Date: Oct 16, 2012 8:10 PM
Subject: Re: Casualty of the Math Wars
Robert Hansen Posted: Oct 16, 2012 4:32 AM
>On Oct 15, 2012, at 8:54 PM, Haim <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> we cannot win this war.
>They play a different war, this is true. You accuse them
>of publishing "grossly exaggerated" results and they
>accuse you of "academic disagreement".
Exaggeration? Oh, no. We accuse them of fraud and they defame us. Exaggeration would be if scores improved 3% and they claim an improvement of 8%. Fraud is when they measure and report their own results, and actively sabotage efforts at independent assessment (you would almost think they have something to hide).
> But, let's keep this in perspective. As much as you
>might want a crusade, I don't think that is possible
>under any circumstances. History does not bode well for
>crusades, which tells me that there is a fundamental
>flaw in the very notion. And who needs them anyways?
There is no general principle of crusades. The Christian crusades of the 11th thru 13th centuries failed miserably because they were a weak, disorganized, and late response to the Muslim crusade which has been the single greatest and most successful colonization campaign in history, so it all depends. (The Muslims call their crusade "jihad". The two words mean exactly the same thing: holy war.)
Rather, the rule you are reaching for, Bob, is this: God is on the side of the bigger battalions. And it is precisely on this principle that I have been appealing, for more than ten years, to my friends on the right side of the Math Wars to stop their crusade against the Education Mafia. In other words, you got me exactly wrong. I am not the one who wants a crusade. I want my friends to stop their crusade.
Not only can we not possibly win a direct confrontation with the Education Mafia, but we are worse off for the trying. By directly confronting the Education Mafia, we waste our energy and fail to take actions that might achieve results. It is a dead loss all around, for us and for generations of students, now and in the future.
>I am quite content to keep them in check by pointing out
>their lack of honesty and method.
Eh? Are you smoking something? You are not keeping anybody in check. The Education Mafia are doing whatever they want to do, and they do not even know you exist.
>These poor bastards are pandering to social elements,
>not mathematics. I grant you, they eek a living out of
>their pandering, much like a reverend does with their
>flock. They are like creationists. Zealots full of
>ideology, void of fact or logic. How they got into
>mathematics is for another book I guess.
I think you spend too much time bantering with Paul. We should all eek out a living the way the Education Mafia eek out a living. If you look at the economic literature, it turns out that teachers do quite well, by any objective standard. And, once a teacher leaves the classroom, to go either into administration or into the unions, they do even better. Just look up Randi Weingarten's salary, or the salary of the superintendent of your school district. And both of them have scads of deputies and assistants who also do very, very well.
>At times (like you) I think of storming their castles
>and shaming the whole lot of them, but then I remember
>history, the crusades, and realize that this is not
>possible. Remember what I said before about people,
>economy and weather. If you try to control economy such
>that there is no weather, no variation, what happens?
>Disaster, right? I think the same thing applies here.
>The Hakes and Boalers are part of the weather, albeit,
>the bad part. I am content with staying in good weather
>and pointing out the bad. These poor bastards have been
>struggling for 40 years and they will struggle for
>another 40 years. I suspect that eventually they will
>move on to something other than mathematics, cause it
>really isn't working out for them here. But I don't
>suspect they will change their ways.
The mistake you are making, Bob, is that you seem to think that your agenda is their agenda. By your standards, the Education Mafia is doing very badly. They don't care about your standards.
No representation without taxation.