Date: Feb 23, 1995 3:07 PM
Author: Annie Fetter
Subject: More thoughts from the nctm-l police

Okay, just kidding, but I have received a number of private messages after
my posting yesterday about being more "on task", as it were. So here's a
better idea of where I'm coming from.

In a previous life, nctm-l became a list where people talked about all
manner of k12 math ed stuff. This was good, for most of the folks. One of
the big reasons that I would like to return it to its supposed focus (yes,
it was started with a Standards-oriented mission - I can send you the
original announcement if it's important to you) is that general k12 math ed
stuff already gets talked about other places, most notably the newsgroup
k12.ed.math (nice group name, eh?). Here's a sampling from the list of
discussions going on there as of today:

long division
block scheduling
cooperative education
working with student teachers
the Platonic solids
HP's in HS math classes
Technology vs. Old Ways
Sixth grade probability
Math texts....why one?
How to teach multiplication
Graphic calculators = middle school
Computers and math - does it work?
AP Calculus Calculator Oriented Questions
Computers increase achievement?
Cabri vs. Sketchpad

So, do any of these sound familiar? I just think that both groups could be
served by the same discussion going on in the same place. There is a place
on the Internet for specific discussion of the Standards and their
ramifications, and there's a lot of stuff we've been talking about, like
the Easter formula and the things , which can fit into the "modern"
classroom (modern being one that tries to implement ideas from the
Standards). But should general math discussion be taking place in two
different places? (There's even some overlap of participants - I know some
of you read k12.ed.math, and have been doing so for a long time.)

Now, I realize that one of the stumbling blocks here is that k12.ed.math is
a newsgroup, and not a mailing list, but let's assume that could be worked
around (we could provide a mail gateway for those who can't/won't/don't
like to read news). Is there a reason why the two groups shouldn't be
talking together?

When people "get on" the Internet, they immediately look for a "group" to
join, so that they can be part of a community on this big, wide, somewhat
impersonal entity. nctm-l became a place like that for many of you, and I
realize that there are great ties to that. Maybe people want to keep it
the way it was, in which I would recommend changing the name to k12-math or
something, but I think we need to evaluate other opportunities as well, as
the last thing this Internet monster needs is duplicated efforts.

(Don't get me wrong - there should be a list/newsgroup/something where the
standards are talked about, and I'm not suggesting that we kill this list,
but I think the group could be refocused a bit. Just a bit.)

Please send along your feedback. I'd especially like to hear from the
people who participate in both places. If people wish, we can have this
discussion on nctm-l itself (though I'd be happy to take the brunt of it,
and summarize it to the list).

-Annie