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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)

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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.