kitchen table math, the sequel: MathCounts banning homeschool teams

Saturday, August 21, 2010

MathCounts banning homeschool teams

Looks like some public school parents of gifted math students pulled their kids out of school to pool them together and become MathCounts "super teams," so MathCounts decided to ban all homeschool teams, in a unanimous vote. They'll still be able to compete as individuals.


lgm said...

Math Counts always limited the number of participants to 8 per school, with 4 mathletes composing one team representing the school. Quite possible for excellent mathletes to be excluded, given the size of many middle schools. (We're running around 600 students per middle school in this area).

It never seemed fair to me that any homeschooler who wanted to participate could, while a public schooled child that had the desire had limited chances (8 out of 600; with just 4 being on the team). In the local spelling bee, the organizers have decided that the homeschoolers in the geographical area need to hold their own bee, and send just one representative to the county bee.

Catherine Johnson said...

I keep having the feeling that 'something is happening here.'

These are public school kids being grouped as homeschooled kids in order to obtain an advantage (I'm not criticizing - just observing) ---

A couple of years ago, dealing with the 'small fish in a little pond' issue that Attewell studied, it struck me that another advantage of homeschooling is the fact that your child's grades (i.e. standardized test scores) would be judged against all college-bound students in the country, not just college-bound students in his school.

And here is a NY Times article on the 'tutoring boom': As Private Tutoring Booms, Parents Look at the Returns.

I wonder whether the national focus on NCLB & test scores increases parents' awareness that schools are not concerned with individual children. They are concerned with group averages.

(As usual, I'll add that I'm a supporter of NCLB & of standardized tests, etc.)

In my own district what matters is aggregate scores and the existence of a circle of star students at the top.