The Emporer's New Mathematics Textbook
Like the Hans Christian Anderson tale, ripoff artists at Connected Mathematics have constructed an amazing textbook out of nothing at all. Even my 6th grade teacher sang its praises to me.
Parents don't realize when you look up the book "algorithm for adding fractions", it ASKS THE STUDENT TO CREATE AND WRITE HIS/HER OWN METHOD. There's a tortured Blues Clues "what do you think" investigation, but could school board members fill in their own textbooks? The TEACHERS MANUAL doesn't even have an explanation. If the student has not written down the correct procedure, they cannot complete the homework problems without looking it up in Saxon or Wikipedia. This is not required by any standard. The only STANDARD IN STANDARDS-BASED MATH IS TO USE NON-STANDARD METHODS. The only reason for ripping out any actual methods is the religion of constructivism.
Only the the BACK of parent's letter,states "your student should learn how to use common denominators to add, multiply by tops and bottoms to multiply, and invert and multiply to divide". They leave out common denominators, where they told parents you need them to add fractions. But I found them in decimal division, where you don't need it, and again they don't explain or show how to do anything.
What math textbook on earth DOES NOT CONTAIN PI R SQUARED ANYWHERE? Reformers say you must learn why methods work, but I made it through MIT without ever learning how to derive the formula. But instead of the standard wedge method, you "cut one quarter into bits" to prove the area is a little more than 3 r's which looks KIND OF like PI. That's worthless in college or any level.
What's the probability a paper cup will fall on it's base? No correct answer. List the possible outcomes for stealing 2nd base. What's stealing? Little Leaguers who do know still can't list the outcomes. I never had to compute Allele frequencies in high school Biology.
Since New Math, college topics of algebra, probability and geometry have been stuffed into elementary school which contrary to the "relevant math" mantra, has no real use in day to day life or most jobs. There are useless units on 3D IQ puzzles and obsolete Logo computer programming. It's all fancy frills with no essential meat. Daily arithmetic has basically been removed or turned into experimental science. My 6th grader can solve half of SAT problems, but did long decimal multiplication wrong because they haven't taught or reviewed basic decimal math yet by April.
Bellevue and Seattle just dumped their standards-based TERC because it was junk. Connected Mathematics was terminated in a city in Utah because of complaints it was hurting and discouraging their kids. David Klein of Cal State Northridge says "Connected Math closes doors to careers in engineering" According to another review, "Young Frankenstein's work was doo-doo!" So too is CMP. If the math staff can't tell shoe shine from doo doo, they need to fire them and CMP fast.