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Topic: [math-learn] Effects of Poverty on U.S. Children's Educational Achievement
Redux

Replies: 5   Last Post: Jan 22, 2013 5:13 PM

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kathleen Offenholley

Posts: 79
Registered: 10/20/08
Re: [math-learn] Effects of Poverty on U.S. Children's Educational Achievement Redux
Posted: Jan 21, 2013 4:06 PM
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Dear All,

I'm quitting the list. Ed, your comments are of value to me, as are Richard Hake's. But I'm tired of the vitriol. Your letter, below, was needlessly nasty, and you're the mildest of a generally offensive bunch. I'm sticking to the lists that have very strong moderators. 

Kathleen Offenholley


________________________________
From: Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu>
To: math-learn@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2013 6:13 PM
Subject: Re: [math-learn] Effects of Poverty on U.S. Children's Educational Achievement Redux


 
Amusing.

(1) So you are claiming that I made the inference that dumbing down of elementary school mathematics in the U.S. is due to Math Education Researcher's preoccupation with the secondary years. It is probably a waste of my time making continuing, but It certainly isn't a claim I made. In fact, I asked if "we focus so much of our attention on the secondary years .... because we have, in a sense, dumbed down the elementary school mathematics education curriculum to the extent that elementary school teachers, in their collegiate years, come away unsure and ill prepared and we, in effectively a vicious cycle, write them off?" I looked in vain for you refutation that this claim of yours was "more than a little un-thoughtful". Unfortunately after promising said refutation, you seem not to have included it or it's is some complete post otherwhere.

2) Unfortunately, you make my point in your 'refutation' of your biases. All I read is children of poverty have this problem or that problem. I'm not arguing that there aren't such problems. However, you say "I argue that the dumbing down of elementary school mathematics in the U.S. is not due to Math Education Researcher's preoccupation with the secondary years, as implied by Wall, but primarily because of "The Overriding Influence of Poverty on Children's Educational Achievement." First, again I neither said nor implied this (and, I will give you a hint, I don't even believe this). Second, you seem, if I read you aright here and in the remainder of your post in which this was embedded, to think this is okay and, in fact, the emphasis on secondary and post-secondary is where the emphasis should indeed be placed..

Look. Why don't you write an intelligent and thoughtful post that does not make spurious comments about perceived implications and does not use decontextualized quotes. I didn't make claims or implications other than saying the elementary years matter a lot in mathematics education; perhaps more than we think. However, I did ask some questions and I would be interested in hearing your thoughtful answers. Hmm, just in case, let me help:

>Okay, I ask if "we focus so much of our attention on the secondary years .... because we have, in a sense, dumbed down the elementary school mathematics education curriculum to the extent that elementary school teachers, in their collegiate years, come away unsure and ill prepared and we, in effectively a vicious cycle, write them off?

>Your answer, "No. We focus so much of our attention on the secondary years ... because of "The Overriding Influence of Poverty on Children's Educational Achievement."

See, it wasn't so hard was it? No mistaking of implications, no mistaking of quotes. Of course, my answer is going to be these children of poverty we see during the secondary years are the same ones we see during the primary years with two major differences: (1) they are so far behind they can't catch up regardless (a point made in the NAEP a year or so ago); and (2) the pre-figured miseries (re Hawkins) have now been realized.

Ed Wall

On Jan 19, 2013, at 5:03 PM, Richard Hake wrote:

> Some subscribers to Math-Learn might be interested in a recent post
> "Effects of Poverty on U.S. Children's Educational Achievement Redux"
> [Hake (2013b)]. The abstract reads:
>
> *********************************************
> ABSTRACT: In response to my post "Barriers to Better K-12 Math
> Education: Poverty and the Inadequate Undergraduate Education of
> Prospective K-12 Teachers" [Hake (2013a)] at http://bit.ly/V6azOZ>,
> Ed Wall (2013b), in his Math-Learn post at http://yhoo.it/10CO8af>.
> , made 2 points: (1) My statement that Wall implied that the dumbing
> down of elementary school mathematics in the U.S. is due to Math
> Education Researcher's preoccupation with the secondary years is
> "more than a little un-thoughtful." (2) His post "Re: Do We Learn All
> the Math We Need For Ordinary Life Before 5th Grade?" [Wall (2013a)]
> at http://yhoo.it/W6fn5y> had more to do with (a) his agreement with
> David Hawkins - see signature quote - which Wall assumes I have
> refuted, and (b) people such as myself who " 'imply' that children
> are less than capable because of their socioeconomic status."
> [Non-subscribers to Math-Learn can access Wall's post by taking a
> minute to "Join this List" at the Math-Learn archives
> http://yhoo.it/fF6D9w>.]
>
> Here I refute Wall's 2 points with emphasis on Wall's incorrect point
> 2b: "people such as myself 'imply' that children are less than
> capable because of their socioeconomic status." On the contrary, I
> implied that children *in poverty* are less capable of *academic
> achievement* than children not in poverty.
>
> I think that children in poverty are probably just as *inherently*
> capable as children not in poverty, but societal and home factors
> conspire against their academic achievement. For example many of
> them: (a) are subjected to poor teaching, (b) attend dilapidated
> schools with high student and teacher turnover, (c) have academically
> uninvolved parents, (d) partake of few out-of-school enrichment
> activities, (e) have limited access to books, (f) receive inadequate
> nutrition, (g) live in slums, (h) come from broken families, (i) are
> threatened by gang violence, (j) have few academic role models, and
> (k) suffer from environmental hazards such as lead poisoning.
> *********************************************
>
> To access the complete 18 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/VC0jza>.
>
> Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
> Links to Articles: http://bit.ly/a6M5y0>
> Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs: http://bit.ly/9nGd3M>
> Academia: http://bit.ly/a8ixxm>
> Blog: http://bit.ly/9yGsXh>
> GooglePlus: http://bit.ly/KwZ6mE>
> Twitter: http://bit.ly/juvd52>
>
> ". . .I will look primarily at our traditions and practices of early
> schooling through the age of twelve or so. There is little to come
> after, whether of joys or miseries, that is not prefigured in these
> years."
> - David Hawkins (2001) in "The Roots of Literacy" p. 3.
>
> "Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that
> more than 40 percent of the variation in average reading scores and
> 46 percent of the variation in average math scores across states is
> associated with variation in child poverty rates. . . . . Can anyone
> credibly believe that the mediocre overall performance of American
> students on international tests is unrelated to the fact that
> one-fifth of American children live in poverty?"
> - Ladd & Fiske (2011)
>
> "For the short term, preparing teachers in mathematics and science is
> a wise and useful step toward improving schools. [But] as quickly as
> possible, we must understand the link between poverty and educational
> outcomes in the U.S., devise solutions, and finally test and
> implement them. . . . . I hope that proponents of teacher quality
> and charter schools will recognize the weakness of a single-minded
> approach before it is too late, and that we will not damage public
> education, let down our most vulnerable students, and lose technical
> leadership we take for granted."
> - Michael Marder (2012)
>
> REFERENCES [URL shortened by http://bit.ly/ and accessed on 19 Jan 2013.]
> Hake, R.R. 2013a. "Barriers to Better K-12 Math Education: Poverty
> and the Inadequate Undergraduate Education of Prospective K-12
> Teachers," online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at
> http://bit.ly/V6azOZ>. Post of 16 Jan 2013 15:40:33 -0800 to AERA-L
> and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
> transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog
> "Hake'sEdStuff" at http://bit.ly/SPOkQ8> with a provision for
> comments.
>
> Hake, R.R. 2013b. "Effects of Poverty on U.S. Children's Educational
> Achievement Redux" online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at
> http://bit.ly/VC0jza>. Post of 19 Jan 2013 09:49:56-0800 to AERA-L
> and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being
> transmitted to several discussion lists and are also on my blog
> "Hake'sEdStuff" at http://bit.ly/Verm2r> with a provision for
> comments.
>
> Hawkins, D. 2001. "The Roots of Literacy." University of Colorado
> Press. Amazon.com information at http://amzn.to/h3cbtf>.
>
> Ladd, H.E. & E.B. Fiske. 2011. "Class Matters. Why Won't We Admit
> It?" New York Times Opinion Piece, 11 Dec.; online at
> http://nyti.ms/vx3nub>.
>
> Marder, M. 2012. "Failure of U.S. Public Secondary Schools in
> Mathematics," Journal of Scholarship and Practice 9(1): 8-25; the
> entire issue is online as a 2.7 MB pdf at http://bit.ly/KPitWM>,
> scroll down to page 8.
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
>
>
>
> ------------------------------------
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
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