Wednesday, January 02, 2008

US beats India to wacky kindergarten math standards?

India’s more demanding education standards are apparent at the Little
Angels Kindergarten, and are its main selling point. Its 2-year-old
pupils are taught to count to 20, 3-year-olds are introduced to
computers, and 5-year-olds learn to multiply, solve math word problems
and write one-page essays in English, tasks most Japanese schools do
not teach until at least second grade

If parents want to raise uberkids, that's their perogative, but
it's a really bad idea for universal public education. As a Chinese
who's keeping score, the Indian immigrants are the only ones who
consistently do better than Jewish kids in most awards and test
scores. Asians overall aren't as strong, and Chinese in particular
win some and lose some. If there is one thing we need to stress
from schools like this, it's that they are opposite of what TERC
and EM are doing.

"5-year-olds learn to multiply, solve math word problems
and write one-page essays in English"

The seattle math standards already require 5 year olds to write word problems in english. The samples in their hand out are a joke. Some 5 year olds like mine were expected to READ colors without any instruction in reading colors. My 1st grader on his first day of HOMEWORK was told to write down a list of 10 words, use each in a complete sentence, and write them down in alphabetical order. We are such a nation of complete suckers that they can give us this stuff without complaint and get away with it. This "my standards are higher than yours" game is way out of hand.

This is from our draft standard:

Kindergarten problem solving:

Grandma went to visit her three grandchildren and discovered they each had
holes in every finger of their gloves. She will sew up their gloves. How many
glove fingers need to be fixed?
The above is a good problem for kindergarten because
• it focuses on a major kindergarten goal: five as a benchmark number;
• it has multiple entry levels. A struggling student can gather two friends
and count fingers, while a more mathematically sophisticated child can
count up by fives or tens; and it has multiple solution strategies: act it
out, draw a picture, look for a pattern, use manipulatives.

What is a "struggling" kindergarten student? One that can't multiply or count by fives?

What is the mathematical solution for this problem? When does multiplication appear in draft standard?

Who determined that five is a benchmark number, and why is it in the standard?

Why am I the only reviewer to notice what is wrong with this standard?

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