Friday, April 17, 2009

Stalkers of Math Educators

Johnny Lott, NCTM President from 2002-2004, wrote "Calling Out the Stalkers of Mathematics Education". Johnny categorized the stalkers into three categories.  In NJ, we certainly see one of these types - the type that use fear and half-truths and scare tactics.  Johnny states:

Consider people who use half-truths, fear, and innuendo to control public opinion about mathematics education. As an example, look at Web sites that continue to use a public letter written in 1999 to then Secretary of Education Richard Riley by a group of mathematicians and scientists defaming reform mathematics curricula developed with National Science Foundation grants. Even though some of those who signed the letter subsequently retracted their statements or wrote letters stating that they did not sign the letter thinking it would be used as it has been, the letter seems to surface any time there is controversy over school curricula. A small group continues to use the letter in an attempt to thwart changes to mathematics curricula. This has been done in California, Massachusetts, and most recently New York. This letter is not the only example of half-truths and innuendo being used against mathematics curricula, even though continuing research shows that such curricula do in fact work when used by knowledgeable teachers. All of us must work to stop this stalking of reform mathematics curriculum

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