THANKS TO ACTIVISTS MOST TEXAS DISTRICTS REJECT NSF-FUNDED FUZZY MATH TEXTS
\doc\web\99\07\nofuzzy.txt Texas School Districts Reject "Fuzzy Math"
Textbooks -- Major Defeat for Statewide Systemic Initiative Texas
school districts have overwhelmingly rejected the latest fad in math
instruction. Sometimes called "fuzzy math," "whole math," and "new
new math," textbooks based on this pedagogical approach received only
4% of the textbook orders for second grade math, 2% for fifth grade
math, and 5.6% for seventh grade math. Ironically, those promoting
this approach refer to it as "standards-based math."
[including' Everyday Mathematics published by Everyday Learning
Corporation; and Investigations in Number, Data and Space published
by Addison Wesley Longman; (fifth grade books) Everyday Mathematics;
and Investigations in Number, Data and Space; (seventh grade books)
Math Thematics published by McDougal Littell; and Connected
Mathematics
Date sent: Tue, 25 May 1999 11:25:04 -0400
From: "John C. Bowman"
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Policy Action Update
Vol. 3, No. 12
May 25, 1999
Note: Plano Texas is fighting against Connected Mathematics, Portland
Oregon has adopted "Investigations" as has Lake Washington with
almost no debate or discussion. This is the math system that does NOT
teach how to carry or borrow anywhere in 2 feet worth of 2nd grade
"textbook".
Texas School Districts Reject "Fuzzy Math" Textbooks -- Major Defeat
for Statewide Systemic Initiative
According to an analysis of recent math textbook selections, Texas
school districts have overwhelmingly rejected the latest fad in math
instruction. Sometimes called "fuzzy math," "whole math," and "new
new math," textbooks based on this pedagogical approach received only
4% of the textbook orders for second grade math, 2% for fifth grade
math, and 5.6% for seventh grade math. Ironically, those promoting
this approach refer to it as "standards-based math."
This rejection is particularly significant given the fact that this
instructional approach was heavily promoted throughout the state by
the Texas Statewide Systemic Initiative (SSI), with funding from the
National Science Foundation, operated by the Charles A. Dana Center
at the University of Texas at Austin -- both publicly funded by tax
dollars. "We are happy to see this educational fad bite the Texas
dust. Fuzzy math has been shown to hurt children academically,
especially disadvantaged and minority students. Thanks to discerning
textbook committees in our school districts, parents can breathe a
sigh of relief," commented J. C. Bowman, TPPF Director of Research.
Parents should watch for signs that their children are enrolled in
"standards-based" math programs when students: Direct their own
learning; work in groups to teach one another; construct their own
math language, facts, and computations; are not taught or required to
memorize facts or formulas; are taught to use calculators as the
first and primary form of computation; and, are taught that deriving
correct solutions lacks importance.
TPPF, along with two other organizations Mathematically Correct and
Education Connection of Texas released an analysis earlier this year
to provide parents and school officials the information needed to
make informed selections of elementary and middle school math
textbooks. The analysis was sent to all school districts and local
school board members throughout Texas and encouraged use of a
"classical" instructional approach characterized by curricula that is
taught directly, systematically, and incrementally in small
structured and guided steps that progress from basic to more complex
learning; instruction focused on specific academic content (not
process or outcomes); repetition, practice, and memorization used
used to derive automaticity; and students receive immediate feedback
and correction.
The "fuzzy math" textbooks that were unsuccessfully promoted by the
Statewide Systemic Initiative and Charles A. Dana Center were:
(second grade books) Everyday Mathematics published by Everyday
Learning Corporation; and Investigations in Number, Data and Space
published by Addison Wesley Longman; (fifth grade books) Everyday
Mathematics; and Investigations in Number, Data and Space; (seventh
grade books) Math Thematics published by McDougal Littell; and
Connected Mathematics published by Addison Wesley Longman.
The entire math textbook analysis can be viewed and downloaded from
the worldwide web at http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/books.htm.
The 21-page report on instructional methodologies can be viewed and
downloaded from the Texas Public Policy Foundation website located at
http://www.tppf.org. All textbooks ordered by local school districts
can be examined at
Textbook order information for specific school districts can be
obtained by calling J.C. Bowman at the Texas Public Policy Foundation
at (210) 614-0080.