This is very good, superb even, though though I view it again as mostly a complaint about the baby being thrown out with the bathwater.
Points of agreement (with NYT piece): (Page 17) The most evident point of confrontation is whether children should be taught paper- and-pencil arithmetical algorithms or use calculators instead of that. The dierence of opinions can be illustrated by two quotes, both included into the mathematicians' letter. One is from an article written by Steve Leinwand, a member of the Expert Panel (and one of directors of NCTM), entitled "It's Time To Abandon Computational Algorithms" and published on February 9, 1994, in Education Week on the Web: 12 "It's time to recognize that, for many students, real mathematical power, on the one hand, and facility with multidigit, pencil-and-paper computational algorithms, on the other, are mutually exclusive. In fact, it's time to acknowledge that continuing to teach these skills to our students is not only unnecessary, but counterproductive and downright dangerous." This is just a personal opinion, but this person was selected by the government to make an important decision about mathematical education."