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Topic: [ME] Hearings on mathematics education
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ME] Hearings on mathematics education
Posted: Feb 1, 2000 1:12 PM
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From Bill McCallum, Professor of Mathematics, University of Arizona. This
note is sent with his permission.
Faxed message to:

Michael Castle, Chairman, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families
Howard McKeon, Chair, Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education

Dear sirs,

I am writing in reference to the hearings on mathematics education
being conducted by your subcommittees of the Committee on Education
and the Work Force on February 2, 2000.

I write both as a research mathematician who has devoted much of his
professional career to work on mathematics education, and as a parent
of three children who have experienced both traditional and reform
curricula in our public schools.

I am surprised that you have not chosen to hear the voice of
professional mathematicians who have interacted successfully in
educational arenas for decades.

It is clear that there are problems in the teaching of mathematics in
the US-look at the TIMSS data. These problems were spawned by the
traditional curriculum, and it will take all of our combined
constructive energy to solve them. Renewal is needed.

Debate about new curricula and mid-course corrections are a necessary
part of that renewal. But it is not acceptable to give up and return
to what we were doing before: it was not working.

This country can do better than that.

Yours sincerely,

William McCallum
Professor of Mathematics
University of Arizona
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618) 453-4244
Phone: (618) 453-4241 (office)
(618) 457-8903 (home)


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