM fields they do.

Those other classes you recommend be taught should also be taught. It shouldn’t be an either/or situation. Even those kids taking Calculus need that information.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:31 AM

19. Math skills and ability to solve problems is beneficial regardless

I agree that simple budgeting and investment skills are also important, but no reason both can't be taught.

In today's world, STEM subjects need to be increased upon, not watered down

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:56 AM

28. The vast majority of students don't take calculus in high school

Usually it's on a different track for honors students. Geometry, Algebra 2/Trig, Pre-Calc, AP Calculus.

Also, it isn't just about "Will I ever use Calc?" It's about developing thinking and analytical skills while young brains are more spongey. Sure, most people won't use calc in their professions - I certainly don't. But people with solid math skills have better incomes than those that don't.

There are a lot of professions out there, particularly in vocational fields, where if you're decent at math, you can make more money.

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Response to Sympthsical (Reply #28)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:16 PM

45. That is how it is here. In High School you can opt for college track courses.

I don't understand why it would benefit anybody to not have those courses available.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:20 AM

37. I Agree About Calculus

but some kids benefit from an early introduction to it. There's no reason they can't offer Calculus and what we used to call Consumer Economics, which is what you are describing. My school managed to do it in the '70's. Our Consumer Economics was a Health elective which was extremely helpful.

Me, I was on the "college bound" track and therefore wasted a bunch of time on Algebra and such. Today I would have appreciated less Algebra, since I wasn't headed in a direction that made that useful, and maybe some more useful math subjects, as someone mentioned, statistics or something. PRACTICAL statistics. My math time could have been better spent on different math. I did not need three years of Algebra and Trig, none of which I understood at the time.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 12:13 PM

42. Kids can do Calculus but can't balance a check book or make change. What's wrong here?

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Response to rickyhall (Reply #42)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:06 PM

43. I refuse to believe that

Obviously kids taking Calculus can handle the simple math of a checkbook.

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Response to rickyhall (Reply #42)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 07:45 PM

58. I don't balance a checkbook. Hell I can't remember the last time I wrote a check...I go online and

go through my account...it seems to me this is dumbing down the curriculum because they don't want to make sure all kids do well...so they lower the standards...don't think this is a good idea. And we will lose elections even in California if we continue to promote such a thing.

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Response to rickyhall (Reply #42)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:23 PM

68. Pretty sure the kids who can do calculus can also balance a checkbook and make change.

Former high school math teacher, here.

It is the kids who can't balance a checkbook or make change who need more/different attention. That doesn't mean depriving those who are capable of more sophisticated mathematics of the tools they need to use those capabilities.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 07:40 PM

57. No it isn't. And gifted students matter too. These new guidelines are dreadful.

I taught all math except Geometry for some years...and I completely disagree with you... this is the 21st century.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:38 PM

61. Half the people posting here on DU were totally fucked over by their maths education...

... and left bloodied in the ditch thinking the math was beyond them.

Nevertheless, those who will never develop any fluency in the language of calculus can still appreciate it for what it is and maybe order something delicious at a restaurant whenever they travel abroad.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:22 PM

66. not tackling higher math early can limit choices later. decide on a stem major or doctor path

at age 18 or 19... lots of math / science make up work if avoided earlier.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:27 PM

71. Every engineer needs calculus

I have used it in real life on numerous projects. it also teaches you to solve complex problems in a systematic way that is necessary for thermodynamics, heat transfer, stress analysis, and more.
A freshman doesn’t always know what specific branch or occupation within engineering they will be drawn to.

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Response to lostnfound (Reply #71)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 09:02 PM

74. Of course engineers need calculus, but non stem careers

Do not. There is a finite amount of time to take classes. I think we need to rethink education as a whole

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:26 AM

17. But apparently in this country there are differences

in math achievement based on race, according to the article. We need to figure out why that is.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:31 AM

18. Math is something that only needs a book, blackboard and a teacher

It’s probably the cheapest class to teach as the books don’t even need changed. I can’t see how any child in the United States would have any chance of not having equality in learning math.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:34 AM

20. I couldn't agree more. Same with basic reading skills

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:38 AM

21. But there IS a disparity.

We know that white people aren’t naturally smarter than minorities. We must find out why the difference and work to end the gap.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:55 AM

27. This is a culture problem not a race problem

 

Nobody is worried that the Nigerian immigrants are falling behind in math. (Because they out perform)

There are some cultures in the United States that do not value education (Not all of them dominated by POC's see for example the Quiverfull people). There are other cultures that do value education.

Cultures that value education simply outperform those that do not.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:57 AM

30. Are you saying groups like African-Americans

and Mexican-Americans don’t value education?

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:04 AM

32. I am saying this is clearly not a racial issue.

 

As people of all races perform well in mathematics. So if a subgroup of students are performing poorly, race is a useless measurement.

Look at poverty, look at culture, look at the education level of the parents' education. Look at the percentage of two-parent households vs single parents.

Race is useless as a tool here. Because it simply has no effect. It should not be part of the conversation.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #32)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:24 PM

69. look at expections of teacher, look at quality of schools. watch the racial tropes

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #27)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:23 PM

67. african americans value education. surprised to see that racist trope on DU

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Response to Demovictory9 (Reply #67)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:46 PM

72. That is the point it isn't a racial trope.

 

Your race has nothing to do with your natural ability to do math.

Making it a racial issue is disingenuous.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:48 AM

23. yeah, you're real wrong about that. upper grades, yes. but primary grades?

even tho this is about hs classes, how math is taught these days has changed. and changed based on solid research into what babies and little kids know, and how they figured it out.
that is what common core math is based on.

tho a lot of people learned math that way, look around. how many adults do you know w a firm grasp of math?
some of the techniques used for gifted kids can, indeed, be used w "average" kids, in the early grades. math is a good example. i can support not sifting kids in primary grades.

but as the mom of 5 gifted kids, this disturbs the hell out of me.
esp disappointed that this is cali, the only state which guarantees an "appropriate" education to gifted kids.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:55 AM

26. Its because of differences in home life

Academic achievement involves quite a bit of work and just stability in general outside the classroom.

As long as there are major differences in poverty and household stability along racial lines, this will spill over into impacting academic success.

Lets look at three children who go to the same school, have the same teacher, and even the same relative natural talent.

Child A lives in a two parent household where both adults work 9-5 jobs and have college degrees. They are around to help make sure the child does their homework, and are available and able to provide supplemental instruction even on advanced subjects like calculus. If the child struggles, the parents have the ability to hire a tutor.

Child B lives in a two parent household but neither parent has any college. The child does receive the supervision to ensure they spend time on their homework, but the parents are less able to help if the child struggles. A tutor is out of the budget.

Child C lives in a single parent household, where the adult has to work two jobs and the child is usually on their own in the evening. This child lacks the same watchful eye to make sure they do their homework and also lacks readily available help if they are struggling.

I would expect Child A to have more success than B, and I would expect both A and B to have more success than C.

I am a firm believer that many of our racial issues today have economic roots.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #26)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:21 PM

47. The focus needs to be on improving the skills of Child C instead of holding back A & B

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Response to MichMan (Reply #47)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:40 PM

51. yes, exactly.

I do not agree with most of what is being proposed

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:21 PM

48. My guess would be school funding through property taxes is a factor.

I visited the public High School where a wealthy relative of mind lives, and it was mind boggling. Golf course, three swimming pools, science labs, computers, huge campus with a manicured lawn, just an amazing place. Oh, and highly paid teachers and staff.

Compare that to a school with a poor tax base.

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Response to Midnight Writer (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 07:46 PM

59. I agree...but I doubt it can be changed.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:06 PM

63. No one is going to pursue that subject these days

There are old studies that show the disparities in SAT and IQ scores among different races. It’s a lightning rod, would you conduct and publish a study that might potentially show some races are better at math than others? The mob would tear you apart even if the data was accurate.

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Response to jimfields33 (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:51 PM

73. Ever read a word problem?

Tell me they aren't skewed in terms of race, class, and gender.

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Response to iemanja (Reply #73)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 09:06 PM

75. It has been more than a while but I don't think there are many word problems in calculus.

 

And in this day and age I would be surprised if word problems are an issue.

Immigrants with a limited understanding of both English and American culture seem to have no issue getting math word problems correct. Including immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 09:58 AM

2. While I don't agree with getting rid of calculus,

I think a required data science or statistics course would be very useful for students to know.

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Response to Elessar Zappa (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:03 AM

31. I think Statistics is more valuable than ever

Too much information on the Internet is dependent on stats people don't know how to read or understand. When reading a claim, sometimes it's invaluable to be able to look at the source and discover that, "Wait, that isn't what those numbers say at all."

Happened here the other day. An OP had a headline that was very ideologically satisfying. But one poster and myself both went, "This sounds weird." So we both looked at the data. Yep. That headline was very, very misleading. It wasn't false, but it spun the significance of the data right out of the story it wanted to tell.

Not just political stuff either. Economic news. When a journalist shows you a graph, is it a fair graph? Or, is it being manipulated. Your finances, what you can expect to pay for things. Companies will show you data where the shape is stretched or deformed to give you the impression they want.

People are paid a lot of money to mislead us in a lot of areas. So having the tools to see through the deception shouldn't be underestimated.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:00 AM

3. Focus should be on providing opportunity and things like one on one tutoring and other help

to those that need it. Even those who are "naturally" good in math will often get special help apart from what every student gets in the classroom.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:04 AM

5. The problem is this will hurt both those who have an advanced aptitude in math, and those who

don't.

The students who are not equipped to handle an advanced math class will be completely lost, and those who are will be slowed down.

Not only will it have just the opposite effect, but I suspect those with means will just send their kids to private schools.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:05 AM

6. 1. Some kinds of math are hated more than others

2. Subset : some grammar ( the math social dialect) is hated more than others.
3. Corollary: some math is liked a lot more.
4. Not all of the best people at teaching math are at work as math teachers
5. Appreciation of math and geometric intrigue is duh obviously intriguing. Appreciation can be done at a lot lower ages than the actual mechanics
6. Math tutors get to clean up the debris of schools , if a tutor can be found and paid.
7. Teachers get the impression that paperwork is more important than whatever.
8. Teachers can get 100-150 students a day. i worry about my 3 students. 100-150 is a whole other strategy.
9. i never had a pro math teacher.

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Response to Tetrachloride (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:23 AM

15. I had excellent public school math teachers.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:06 AM

7. Adding data science and Statistics to math

instruction is a good idea.

But, math IS an area where some people are naturally gifted at it and some struggle.

My beloved husband and two of our sons naturally took to math.

Me and that other son? We struggle with it, because our brains are simply not wired that way. We have other areas where we excel.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:07 AM

8. No School District

should be dumbing down any subject for any reason. Have at it gifted math students! I am not one of you, not even close, but you should not be penalized or held back because I am an idiot at math. I would have more appreciated an attempt to make me less of a math idiot, but that didn't really happen. School should be pulling all kids up.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:10 AM

9. If any DU member has a child gifted or intrigued by math and

needs advice, you can message me.

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Response to Tetrachloride (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:51 AM

24. mine are grown now. but curious what you have to say.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:09 AM

34. Its an eclectic set of techniques. whatever is lowest stress

is a win. 2nd lowest stress is getting used to some aspects of the hard stuff, such as Greek alphabet.

Imagination of step to step is what precedes actual mechanics.

One problem of imagination is story telling. Uncoordinated aspects is not a story. If you cannot tell a story, you are have a problem ( nice word play if i do say so myself).

The story telling of chemical reactions includes logarithms a LOT. I wish i had known that from 12 years old.

thats a start.

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Response to Tetrachloride (Reply #34)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:28 AM

40. my son

we homeschooled for 8 yrs cuz i had a kid who just didnt need school. by 5, he was reading, and had a grasp of numbers that was amazing.
prolly on the spectrum, but that was before that was a thing. shy as hell tho, and i knew he had a target on his back.

he is abt of a phd in theoretical math. i got through calculus in college, and he left me in the dust by the time he went to school in 8th grade. i credit his obsession w legos.
must have bought the kid a million pieces, and was happy to do it, knowing that every brick was a brain cell.
he also devoured this book-https://www.amazon.com/Math-Kit-Three-Dimensional-Through-Mathematics/dp/0026215357

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:11 AM

10. Bizarre is right

Going after meritocracy is not a good idea. No wonder there was a backlash on this.



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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:13 AM

11. I guess I'm missing the link between math and social justice.

I am also missing how cancelling advanced math classes helps the not-advanced kids in any way. What lessons are they trying to impart here? What problems are they trying to alleviate? Can't read NYT because of paywall, but having been a person that barely scraped through algebra and geometry, I never once felt bad that other kids were good at it (most of my friends in high school were high achievers in math, in fact).

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Response to Wingus Dingus (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:42 AM

22. Attempting to achieve equity between different racial groups I guess.

Instead of trying to lift up the knowledge of underperforming students, some would rather try and prevent others from succeeding.

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Response to Wingus Dingus (Reply #11)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:54 AM

25. they've been trying for years to get minority kids into better schools.

here in chi, it's been my whole life. we stood up a whole system of selective enrollment schools, and enrichment for gifted kids in neighborhood schools, but it has done little to lead to equal opportunity.
sounds like they are just trying to blow it all up.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:22 AM

14. Practical aspects of mathematics are never taught in high school

I had a 4-year program of high school mathematics including pre-calculus in my senior year. Never once were students taught practical aspects such as the things that salespeople, real estate agents, tax preparers, insurance adjusters, pharmacists, bookkeepers, cabinet makers, etc. use all day long. If you have a checking account (as we all do) you need to know how to balance your account. If you declare your income to the IRS (as most of us do) you need to know these math tips. If you own or rent (like most of us) you're probably shopping for furniture, carpeting, drapes etc. and here's how you calculate space. The list goes on.

I think students' attitude towards math would change dramatically once they realize how much they need to know when they're out on their own in the "big city."



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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:25 AM

16. Right.

Some people are good at math problems but don’t know how to apply the knowledge in the real world. I’m lucky to have had teachers who taught me how to use it the stuff you mentioned above.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:14 AM

35. A step-granddaughter took HS math that was ENTIRELY practical,

Every bit of it applications of math in the everyworld. They spent a lot of time practicing techniques I'd never heard of for quickly estimating rough answers (envy here) and stopping at that point. They were taught to use their phones when an accurate answer was needed. And it met the math requirement for HS graduation. I'll have to ask my kids if that district is still offering it.

I was initially surprised and dismayed -- her ONLY math?! But it was right for her -- as her only math. She's not dumb when interested, but like many people just not interested in most things. And she didn't need a foundation for additional math classes she went out of her way to avoid.

So, there you are. It's out there.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #35)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 07:37 PM

56. I'm glad to hear that!

I'll admit I'm a little behind the times. I graduated high school in 1969.

Later on in life I had a job where I used algebra constantly. I was in printing sales and I needed to devise a complicated formula that covered material and labor costs, plus profit, plus be attractive to the customer who's buying the product. If only my algebra teachers had made it clear why all that crazy math was needed, I'm sure I would have been a better student.

Teachers rock! But sometimes they have to teach stuff that's maybe a little bit boring and irrelevant.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 08:46 PM

60. They've been trying to bring in Project Maths into secondary schools in Ireland for the last decade,

against a LOT of opposition, but finally this year, my son's year are the first to be doing a true Project Maths syllabus for their Junior Cycle. We have two big exams years at 15/16 and 18/19 years of age. It sounds like exactly what you are talking about.

This is a bit about it.



https://www.mykidstime.com/school/project-maths-anyway/

What is Junior Cycle reform?

In the context of maths, this means that for students entering first year from 2018 onward (exam year 2021 onward), Junior Cert maths will be replaced by the new Junior Cycle for maths. This will have broadly unchanged mathematical content, but involves a different approach to teaching, learning and assessment.

Here’s a bit more detail on both of these changes:

“Project Maths” puts more emphasis on real-life scenarios and requires a real understanding of maths rather than just rote learning. It’s also intended that there should be less predictability in exam papers.

“Project Maths” has meant that all textbooks have had to be completely revised for Junior Cert and Leaving Cert. More expense for parents but by now there should be plenty of these textbooks available second hand.

Some of the older past exam papers and marking schemes also contain a mixture of the new and old syllabus, but the more recent years are fully based on “Project Maths”. This is something to bear in mind when doing revision. You can find all past papers and marking schemes, for free, all in one place on TheMathsTutor.ie.

The new syllabus has had a very mixed reception among teachers and students. Some teachers have criticised the course for being too long in some areas, while lacking in what they see as key topics for second level maths. Some students, and parents too, are finding it hard to cope with questions which are much wordier than before, and which aren’t exactly their idea of what maths should be. However, “Project Maths” does follow on from the primary school syllabus, and as time goes on it has gained more acceptance.
“Project Maths” also has many supporters, who like the hands-on nature of learning involved, the new problem-solving skills being acquired, and the real-life applications of maths being understood.

Building upon these changes, there are more to come for students entering first year from 2018 onward (exam year 2021 onward). For these students, Junior Cert maths will be replaced by the new Junior Cycle for maths.

This is part of the overall Junior Cycle reform which has already been rolled out for other subjects. The mathematical content is broadly unchanged, but there is more emphasis on hands-on learning and continuous assessment.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:56 AM

29. Huge points for Harrison Bergeron reference!

I agree with you. And that story has come back to haunt me since I read it way too many years ago.

As for math, we need to add, not subtract. Figuring out how to approach math education in a multitude of ways that allows it to become relevant to a large assortment of backgrounds, trade professions, applications and interests would raise everyone’s capacity and desire to learn. We need to be more creative in teaching, not deny the inherent talents of students. It’s hard. It’s possible. We’re just too lazy and selfish to do it.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:05 AM

33. so sad to hear this out of cali, the only state that guarantees an "appropriate education"

to gifted kids. guess that's done now.
this is the most knee jerk, core discussion most of the time.
i remember some discussions about this on du that went pretty far sideways.
it seems fair to give all kids the same thing. but it is no more fair to put a kid w delays in a regular classroom to sink or swim than it is to put a gifted kid in a mainstream classroom w nothing.

in chi, we've spent my whole lifetime trying to figure out how to level the playing field, and we still arent there.
i can maybe accept not sifting kids in primary grades, and applying some of the techniques used w gifted kids to other kids. but a 1st grader who is reading and understands numbers at a 4th grade level in a classroom where there is zero for them to learn is just insane.

sad thing is i think we are getting there. for all the hoopla about common core, the research behind the primary level stuff is solid and amazing.
teaching math w legos instead of chalkboards will change things, imho.

there's gotta be a better way. i, personally, always wanted to do away w attendance boundaries. let kids go to whatever school their parents can get them to. guarantee seats in their district, but let them go where their kid fits.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:18 AM

36. Math was my worst subject

To this day, I can only do simple math. I can add, subtract, divide, multiple and do fractions. I never took algebra and to this day don’t know what it is and don’t give a shit. I was treated horribly by teachers who couldn’t understand why I couldn’t do more.

That said, I have a B.A in art and am now retired after working forty-eight years. I am proof you can survive without higher math.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:25 AM

38. Math helped me get a management job 37 years after HS graduation

I was well taught; HS 1964; The Springfield Plan that included anti-racism socialization.

I learned math well enough that I sought a math major at college. Freshman year calculus (my first) ended my math career.
I became a philosopher.

However, in time I was my kids' math homework tutor. Reading their textbooks was a second education (new math?).
I remember struggling to get my daughter to understand one problem.
The next day I confronted the teacher after my daughter had been the only one in the class to get the homework answer wrong.
In fact she, the class, the teacher's text answer-sheet were all wrong as the teacher acknowledged.

Years latter, when I took a math test for a prospective employer, I was able to tackle and answer the (not required) extra point word question. For that business, it was a real-world two variables problem with two different data sets.

I had learned the logic from the kids' texts.
Today I weep for the kids' future.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:28 AM

39. My kids would've hated being reined in

My oldest finished advanced calculus his freshman year, youngest finished his sophomore year. They were allowed to move ahead as it was appropriate which for both of them was 1st-2nd grade for math.

My oldest was plopped into a pre-algebra class for 5th grade. His teacher reached out after the second week and said nope, he needs to be in Algebra. That was barely challenging enough for him.

We are fortunate in that we have a private college between our house and the high school. The college allows high school students to take a class a term there for a nominal fee, if there is room. There was always room in their math classes. I’ve said before that my kids took all the math they needed for their undergraduate engineering degree before they left high school.

Why would we hold kids like that back? My kids are bright but there are kids that are way brighter that get math at such a rapid rate that they’re done with high school math before they leave elementary school.

Bring kids that are struggling up, don’t hold kids that are accelerating down. There is certainly a lot of inequity in education, and it’s both racial and socioeconomic in nature. But this was the wrong approach for California to take.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 12:00 PM

41. Calculus can be taught starting in kindergarten.

The human mind does it automatically, otherwise none of us would be able to get up off the floor, we'd all be flopping around like fish out of water.

The ideal math education connects the language of math to real world experience, just as reading connects the written word to the real world of natural language and social interactions.

Sometimes it seems to me the U.S. education system is designed to create an underclass of semi-literate and largely innumerate people. It makes me sad when people say they can't do math. Math is everywhere.



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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:14 PM

44. Americans would never cut sports to make those without athletic ability feel good.

Why the HELL is this being done for Math? Math is far more valuable than any sport.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:20 PM

46. Can you say, "Lowest Common Denominator," children?

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Response to Hekate (Reply #46)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 11:09 PM

64. That's basically it

If you can’t educate the bottom half, bring the top half down to that level. It’s just lazy and the path of least resistance.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:27 PM

49. A truly numpty attempt at bringing Idiocracy to life.

Wtf is wrong with California?

This:

reject the idea that some children are naturally gifted

is MAGAt level in terms of stupidity.

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Response to Celerity (Reply #49)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 10:58 PM

62. The naturally gifted line is so wrong it is almost painful

 

It sounds like something a flat earther would say, not a state official.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 01:32 PM

50. CA is almost like another country

Some of the things they do wouldn't fly in 49 other states.

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Response to Polybius (Reply #50)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:25 PM

70. CA also a leader / an innovator, 5th largest economy

huge research universities pumping out innovations. major producer in many areas.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 03:28 PM

52. I remember being "gifted" before...

I used to sit and read encyclopedias for fun. This was back in the 70s in elementary school. They didn’t have gifted classes then, instead they taught down to the lowest student. All through high school I’d get Cs and Ds in class yet score in the high 90s on the yearly Iowa tests. Counselors would tell my parents I wasn’t “applying myself’… in reality I was bored.

Gifted students need to be encouraged and their growth fostered. They’re tomorrow’s doctors and scientists. Removing programs for them will only hurt society not help it.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 04:04 PM

53. I look at the new crop of award-winning high school kids & know: we are coasting on our immigrants

What I mean is this: America still leads in innovation and science, and we still have some seriously wonderful universities. But look at who the top scholars and scientists are, and look at their kids.

On the one hand, these achievers make my heart swell with pride in the opportunities our country still offers to immigrants, and how much they bring to us.

On the other hand, we’ve now had two generations of dumbed-down education for American kids, much of it demanded by their parents, who think there are subjects “too hard” for their kids to master, and “too boring” to impose on them.

We are coasting on our immigrants.


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Response to Hekate (Reply #53)

Sun Nov 7, 2021, 07:14 PM

65. Many of the gifted immigrants are from Africa.

 

Which means California'd bizarre obsession with race based mathematics is simply not based on reality.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 04:25 PM

54. If you know differentiation, then you are a racist

Abolish calculus. It is the work of the devil.

And make 3.2 the legal value of pi - maybe 3.3 - easier to remember


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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Fri Nov 5, 2021, 07:32 PM

55. The right way to close any math gap is certainly not to stop teaching math.

Nor is it to teach only easy math.

If there is a math gap, then we need to find out what the actual cause is. Address the problem at the level of the cause; not by penalizing the students that do good in math. School should challenge everyone to do as good as they can, give them the opportunity to learn as much as they can.

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