kitchen table math, the sequel: Arguments against Corrective Math

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Arguments against Corrective Math

Just came across three articles arguing against using DI's Corrective Math as remediation for students in Philadelphia's low-performing "Empowerment Schools."  The venue is The Notebook, an online journal that describes itself as an "independent voice for parents, educators, students, and friends of the Philadelphia Public Schools." The author is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, and a consultant for two of these Empowerment Schools.  

Using familiar arguments and buzzwords, she argues that the solution instead is better implementation of the existing ("rigorous," "research-based") Everyday Math and Math in Context curricula.

If you have a moment, please comment on these articles (most of the existing comments support the author's views):

(I haven't yet commented myself because, as a Philadelphia parent and educator, I wanted to pitch a response article first).


TerriW said...

You know, the reason why communism failed is because there never was a pure implementation of it.

(Do I have to put a little thing down here to let any indignant non-regulars know this is tongue-in-cheek? Probably. Oh, internet, you are such a fickle mistress...)

Paul B said...

Nobody ever asks why the system that was used to create the learning gaps should be the same system used to fill them. I'm not talking about the vagaries of any particular remedial curricula. I'm talking about the school system itself.

It's like you asked a builder to put up a house for you only to discover that he built a tent on your lot. Then to fix it, you ask the same builder to leave the tent right where it is and give him another year to build a house around it. This time you get a lean to next to the tent. Then...

Changing from 2x4s to 2x6s or metal studs and leaving the same builder in place doesn't really change anything, does it?

Catherine Johnson said...

I've posted this before: there was a famous professor at Columbia Medical School who apparently trained a number of major medical researchers today.

One of them, who is Dean of the Med School at one of the Big 10 universities, told me that the main lesson this professor wanted his genius med students to learn was:

If what you're doing isn't working, try something else.

Catherine Johnson said...

I need to go dig up the URL for the fact that in Project Follow Through parents chose Direct Instruction over the other programs.

I don't see too many parents posting on those articles.

Anonymous said...

But this use of DI sounds somewhat ill-concieved. It lacks the careful grouping of students so that they're being taught in their ZPD, it's being sprung on older students as a sort of desperate measure, and (it sounds as if) because of the failure to discern who needs it and who does not, it's being used on students who don't need remediation.