1) Any complex system may contain one or more other complex systems within it.
2) It's ONLY through our own available good ideas that we can change/improve the existing situation within any complex system, whatever the situation may be, in whichever system.
The 'educational system' is a complex system within the 'societal system as a whole.
3) The 'math education system' discussed by Liping Ma and Saul Mark in the 'AMS Notices' of the title of this thread is precisely such a system - created by stakeholders within the educational system.
As the AMS Notices suggested, there is considerable change that's required within the math educational system. But neither Liping Ma nor Saul Mark have identified specific practical ways to act on it. Some useful ideas have been identified by Liping Ma - along with some 'bad ideas'.
One essential idea has been identified by Saul Mark: what's needed is an *effective* synthesis of the available useful from all stakeholders. The question is: HOW to create such a 'synthesis' - without getting caught up in endless argumentation?
4) Along with the good ideas that are always available with all stakeholders about the systems within which we live and work and play, there are always a very sizable number of 'bad ideas' floating around the mindspace. These bad ideas "HINDER" or "PREVENT" the good ideas from being put into practice.
Some of the bad ideas:
a) A specific bad idea from Liping Ma is that copying various aspects of the 'Chinese system' will bring about sound systems in the USA.
b) The endless argumentation that usually goes on is inevitable. This is a bad idea that has not been explicitly articulated by either Liping Ma or Saul Mark - but it's there nonetheless as they've not identified practical means to get over this habit we humans have of endlessly arguing 'round and 'round the mulberry bush in practically all complex situations.
c) "We can't change things" - BUT things *HAVE* changed in the past in a great many situations and circumstances, and there's no reason that they can't change again.
d) "'They' are too powerful - there's no point in fighting them" - well OK, if you're willing to take all the sh*t that they're dumping onto you, then sh*t is precisely what you'll get.
It's worth keeping in mind this devastating poem by Martin Niemoller (though it was written in the context of somewhat different circumstances):
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Socialist.
"Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Trade Unionist.
"Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.
"Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me."
Well, just think of it this way:
"If not us, who? If not now, when?"
The good idea to hold on to is:
If the system needs change, it's ONLY the stakeholders within the system who can bring about the needed change - by acting together *effectively* in concert.
5) Agreed, it's not so easy to understand what's going on 'beneath the surface', so to speak, of any complex system. In the conventional way, it's well-night impossible to understand complex systems and how to cope with them.
But it's not impossible to do this - and it's not impossible either to do something effective about changing the way the system works.
What's needed is effective action by the stakeholders within the system.
6) One needs to understand that there are a great many interests operating in these complex systems, and many of them are vested interest with their own agendas to fulfill. Some of these interests may be simply mistaken without understanding how they are mistaken.
7) What's needed is to identify what the system is really all about, discover its goals, and then find out the things to do, from day to day, to accomplish those goals - and then set out to do those very thigns.
8) In the earlier post at this thread, I had suggested practical tools to help arrive at a working understanding of what our systems are about - AND of doing something effective within those systems.