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Parents, teachers (in Palo Alto) give mixed reviews to new math text (Everyday Math)
Palo Alto Online ^ | May 10, 2010 | Chris Kenrick

Posted on 05/13/2010 1:52:51 PM PDT by reaganaut1

Palo Alto's new elementary school math curriculum gets mixed reviews from parents, according to results of a recent survey.

A survey of teachers also found disagreement as to the new program's effectiveness and ease of use.

Fifty-five percent of teachers responding to the survey agreed with the statement, "I have found the Everyday Math materials to be an improvement to our elementary math program," while 45 percent disagreed.

A greater number of parents (52 percent) are regularly helping their children with math homework than a year ago (46 percent), according to the 472 parents who responded to the 2010 Elementary School Math Survey.

And parents who felt the math homework materials to be confusing went from 5 percent to 13 percent.

Nearly half the parents who took the survey added individual comments, and they were overwhelmingly negative.

However, there was no change from last year in the percentage of parents who feel their children need extra help in math (27 percent).

Fifty percent, down from 57 percent a year ago, now give their children outside school math support; 12 percent, down from 17 percent, now use private math programs; and 35 percent, down from 46 percent, use supplemental math material.

This year's survey follows last fall's adoption of the controversial Everyday Mathematics textbook series in Palo Alto's 12 elementary schools.

The textbook was adopted by the school board 13 months ago on a contentious 3-2 vote, backing the enthusiastic recommendation of a teacher-dominated textbook-selection panel over a petition signed by more than 700 residents opposing Everyday Mathematics.

This year's online math survey garnered only an 11 percent response rate from elementary parents, as opposed to a 27 percent response rate in 2009.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Education
KEYWORDS: everydaymath; math; matheducation; paloalto
Palo Alto is the home of Stanford Universities and many tech companies. The parents who respond to public school surveys may be leftists, but they are mostly smart leftists who know a lot of math. There were 205 (!) comments, mostly critical, on the introduction of EDM on the survey .

Here is comment 204:

"I have sought private tutoring for myself into what Everyday Math is, it's educational philosophy and content. I am not a fan. I use supplemental programs for my kids as a result. As a Mathematician I can tell you that there are errors in the homework assignments. I am forced to have my children address the differences among the expected answer, the intended question and the underlying Mathematical concept. Those three things should work in concert and not ever be in conflict. I have given up on pointing these things out to the teachers who recognize the problem. The most amazing response I got was from the principal who said the schools were teaching the kids to make judgements. In that particular case the homework question posed a question that was not Mathematically valid. The nature of the program seems to force teachers and administrators alike to use the program as given and not to make such judgements. Sad since we have such great teachers."

Parents who support the government school monopoly and elect Democrats get they voted for, good and hard.

1 posted on 05/13/2010 1:52:51 PM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

Palo Alto paretns are mostly elite Leftists, forced to deal with public school teachers who are obedient liberals. So it is infinitely tedious for them to constantly have to explain that the liberal obedience training the teachers have to obey is NOT for their Leftist children, who are to be groomed into liberal controllers, not obeyers.

You have no idea how annoying this is for them.

2 posted on 05/13/2010 2:06:50 PM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: reaganaut1

The following quotes are from “Everyday” materials of a few years back.

The Everyday series is written not for the student but for the teacher.
“Perhaps the single greatest difference between Everyday Mathematics and other programs is that Everyday Mathematics is written for the teacher rather than focused on a student textbook.” (Grades K-3 Teacher’s Reference Manual, page 8)

“It is understandable that when you see the problems on this Home Link, you may be eager to teach your child to subtract the way you were taught. But please try to wait - the introduction of a formal algorithm for subtraction will be taught later in the unit.” (2nd Grade, Home Link 6.5, Math Masters page 316)

“In class we have begun to think about division, but we have not yet introduced a procedure for division. We will work with formal division algorithms in Fourth Grade Everyday Mathematics. Encourage your child to solve the following problems in his or her own way and to explain the strategy to you.” (Third Grade Math Masters, page 328)

The Everyday “Opposite-Change Rule” says that to add 8+7, the students do not simply memorize the answer. Instead:
“If 2 is added to the 8 and 2 is also subtracted from the 7, we have (8+2) + (7-2) = 10 + 5 = 15.” (Grades K-3 Teacher’s Reference Manual, page 102)

“There is no need for students to become skilled at doing difficult pencil-and-paper computations with complicated numbers, since such computations can be performed more quickly and accurately with a calculator.” (Grades 4-6 Teacher’s Reference Manual, page 102)

Students are never required to learn the standard long division; Everyday instead refers students to calculators. The Grades 4-6 Teacher’s Reference manual states,
“The authors of Everyday Mathematics do not believe it is worth the time and effort to fully develop highly efficient paper-and-pencil algorithms for all possible whole number, fraction, and decimal division problems. Mastery of the intricacies of such algorithms is a huge undertaking, one that experience tells us is doomed to failure for many students. It is simply counter-productive to invest many hours of previous class time for such algorithms. The mathematical payoff is not worth the cost, particularly because quotients can be found quickly and accurately with a calculator.” (page 120)

The fifth grade “Family Letter” about Unit 4: Division states.
“In Fourth Grade Everyday Mathematics, students were introduced to a method of long division called the partial-quotients division algorithm. This algorithm is easier to learn and apply than the traditional division method. It relies on “easy” multiplication, and it can be quickly employed by students who struggle with traditional computation. ... Your child will have many opportunities to practice using this division algorithm - as well as others, if he or she wishes. The partial-quotients division algorithm, and another method called column division, are described in the Student Reference Book.” (Math Masters page 251)

These passages indicates that Everyday does not believe it is worth the struggle to teach the standard long division. Instead, it offers alternatives, especially a “low stress algorithm” which,
“Takes much of the mystery out of long division. It is a conceptually revealing alternative to the traditional U.S. long-division algorithm, which research has shown to be difficult for many students to learn and apply.” (Fifth Grade Teacher’s Lesson Guide, Volume 1, page 210.)

And in sixth grade,
“Do not expect all students to master addition and subtraction of mixed numbers at this time. This skill will be reviewed throughout the year for fractions with “everyday” denominators like 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. The calculator is a good tool for less commonly used fractions such as 1/7 and 2/15.” (6th grade Teacher’s Lesson Guide, p. 242)]

3 posted on 05/13/2010 2:16:09 PM PDT by StayAt HomeMother
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To: reaganaut1

Reform Math is the umbrella term for this thing and 10 others. (A better name is Deform Math.) Once I realized that parents all over the country were wasting thousands of hours debating these obviously flawed programs, I got really interested.

The result was “36: The Assault on Math,” which is a good intro to “New New Math.” Link below.

4 posted on 05/13/2010 2:16:28 PM PDT by BruceDeitrickPrice (education reform)
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To: BruceDeitrickPrice

4th grade? Wow.

We did standard long division in 3rd grade, and I’m not even 30!

5 posted on 05/13/2010 5:48:33 PM PDT by BenKenobi
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To: StayAt HomeMother

>>The Everyday “Opposite-Change Rule” says that to add 8+7, the students do not simply memorize the answer. Instead:
“If 2 is added to the 8 and 2 is also subtracted from the 7, we have (8+2) + (7-2) = 10 + 5 = 15.” (Grades K-3 Teacher’s Reference Manual, page 102)<<

Hooray for new math, newww math.
It’s so simple, so very simple,
That only a child can do it.

6 posted on 05/13/2010 6:19:11 PM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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