Thursday, September 24, 2009

Air-Toon Squadron

Air-Toon Squadron
Originally uploaded by lastvautour
cute planes

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cutting Down Acorn Tree

Found YouTube, featuring Glenn Beck's Tree of Revolution. It only has a few hundred hits, but it pretty clever. How Obama is going to get himself free of this scandal, and how many of these "Barack Buddies" will it take to highlight to make Obama resign, we will have to see.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jed Brown, Original WASL fighter dies

Jed Brown ~ a True Story

September 9, 2009 by Doug Parris

Jed Brown knew who he was.

He didn’t need to be recruited to run for Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1992, nor even to seek out the groups or individuals who might be his allies in the fight. He just rode out onto the campaign trail with a message like an old circuit preacher in the 18th or 19th century. He didn’t “craft” a message, choose three topics to hammer exclusively, or create “sound bites.” He campaigned as if public offices would be won or lost in America by an open exchange of ideas, debated openly in public, for the citizens, who would vote accordingly. Think Lincoln/Douglas debates.

Jed Brown knew his subject.

When he could find an intellectual debate, he never lost. I never met a man more conversant about the mechanisms of education, the mechanisms of education administration, the mechanisms of political control of education or the mechanisms of deception that had permeated the politics of American education in the latter half of the 20thCentury. Confronted by professional prevaricators he usually could cite specific references from numerous sources disproving their fabrications.

follow link for more.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sumner School District adopts Investigations for the new "drill basics" state standards??

Even after the "new" washington standards, we're still fighting this fuzzy math monster now that administrators decided that "no arithmetic" texts like Investigations satisfy the new standards which specified that students still need to learn manual arithmetic in standard methods. Investigations contains NO instruction in traditional arithmetic, and tell teachers to slap kids on the wrist if they catch students using the math that their parents and we learned before "teaching" was eduspeaked to "learning".

Cynthia What do know about Investigations? It's the new elementary curriculum in Sumner School District. I'm less than thrilled with what Ryan brought home today. Maybe a bit better than Mathland. I sure miss the education my children were receiving in their international school in China. Also, why don't we have Singapore Math in our schools? Whats up with that? Anyway, I'm not exactly happy to back in the USA simply because of our education system and well, other reasons too.

me Look up the wikipedia article I did on it. CMP tries to teach math without actually showing you how to do it. Investigations doesn't even want your kid to know how to carry, borrow, or use common denominators. It doesn't even show how to compute an average, but spends weeks on "medians" which used to be college level stats. Homework is every night, takes forever to figure out, forever to do with cutting, pasting, interviewing so the entire family ends up participating in homework, and when you're done, you realize you haven't practiced any math. Not so bad if you're teacher does it all in class. Fortunately Mathland was so bad it is no longer sold, but Investigations keeps on getting re-adopted in its "improved" revision, which I've been told actually has a student textbook but still does not contain or teach anything recognizable as arithmetic. Can I share this on my facebook wall, this is a really good question. Investigations is certainly worse than Everyday Math, which buries "real" math with all kinds of alternative math, but at least touches on what we were taught. White paper claimed 2nd grader who used borrowing got problem wrong, while child who used properties of negative numbers to figure out his own way (what the heck is the kid doing in 2nd grade if he knows negatives?) got it consistently right. Lots of reviews on mathematically correct, all awful. Which district? This is the original awful math program we got in Lake Washington and Bellevue. Bellevue just ditched it for nearly-as-bad Everyday math. Good luck if you have teacher brainwashed to think Investigations is good.

Cynthia Yes, you can post! Sumner School District adopted this because of the new state standards. This is there first year teaching it. Welcome back to America where public education sucks! My son said in China his Chinese teacher taught him the original (old fashonioned) way to compute in a quick and SIMPLE manner... opposite of what I've seen so far on the Investigations paper. If I had a scanner I'd scan it for you.

me that's a howl, considering WTM called for the new standards to precisely get rid of junk like investigations. Anything you could scan would be good to see the latest version. Most of the content such as "if you see a child use traditional methods, slap them on the wrist and make them do it another way" is in the teacher manual. Ask to see the teacher manual, it's a hoot, the teacher should have it in the classroom.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Math Ed: Don't drop calculus (or Arithmetic) in favor of statistics

re: video where Arthur Benjamin says to Drop calculus, mainstream statistics for all students

This is what a math person thought:

> This is exactly the direction that the NCTM has pushed towards since 1989..... and it is why we are falling behind the rest of the world.... No Calculus.... No doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, engineers, computer programmers, and an array of important careers.... check out the UW online catalog and see how many majors require Math 124.

> I think every student should have a course in elementary statistics.... not because they are going to use it..... because they need to know where the saying..... "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics" comes from. Statistics can be used for good but it is also the one area of mathematics that is the most misused. Statistics do not represent truth.... they represent a better guess....this fact is lost on many.
> Bob D
> Math Dept Chairman
 Evergreen High School
 State Board of Education
 Math Advisory Panel Member
 OSPI Standards Revision Team

My take:

This is the direction since the new math of the 1960s. I looked at 1960s books and even coverage of "average" was pretty sketchy back then. Now the WASL expects 4th graders to know what median and mode are, terms that were not taught even in K-12 up to the 1970s when I did prep for MIT, so most adults today were not even exposed to this level of statistics until very recently. The real idea was to DROP ARITHMETIC, TEACH GRAPHS AND STATISTICS. I never in my life saw a stem and leaf plot until I saw fuzzy math homework. I never had to draw a pie chart until I was at Hewlett Packard Data Terminals as an intern and was paid to write a BASIC program that could draw these charts using trig and precalculus graphics concepts. 6th grade TERC and Connected instruction consists of "this is a pie chart. Can you draw something that looks like that?" Nothing that tells you that to do it properly, you need to add up the data, convert each data point to a percentage, and multiply each percentage by 360 to get the angle of each slice, and then add them up to get the starting angle of each slice. To create a chart, you in addition need to know how to convert from r and theta angle to x and y coordinates. Most college students even in computer science aren't taught exactly how to do this other than run an Excel or Powerpoint chart.

It's really all about powerpoint presentations and coming up with jazzy numbers to justify whatever crazy social agenda you are promoting. The important thing is to promote trees, polar bears, fish, or disadvantaged cultures, NOT the underlying mathematics.