Read the Bills Act Coalition

Friday, February 1, 2008

Fuzzy Math – Are Children are becoming Weapons of Math Destruction

In the category of things that frustrate me, the education system has to be up there since they seem to be doing everything but teach our children reading, writing and finally arithmetic. 2 + 2 = 4 unless the student is scared of 4 or feels depressed (or oppressed for that matter) by the number 4 then it can be a 5 or a color. Seriously, with the new math being instituted through using various new teaching methods like “Everyday Math” we are only making it harder for our children to compete in the world market, no easier. Math is a hard science here there are distinct right and wrong answers and no manipulation of the rules of math will stop that. Math problems cannot be related to moods or colors they need to be related to right and wrong answers. Here is an excerpt from the “Everyday Mathematics” textbook found by Marcia Tsicouris (per the site http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com) when she looked at her child’s new book:

A. If math were a color, it would be --, because --.
B. If it were a food, it would be --, because --.
C. If it were weather, it would be --, because --.

And here are some other irregularities found via parent “up-in-arms” about this education travesty being played upon our kids by using Everyday Math:
1st through 3rd graders are encouraged to become dependent on calculators, peers, and parents to accomplish their goals. Calculators are introduced early and often…Everyday Math lessons are based on a spiraling curriculum providing no room for mastery in any one area. New concepts are introduced one after another assuming children will pick up on the material as it is sporadically revisited throughout the year. It’s difficult to find two of the same type of math problem on any one Home Link…In an attempt to promote problem solving skills, many exercises are done in groups. Everyday Math is not concerned with correct answers. This program prefers to emphasize the creative processes used to arrive at any answer...Everyday Math places no importance on math facts and no benchmarks are established in the program for mastering them. In place of math facts, students are required to learn a multitude of algorithms. Defenders of the program insist this clumsy process provides each student the opportunity to select the algorithm that works best for him/her… Virtually every Home Link is prefaced with the words: Show someone at home; Have someone at home; with someone at home; tell someone at home. The message sent to my 3rd grader is that she’s incapable of doing math independently. Thanks to this program, essentially, she is incapable.
Teach the child well the saying goes not teach them to be stupid. Below are some resources about this:
http://weaponsofmathdestruction.com/index.cfm
http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com

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