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

country.

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

education.”)

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 That’s outdated,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

RILEY“)

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.