This also brings me to self-taught computer scientists: I've begun an adventure down "Teach myself math from scratch" lane because, at age 40, I'm still rather annoyed at my math education in high school. I was more concerned about learning to the test, not the concepts, and that's haunted me ever since. Anyone have recommendations for learning math starting from, say, Algebra I or II level (high school) that will actually teach in a way that will be useful rather than taking a test? Stuff that will carry over into future classes as the proper building blocks, etc?
http://www.saylor.org/majors/m... Most complete college level open education resource I've seen. The math is pretty good, starts at algebra, and even has a bridge class "Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning" to help teach proofs and other necessary mathematical rigor to be able to tackle higher level math. You'll still need to do the work and focus on the concepts and make sure you understand, not just going for passing a test, but the fundamentals are there.
Now to your specific example, that's a decent problem that requires thinking to solve. If Math MS and PhD's are having a hard time with it, then they are either so focused on their limited area that they can't do anything else or they are so used to being spoon fed procedural thinking by a professor that they don't know how to think for themselves. The problem you linked to was also cherry picked out without any context or explanation of the task that likely would have been in a good classroom. Without any context or explanation though, the task does require a higher level of thinking to parse what is being asked. Higher level cognitive demand is another way to say it.
The Common Core does not only call for open ended problems like that, and does also call for procedural fluency. Think drilling. The trick is in the balancing of procedure with problem solving abilities and stretching problem solving abilities requires giving tasks with higher level cognitive demand.
There's always going to be people like you that try to drag out the negative in any improvement effort without understanding the background behind it.
I'll have to go read the linked study to see what it's all about.
Their math stuff is decent, and that's what I'm competent to evaluate, so based on that I'd think the compsci would be good too. Some degree areas are not complete yet, but compsci is.
THIS is the magic bullet that fixes things most of the time. I work in education, and we have both "rich schools" (that get less funding) and "poor schools" (which get more funding) in the same small community, and the results are always the same. It isn't about school funding, it is about parenting. Many lower educated people are lower income people, who don't value education, and this produces a cycle of poverty.
Yes same in the districts near me. The "poor schools" get as much as 1.5 times as much funding as the "rich schools". Admittedly because of the poverty issues from the students they serve they do have higher costs. There are higher incidences of untreated ADHD, behavioral disorders, hungry kids, violence, etc. But that doesn't change the point that you're right, it's about the parents.
I'd bet, that the #1 indicator of poverty is not poverty, but values instilled by parents. I look at the recent video of a three year old boy being disrespectful and using vulgar language, raised by a 16 year old mother and a grandmother who is a convicted felon and I think, "there is no way this is going to be good for the kid". However, I've been trained not to mention any of this because people who don't know me will cry "racism" (now you know the race).
It's pretty independent of race. I see examples similar to what you point out from a variety of races. Poverty doesn't care about race.
How can we have a discussion on poverty when people who see the problems are called names because it doesn't fit the politically correct theory of the day?
Very carefully and with more understanding of the causes of racial tension than you have displayed. It's fairly clear you are from a privileged race and don't have much understanding of what it would be like to not be. A good book for starters is Lisa Delpit's "Other People's Children". It'll make you mad and she beats the point home, but eventually it will sink in and you'll get a glimpse of how different it is to be part of the dominant race vs not. It subtly affects a large number of seemingly small things that you don't need to notice when you're on the dominant side of it.
These are obstacles to overcome, not excuses to stop attempts at improvement. We absolutely need to update our testing procedures as part of a comprehensive attempt to improve quality standards in education.
Absolutely agreed. But the fact is they are being used as reasons to stop improvements.
There is no need to constrain ourselves to just multiple choice tests.
Well, except better tests cost more money to administer and score. A lot more. Simply adding one free response question to a standardized test increases the information about a student's knowledge and understanding by a lot, but increases the cost by a huge amount as well. It takes experienced graders and developed rubrics, training on those rubrics, etc. Politicians and policymakers like multiple choice because it's cheaper and gives the appearance of authoritative data.