Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Math’

Watch “Oregon Gov Signs Bill Suspending Math and Reading Requirements Because RACISM #Shorts” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on August 13, 2021

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Learning setbacks come into focus with new test results

Posted by M. C. on July 1, 2021

In typical years, Texas uses its annual tests to rate schools and determine whether students can move to the next grade. But state officials suspended those measures during the pandemic and said tests should be used to identify students who need the most help. All students who fell short of testing standards will be entitled to intensive tutoring next school year under new legislation passed by lawmakers last month.

Will the affected students be re-tested and will we get the results?

The question is: when the next scheduled virus/climate lockdown occurs, will schools forget what they learned and repeat remote “learning”.

Learning setbacks come into focus with new test results

Collin Binkley and Acacia Coronado REPORT FOR AMERICA/ASSOCIATED PRESS AUSTIN, Texas – The scores from the first U.S. standardized tests taken during the pandemic are offering an early glimpse of just how far students have fallen behind, with some states reporting that the turbulent year has reversed years of academic progress.

Texas education officials offered a grim report Monday as the state became one of the first to release full results from its spring exams. The percentage of students reading at their grade level slid to the lowest levels since 2017, while math scores plummeted to their lowest point since 2013. In total, about 800,000 additional students are now behind their grade level in math, the state said.

‘The impact of the coronavirus on what school means, and what school is, has been truly profound,’ said Mike Morath, the state’s education commissioner. ‘It will take several years of change and support in order to help kids catch up.’

Other states have shared previews of alarming results.

In Florida, officials said reading scores dropped by 4 percentage points compared to 2019, the last time the statewide tests were administered. In Indiana, state officials are warning of a drop in reading scores and a ‘significant decline’ in math.

Experts warn that low participation rates in some regions could leave entire states with unreliable data, and that even within states there are pockets where many families opted out. In Texas, 86% of students took the tests this spring, down from a typical rate of 96%.

Still, the early results provide some of the firmest data yet detailing the effects of the March 2020 school shutdowns, the switch to virtual learning and related disruptions. They also line up with trends seen in national studies over the past year: Students are behind in reading and even farther in math.

Setbacks are sharpest among students of color and those from low-income families. Across all student groups, those who spent more time learning in-person had better exam scores.

‘It’s a little sickening to see the bottom drop out for so many kids,’ said Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. ‘Clearly remote learning has been hitting the most vulnerable kids the hardest. It’s what we were expecting, but it’s still tough to see.’

Morath said the results underscore the need for a strong return to in-person learning this fall. In districts with many students learning online, the share who failed to meet math standards grew by 32 percentage points. In districts with more in-person learning, the failure rate increased by 9 points.

That divide was wider than the gaps between students based on race or income, but the data also found that white students had higher scores than their Black and Hispanic peers, and students from wealthier families had much higher scores than those from poverty.

‘These are not numbers, these are children,’ Morath said, ‘and this represents how well we have supported them in their continued academic growth.’

He called out school districts that were slower to return to in-person learning, including in El Paso, saying they saw steeper learning setbacks compared to rural schools that reopened classrooms quickly. In El Paso Independent School District, 64% of eighth-graders fell short of math standards this spring, compared to 20% in 2019, according to state data.

The president of the El Paso Teachers Association, Norma De La Rosa, said teachers did the best they could with virtual instruction although the model prevented them from giving extra attention to children who might have needed it.

Clay Robison, spokesperson for the Texas State Teachers Association, said the data show there’s no replacement for in-person learning. But he also said that giving families opportunities to learn remotely probably prevented more deaths from COVID-19.

‘We were in the middle of a deadly pandemic and we are sure it saved the lives of some students, it saved the lives of some school employees, it saved the lives of some members of their families and it was necessary,’ Robison said. ‘Fortunately, most Texas students and teachers lived to learn another day.’

In typical years, Texas uses its annual tests to rate schools and determine whether students can move to the next grade. But state officials suspended those measures during the pandemic and said tests should be used to identify students who need the most help. All students who fell short of testing standards will be entitled to intensive tutoring next school year under new legislation passed by lawmakers last month. Students across the U.S. had a year off from the federally required tests last year after the Trump administration suspended exams while the coronavirus raged. But the Biden administration ordered states to resume exams this year with new flexibility. States were told not to order students to come to school just to take tests, and the Education Department granted some states additional leeway to modify exams or test fewer students.

Binkley reported from Boston. Associated Press writer Casey Smith in Indianapolis contributed to this report. Acacia Coronado is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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Brooklyn College Education Prof. Claims Math Is ‘White Supremacist Patriarchy’

Posted by M. C. on August 10, 2020

Be ever so thankful that our tax supported state indoctri…education system has brought this situation to light.

by Tom Ciccotta

Brooklyn College Professor of Math Education Laurie Rubel argued this week on Twitter that the mathematical equation 2+2=4 “reeks of white supremacist patriarchy.” Rubel’s tweet was retweeted and promoted by several academics at universities and colleges around the nation.

According to a report by Campus Reform, Brooklyn College Professor Laurie Rubel, who teaches math education, tried to make the case this week that basic math is “white supremacist.” The tweets are part of a larger trend in recent scholarship by American academics, many of which have argued that “objective truth” is a social construct.

“The idea that math (or data) is culturally neutral or in any way objective is a MYTH. I’m ready to move on with that understanding. Who’s coming with me?” Rubel wrote in a tweet.

“Along with the ‘of course math is neutral because 2+2=4’ trope and the related (and creepy) ‘math is pure’ and ‘protect math.’ Reeks of white supremacist patriarchy,” Rubel added. “I’d rather think on nurturing people & protecting the planet (with math in service of them goals).”

Several academics from institutions around the nation chimed in. Harvard Ph.D. candidate Kareem Carr suggested that math should be reevaluated because it was primarily developed by white men.

“People say it’s subjectivism to ask if math is Western. I don’t get that. It’s an objective fact that some groups were more involved in the creation of modern math than others,” Carr said. “They may have been *trying* to make it objective but it’s not stupid to ask if they actually succeeded!”

A few academics have pushed back. James Lindsay, one of the academics behind a series of hoax papers that were published in “social justice” journals, reminded Rubel and her peers that mathematical truths are objective.

“It’s certainly the case, and the Woke need to be held firmly to the point, that feats of engineering like space travel and rocketry utterly depend upon accepting stable meanings of mathematical statements like 2+2=4 as objectively true, not mere accidents of culture,” Lindsay tweeted.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.

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A Homeschooling Guide for Public Schoolers – The Organic Prepper

Posted by M. C. on March 27, 2020

by Kara Stiff

My heart goes out to all the parents who were never planning to homeschool, but nevertheless find themselves teaching their children at home today. I chose this beautiful, crazy life, and I completely understand why some people wouldn’t choose it. But here we are. We have to do what we have to do. You don’t want them to fall behind. You don’t want to lose your mind.

Believe it or not, it’s a golden opportunity.

Caveat: these are only my personal thoughts. I’m not a professional educator, just a parent successfully homeschooling.

This advice is only for people whose greatest hurdle right now is remaining sane with the little ones. This is a high bar to clear, to be sure, but some people are facing the little people plus big financial problems, they’re sick or working through mental health issues, or they’re managing other emergencies. In those cases, if you’re keeping everyone more or less fed and warm then you’re succeeding, and you don’t need me to tell you to forget the rest for as long as necessary.

For everyone else, I do have a little advice. I’m sure you’re getting support from your school district, which is excellent. Worrying about what to teach is often a new homeschooler’s first and biggest concern. But deciding what to teach is actually the easy part, and now it’s mom, dad, uncle or grandma doing the really hard part: actually sitting with the kid, helping/making him or her do the work.

First, I think you can safely let go of the worry that you may not be a good enough teacher because you’re a terrible speller, or you think you’re bad at math. It’s good to know these things about yourself so they can be addressed, but the truth is that how great you personally are at division isn’t necessarily a predictor of success. Neither is how well you explain things, or even how well you demonstrate looking things up, although that is a priceless skill to impart to inquiring minds. To my mind, the most important skill for successful homeschooling is:

Controlling your own frustration

We adults are fantastically knowledgeable and amazingly skilled. No, really, we are! So we forget how hard it is to do seemingly simple things for the first time. I remember sitting in my college biochemistry class, listening to the professor say:

“Come on you guys, this is easy!”

Folks, I’m here to tell you that biochemistry isn’t easy for most people who are new to it, especially people who just drug themselves out of bed five minutes ago, possibly with a touch of a hangover. And reading isn’t easy for a five-year-old, and multiplication isn’t easy for an eight-year-old.

The parent has to slow down, go through it again, redirect the child’s attention for the hundredth time and explain the material in a different way, preferably without pulling out their own hair. You can develop these skills. Even if you’re new to it, and you don’t find it easy.

When it just isn’t working, the parent has to know when to shift gears and let it rest. Preserving your relationship with the child is always very important, but it’s doubly so when you’re home with them all day every day.

I think I can safely say that all homeschool parents want to scream sometimes. Many of us have threatened to send our kids to public school at one point or another (or maybe once a week). It doesn’t make you a bad parent or even a bad teacher, it just makes you human. In the last week, I have seen a bunch of public school parents join my online homeschool groups, and the outpouring of sympathy, support and good ideas from homeschool parents makes me tear up. We’re here for you. Get in touch.

Run your day in a way that works for YOU

Just because they’re usually in school for six or eight hours a day doesn’t mean you have to school them for six or eight hours a day. That schedule is a crowd control measure instituted for the good of society, not for the good of children.

My children are homeschooled primarily because I think a kid should spend a lot of time outside moving around, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do that and public school. My own public school experience was pretty different from the norm today, with much less homework and much more self-direction, but still, I feel that I didn’t get enough practice directing my own attention. Research backs me up on this: kids who get many hours of freedom develop excellent executive function, which not only makes them a valuable employee but also helps them run their own life someday.

At my house, we do about an hour of formal school work per day, six or seven days a week. The rest of the time the kids help me with gardening and animal care, climb trees and play in the creek, draw and write and read things on their own or together, and make stuff out of Legos. They have an hour of screen time each afternoon just so they will sit down and be quiet, usually a documentary. David Attenborough is definitely this house’s biggest celebrity. We’re also accustomed to spending several days of the week with other homeschool families, although obviously that is curtailed now due to social distancing.

Learning doesn’t stop when we leave the table, because kids are unstoppable learning machines when they’re not too tired or stressed out. I’m always available to answer questions and help look stuff up, and the questions are pretty frequent. An adult reads to them (or they read to us) books of their choosing at bedtime, and sometimes just after dinner, too. It’s also a pretty common occurrence in my house for a child to see an adult reading a novel, a piece of nonfiction, or The Economist, and request to have it read aloud to them, which we do. They also sometimes watch me balance the household budget.

The schedule that works best for your family might look very different from ours, and that is good. Children are people. People have very different needs, and one of the charms of schooling at home is that you can arrange things in a pretty good compromise to meet everyone’s needs. An hour or two of focused one-on-two attention per day is plenty of time for my four- and seven-year-olds to get well ahead of grade level on reading, writing, and math.

Older kids obviously need more time to get through the volume of work they’re expected to do. They can also be more equal partners in directing the learning process, though. My high school placed great emphasis on self-directed learning, and some of the classes I got the most out of were the ones I designed for myself.

This might be a great opportunity for your older kid or teenager to quickly finish their spelling so they can finally study volcanoes in-depth like they’ve always wanted to do. Or maybe they want to rush through the math, so they can work on their comic book. If they have a passion for it I guarantee they’ll be learning something important, and now you have the freedom to let them explore it.

Can we just not?

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