kitchen table math, the sequel: 4/3/16 - 4/10/16

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The 45 percent

Déjà vu:
When we talk about remedial courses, we usually talk about community colleges, where more than half of students take them, and where they pose a significant barrier to graduation for many.

But a new report from the advocacy group Education Reform Now and the advocacy publication Education Post broadens the lens. According to their analysis of state and federal higher education data, 45 percent of students who place into remedial courses come from middle- and high-income families. That describes Diaz, who attended private school in the affluent Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles.

This was what Michael Dannenberg, a co-author of the report, calls a "whoa" moment: "realizing that students from all income backgrounds are suffering the consequences of mediocre high schools."

Taking High School Courses In College Costs Students And Families Nearly $1.5 Billion
How is this a "whoa moment"?

How is this a "whoa moment" for the co-author of a report on US education?

I blame No Child Left Behind (a law I supported and still do.) All of the language surrounding NCLB implied (and assumed) that white schools were good, black schools bad. The injustice was happening to just one category of student.

That was always wrong, but it stuck.

Subitize this

Matthew Tabor has just posted a video called "Common Core Explained" on The 74.

I watched half of it, and am now having so much trouble finding words to express my astonishment, that I'll just leave it to Matthew:
I love The 74 -- they (generally) do an outstanding job, with news and opinion worth reading. I read all of it every day and point people to their perspective whenever I can.

However, the appropriate academic term for this Math 2.0 video series is "absolute horseshit."
You can say that again.

In the first minutes of "Math 2.0," we learn that "Common Core math" teaches children to subitize.

"Subitizing" means you see 3 pennies and immediately know you have 3 pennies. You don't have to count.

Subitizing, as it happens, is an innate ability. Chimpanzees can subitize, too; in fact, chimps do it better than humans. They can subitize up to the number 6. We stop at 5.

I'm pretty sure I remember that all creatures can do it, but I'm not going to spend 15 minutes Googling "Can goldfish subitize" to find out.

Another thing: I'm having a hard time believing that formal instruction in subitizing is part of the Common Core, but I'm not going to Google that, either.


Still here

But just barely.

Endless book revisions, local property tax calamity, house fixing-upping -----

I need an island get-away.