Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Do The Experts Say?

“What you will not find is an ‘A’ student in college math who went through any school using only these reform math programs … without some sort of intervention. The reason I can say this with such confidence is that there is too much content missing from these programs, content that is essential for college level mathematics.”
W. Stephen Wilson
Professor of Mathematics
Johns Hopkins University

“At the elementary level, I advise against ‘Everyday Mathematics’.

At the middle school level, I advise against ‘Connected Mathematics,’ known as CMP.

Students who follow these programs, unless they have outside tutoring, will not be prepared for high school mathematics. In my experience with districts afflicted with these programs, affluent parents have sent their children to private schools or hired tutors, while the less privileged, even if they ‘succeeded’ in these programs, were forever cut off from any further progress in mathematics or scientific professional education. Once finished with ‘CMP,’ remediation becomes impossibly difficult except by private tutoring.”
Ralph A. Raimi
Professor of Mathematics
University of Rochester

“Everyday Mathematics requires massive fixes at the most basic level. The program does not teach the standard procedures at all for subtraction and division, and offers a hopelessly confusing potpourri of methods for all the four elementary operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). The program has pedagogical features (notably, rapidly jumping around over different topics without staying focused long enough for pupils to achieve mastery) that appear to make it all but unworkable as intended.”
Bastian Braams
Visiting Professor of Math
Emory University

[W]hat troubles me most is the fundamental philosophical flaw in EDM: It ignores the core beauty and power of mathematics, viz., that it is an edifice constructed out of pure reason, all of whose inferences and deductions flow logically and unarguably from more basic facts. EDM asks the students to flit willy-nilly from room to room or even floor to floor in this structure, without ever exposing them to the skeleton, the underlying architecture…..

The basic premise of EDM, so much so that it is part of its name, that math should be valued or appreciated only insofar as it can be applied to ‘everyday things,’ is worse than misguided, it is a lie promulgated by people who, quite frankly, don’t understand the first thing about mathematics.”

Anthony Falcone, Ph.D
Theoretical Mathematician (Ph.D UCLA)
Former Adjunct Assistant Professor, UCLA

“[Reform math] has the potential to change completely the undergraduate mathematics curriculum and to throttle the normal process of producing a competent corps of scientists, engineers and mathematicians. In some institutions this potential is already a reality.”
Hung Hsi-Wu
Professor of Mathematics
University of California, Berkeley

“Overall, [Connected Mathematics Program] seems to be very incomplete, and I would judge that it is aimed at underachieving students rather than normal or higher achieving students…. The philosophy used throughout the program is that students should entirely construct their own knowledge and that calculators are to always be available for calculation.”
James Milgram
Professor of Mathematics
Stanford University

“[S]tudents whose K-8 mathematics programs de-emphasize or eliminate traditional algorithmic approaches will be effectively denied access to [formal and abstract mathematical competency], or indeed to any high school program designed to prepare them for rigorous college mathematics.”
Stanley Ocken
Professor of Mathematics
The City College of the City University of New York