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Arthur Hu Reviews 6th Grade Connnected Math Oct 2003


To Eric's Teacher Principal School Board I am shocked to realize that the Dale Seymour "Connected Mathematics"is just as harmful for middle school as "Investigations" is for elementary school. It carries on the tradition of nightly homework that is a) hard to figure out b) takes forever to do once you figure it out c) after you're done you haven't learned any useful math d) it goes out of the way to make sure the #1 most important method to know is not taught, or allowed.

The whole theme of ed reform seems to be "work harder and learn less"

On page 39 of Grade 6, Data About Us , students are asked to create a number of "stem and leaf" plots, which I have NEVER seen used in work or college. Even "line plots" are rarely used, and they are called "frequency histograms", which are NOT used in business, or included in charting programs such as "Excel". Line charts have nothing to do with these "line plots". These take forever to do. I wrote a note that Eric should NOT do these. I did one for laughs, and it took me 10 min to do just one of these problems, and math homework is only supposed to take one half hour, not counting the hour I'm taking to write this condemnation. You've got sort out and write 50 items on a chart which takes up at least an entire sheet of paper "back to back stem and leaf chart" 

A) plot out 50 data items Boys Girls 13852717781518 0 4 70116 1 37073 8906 2 37073035 3 5 270 4 58 30 0 1 

B) to compare who did better, you have to know that you can compare the median 

C) count up boys = 37 , girls = 23 (I don't know if I counted them right, it's very difficult to keep straight) 

D) Divide by two to get count to midpoint E) Count up items from bottom to midpoint OR.. You could compute the mean, but that's not until the last chapter.


So I looked at the last chapter. It spends 11 pages on a very simple concept, plus glossary. What's the most important thing to know about computing mean on the 7th grade WASL and college SAT? According to the EALRs, mean is the sum of the items divided by the number of items, and that's what the SAT prep book also says. Guess what's NOT included in this book? It asks the student to come up with several different ways to compute a mean, by moving blocks from different height towers around, or moving around items on a line plot. But it does NOT give the simple formula for average, and does not even go into decimal average values. There is absolutely no use of decimals or fractions in this entire statistics unit, even though 5th and 6th grade arithmetic is supposed,to cover both. Moving blocks around is useless for large numbers of items, or fractions. WHO APPROVED THIS TEXTBOOK SERIES (THE ENTIRE SCHOOL BOARD) AND MOST OF THE TEACHERS DON'T REALIZE THAT KIDS ARE WASTING 2 MONTHS ON A STATISTICS UNIT ON MEAN, MEDIAN AND MODE THAT DOESN'T EVEN TEACH HOW TO SOLVE A 4TH GRADE WASL AVERAGE PROBLEM!

The 2002 WASL had a question which asked what the correct method of computing an average was. That method does NOT appear in this book (incidentally, the WASL rules prohibit asking students precisely what the definition / method is, and OSPI agreed, and this question was not repeated in 2003). The 2003 has a released problem benchmark which puts this skill at grade 7.) This book does not prepare students for either the WASL or the SAT (which, by the way, does NOT test for median, mode, or range) I want a response from every one of you - teacher, principal, superintendent, and school board how in the heck we got stuck with a textbook that assigns homework that is difficult, time consuming, and doesn't teach the most BASIC fact that should be covered at grade level, and why I'm the only person in the entire district that realizes that something is wrong? This is simply gross incompetence and negligence.

I can't stand it.

2nd grade math that doesn't teach carry or borrow 4th grade math that doesn't teach long division or multiplication 5th grade fractions that doesn't teach least common denominator 6th grade average that doesn't teach how to compute an average.

How can any of you - Saul Bob Hughes, Nancy Bernard, Eglinglton Pendergrass sit there and say with a straight face that you think this stands for excellence in education??? Why in the world would anybody deliberately design mathematics that omits the most basic skills and concepts??? Parents in Plano Texas are up in arms over this (Just Google Plano, Math and Connected Mathematics) and suing the district.


http://cmpinpisd.freeservers.com/ Connected Mathematics Disconnected Parents tim_soh@hotmail.com and http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/books.htm Mathematically correct book review You folks didn't believe me when I told you you picked the worst possible math textbook, and just dismissed me as "Nobody agrees with you Mr. Hu, you can't possibly be right".

Just because only one guy in the entire district can figure this out doesn't mean I'm wrong. It shouldn't have to take an MIT graduate to figure out it's wrong to leave out teaching how to compute the average.

I am going to continue to opt my kids out of doing ANY Dale Seymour homework unless it is completely sane, which it almost never is. Thankfully Peter's teacher is not giving out much of this homework. If I end up winning a seat on the school board, it will be because people are figuring out you folks who pick out texts like this are completely incompetent, while bragging about "excellence and high standards" when you're not even teaching fundamental basics. I expect some sort of response from Saul and every member of the school board.

Arthur Hu