
Re: David Berliner on "A Nation at Risk": Three Decades of Lies #2  ADDENDUM #2
Posted:
May 3, 2013 11:56 AM


I agree that there have always been problems with education. The architects of our current system appear to be absolutist ideologues who KNOW the one and only way to improve things, despite having no next to no personal experience actually teaching. (Bloomberg, Gates, Duncan, Klein, Walton family, Amway owners, Koch Bros, Tilson & other hedge fund rich boys, Kopp, Huffman, ALEC, Rheefor most of a decade now. And no, it's not getting better by ANY of the measures by which they claimed scores would rise like skyrockets...; despite the fact that they are the ones calling the shots and getting their way.)
I'm helping a friend with remedial College algebra he graduated HS about 15 years ago, remembered some and forgot a lot and was never comfortable with fractions.
I'm not impressed with this remedial course hes taking. It seems like it was written by someone whose last experience was with a Dolciani textbook 30 years ago but without any explanations. It does do a lot if online stuff, but its mostly for assessment not instruction. It certainly doesn't appear to show what you actually might need this stuff for, and seems to emphasize hand computation in a fairly thoughtless manner.
Here's a little approximate statistic:in 1967 when I took AP calculus exam, I was one of 20,000 kids taking ANY AP exam in any subject in the entire nation. so. There are nowsomewhere between 500,000 and million kids per year doing that now  nearly a third if all HS grads each year. And that is not dumbed down pap. Those are quite good tests, at very high levels. Look one up in any subject you don't currently teach. I guarantee you will be humbled. And these are HS kids for hod's sake!!!
And that trend is not due to the billionaire boys' & girls' club. That rise in AP taking and passing numbers appears to me almost exactly like an exponential curve. I have some graphs of this on my blog. If I had time I'd even work out manually an exponential curve and then compare it to the raw data again. I bet R or R^2 would be well over 95%.
Guy
On May 3, 2013, at 11:05, Alain Schremmer <schremmer.alain@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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 * >> **************************************************************************** > > **************************************************************************** > * 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 * > **************************************************************************** **************************************************************************** * 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 * ****************************************************************************

