That is the unfortunate tale of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation website is filled with similar sentiments. These folks have good motives. But they are making major mistakes and working against their own and the nation’s interests. For example. Microsoft has teamed up with the University of Washington College of Education and eight school districts in the Puget Sound region in the Microsoft Math Partnership (MMP).
6 million over 3 years. Math instructors are big area of the reform/discovery math strategy. Since reform math ideas don’t work, they have concluded that teachers need the help of “coaches.” In my brain this is kind of insulting to professional instructors. The MMP website says virtually nothing about the main element deficiencies in mathematics education: poor curricula and criteria.
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There is a lot of talk about the importance of 8th quality algebra as a “gatekeeper,” but what should students know BEFORE and Once they take this class exactly? You will not find the answer at the MMP website. Amazingly, the latest MMP annual evaluation shows region mathematics WASL scores in the years before and after this program, implying their program acquired a positive influence somehow. How do they declare that this scheduled program had ANY positive influence on student ratings?
No randomized studies are performed. But this is traditional educational research, which is no research at all really. Interestingly, most of the districts in the Microsoft initiative have been using weak Discovery Math approaches (where students aren’t provided direct instruction but are anticipated to find math principles independently with heavy use of calculators). Let the Microsoft people see that with a poor curriculum all the coaches in the world won’t help?
Now, what about the Gates Foundation? They have plenty of money but are highly influenced by advisers and personnel taken from the faltering educational bureaucracy…and are making and remaking serious mistakes. Some of you might have heard of their initiative to boost high universities by breaking large ones into smaller academies. Even Bill Gates says so. Now they will work intensely with the National government on national math standards (“Common Core”). Now perhaps nationwide math standards is actually a good thing if these were strong, comparable to countries that lead the world in the math competency of their students.
But the current version of the U.S. Dept of Education’s Common Core math requirements is not strong. In fact, they are considerably weaker than the new Washington State math standards that people have worked so hard for. And weaker than those of California, Indiana, and other says with world-class standards. Academic specifications should clearly and coherently define the course-by-course content, students ought to know after taking that course.
Instead, the normal core senior high school math standards only give a general summary of which subjects a high school student should master. As the Common Primary lacks specificity and framework they may be worthless for developing a reliable and valid assessment essentially. States are lining up to join the normal Core bandwagon for only 1 reason-the huge purse the Dept of Education will divide among Common Core participants. When you check out the Gates base site there is certainly little debate of the importance of good curricula and books. No objective evaluation of U.S. Just a lot eduspeak. As being a scientist accustomed to rigorous research with solid statistics, it is maddening.
But people who have hard problems not use that kind of books. Obviously, that one should sift the info brought his own the moral code and personal instinct, but this pertains to all the things you see and do. Especially this is true for most practical realistic (and mostly cynical) philosophies of life.
Every human being chooses what to believe and steps to make sense of their lives. I believe it’s very courageous (there’s another phrase for this) to disparages and underestimate intellectually individuals because they choose to believe in something you don’t believe. In all cases, your details are enlightening and useful. So thank you very much and have a good day!
I just reach discover the Hicks books and presently reading the laws of appeal, very fascinated book I must add. Going through your article here, interesting I have to say pretty, does not show what I have read up to now fake however. After all Jerry asks Abraham about few who were very ill, didn’t focus on illness and got well.