Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Where's the Math?

A local advocacy group trying to improve math standards in Washington State has made the New York Times front page.

“When my oldest child, an A-plus stellar student, was in sixth grade, I realized he had no idea, no idea at all, how to do long division,” Ms. Backman said, “so I went to school and talked to the teacher, who said, ‘We don’t teach long division; it stifles their creativity.’ ”

Where's the Math was founded by Shalimar Backman from Seattle and thinks kids need to learn the basics of addition/multiplication/division rather than fuzzy "concepts". 

Here's a quote from Mercer Island's school board member:

On Mercer Island, an affluent suburb of Seattle that had the state’s best scores on the 10th-grade test, the pendulum has begun to swing toward emphasizing computational skills, especially in high school.

“We’re looking at texts that have more numbers and less language,” said Lisa Eggers, president of the Mercer Island School Board, who at one point sent two of her three children to Kumon. “And we’re one of the few districts where the math scores are going up.”

[via sound politics]

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