On Mar 3, 2014, at 4:10 PM, kirby urner <email@example.com> wrote:
> The age-range discussion is important yet sometimes muted in these threads. The tendency to romanticize and celebrate the precocious child, the prodigy, gets in the way of sobriety sometimes. Some kids become international chess masters before the age of 15, but most don't. Most are not violin prodigies either.
But most of those that go on to pursue these things at least *get* these things by then.
I don?t think people realize just how bad ?algebra for all? actually ends up to be. It isn?t as if every student is going through the same algebra class. Some students, through factors mostly outside their control, end up in *healthy* algebra classes with similarly developed peers. But most children end up in non-algebra classes (like Dy/Dan portrays). Except for that small group, the kids don?t even know what they took.
I can?t see ?CS for all? not meeting the same fate.
I don?t see how you can treat these subjects properly without there being an elective process. I would be singing a different tune if most jobs required algebra or coding, but very few do. I would also be more swayed if there were ?introductory? courses, meant to give the kids a taste (and please, anything but legos), and then an elective program thereafter. But any ?X for all? is bound to do more harm than good.
As I said, I don?t think people realize just how hard it is in public school today to choose a *real* math path. It isn?t like in our day where only the college bound students took these courses and the courses were pretty much the same all over. Now they are placing every kid in these courses, regardless of prior course success and the quality of the courses ranges from crap to good.