Date: Jan 26, 2013 12:47 AM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards

Responding to Clyde Greeno's post of  Jan 26, 2013 1:00 AM (pasted in full beneath my signature for ready reference):

I really don't know anything about the "CCSS" beyond what's been written here at Math-teach about those standards; also at other fora (and perhaps I've also seen [but have not paid much attention to] a couple of newspaper articles, both pro- and con-). But I've long wondered why these 'standards' have proved to be such a major, grievous (and even grave to the point of being funereal) 'sticking point' in improving/ developing your US public school education system(s).

All that is really needed is for the various stakeholders in US school education to resolve to work effectively together on a Mission like, say, "To ensure our US public school education systems become truly effective for the education of our children" - and then to get down to work on that Mission (WITHOUT wasting the time and energy that I see in so many of these threads).

It really shouldn't take longer than a couple of years (at most) to resolve almost all of the most contentious issues relating to public school education: we do, after all, like to flatter ourselves by referring to our species as 'homo sapiens'! (I really don't know how the rest of nature's creation thinks of us).

The tools described at the attachments to my message at the thread "Democracy - how to achieve it?" would help significantly in avoiding the huge wastages of time and energy noted earlier.

In fact, I claim that most of such discussions are mainly (if not ONLY) a waste of time and energy. Very little ever happens in any of your arguments that actually helps to convince proponents of the 'other side': in fact, I'd go so far as to claim that practically every conventional discussion I've seen, on 'most ANY issue (in practically any forum), serves only to reinforce the convictions of each person in an argument that his/ her side is the ONLY correct side and that the 'other' side is populated almost entirely by idiots and scoundrels! For instance, I recall that some of us here refer to a large section of teachers in public school education in the USA (over 3 million of them!) as the 'Education Mafia': I would judge that to be a sure and certain way to ensure that the 'other side' would never listen to ANY of your side's arguments - even the sensible ones (if any).

I'll also warrant that *EFFECTIVE* discussion on the issues related to US public school education would soon show you precisely the kind of standards that are actually required to help frame and guide your educational systems effectively.

(What's really "rotten to the core" is mainly our utterly ineffective ways of discussing the complex issues, like education', that divide us).


Clyde Greeno posted Jan 26, 2013 1:00 AM:
> A strawman war!
> Rosa has his own "reasons", but ...
> Will the CCSS be "another abject failure"?
> Is the automobile an "abject failure" because it
> cannot fly?
> Have our universities sunk to the level where their
> math-representatives
> ignore the meanings of words ... or do not recognize
> the difference between
> "necessary conditions" and "sufficient conditions?"
> The CCSS speak of conditions deemed *necessary* for
> all American schools to
> meet ... NOT of conditions which are *sufficient* ...
> even for America's
> "average" schools to meet. The widespread confusion
> between those two
> interpretations for the CCSS is a striking
> illustration of the nation's
> needs for reforming curricular education in
> mathematics. It long has been
> training students for obedience, rather than
> educating them to think ... and
> those non-thinking graduates sometimes become
> university mathematics
> faculty. Stanford is not alone.
> Assessments of "another"-ness [which implies the
> (unsubstantiated)
> existence of at least one other "abject failure"] ...
> ... and of "abject"-ness [from
> ab┬Ěject ... adjective:
> 1. utterly hopeless, miserable, humiliating, or
> wretched: abject poverty.
> 2. contemptible; despicable; base-spirited: an abject
> coward.
> 3. shamelessly servile; slavish. ]
> ... make no sense unless the term, "failure" is
> correctly used.
> There can be no "failure" other than within the
> context of pursuing a
> particular goal ... and no "failure" until pursuits
> of that goal actually
> cease. It is pure nonsense to speak of an effort's
> (or of its products')
> "failure" to accomplish something OTHER than that
> goal. [Is the automobile a
> "failure" because it cannot fly?]
> Best to start with whatever the CCSS initiative was
> *intended* to accomplish
> ... and then ask whether or not the standards might
> accomplish *that* goal
> ... NOT whether or not they produce some *other*
> desirable effect.
> The CCSS *do* identify a family of minimum standards
> ... which essentially
> are already being more than met by the nation's
> better schools. By default,
> the CCSS already "work" in at least those schools,
> but those schools were
> not the target of the CCSS. [Venn diagrams might
> help.]
> Rather, the CCSS were intended to stimulate other
> schools [who had earlier
> been using lesser standards] to reach the CCSS
> minimum. Is that not already
> happening with some such schools ... and is it
> unlikely that some other such
> schools also will progress toward achieving that
> "minimum?" For that
> purpose, the CCSS initiative already is being
> progressively successful ...
> for *their own* purposes, though NOT for some of the
> purposes for which they
> are being misinterpreted and/or misused.
> It is not at all the case that the CCSS are failing,
> or will fail, to do
> *their own* job. [Automobiles still do what they were
> created to do ... and
> more.] But it is ignorant to complain that the CCSS
> does not, and cannot, do
> something *else.* [Some critics already have
> identified at least some of the
> differences.]
> Instead, the fault lies with those whose mathematical
> logic cannot
> comprehend the difference between *minimum* standards
> ... and *par*
> standards ... and *optimal* ... and *hyper*
> standards. One theme of math-ed
> "reforms" is to better build students'
> problem-solving skills ... skills
> that commonly are not being applied to the CCSS. For
> sure, a major problem
> results from CCSS being only *minimum* standards:
> there is a dire need for
> concurrent systems of *par* and *hyper" standards.
> But complaining that the
> CCSS are neither par nor hyper standards does not
> even begin to solve the
> problem of the absence of additional nationwide
> standards for higher levels
> of productivity.
> Perhaps a "reformed" mathematics curriculum will
> someday teach students that
> complaining that something is only a partial,
> inadequate solution does not
> suffice for solving the broader problem. [Case in
> point: non-solver,
> complaining, traditionally educated, columnist
> mothers who think that
> programming children to mindlessly perform as
> directed is genuine
> "education" ... in genuine "mathematics."]
> Cordially,
> Clyde
> - --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Domenico Rosa" <>
> Sent: Friday, January 25, 2013 9:32 AM
> To: <>
> Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic
> Standards

> >> Malkin's greater flaw is a false assertion that
> the
> >> CCSS are depriving the states of authority.
> >
> > I have every reason to believe that the CCSS will

> be another abject
> > failure, as I pointed out at:
> >
> >

> ID=2391920&messageID=7854568#7854568

Message was edited by: GS Chandy

Message was edited by: GS Chandy