Q: How many Ed school professors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: It doesn’t matter!
I’ll clear up this “math wars” thing in ten words or less: kids have to both understand it and get the right answer.
OK, eleven words. Who’s counting?
It isn’t complicated. Teach kids what they are doing, and how to do it, and test them to make sure then can do it.
From where did the schools of education get the idea that improvement was needed with math instruction in the first place?
Was there something wrong with teaching kids to memorize multiplication tables, and then testing them on it, so that the teacher could actually verify that some learning and accomplishment had occurred?
Put it another way: did it ever occur to any of these Ed school geniuses that there might be a cost to dumbing down expectations by moving away from the concrete toward the abstract? Especially in a hard science like math, where there is only one right answer, and it is right because the laws of math say that it is? This isn’t poetry — or even history — where interpretation is part of the discussion.
And if the answer to the question above is “because poor inner city kids in crime-ridden neighborhoods fell behind the rich suburban kids in school achievement”, well, it doesn’t seem like we did them any favors, does it?
Lowering expectations in education serves whose goals, exactly? Surely not the student or the parent. The school? Closer, but I don’t think that’s it either. The teacher? Maybe sometimes, but they don’t have the power to implement new policies. Teachers unions? Possibly. Ed schools? Bingo.
Teachers unions exist to protect teachers, and one way to do that is to lower expectations so that they can make the argument that grades have gone up, so obviously our kids are benefiting.
Ed schools have to pretend they are teaching something, so they invent new ways to teach material, which rarely work. And they are afraid of icky scary “numbers” and stuff, so they don’t even educate the teachers of our children in any of the hard sciences that these teachers will then turn around and attempt to teach to our children.
And both camps have an interest in protecting themselves — even at the expense of our children.
And not only have they failed at educating our kids, they’ve failed at making themselves look better. Lose/lose.
So the nexus of Ed schools and teachers unions have managed – despite whatever their intentions might have been – to screw up large swaths of a couple of successive generations of our young people, and put America at a competitive disadvantage in an increasingly technical world.