Fuzzy math has run
into a bit of a buzz saw recently. When the Texas State Board of Education abandoned it this month,
new controversy erupted across America. Texas curriculum sets the framework for
the rest of the
math’s names are Everyday Math, Connected Math, Integrated Math, Math
Expressions, Constructivist Math, NCTM Math, Standards-based Math, Chicago Math,
and Investigations, to name a few. Fuzzy math means students won’t master math:
addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Remind me-why are we
sending them to school?
math teaches students to “appreciate” math, but they can’t do it. They are to
come up with their own ideas about how to compute, lest they come to think
there’s a single most efficient way. Lessons about racism, sexism, global
warming and American imperialism are melded (“integrated”) into math classes.
One program calls itself “radical math” to describe its political math agenda.
(See “If we really
hope to improve mathematics
familiar ideas here? What works, what’s true, what is tested isn’t the point in
education anymore, whether math, history, or literature. That’s outdated,
because it implies objective knowledge larger than ourselves.
dub fuzzy math an “epidemic.” If so, it’s been festering for at least twenty
years. “New math” goes back farther yet, but the so-called “world class”
national math standards embedded fuzzy math into the classrooms by nursing it
along with generous amounts of our tax dollars beginning in the early 90’s. Now
Fuzzy Math is an open,
oozing canker. Armies of graduates are unprepared for college math, or for
life, for that matter. (See “AN OPEN LETTER TO UNITED
STATES SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, RICHARD
is stinky with education “experts” and in the halls of education colleges. The
sooner the public realizes that the “professionals” have bought nutty
fantasy-land drivel and are undermining our children with it, the sooner we can
rise to the challenge of restoring knowledge to the classroom.
Julie Quist is with the Minnesota-based EdWatch.