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Topic: Excessive Equality
Replies: 13   Last Post: Sep 19, 2012 9:02 AM

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GS Chandy

Posts: 7,235
From: Hyderabad, Mumbai/Bangalore, India
Registered: 9/29/05
Re: Excessive Equality
Posted: Sep 10, 2012 11:39 PM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

TOP-URGENT! TOP SECRET!!!

TO: THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, 'EDUCATION MAFIA' HEADQUARTERS
Fm: GSC

The patient was serious, became critical a while ago, and is now on the point of IMMINENT DEATH! See Haim's post dtd. Sep 10, 2012 7:11 PM copied below:

> Well, yes, but Mr. Vigdor does not state it exactly
> right. The root of the problem is coercion. We must
> stop forcing people, who lack the talent or the
> interest for mathematics, into mathematics classes.
>

> >Stated succinctly, the root of the problem is an
> >excessive emphasis on equality in curriculum.

>
> Another way to think about the problem of coercion
> ion in education is encapsulated in the ancient
> saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot
> make it drink." In other words, if even a horse has
> enough will of its own to resist being forced to do
> something it does not want to do, however much we may
> think drinking water is good for the horse, how much
> more so a human child, however much we may think
> studying math is good for the child?
>
> The rest of the article is almost embarrassing to
> to me. It is as if I wrote it myself,
>

> >Altogether, the evidence suggests that America?s
> math
> >wounds have been self-inflicted, illustrating the
> >hazards of a single-minded focus on relative rather

> than
> >absolute performance. Closing the achievement gap by
>
> >improving the performance of struggling students is
> >hard; closing the gap by reducing the quality of
> >education offered to high performers?for example, by

>
> >eliminating tracking and promoting universal access
> >to "rigorous" courses while reducing the definition

> of
> >rigor-is easy. The thoughtless incentives often
> provided
> >to close the gap make the path of least resistance
> even
> >more tempting.
>
> - - Self-inflicted wounds;
> - - Easier to reduce achievement of academically able
> students than to raise achievement of academically
> struggling students;
> - - Reduce The Gap;
>
> I have been making these points in this forum for a
> decade. /sarcasm on Do keep in mind, however, that
> there is no Prime Directive /sarcasm off
>
> Finally, I quibble over Mr. Vigdor's last point,
>

> >The thoughtless incentives often provided to close
> the
> >gap make the path of least resistance even more
> tempting.
>
> Thoughtless? I think not. Thoughtlessness might
> have been a characteristic of Education Mafia policy
> if that policy had been in force a few years, maybe
> one public school generation (12 yrs), but The Prime
> Directive has been the central organizing doctrine of
> American public education for 30 yrs, at least.
> After 30 yrs, and incalculable harm, the only
> y reasonable assumption is that the Education Mafia
> know exactly what they are doing.
>
> Haim
> Shovel ready? What shovel ready?
> ================
>
> http://www.aei.org/papers/education/k-12/solving-ameri
> cas-mathematics-education-problem/
>
> Jacob L. Vigdor | American Enterprise Institute
> August 20, 2012
>
> American students test poorly in mathematics compared
> to those in other developed?and in some cases, less
> developed?countries. While we have seen some signs of
> improved performance in recent years, these
> improvements are not yet evident among high school
> students. And the proportion of new college graduates
> who majored in math-intensive subjects has declined
> by nearly half over the past sixty years. Will the
> United States lose its edge in innovation as the math
> skills of our elite students atrophy? Will the
> average worker possess the training necessary to take
> advantage of technically demanding
> twenty-first-century job opportunities? Most
> important, why has the United States lost ground, and
> what course must we follow to gain it back?
>
> This report summarizes recent research that yields
> important insights into America?s mathematics
> problem. Stated succinctly, the root of the problem
> is an excessive emphasis on equality in curriculum.
> Given the inherent variability in students? math
> aptitude, equity can be achieved only by delivering a
> suboptimal education to at least some students.
>
> A recent policy initiative undertaken by one of the
> nation?s largest and most successful school
> districts, Charlotte-Mecklenburg (North Carolina),
> illustrates the hazards of math acceleration. In
> 2002, the district joined a growing number of
> education agencies in promoting eighth grade algebra
> for a larger proportion of students. The push to
> accelerate algebra was based on a naïve
> interpretation of correlations between algebra timing
> and later success, ignoring the obvious
> counterargument that a propensity for future success
> drives early algebra taking, not the reverse. However
> ill-conceived the policy, though, the results are
> instructive:
> ?In the span of two years, Charlotte-Mecklenburg
> g students performing below average in math witnessed
> threefold increases in the likelihood of taking
> Algebra I by eighth grade.
> ?Students subjected to algebra acceleration scored
> d 13 percentile points lower on a standardized
> end-of-course test than students permitted to take
> algebra on a regular schedule.
> ?Accelerated students were less likely to pass an
> n end-of-course test in geometry, despite receiving
> an extra year to do so. They were no more likely to
> pass an end-of-course test in algebra II.
>
> A more thorough review of curricular trends in high
> school mathematics over the twentieth century shows
> that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg experience is not a
> fluke. Since the beginning of the twentieth century,
> waves of reform, including the ?new math? movement,
> have sought to improve the math achievement of
> moderate-performing students. The emphasis on the
> performance of lower-achieving students increased
> after the 1983 A Nation At Risk report and the 2001
> passage of the No Child Left Behind Act. Recent
> studies have verified an obvious side effect of this
> focus: declining achievement among higher-performing
> students. The past thirty years have witnessed a
> 20-point increase in average math SAT scores but a 25
> percent drop in the proportion of college students
> who major in math-intensive subjects.
>
> Altogether, the evidence suggests that America?s math
> wounds have been self-inflicted, illustrating the
> hazards of a single-minded focus on relative rather
> than absolute performance. Closing the achievement
> gap by improving the performance of struggling
> students is hard; closing the gap by reducing the
> quality of education offered to high performers?for
> example, by eliminating tracking and promoting
> universal access to ?rigorous? courses while reducing
> the definition of rigor?is easy. The thoughtless
> incentives often provided to close the gap make the
> path of least resistance even more tempting.
>
> This report concludes with a series of prescriptions
> for ensuring forthcoming generations of American
> workers will include both innovators who create jobs
> in technically demanding industries and workers
> qualified to hold them:
> ?For several decades, the United States has
> s counteracted its decline in math in part by
> importing highly talented immigrants. American
> immigration policy prioritizes family reunification
> over skills, in direct contrast with peer nations
> such as Australia and Canada. Any attempt at
> immigration reform should address this issue.
> ?Curricular fads such as Singapore math hold promise
> e in many circles but may not be readily adaptable to
> American cultural and educational settings.
> Experimentation is warranted, but we must be mindful
> that the net effect of our past curricular tinkering
> has been negative.
> ?Pursuing equity in curriculum must harm some
> e students, and evidence suggests that some past
> reforms have managed to harm all of them. American
> students are heterogeneous, and a rational strategy
> to improve math performance must begin with that
> premise.
>
> Haim
>Shovel Ready? What Shovel?
>

I BEG YOU TO TAKE THE MOST URGENT POSSIBLE ACIION!!!

The above now definitively PROVES the essentiality of a major educational THRUST that MUST now be made by 'EDUCATION MAFIA' forces worldwide, in the current campaign to improve US education:

- - - -- Substitution of courses covering 'How To Think'; 'What is a Proof?'; 'Logic 101' - instead of Arithmetic (starting from 'counting numbers'), Algebra, etc. These courses should be taught to ALL adults, starting with the ones of the group 'Math-teach @ Drexel'.

GSC
a humble foot-soldier in this great war
("Still Shoveling Away!")


Message was edited by: GS Chandy



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