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Math in The News

Mathematics is often in the news, but not in the light that we (as mathematics teachers) would prefer. In one day, I crossed these three examples....

First, the state's lack of progress in mathematics scores on state performance exams (i.e. WASL). The public reads this and makes all kinds of negative conclusions about teachers, curricula, and pedagogy.

Second, the California School Boards Association and the Association of California School Administrators has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the State of California from mandating that all eighth-graders be subject to testing in algebra. Unfortunately, their argument is tied to legal mumbo-jumbo about violation of open-meeting laws, not the educational merits/concerns related to such testing.

And third, state union lobbyists are up in arms over the proposed annual bonuses for Missouri mathematics and science teachers. Their justification is that such bonuses could "cause unease among school staff"...but why doesn't the same "unease" arise when the other option is unqualified replacements (who have a long-term impact on students).

Perhaps it is because of news such as this that I delight when I read a news item involving pi-trivia!