In “Singapore Math Tough to Adopt” (Education Week, Teaching Now Blog, June 9, 2011), Liana Heitin writes:
And Singapore Math requires extensive (and costly) professional development, and “a depth of understanding most U.S. elementary teachers don’t acquire in their math training,” according to [Bill Turque at The Washington Post].
And in “NAEP History Repeats Itself: Flat Scores Except 8th Grade” (Education Week, Education Week Spotlight, June 14, 2011), Erik W. Robelen writes:
The nation’s 8th graders posted gains in American history achievement compared with four years ago, new data show, but only a small minority, 17 percent, were rated “proficient” or higher in the subject.
Meanwhile, at the 4th and 12th grades, history essentially repeated itself, with no statistically significant changes since 2006. Just 12 percent of seniors and 20 percent of 4th graders scored at least proficient.
“It should concern us all that 12th graders’ knowledge of history has barely changed since 2001,” [said Diane Ravitch, a research professor at New York University]. “All of these students will be voters in a year, and almost 40 percent were already eligible to vote when they took the assessment. … They should be well informed and capable of weighing the contending claims of candidates, especially when the candidates rest their arguments on historical precedent.”
We need to privatize education, and make it rational and objective. These things would help teachers and students alike, in all sorts of ways. Both teachers and students deserve better.