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Topic: Response to M. Goldenberg.
Replies: 1   Last Post: Dec 17, 1995 12:38 AM

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Frank Allen

Posts: 17
Registered: 12/6/04
Response to M. Goldenberg.
Posted: Dec 16, 1995 10:05 PM
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On 12/16/95 M. Goldenberg ask me this question: "---did the present state of
mathematics nneducation, which you decry,come upon us out of the blue, or is
it possible that folks in your generation had some small hand in this fall?"
Let me try my best to answer this good question.

I go back to the 50's and 60's when I chaired the mathematics department at
Lyons township high school in LaGrange, IL. I and my 30 colleagues in the
math department had good students of all ability levels, who came from
stable homes where parents encouraged their children to study and were
generally supportive of our efforts to teach them. We deserved no credit
for this ideal situation. Looking back I can see that we were just lucky,
thats all. Nor do teachers in the field now deserve any blame for the
unfortunate social changes which have,since then, created widespread
situations in our schools which are severely deleterios to learning. Having
taught math for 35 years in the high schools of Illinois, I identify with
them. They need parental and community support which will send children to
school in a condition to learn. I decry the NCTM's stubborn refusal to
recognize this fact. Are we paying too high a price for being "Politically
correct"? I decry teachers being told that curricular changes and the
adoption of a omplicated,highly-subjective,time-consuming assessment system
will bring substantial improvement to a situatiun caused by a deep-seated
social malaise.. I think that they are doing a pretty good job when you
consider the circumstances under which they work and I challenge their
critics to do any better under those same circumctances.

I am helpless against the charge that this is an old man doting about the
"Good old Days". Do you really believe that that is a sufficent reply?

Frank Allen






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