Date: Jan 27, 2013 9:21 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: Rotten to the Core: War on Academic Standards

Clyde Greeno posted  Jan 27, 2013 10:04 PM (GSC's remarks interspersed):
> So as not to court misinterpretation of my "strawman"
> claim:
>
> # There definitely IS a serious need for formal
> statements of MINIMUM
> curricular "standards" ... to which most/all states
> can agree ... ideally in
> the form of concurrent, alternative versions, thereof
> ... as generated by
> separate bodies ... each of which should annually
> update its own version, on
> the basis of new insights. [The current CCSS is the
> one and only such
> product, from any such group ... and not yet
> updated.] Healthy disputes can
> occur ONLY when at least two such products exist.
> That does require paying
> people to do the work ... albeit, some modes of
> service are less
> cost-effective than others.
>

However, in most cases before us, we see that "'healthy' disputes" DO NOT OCCUR EVEN when there are two or more "such products": one product or "many products", the dispute will very rarely (if ever) be 'healthy' (in the sense of us "having a discussion that could lead to resolution of the issue or problem under discussion").

It is evidently NOT the "number of products" that leads to 'health' (or 'lack of health') in our disputes: it is the very way we choose to conduct our discussions!

As evidence for this claim, please look at almost any discussion conducted using the 'conventional means of discussion' - for example, at most discussions at this very forum.
>
> ## There also is a dire need for similar statement of
> (substantially
> higher-level) PAR curricular "standards". [There
> currently is no such
> product.]
>

Probably you are correct about this: I am not adequately knowledgeable on the matter - see http://mathforum.org/kb/message.jspa?messageID=8162411 .
>
> ### The "strawman war" is being fought by those who
> quarrel with CCSS
> because the latter propose some deviation from
> earlier generations ...
> and/or because *minimum* is less than *par.* It's a
> little like congressmen
> voting against a bill, because of the presence or
> lack of some ingredients,
> therein ... without concurrently proposing an
> alternative bill. [Far easier
> to detect "flaws" in others' attempts to solve their
> problems, than to
> create one's own solutions to one's own problems.]
>

It's entirely true, as Dr Greeno claims, that it is generally far easier "to detect 'flaws' in others' attempts to solve their problems, than to create one's own solutions" - and this also we find happening in practically every discussion we see that is conducted in the conventional way (including this one). It's one of our defining characteristics as human beings: on the rare occasions when we encounter a person able to see the flaws in his or her own reasoning, we probably canonize him or her and then go our merry way!

Allow me to make a prediction:

It is extremely unlikely that this discussion (or ANY discussion conducted in the conventional way) would lead to a practical means to overcome the difficulties you in the USA are finding in whatever attempts you may be making to set and implement 'academic standards in schools'.

It would certainly be VERY MUCH more productive (but somewhat more difficult) to try actually to work out solutions to the problems and issues that confront us, for example the many issues relating to the educational systems of the US. For that matter, I observe, we confront much the same dilemma in India!

But we see so little of this (actively 'working out solutions') ever happening around us! See the attachments to my post at http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536 for some information about practical tools that can help us actually be more productive in this particular way, namely, of seeking out solutions to problems and issues confronted.

GSC


Message was edited by: GS Chandy