I agree that it always comes down to the quality of the teachers. You are right that only about 1/6 of the students are coming in from a math reform program, but the other 5/6 are coming in with a strong background in calculator use, which some of those schools believe IS reform. Again, a good teacher will incorporate a calculutor the right way. By the way, I don't trust ACT or SAT scores to tell you anything about a students math ability. Eric Kaljumagi wrote: > > > I never said not to teach the other 80%, they will still learn. > > They never did before. Your median high school graduate > took two years of "consumer" or general math and never > touched it again. The majority of American adults couldn't > calculate the interest on a loan if their lives depended on it. > A sizeable minority can't calculate a tip. > > >But if you don't meet the needs of the 10-15%, then you > >won't have as competent group of mathematicians and scientists > >in the future. > > True enough. If the reform movement takes over, I do wonder > how we'll serve the needs of graduate schools. > > What I found using CPM was that my top students suffered little. > They seemed to adapt by concentrating on the challenge problems > others wouldn't touch. As for their overall mathematical skills,. > perhaps they suffered a slight drop, but it certainly wasn't much, if > it existed at all. On the other hand, I did find the number of > students succeeding in class increase dramatically, and over 50% of > my high school's graduates took Algebra II while in high school. > Our average SAT scores went up slightly, yet far more students > took the test. More students also achieved recognition on the > Golden State Exam. To me, that's success. > > My hypothesis: > > Traditional math instruction has evolved to become the best and > most efficient means of educating those destined to become the > scientists and engineers of the next generation. Traditional > instruction is simultaneously a frustrating nightmare for most other > students. > > The reform movement of the 1980s and 1990s has attempted to > bring in other methodologies so as to serve other learning modalities. > The resultant body of curriculum is not as efficient a means of > transmission of knowledge, but appeals to a far wider range of students. > > Overall, I think that if reform math takes over, we will have a > significantly > better educated populace. The challenge is in preventing the elite from > receiving a weaker education. > > > The math being taught out there in the public schools is not strong > enough. > > It never is, is it? Seriously, however, this is another issue entirely. > If you > surveyed your feeder schools I'd be quite surprised if even 100 of your > 600 > students was in a reform math program. Good teaching requires well > educated, well trained individuals with dedication to their profession > and > a good deal of autonomy to allow for innovation. I've met many such > high > school teachers, but there are also many marginal ones. So long as a > good > economy provides good paying jobs to new college graduates, a shortage > of excellent teachers will ensue. We've got to make do with what we've > got. > > Prof. Eric Kaljumagi > LAC/Math > Mt. San Antonio College -- Craig Andres Director, Study Abroad and Tutor Program Kettering University (Continuing the GMI heritage) email: [log in to unmask] Phone: (810)-762-9642 Fax: (810)-762-9505 "We must look forward to the future as that is where most of us will be spending the rest of our lives." Charles Kettering.