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Topic: Analysis of NCTM Title (parts 8-a,b of Open Letter)
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Frank Allen

Posts: 17
Registered: 12/6/04
Analysis of NCTM Title (parts 8-a,b of Open Letter)
Posted: Dec 13, 1995 3:49 PM
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8. What's in a name? A word by word analysis of the "National Council
of TeachersofMathematics."

(a) "National". The organization of which you are President is truly
national in scope. In fact, it could be considered as international
in some respects. Much of its growth springs from the work of the Committee
on Affiliated Groups which was a high priority during my term as President
1962-64 (perhaps it was launched then, I can't remember). Anyway, I found
a wonderful leader for this important committee. It was Isabelle Rucker,
a southern belle from the Commonwealth of Virginia, who could charm the
birds out of the trees. She got the CAG off to a roaring start and look
at the result!

Also during my time, we appointed Jim Gates as Executive Secretary, thus
putting an end to a sticky problem which had plagued three previous
(I have the letterheads to prove this). Jim has proved that he could
function effectively in this responsible position in a national organization.
(As Jim leaves it would be appropriate to publish a comprehensive audit
of NCTM finances, showing where our funds come from and how they are spent.
I'm sure Jim would want that.)

Your organization may keep the word "National" in its title.

**Jean Batiste Moliere, "Le Bourqeuis Gentle-Homme", Act III, Scene 4,
Circa 1670.
"If you disagree with us at all
You are a Neanderthal."

(b) Council. "An assembly convened for consultations, advice or
Your organization was a council once. It's meetings provided teachers
with a place to convene as peers, in a collegial atmosphere to trade
gained in the classroom and to discuss perennial controversies about effective
procedures. No more. The "council's" steam-roller promotion of the Standards
sweeps all else aside. There are no controversies anymore. Everything
was settled when the Standards Report was published. If you do not regard
the Standards as holy writ, if you even question its sweeping and largely
baseless recommendations you are a non-person so far as the "council"
is concerned.

I say this very wistfully,
"I miss the Council that used to be.
I miss the camaraderie.
And suave congeniality
Both now congealed by enforced PC."

Sorry, but your organization will have to drop the word "Council" from
its title.

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