Date: Jun 17, 1996 10:44 PM
Author: Karl M. Bunday
Subject: Jamie Escalante Endorses Mathematically Correct Program
David L. Hanson wrote, quoting the Mathematically Correct organization's press
release (which I also saw posted by Mike McKeown, whose posting I quote here):
> JAIME ESCALANTE ENDORSES MATHEMATICALLY CORRECT POSITION
> Jaime Escalante, perhaps the best known mathematics educator in the United
> States, has joined 23 University Mathematics Professors, including two
> past presidents of the Mathematical Association of America, multiple high
> school science and math teachers, many scientists, and concerned parents
> in endorsing a significant proposal to increase student achievement in
That's important news. Further proof that more than one "minority" group member wants
better education to occur in America's government-operated schools--for ALL children,
of whatever ethnic origin. Mr. Escalante is not alone.
> This document, ÃÂ³A Program for Raising the Level of Student Achievement in
> Secondary School MathematicsÃÂ², was written by Professor Frank Allen, a
> former President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
> (NCTM). It contains descriptions of
> ÃÂ how to establish clear standards of what we expect students to learn;
> ÃÂ the learning situation in which these objective can be achieved;
> ÃÂ the properties of an effective grading system;
> ÃÂ the appropriate roles of teachers as expositors and students as learners.
> In the absence of alternative documents, the National Council of Teachers
> of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards have become a guide to drastically
> altering mathematics education in the United States. Many serious minded
> educators, mathematicians and parents are concerned about these changes
> but have lacked a clear alternative to the NCTM Standards.
> Professor AllenÃÂ¹s Proposal is designed as a specific statement of
> alternatives to the NCTM Standards. The differences are both intellectual
> and stylistic as the document is both concise and clear.
Clear writing is generally a sign of clear thinking.
> In this context it is highly significant that Jaime Escalante would choose
> to endorse Professor AllenÃÂ¹s Proposal. Mr. Escalante entered the public
> consciousness as a result of the hit movie ÃÂ³Stand and DeliverÃÂ². This film
> chronicled his success in teaching top quality mathematics to students at
> Garfield High School in Los Angeles. Garfield is a school with high
> minority enrollment and, prior to Mr. EscalanteÃÂ¹s arrival, a record of
> substandard performance in mathematics. Against this background Mr.
> Escalante established one of the strongest public high school math
> programs in the country with a large number of students taking calculus
> and passing the Advanced Placement Calculus exam, thereby earning college
> mathematics credit while still in high school.
> Mr. Escalante has been, and continues to be, highly critical of the NCTM
> Standards. He is quoted by Charles Sykes in, "Why American Children Feel
> Good about Themselves but Can't Read, Write, or Add," as saying, "Whoever
> wrote [the NCTM math standards] must be a physical education teacher."
More people who tout the NCTM "standards" should take note of this.
> Mr. EscalanteÃÂ¹s endorsement of Professor AllenÃÂ¹s Proposal is a significant
> acknowledgment of the failure of the NCTM Standards and the need for clear
> ÃÂ³A Program for Raising the Level of Student Achievement in Secondary
> School MathematicsÃÂ² can be obtained from the 2+2=4, the Mathematically
> Correct Homepage, at
Thanks for the useful Web reference.
> This address also contains significant other information about recent
> changes in mathematics education as well as information as to the way in
> which others can endorse Professor AllenÃÂ¹s Proposal.
It's good to get some historical perspective on the latest "new and improved"
proposals from schoolteacher interest groups like the NCTM.
Karl from Minnesota, email@example.com
The official National Assessment of Educational Progress
shows educational REgress in the United States: