Are we so sure that filters and skills are all that bad? As a middle aged eighth grade algebra teacher recently certified, I learned the value both of the "filter" of abstract (modern) algebra and the algebra manipulation skills that I still lacked even though I could get through the calc series with "Bs" at U. Missouri St. Louis. I bumped up against the filter of abstract algebra a couple of times before oozing through, not so much because I can't handle the abstractions as because I lacked sufficient symbol manipulation skills and experience to be able to see the patterns that get you to proof/solutions. I don't think I'm a very viable candidate for a Masters in Math. At least that is how I see it now. College math reform seems to be a few years behind the wave of school math reform, but could be taking the same-overshoot-trajectory-aim as did it's little brother in regard to the value of symbol manipulation and the filter of school algebra.