In a message dated 97-06-01 18:09:10 EDT, you write:
<< As an example of the absurdity of the lack of proof before implementation of reform materials, I was told of this exchange (by several people) at a HS math department chair meeting in LAUSD.
The District is very big on pushing "Integrated Math" on all the high schools. When asked for data comparing different approaches and books, the "experts" response? "I don't know." >>
Unfortunately, what I think we do "know" about traditional high school mathematics programs is that they do not do a particularly good job of preparing students for first year studies at college. In my state, the largest university typically assigns about 40% of incoming freshmen to a non-credit-earning mathematics class in order to bring their level of understanding up to what the university deems as a "minimal level of competence."
To use your analogy, if 40% of my patients were dying, I might try some other treatment.
Michael Shelly, Ed.D. Mathematics Department Chair Andover High School Bloomfield Hills MI