Evelyn Russo (see my previous post) is above average ! She was given a doctorate in instruction even though she had no idea how to teach reading, didn’t know how, and obviously did not teach the children how to read. We have the kids’ results. To call it failure is being kind. She and those thousands of others who are doing what she was doing are creating the disaster that has been going on for decades in the public schools of our state, and our town.
We can’t allow ourselves to think that because we live in a relatively affluent town, the teachers here are better trained than those who work anywhere else. They are all trained exactly the same ways, and they are teaching in the schools of their affluent towns without a clue how to teach children to read.
The reading problem is just a symptom of what is happening in all the other areas of instruction. We know that the Math program (Everyday Math) is just as much a failure as the reading program is. How can we expect any of the programs to be effective when the two most important ones are such documented failures? There is no way.
About MATH, here’s columnist Laura Maniglia who writes a bi-weekly apology for the public schools. On Nov. 23, 05, she wrote about what she calls the Math Debate, admitting that US students rank 29th out of 34 nations – ahead of only four Mediterranean countries and Mexico while China, Japan and Korea rank at the top.
She describes the debate between proponents of “traditional” math and the new “constructionist” math, including Connected Math and Everyday Math used in Guilford. She says that traditional math would teach the foundations of computation and number facts (you know: adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing) which provides them with the skills needed in more advanced math and problem solving. No surprise there. It’s what everyone needs. It’s what we all use in our lives.
On equal footing, she puts something called the “constructionist approach” -- “it emplasizes an enquiry program for pupils to construct their own knowledge through ‘reasoning.’ This approach,” she continues, “often intruduces calculators as early as first grade with the HOPE that the students will learn math in the process.”
There you are: just like in the Whole Language reading instruction in which they HOPE the children will learn to read even though they do not teach them how to do it. The new new math program – Connected Math or Everyday Math flies on the HOPE that the children will learn actual math even though the teachers do not teach it.
And we wonder why American jobs are being exported by the millions…
Here is your answer: the American public schools are not teaching American children even the basic skills they need in order to survive in the world today.
It’s another part of the national crisis. The schools refuse to hire people who are well educated in the fields they are supposed to teach. It’s true of reading; it’s true of mathematics; it’s true of all the subjects. Dumbing down starts at the top. What can you expect at the bottom?
It’s your money. They’re your children.