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Topic: Proof, yet again
Replies: 22   Last Post: Nov 15, 2003 12:39 PM

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Dan Fendel

Posts: 65
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Proof, yet again
Posted: Dec 26, 2002 4:28 PM
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Wayne writes:

"The specific curriculum that we've been discussing, IMP, was largely
written prior to 1989."

An illustration of how little he knows on a subject he discusses

Dan Fendel

Professor of Mathematics, San Francisco State University
Work phone: 415-338-2251
Home phone: 510-653-8520
Home fax: 510-653-7761

On Thu, 26 Dec 2002, Wayne Bishop wrote:

> At 08:18 AM 12/26/2002 -0800, Michael Paul Goldenberg wrote:

> >I have to ask: where are the research-based facts to support the
> >historical effectiveness of "solid programs" prior to 1989 (obviously a
> >date picked for a reason).

> The industry needs to quit pretending that the phony "Standards" of 1989
> had much, if anything, to do with the now discredited reform. They were a
> culmination of a philosophical perspective that was driving like-minded
> innovation throughout the preceding decade, actually much longer. Addison
> Wesley's "Math Their Way" was already passe and the ideas were well
> ingrained in middle schools and finally working their way up to high
> schools. The sharp drop in ELM scores coming into the CSU, going from very
> bad to horrible, in the early to mid-nineties was the culmination of an
> entire pre-collegiate experience, most of which was prior to 1989. The
> specific curriculum that we've been discussing, IMP, was largely written
> prior to 1989; e.g., piloting at Berkeley High, and other California
> schools, began in Fall 1989.
> Think of the Standards more like the Bible, written after events (or at
> least believed to have been events by proponents) to explain and to glorify
> them, not as a guidebook for future action. True Believers will disagree
> with my interpretation of both of these Holy Scriptures, of course; that's
> what makes religion so much fun.

> > Not that everything after 1989 has been cakes and ale, or that nothing
> > before it was effective. But for Dr. Bishop to continue to hammer away at
> > how poor other folks' arguments and facts are, when at least the project
> > people affiliated with many of the curricula he reviles are providing
> > data (regardless of his opinion of that data),

> The "data" as you call it are entirely analogous to that which held up
> phonics-free reading instruction for so long - and still does among some
> diehard chauvinists - spotty, highly selective bits of information, almost
> always protecting the names of the sources of the data in order prohibit
> other observers from being able to examine and offer independent
> interpretation of the same data. When the sources are known, the studies
> invariably turn out to be less than as they were presented. One concrete
> example comes to mind, the Santa Barbara USD progress that MathLand used to
> get its "Promising" rating from the feds even after the program had been a
> California disaster. How could this be? Easy, only put forth the rise in
> the district's standardized test scores after the first couple years (some
> pilots and then one full year systemwide) of decline due to MathLand
> itself. Having the name of the district made the evidence to be seen for
> what it was, snake-oil sales. Without that information, however, it would
> have been "data".
> Wayne.

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