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Ho Hum

Per Pres. Bush's instructions, the Dept. of Ed. established a National Math Advisory Panel. Its "open" meeting is May 22, 2006 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.).

Its "grandiose" purpose is "to foster greater knowledge of and improved performance in mathematics among American students,in order to keep America competitive, support American talent and creativity, encourage innovation throughout the American economy and help State, local, territorial, and tribal governments give the nation's children and youth the education they need to succeed." My biased take on the panel: Its another step backward in the math education reforms that need to occur.

By February, 2008, the panel will make "recommendations, based on the best available scientific evidence" to the following:

  • The critical skills and skill progressions for students to acquire algebraic competence and readiness for higher math levels;
  • The role and appropriate design of standards and assessment in promoting math competence;
  • The process by which students of various abilities and backgrounds learn math;
  • Instructional practices, programs, and materials that are effective for improving math learning;
  • The training, selection, placement, and professional development of math teachers in order to enhance students' math learning;
  • The role and appropriate design of systems for delivering math instruction that combines the different elements of learning processes, curricula, instruction, teacher training and support, and standards, assessments, and accountability;
  • Needs for research in support of math education;
  • Ideas for strengthening capabilities to teach children and youth basic mathematics, geometry, algebra and calculus and other math disciplines;
  • Such other matters relating to math education as the Panel deems appropriate; and
  • Etc......
As I said at the start, Ho-hum! Here we go again. IF only the federal government would stay out of things, and in stead provided teachers with ample money and good environments to teach math the way it should be taught... Note: That was a big "IF"!