Sunday, July 27, 2008

Too Bad: Idaho jumps on the bandwagon for fuzzy math!

The Idaho Statesman has a letter (dated July 12, 2008) in it's "letter to the editor" page about the state's math. It seems that the state of Idaho has adopted "fuzzy math" curriculum, according to this writer. Read the letter here under the heading Math Initiative (You will have to scroll down a little to get to the letter.)

The writer asks the question, "Why do educators ignore the obvious success of other nations to teach math to the masses?" She is also puzzled, as am I, why Idaho is jumping on the bandwagon for fuzzy math when other states are jumping off!

I think I can answer that question. Educators breed more educators in the universities. Eventually, you have enough people being (mis)educated and being told that the "new math" way is the only way students can really ever understand math. It's hard for a person coming through the system to buck the system, if they ever even see the light at all. For a person to make a career of education, especially Math education, he/she is taught so much "fuzzy" stuff, that they might not even recognize "good common sense" when they see it. And when people show them the statistics of the failures across the country, they just shake their heads and put their fingers in their ears! Even when college professors speak out in huge numbers, the "new math" folks turn a deaf ear and continue to peddle their way as the only way. I know because it happened to me. I didn't even get an audience. There is no reasoning in education departments.

I tried to find information about what Math Curricula are being used in Idaho. Anybody out there in Idaho know for sure? From what I've located on the web, it seems that Everyday Math and Investigations are two. Can anyone verify these? Are there others? I want to be fair and list them all!