Friday, May 29, 2009

Learning Math In Washington State

Much of Washington is politically conservative, but not the Puget Sound area. That area is not just liberal, but rabidly so, and it's the most populous part of the state. In fact, it's often (not so humorously) joked that the only people in Washington who matter can be seen from the Space Needle.

So we'd expect lots of spacey liberal ideas to come out of Washington. We'd expect lots of self-esteem and kumbayyah and underclass victimology. And sure enough, we get them. It's not surprising that these ideas actually hurt the people they purport to help, but it is surprising when someone points that out:

Shockingly Seattle and Washington Schools are among the most ethnically discriminatory in regard to mathematics education in the USA...

K-12 math practices that instructionally disable learners must end. School should be a place where math content and skills can be efficiently learned. Unfortunately many Seattle parents find home to be the place where that happens(,) NOT school, but what happens to children with no such supportive home environment(?) They are termed educationally disadvantaged. For math in Seattle they would appropriately be identified as out of luck. Seattle, whether by ignorance or design, chooses instructional materials and practices that are known to be ineffective for disadvantaged learners. The result is student confusion and overt discrimination of disadvantaged learners.

I'll bet they'll be in touch with their feeeeelings, though, and be angry at the world, even though they won't know exactly why.


Anonymous said...

Ahh, but you're forgetting. Learning math prepares for the future. That means you have a future time orientation, which is RACIST!

Darren said...

According to the Seattlites, I'm sure I am.

PeggyU said...

I think if the Seattle school system eliminated this entire department, things might go better for Seattle students. If there were no racial tensions, these people wouldn't have jobs. What better way to ensure job security than to constantly stir up grievances?

Anonymous said...

A quote from Howard Gardner (of multiple intelligences fame) seems appropriate:

"Put another way, progressive education works best with children who come from richly endowed homes, whose parents are deeply interested in their children's education and who arrive at school with motivation and curiosity ... A large and possibly growing number of students need the kind of help, support, modeling, and/or scaffolding that has often been seen as antithetical to the unstructured atmosphere of progressive education."

    The Unschooled Mind, by Howard Gardner (1995)And yet, more "traditional" approaches still appear to be out of vogue in the Ed Schools.

If I read Gardner correctly, he believes that the current progressive approach to education works for the rich/priviledged, but is inappropriate for the poor/unprivileged. He seems sad about that, too, and has pretty good liberal credentials. It isn't like he is Ed Hirsch or something.

-Mark Roulo

neko said...

Remember, if you can't be part of the solution, there is plenty of money to be made prolonging the problem.

Anonymous said...

Some of the worst states, education wise, are conservative. In the deep south, many Bible beaters who can't read the bible.

Don't let the truth shape your worldview.

Darren said...

Don't let your hatred, either of me or of conservatives in general, shape yours. You'll end up like Gollum, if you're not there already.

Anonymous said...

I might end up like Gollum, but at least I won't be a blogger.

Anonymous said...

"Some of the worst states, education wise, are conservative."

I think it's pretty much evenly divided. By "worst education wise" are you talking about drop-out rates, test scores, literacy - by what do you measure a school and where can we find this data to back up your slur?

Stereotyping people is soooo eighties. Get a grip. While you're at it you can also KISS MY GRITS!

Ellen K said...

It's interesting to hear the indictment of southern states, because within that statement is a somewhat racist view of education. Many of the students in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are African american. Many of them also come from backgrounds of generational reliance on the federal government. Those students who do make it out, never look back. A better comparison would be to look at the students in say, Compton or the Bronx in comparison to students in poorer school districts. I don't like tracking as an educational tool. But I also dislike watering down classes to give the appearance of progress where there is none. I recall a couple of years ago that a Florida administrator signed all of his kids, most of them minority students, up for AP tests. They didn't pass, but on the paper it looks like a win when the accreditation folks come to call. Part of the problem is that educational programs in universities are very trend oriented. Remember Whole Language? How about New Math? How about Open Classrooms? All of these educational fashion statements spurred districts to take on horrendous programs that negatively impacted students for years. My son is a survivor of Whole Language. I know other kids who suffered through the distraction of open classrooms. I myself was a victim of New Math. Instead of seeking out tricks to teach, how about we just teach kids what they need to know? And while we are at it, why don't we start placing some of the responsibility to learn on the STUDENTS and their families?

Anonymous said...

"In the deep south, many Bible beaters who can't read the bible. "

anon #3, apparently you aren't very literate either. Your quote up there is not a complete sentence. You forgot the verb. I think you meant to say, "In the deep south THERE ARE many Bible beater who can't read the Bible." Oh, and you forgot to capitolize "Bible" the second time.

And in that vein, "let he who is without grammatical errors cast the first stone"

also, you won't be a blogger -- but you will visit them and leave commentary? hypocrite.