
Re: David Berliner on "A Nation at Risk": Three Decades of Lies #2  ADDENDUM #2
Posted:
May 3, 2013 11:05 AM


I completely agree with Mahler.
I would just add another thing that "needs fixing": we are not really giving the huge majority of the students a real choice as we are in effect channeling them.
Regards schremmer
On May 3, 2013, at 10:26 AM, Phil Mahler wrote:
>> Half of all freshmen need remediation? Plainly, something has >> gone terribly wrong... > > I am not convinced that something has gone terribly wrong, though I > agree that there are things that need fixing. Things have always > been terribly wrong, depending on one's interpretation of what is > right. > > Consider these facts (I know that all facts are disputable); > > In 1932 20% of 12thgrade students could compute 2.1% of 60. > In 1937 Taylor studied more than 2000 freshmen in teachers' colleges > and found that more than half could not divide 175 by 0.35. > The rate of college enrollment immediately after high school > completion increased from 49% in 1972 to 70% by 2009. >  > > Now consider that 1932 a much smaller percentage of students went to > high school. 12th grade was rare. In 1947 trigonometry was a college > freshman level course, at least according to a longago thenolder > colleague who was a math major at a large midwestern university. > I am sure that in the good old days lots of people couldn't compute. > Think about the demographics of the extra 21% that go to college > since 1972. I doubt if these come from the top of their high school > class. But once, they had a shot at getting a job anyway. > > A lot of the remediation we demand is in the area of hand > calculation of decimals and fractions. Of students that have been > using calculators for the last 5 years or more. When we are done we > often still don't know if they can get correct answers with a > calculator, though that is what they will use for the rest of their > life. > And also we remediate algebra that most don't really need (I don't > mean the basics of variables, signed numbers, linear equations). > > For me, there are challenges, important ones, but I think some of > them are misdirected. > > Phil > > **************************************************************************** > * To post to the list: email mathedcc@mathforum.org * > * To unsubscribe, email the message "unsubscribe mathedcc" to majordomo@mathforum.org > * > * Archives at http://mathforum.org/kb/forum.jspa?forumID=184 * > ****************************************************************************
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