Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Welcome to Cogitatus2
"Study hard enough to become Smart enough." 

Some content on this page has been removed and reposted on Cogitatus3. Click Cognitatus3

When education cowers to activism, racism, and radicalism, you are no longer talking about education. You're talking about indoctrination! Today, much of education is not about teaching kids to read, write, do arithmetic or about achievement, merit, and excellence. Government schools advocate equity, diversity, identity, and inclusion. They are strongly supported by teacher unions, schools of education, federal and state departments of education, school boards, and others, including the media. I believe education has gone down the rabbit hole, an abyss. Commonly, there seems to be an inverse relationship between excellent academics and equity. The "equity" reformers have been dumbing down the curriculum for decades. 5-4-21

✍️ The difference between school math and university math is proof, says Ian Stewart.  We need to change from why to how, explains Stewart, a mathematician, who writes, "At school, we learn how to solve equations or find the area of a triangle; at the university, we learn why those methods work and prove that they do." Students are novices and need to grasp the how not "understanding" the why. Novices should not be doing proofs until college. (Ian Stewart: Letters to a Young Mathematician, 2006)  5-4-21

Trust the science. Follow the science. Trust the media? Really? 
How often have we heard these and other cliches this past year? The problem is that science is not the truth but a method to get to the truth by weeding out false or misleading statements. We need healthy skepticism. Always question results. I never trust the media's narrative. 

Science doesn't prove things right! 
It is a method that eliminates wrong ideas. Correlation should not imply causation. Journalists, reporters, and even many so-called experts don't grasp science or mathematics and often jump from correlation to causation by framing a correlation as fact, which it is not. Also, scientists aren't perfect. "If you don't make testable hypotheses, then there is no way to show whether you are actually right or wrong," points out Youyang Gu, a superstar data scientist. Richard Feynman lectured students about confirmation bias and fudging the data to make it fit a narrative or political agenda.

In education, many claims, practices, or policies are made without evidence. Often, studies cannot be repeated or verified by other researchers. Commonly, time-on-task is not controlled, which makes conclusions suspect.  

Cognitive Science Summary
Linking new stuff to old stuff. Cool!
It's true! The more I know, the more I can learn, the faster I can learn it, the better I can think and solve problems. WOW, isn't cognitive science great? Linking new content to old content in long-term memory is the backbone of Learning Science.

Have educators or their leaders gone mad?

Being attacked on the streets of NYC and elsewhere is a risk to Asian Americans, but "[T]he most important threat to Asian American New Yorkers is the Department of Education's ill-disguised effort to eliminate merit test-based admission to the city's eight highly selective high schools," writes Bob McManus for Fox News. Asian Americans, he says, "won 54% of this year's freshman seats." In contrast, only 5% (Hispanic) and 4% (African Americans) won seats. The elimination of merit is insane. These people are radicals and promote utopian ideas. In my opinion, the DOE ought to be thrown into the backyard along with the rest of the trash, like Critical Race Theory or Action Civics. 

Note: I see the same thing in science textbooks that promote an agenda, which is indoctrination, not science. The function of science is not to prove things right. Science textbooks often state a correlation, even a theory, as fact. 

1. Gone Mad 1
States should "protect themselves by passing laws that keep both action civics and Critical Race Theory out of K-12," writes Stanley Kurtz. Teachers should focus on reading, mathematics, science, literature, history, and writing, not indoctrinating students to be activists and militants by interpreting everything through the race prism. The problem starts in schools of education, explains Charles Buck, where "critical pedagogy is propaganda attempting to pass as instruction." Stanley Kurtz points out that the government is "set to push critical race theory on U.S. schools." He writes, "The new Biden rule favoring education grants that push Critical Race Theory is a disaster for this country." (Click Kurtz

2. Gone Mad 2
Why would anyone cancel accelerated math courses before grade 11 and call it equity? Yet, this is what the Virginia Department of Education proposes, to rework the math pathway to one way. Why can't education focus on academics? Everything seems to be about race, identity, and equity. Equity is not the same as fairness, points out Thomas Sowell. Parents are furious at the proposal for one math pathway for K-10! Such nonsense drives parents out of the public school system.

3. Understanding (My understanding of understanding) 

This whole thing about understanding disturbs me. I don't understand understanding because, like creativity, it is a vague, nonspecific term and difficult to measure. If you can't measure something, then what is it? A teacher said, "Yesterday when I was going over the problem (-12ab) + 4ab ... The kids said, 'Can you just work the problem?' They don't want to understand math; they just want the procedure and move on."  (Comment: Combining like terms is a simple task. How does the teacher define understanding? I don't know. Did the teacher link combining like terms to prior knowledge? Kids are novices, not experts.)

Well, that's what Issac Newton did with his calculations (a.k.a calculus). He moved on! He used the procedures even though he didn't understand why they worked. Why? The calculus just worked! It agreed with experimental observations. That was good enough, but it took another 200 years "to hammer out the formal details," explain Klein and Bauman. (Limits)

Note: For novices, the act of performing or applying procedures implies some level of "understanding" that is difficult to quantify or explain. It is a functional understanding. Novice: At first, I "understand" something when I perform or apply it. For example, 3 x 4 = 4 + 4 + 4 or 12 is useful at first, but 345 x 876 needs "something more sophisticated" than repeated addition, says Ian Stewart, mathematician. "Mathematics builds new ideas on old ones."  Stewart (Letters to a Young Mathematician, 2006, also points out the practice does not cause talent, but it can improve performance

Note: Students use reasoning and guess-and-check to narrow the integer choices. The equation is quadratic: x^2 - 7x + 10 = 0. Students easily found a counterexample, so the equation is not an identity, but it has solutions, 
which I asked students to find. Students followed the order of operations. After working on several equations of this type, some students found a shortcut--two secrets that led to solutions by inspection. (The idea of two secrets is from The Madison Project, 1957.)  

The next time a teacher says they stopped teaching long division because kids won't understand it, Think, Newton. Students can learn to do it and apply it, even if they don't completely understand it. How do you think students learn arithmetic, algebra, trig, and calculus? (With perfect understanding? Right?) The idea of division is easy and can be taught in 1st grade as intuitive division. The understanding of the standard algorithm takes repeated practice and time. To do the standard algorithm for multiplication, you should memorize basic number facts, such as 3 x 7 = 21 or 8 x 7 = 56, no later than the 3rd grade. (Half in the 2nd grade.) In short, children will not learn much algebra when they don't know basic arithmetic. My Teach Kids Algebra program fused algebra ideas to traditional arithmetic. Hence, the importance of memorizing math facts that support basic arithmetic (e.g., standard algorithms) was emphasized. 

We are told that not understanding math stuff will result in poor algebra scores. It's mostly nonsense. Being able to perform arithmetic or algebra on paper indicates that the student has acquired some understanding, which is a functional understanding. I did not understand arithmetic, algebra, precalc/trig, or calc as well as I do today at age 78, yet, in college, I could apply the procedures correctly in chemistry and physics. Understanding grows slowly and is intertwined with the mechanics of procedures such as the standard algorithms and other operations such as "taking the opposite, finding the reciprocal, taking a root, and raising to a fractional power," etc. You will not understand addition unless you can do sums efficiently, in your head, or on paper by using standard algorithms based on place value. And you cannot do division of fractions without finding reciprocals, a mini functional procedure. 

Note: "Symbolic reasoning and calculations with symbols are central in algebra." (California 1997 Algebra Content Standards) When symbolic manipulations are marginalized, it's "pretend" math, not algebra.

✍️ Marxist radicals have taken over education at the local, state, and federal levels. The only way to close gaps, they say, is to lower content standards and eliminate excellence. No child gets ahead. The radicals have redefined achievement as privilege, says Thomas Sowell. These are terrible ideas! "Equalizing down, by lowering those at the top" is a crazy idea, a "fallacy of fairness," not equity, explains Sowell in his book of essays and his latest book below. 

Credit: EmB


Friday, April 16, 2021


  😎Observations, Ideas, and Opinions on Math Education by a Contrarian in 2021, a Divergent View. 

The latest: Sam Dorman of Fox News reports, In the name of equity, "the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is moving to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to 11th grade, effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system." It is discrimination against kids who study hard to achieve. The VDOE should be dissolved. Education has run amok with crazy ideas from liberals. Idiots with power lurk everywhere in our education system, at the local, state, and federal levels. 4-22-21

For the latest: Click Cogitatus2.

Students who struggle in elementary school will likely continue struggling in middle school and then high school. Billions and billions and billions have been spent on students who have "poor attendance, suspensions, course failure, and failure to score at grade level...." They don't catch up or don't want to catch up.  Many students don't study enough or take education seriously. They have the wrong attitude. Thomas Sowell explains, "There is no reason whatever to assume that education is valued equally by all individuals or groups. Not all groups value education or the behavior that leads to greater education successes, the same."

Thomas Sowell (Discrimination and Disparities, 2019) nails it: "Asian American students spend more hours studying than either white or black American students. How surprised should we be that academic outcomes show a pattern of disparities similar to the pattern of disparities in the amount of time devoted to school work?" 4-23-21

Knowledge is the goal of learning ​and the basis of critical thinking. Also, parents and educators need to know that thinking skills are domain-specific. What is happening? Our schools stress critical thinking, not the knowledge that enables it. Also, the status quo has downgraded memorization and practice of fundamentals starting in 1st-grade arithmetic. Educators are using standards that are not world-class, so our kids start behind and stay behind. 

"Oh, we teach critical thinking, understanding, collaboration, and use alternative algorithms and manipulatives." What happened to traditional arithmetic or number lines? "It's so Old School. Our reforms are preparing students for the 21st century and the age of Google!" But critical thinking is domain-specific, not an independent skill, so how can you teach it without strong mathematical content? "We teach strategies such as building excitement, encouraging math talk, promoting teamwork, emphasizing hands-on learning, and so on. That's the way to teach math." 


Why are American students at least two years behind their Asian peers in math by the 4th or 5th grades? I guess reform math strategies like engagement, teamwork, or using manipulatives are much more important than learning math content. Sadly, engagement has become a substitute for learning key content in long-term memory, but it is not the same as learning essential content. Is it any wonder that math has been taught awfully for decades? 4-22-21

Math is taught awfully!

Reform Math Failed, Again

A decline in academics and a deteriorating curriculum have driven more parents to alternatives such as homeschooling and private schooling. After a decade of reforms, only 24% of 12th graders are proficient in math (NAEP 2019). 

Reform Math Failed, Again! Parents and teachers must face the reality that math education has gone awry via the so-called math reforms, Common-Core-like state standards, strategies, and minimal guidance approaches (e.g., group work). For example, project-based learning, discovery learning, and other minimal guidance constructivist methods do not work with math, which is abstract and hierarchical. 

Furthermore, the promises of Common Core (e.g., career and college readiness) and other reforms have failed! Although some will argue otherwise, poor performance on national and international tests indicates poor teaching related to a substandard curriculum and deficient instructional methods. 

The "fairness solution" from the liberal education establishment has been to lower the math standards to close gaps. It is a "fallacy of fairness," explains Thomas Sowell. Also, Sandra Stotsky points out in The Roots of Low Achievement (2019) that gap closing is not a workable educational goal. Instead, upgrading the instruction for all students should be the goal. Thus, in my opinion, the "fairness crusades" have marginalized individual achievement, hard work, and excellence in our schools and are biased toward certain groups, such as Asian-Americans who "work harder, try harder, study harder, and perform better" than most other students. It is outright discrimination against Asians.  

Note: Cogitatus is Latin for the act of thinking. April 16, 2021


Special: Jill Barshay, writing in The Hechinger Report, cites a new study by Redding & Grissom ("Do Students in Gifted Programs Perform Better?" 2021) that shows students in gifted programs are not getting much of an academic bang, if at all. When I taught in TAG (Talented & Gifted), the program was an enrichment model; however, I implemented accelerated math, computer programming in LOGO, photojournalism, and advanced writing at a primary city school, grades 2 and  3. 

The major flaw in gifted programs and schooling in general, I think, has been that teachers believe in "all-purpose critical thinking skills" that work for all subjects. There is no such thing. E. D. Hirsch (Why Knowledge Matters, 2016) writes, "Thinking skills cannot readily be separated from one subject matter and applied to other subject matters. The domain specificity of skills is one of the firmest and most important determinations of current cognitive science." Yet, most educators and parents are unaware of it, says Hirsch. In short, thinking without content is empty (I. Kant). I know a lot of smart kids who test well but lack content knowledge. Indeed, knowledge does matter for better thinking! 

According to the study by Redding & Grissom"Children in gifted programs are learning only a tiny bit more than they would without them." The report points out that "the disappointing academic results may reflect that most teachers of gifted students don't emphasize advanced topics but instead focus on "enrichment activities," such as fun projects." If this is true, why are there gifted programs in schools where acceleration in academic subjects is not the primary goal? You can not "think" your way to a solution in trig without substantial knowledge of trig in long-term memory and experience solving trig problems. Likewise, you cannot translate Ovid's works without substantial knowledge of Latin vocabulary, conjugations, declensions, and experience translating.   

In my opinion, acceleration is the primary justification for gifted programs, not Johnny is bored. While teaching in gifted programs, I found that the same enrichment activities benefited most students, not just students in the gifted program. I wrote Joseph Renzulli about this. A few years later, he published a book aimed at parents, stating that all children are gifted and benefit from enrichment lessons. But CTY has a different view on identifying talented children, especially in the math and verbal areas.  

CTY's Talent Search: To gain access to online or in-person courses from the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY), students take a test called the School and College Ability Test or SCAT) that is grade levels above. SCAT has a verbal part and a quantitative (math) part. Middle school students (under age 13) can be admitted if they have qualifying SAT or SCAT scores. (FYI: Several of my 7th-grade math students qualified with high SAT scores. Today, they would qualify for Study of Exceptional Talent or SET at Johns Hopkins.) Incidentally, the CTY admission rate is about 8%. CTY is for talented and gifted students, not enrichment. Most kids placed in school districts' gifted programs, such as TAG or GATE, are intelligent but not talented by CTY standards; however, they would benefit from accelerated math, science, reading, vocabulary, and writing. They should take Honors courses and AP courses. Talent Search is the gateway to CTY's online and summer classes. 

Unfortunately, most gifted programs focus on enrichment, not acceleration. Placing a 2nd grader into a 3rd-grade math textbook is not acceleration. Why? The 3rd-grade book is for average kids. Kids who are genuinely gifted in math need a totally different math curriculum, but they also need to master the fundamentals, starting with arithmetic drills, just like Einstein. Also, I think it is nonsense to tell kids they are "gifted." Many bright kids in gifted enrichment programs across the United States do not reach the CTY standards. Math League kids, especially those who take advanced courses from the Art of Problem Solving, are advanced and often score very high in math. Unfortunately, some parents often brag, "Oh, my Veronica is in the gifted class!" Really? One of my 4th graders, who was classified as gifted, began to cry when other students solved a math problem first. He was good at math but not exceptional. Kids widely vary in academic ability. 

Unfortunately, many gifted programs focus on enrichment, not acceleration. Placing a 2nd grader into a 3rd-grade math textbook is not acceleration. Why? The 3rd-grade book is for average kids. Kids who are truly gifted in math need a totally different math curriculum, but they also need to master the fundamentals, starting with arithmetic drills, just like Einstein. Also, I think it is nonsense to tell kids they are "gifted." There are many bright kids in gifted enrichment programs across the United States who do not reach the CTY standards. Math League kids, especially those who take advanced courses from the Art of Problem Solving are advanced and often score very high in math. Some parents often brag, "Oh, my Veronica is in the gifted class!" Really? One of my 4th graders, who was classified as gifted, began to cry when other students solved a math problem first. He was good at math but not exceptional. Indeed, kids widely vary in academic ability, even among the best.  

Johns Hopkins CTY

  • Students in grades 2-3 take the Elementary SCAT designed for students in grades 4-5.
  • Students in grades 4-5 take the Intermediate SCAT designed for students in grades 6-8.
  • Students in grades 6 and above take the Advanced SCAT designed for students in grades 9-12.
CTY Level: Test scores that reflect ability approximately two grade levels above the currently enrolled grade, while Advanced CTY is four grade levels above currently enrolled grade. 

My experience has been that intelligent kids can learn advanced material in mathematics such as trig in 6th or 7th grade when prepared and taught explicitly. But, I also know that most children as young as 6 (1st grade) can learn some basic ideas in algebra when it is fused to standard arithmetic in my Teach Kids Algebra (TKA) program, which requires memorization, practice, and review. Students must overlearn math facts, so they are instantly shifted to working memory to do calculations and solve problems. Kids need to develop retrieval strength, writes Sanjay Sarma, MIT (Grasp, 2020), which comes from practice-practice-practice.  To learn more about TKA, click here04-19-20-2021


Comment: We need to upgrade math instruction for all students by returning to traditional arithmetic. Also, I know we can fuse algebra ideas (e.g., Equation/Table/Graph) to standard arithmetic because I have done it in grades 1-5. I'm a guest algebra teacher at a city school with almost all minority students and plan to continue once-a-week sessions when the 2021-2022 school year begins in early August. 

Algebra in 1st grade:
Teach Kids Algebra Project
Stresses Traditional Arithmetic.

Comment: After eight years of Common-Core-based reform math, only 24% of 12th graders were proficient in math (NAEP 2019), an awful statistic. Common Core and state standards have failed to deliver career and college readiness for 3/4 of the students.

Traditional Arithmetic Forms the Basis of Higher Math!

2nd Grade 1973 Math Drills
Cursive Writing, Too. 

"Mathematics is different. It endures. It's still correct today," writes Ian Stewart (Significant Figures 2017). It is a powerful tool for solving problems because it is abstract. For example, an abstract fact like 3 + 5 = 8 can apply to hundreds of problems.

Comment: You don't start at the top of Bloom's pyramid. You start at the bottom to enable critical thinking or problem-solving later on when you have a sufficient knowledge base. Students must learn math content. 

  • Key facts should be learned and memorized for automaticity. 
  • Standard algorithms should be taught and practiced for fluency. 
  • You learn to do math problems by doing math problems.
  • Common Core math standards and the Next Generation Science standards do not prepare students for STEM. 
  • Reform math is pointless. 
Common Core math standards and Next Generation science standards do not prepare me for college-level courses in math or science, especially STEM. 
(Credit: Kailey)

The standard algorithm implies place value. 

Memorization is good for kids. Even rote memorization, says David Berlinski in an interview. He also wrote One, Two, Three, 2011. It's not all about understanding, which is overrated; it's about making essential facts stick in long-term memory so they can be retrieved instantly for problem-solving. 

David Berlinski, a mathematician, points out that math is taught the wrong way. Every natural number has a successor through the magic of add one. Thus, 12 + 1 becomes 13, and 13 + 1 becomes 14, etc. The add one idea should be taught in the first week of 1st grade. Also, add zero, the identity element for addition, should also be taught too. Thus, 12 + 0 = 12. Berlinski explains, "The idea that the natural numbers arise by means of addition by one is welcome. Add One is matched nicely to starting at zero": 0 + 1 = 1, 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 1 = 3, 3 + 1 = 4, etc.

Simple combinations such as 3 + 5 = 8 can be manipulated on a 0-20 number line. Nothing fancy. The number line is mathematics. Students acquire a number-line understanding of addition. Basic combinations (i.e., addition facts) should be stored systematically in long-term memory via memorization and be instantly available for problem-solving.

Also, a + b = b + a is an identity. In the first week of 1st grade, students should learn that 2 + 3 = 3 + 2. Both make five and, by the transitive rule, are equal to each other (5 = 5). It is also common sense, a quality lacking in reform math. Reform math, with its ideological bent, that Jo Boaler and others support is called Boalerism. A lot of mathematics can be taught and learned in the first couple of weeks of school with memorization and practice-practice-practice.  Teachers need to seize the moment by showing that learning is very serious. It's what we do in school.  

The contrast between traditional arithmetic and reform math is stark. I cannot believe that teachers would teach such (reform) nonsense, as shown in example 2.   
If you think this is bad, try "Cluster" division method compared to traditional long division. Reform math is pointless. 

US Kids Lag Behind, Starting in 1st Grade.

Beginning in the 1st Grade, Common Core's one-size-fits-all math standards (aka state standards) are not world-class. They are often interpreted as reform math and taught in "inclusive" or mixed classrooms without regard to individual achievement or ability. These are three strikes against American K-8 students.

Furthermore, our better students are penalized by a so-called "fairness" approach that lowers those at the top, which is a progressive idea of "sameness" (aka a "fallacy of fairness," says Thomas Sowell), and the flawed thinking behind the one-size-fits-all Common Core, now the state standards. (Note. The Common Core math standards have been rebranded as the state standards with some changes.)

The old 1997 California math standards indicated that primary students should learn the standard algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division by the end of 3rd Grade. Still, the Common Core-based state standards do not come close to achieving it. Contrary to typical instruction today, there is no reason not to teach the standard algorithm for addition in the first marking period of 1st Grade. But it's not the Common Core way, say the reformists.

Common Core Way: Delay, Delay, Delay!

"Multiple strategies, versus a single algorithm, are taught. Common Core expects students to understand math conceptually." Really? The so-called "understanding" tactic is the same old NCTM reform math scheme that failed in the past. You cannot "get" addition without being able to add and apply it to word problems. First-grade students should use the standard vertical algorithm based on place value to add 67 and 85 by Christmas. The conceptional understanding of arithmetic is in the doing of arithmetic. Also, it is fantasy to believe that reasoning and understanding will magically automate factual and standard procedural knowledge to long-term memory for instant use in learning new concepts and problem-solving. In contrast, repetition will. Indeed, practice improves performance. 

First-Grade Standard Arithmetic by Christmas

Put simply, students are taught convoluted reform math that screws up basic arithmetic, not straightforward standard arithmetic needed to advance. With its nonessential extras, complex nonstandard procedures, and unrealistic progressive ideology of sameness, reform math has been a grave error in judgment. Yet, it influences much of math instruction today. Reform math confuses young students and equally alienates parents.

What's worse is that reform math dogma slows the pace of learning standard arithmetic and is why US students are about two years behind their peers as early as the 4th or 5th grade. 

You learn to do math problems by doing math problems!

Science without math is not science. It's pretend science!

And I quote: "Climbing Down extensively documents the failures of the NGSS [Next Generation Science Standards], but also provides eleven steps parents, teachers, and school boards should take to correct the deficiencies in this curriculum. They include using the Fordham Institute’s A-graded science standards as a template; allowing, encouraging, or requiring students to begin algebra in 8th grade rather than 9th; replacing Common Core State Standards (CCSS) mathematics with higher-level standards, such as the excellent and highly rated pre-CCSS California mathematics standards; and ensuring that science standards steer students toward the full range of scientific careers, especially those that serve the American national interest."  

The scientific method was left out, as was the intrinsic link between science and mathematicsNote: The core authors of the "Climbing Down" were Jennifer Helms and James Nations. The report appeared on the National Association of Scholars (NAS) website. David Randall took part in the revision. 4-8-21. Simply, the new standards do not prepare students for college-level courses in chemistry, physics, or mathematics. 

"The Next Generation Science Standards sacrifice content (what you know) for performance (what you can do), with project learning being central to the science classroom. Hands-on projects are important and make learning enjoyable, but a disproportionate focus on project learning results in a haphazard teaching and learning process." Also, just like Common Core, the Next Generation standards were not field-tested. Like CC, NG has already failed.  

I quote from the report, "The entire NGSS document is written as inquiry-based standards (a.k.a. “problem-based learning,” “experiential learning,” “discovery learning,” and “constructivist learning”)." These methods were shown to be ineffective in math and science by Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark: Minimal Guidance = Minimal Learning.  

Just as in math, and I quote: The NGSS’s revealed preference is to eliminate the “achievement gap” by removing all difficult material that produces said “gap.” It's the same old equalizing downward by lowering those at the top, a fallacy of fairness, says Thomas Sowell.  

I wrote about the new science standards several times. My views have not changed. I am glad that a new report ("Climbing Down") restates the lack of science content in the standards. "Here, the NGSS commit themselves to eliminate science achievement gaps across all identity groups by removing challenging science content. They reduce rigor to produce more “equitable” educational outcomes among students — a remarkable coercive expression of the soft bigotry of low expectations. In the name of equity, the NGSS leaves all students equally unprepared for STEM undergraduate majors or STEM careers." 

The same is evident in mathematics. 

Lower the math standards to close the gaps.

What do you think "same for all" Common Core was all about?

Did it work? No! 

Thomas Sowell, in Dismantling America 2010, a collection of essays, explains that the "equalization crusades" were about "equalizing downward, by lowering those at the top. Fairness strikes again! It is a crazy idea taught in schools of education across the country." Sowell calls the lowering of content standards a "fallacy of fairness." It's a disgrace, not only in math but also in science. 4-14-21

The new standards combined chemistry with physics, which diminished or restricted content, but kept biology by itself. It should not surprise us because the framework committee was mostly from the social sciences or education. 

The new K-12 Science [conceptual] framework from the National Research Council (July 2011) is a huge disappointment. The new science framework, oddly enough, was written by the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and its committee, which is made up of mostly educators, not scientists.

Richard Feynman writes, “Physics is the most fundamental and all-inclusive of the sciences, and has had a profound effect on all scientific development.” Yet, it is shortchanged in the new science standards. Learning what a scientist does is not the same as learning science content. The framework does not emphasize the intrinsic link between science and mathematics. The framework committee tries to justify lumping science with engineering rather than with mathematics. The committee's vision is to skip the math. 

“No members of the design teams participated in the discussions during which the committee reached consensus on the content of the final draft.” This alone makes the framework suspect. 

June 12, 2015 
In short, the new standards seem to stress issues and activism, such as climate change, environmental issues, and evolution, much more than core science. Facts are not important. Indeed, learning science and engineering practices or arguing issues is not the same as learning science. Opinions about issues are not science. For liberals, which control K-12 education, science is just another opinion and relative, write Berezow and Campbell (Science Left Behind). Really? Well, there you have it.

Comment: When I substituted in a 3rd-grade class a decade ago at a charter school, I read aloud a paragraph about the environment from their science textbook, then exclaimed, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard. It's not true!"  Why are kids learning science that is not science or opinions that lack scientific evidence? Kids are propagandized at an early age.

The Next Generation science standards writers left out key ideas from the past 100 years or so. What were these people thinking? Their knowledge is so fragile, as Richard Feynman would say. Reforms, such as Next Generation, Common Core, NCLB standardized testing, minimal teacher guidance approaches, laptops or tablets for all, group work (and so on), do little to advance actual achievementOur kids are mediocre in math and science because of screwy ideas and cockamamie reforms that don't work. Jacob Bronowski wrote, "Science is the acceptance of what works and the rejection of what does not." In science, evidence is everything, but NG (Next Generation) ignores the findings of cognitive science. To me, Next Generation, which is another test-centered reform like Common Core, means that science content is left behind, and so are our students

"The poor track record of education standards and outcomes at the hands of progressive education reformers should, of course, give us all pause when we consider the merit of any new set of education standards." The report is referring to Common Core and Next Generation.

You learn to do math problems by doing math problems! Calculating skill using the standard algorithms is one of the pillars of a good math program. 

It's true!!!!!!!!
The more I know, the more I can learn, the faster I can learn it, 
the better I can think and solve problems. WOW, isn't cognitive science great?

©2021 ThinkAlgebra/LT

Why are the media, teacher unions, and other influential organizations infusing race into almost everything, even mathematics?