The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » Education » math-teach

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: who's scamming who?
Replies: 2   Last Post: Aug 9, 1995 11:13 AM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
who's scamming who?
Posted: Aug 8, 1995 9:13 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

I received the following message in reply to my post to Eric Becker's
previous claims about his perspective on the Standards as a 13-year-old
8th grader. I am posting it to the list with his permission.

On Thu, 3 Aug 1995 wrote:

> Mike:
> Actually, in my school district, they are beginning to try new
> "standards" which don't make any sense whatsoever. A few guidelines include
> having three classes that are combo Kindergarten-1st Grade-2nd Grade, in
> which the first class has a group of K-2's (the definition for Kindergarten
> to 2nd grade) learning kindergarten material. The second class has K-2's
> learning at a first grade level. The final class would contain K-2's
> learning on a second grade level. The good news is that the kids would learn
> on the appropriate level. The bad news is that when kids go into 3rd Grade,
> they are ready if they were in the 2nd grade level class, but if they were
> below grade level, there's a good chance that they won't be ready. The point
> of that opinion is that if the kid doesn't know how to work, he/she can't
> proceed. It's as senseless as knowing that 7 times 7 is 49 without first
> knowing 2+2=4. And you were right saying that the standards may work better
> for other people, but if you want to get involved with it, you should also
> remember that it is a new way of doing math to many people, and that it
> should be voluntary before you decide if it becomes mandatory or something
> similar (such as having a class designated for it.)
> People can always try something new, it doesn't usually hurt to do so.
> If you feel that this is the system you want to work with, do it. I'm not
> going to stop you. I am just trying to say what works best at my school, so
> the teachers can know what is working on certain students.
> Very Sincerely yours,
> Eric L. Becker

Now, I've already been criticized by Kent Lutemann for my allegedly nasty
reply to Eric's first post. So here's a couple of comments and queries:

1) Eric seems rather unscathed in this reply, so I guess I wasn't as
devastingly nasty as Kent thought. Maybe I'm just losing my teeth.

2) Who do you think wrote the above reply? I seriously question that any
13-year-old did so. Further, I can't believe that the person who wrote
the first post about the wonders of traditional mathematics teaching also
wrote this one. "Eric" tells me he's taken Honors English as an
explanation of his rather unusually mature style. I can only say that I
wish I'd had the teacher he had. He writes better than a lot of graduate
students I've known, as well as 99.9% of the freshman composition
students I taught at University of Florida from 1974-77. His knowledge of
the issues of mathematics pedagogy and the Standards is rather amazing.
For some reason, I find myself skeptical as to who, exactly, wrote the
above post. But then, reading some of the posts on this list have
probably given me contagious paranoia.


Michael Paul Goldenberg
University of Michigan 310 E. Cross St.
4001 School of Education Ypsilanti, MI 48198
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259 (313) 482-9585
(313) 747-2244 email:


Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.