March 8, 2007 4:40 p.m. PT
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has driven theabandonment of basic math skills because their researched purportedto show that minority students can't hack elementary arithmetic. TERCInvestigations is so bad that state parents have gone on YouTube showing kids trying to divide using the plus key.
WASL expects fourth-graders to compute pie charts and find the median, but contains next to no arithmetic and gives credit for explained wrong answers. The WASL is a cruel nightmare that will deny diplomas from 70 percent to 80 percent of poor and minority students whose parents have the least education and income, not if, but whenthey do not match the scores set by children who have more parents with college degrees and big SUVs.
Textbooks from Singapore are filled with math instead of TERC, which includes sheet music to "Happy Birthday," but no long division. We really need to banish snake oil saleswomen such as Bergeson instead of re-electing them. She was a key person behind the 1993 Education Reform Act, which committed the state to the failed vision of outcome-based education. Our kids need a basic education, not an Orwellianvision where all students are equal, but some are more equal thanothers.