We told you so. That’s the mantra that should be echoing in the ears of state leaders as they confront an inconvenient truth — Georgia’s new high school math curriculum is an abject failure.
A lot of parents and experienced educators had predicted the state’s “blended” math classes wouldn’t work. In an effort to raise standards, the Georgia Department of Education did away with traditional math classes — geometry, algebra, trig, calculus — and replaced them with Math 1, 2, 3, 4. All of the subjects are now mixed together.
The result? High failure rates on the Math End of Course Tests last spring.
Now the state board of education is considering an alternative plan so that students won’t flunk because of the new math standards.
All of this was supposed to be an effort to “raise the bar” and get students better ready for college. Even in lower grades, math has been changed to have students working on “higher order thinking skills.” Gone are the days of working on rote math problems. Mastering math concepts one at a time has been replaced by no mastery.
This trend has been building for a long time. But it’s flawed. It treats students all the same with no allowance for differences between kids.
Not every student has the mental maturity to conquer higher math. Not every student is going to college.
Whatever happened to the general math classes that were designed to help students learn to balance their checkbooks?
All of that is gone.
At the other end, the brighter students who are good in math and who are bound for college will get cheated under the new math curriculum. Since the state has created blended classes that lack a focus on mastery, college bound students will be getting a watered down math curriculum.
All of this was predictable. The effort was driven by a slew of consultants and bureaucrats operating on nutty theories that populate their education bubble.
The losers, however, are our students who have become little more than lab rats for the stupidity of educrats.
I've been worried about the state using my child as a guinea pig throughout this experiment. Though she passed both the classes and the EOCT's in 9th and 10th grades, she struggled. Sadly, the teachers were thrown into this mess as well and they don't have a clue in how to teach this approach. Our students have to pay for legislation which had no bearing in research. They're meerly labrats in a scientific experiment gone horribly wrong. Perhaps I can get the state to finance her remedial math classes once she gets to college.
The only way the education system is going to get fixed is "Go back to the way it was prior to the 1980's". All this crap about you can't group kids by their intelligence and teach them accordingly is the problem. The bar has been lowered to the lowest students instead of having several bars. Some kids will be ditch diggers and some will oversee the ditch diggers and a few will design the tools used to dig the ditch. Not everyone is mentally equal, accept it and move on to a better education system. As the old saying goes, "You can fix a lot of things but you can't fix stupid.(no matter what the education system says)"
08/19/10 at 06:23 AM
And the Chinese economy continues to grow while ours is still shrinking.
Public (government) education is a money pit. The more we put in the less we get out.