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Oregon NCTM-based standards to include math facts?

An article about the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) changing direction from "fuzzy math" to more traditional instruction. Please remember, Oregon's standards are based on recommendations by NCTM. Fuzzy math (AKA constructivist math, discovery math, manipulatives, new new math) is an anti memorization or drilling method of teaching math. They also like to introduce calculators early, very early. Because math facts weren't required, the calculator made a great crutch. Unfortunately, most standardized tests don't allow calculators. And that's how we end up with about 50% of our kids not doing math at grade level in elementary schools.

What's a little humorous in this article is the notation of "actual mathematicians" as opposed to education professors in math:

All this [fuzzy math] alarmed many parents and particularly came under fire from actual mathematicians. Their concerns were reinforced by sinking test scores and increases in the number of college students needing remedial math courses. Yet until now, the educational establishment has resisted calls to abandon their "progressive" initiatives, even in the face of evidence that they don't work.

Here's a bit of strong language on bi-lingual education - wow, I can't believe he said this (bolding by me):

Six years ago, the New York Times headlined on page one the rise in test scores of Hispanic children in California. Yet, six years later, despite increasing evidence, many states, including New York, are still abusing immigrant children in bilingual classes that doom many of them to live their lives in a linguistic ghetto.

Let me walk you through the article.

1. NCTM says "fuzzy math" is the way to go in the 80's

2. Oops, the US math scores are lower than other nations (they are dropping)

3. Bush's Mathematics Advisory Panel is debunkiing "fuzzy math"

4. NCTM thinks "oh man, we better head those guys off at the pass and suggest we go back to teaching math facts"

5. [added by me] Let's see if Oregon changes it's standards to reflect the new NCTM suggestions

 

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