Oak Norton's Home Page
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Constructivist Math's purpose finally revealed
I rarely post new content on here though I do on occasion post a new headline. Most of my posts appear on one of a couple other blogs.
http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com (fight for local control of education)
http://blog.oaknorton.com (education and fun stuff)
http://www.utahsrepublic.org (political stuff and some education as it ties in)
http://www.meetsomemormons.com (religious stuff)
Eventually I'd like to transition this site to a blog tool, but it would be a rough transition so I don't expect to do it any time soon.
Election Results 2010 - 2 of our 4 endorsed candidates won election to the Alpine School District board.
Update 10/23/10: for those of you looking for the most relevant information on the Alpine School District Board elections I recommend you visit www.SaveASD.com for candidates that will act as the public watchdogs we need, instead of acting as apologists for district policies.
Do you think it's acceptable when a principal says this?
"We send it [the multiplication tables] home to placate the parents. They get the times tables, and we teach what we want, and they don't know any better." You can read the full story here on Tim Osborn's blog.
To read my 33 page document on the recent history of Alpine School District and problems within the administration, click here.
To read my op-ed in the Deseret News on the subject of John Goodlad click here.
If you have read the 4/11/10 Daily Herald article stating parents are accusing BYU and Alpine district of a socialist conspiracy, the article was quite sensationalized from the actual article I submitted to the paper. To read the original letter, click here and you'll quickly see it's not as much about BYU and ASD as an individual named John Goodlad, a humanist with a very definite agenda. (LINK)
Here is a link to my rebuttal (LINK)
Investigations math fan? You've come to the right place to get straightened out. There is no better poster child to get rid of this program than Alpine School District in Utah where many children graduate not knowing their times tables or long division, and they have little comprehension of advanced principles.
Anyone looking for a fun Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt activity, check out my product Riddle Me. 5,000 riddles and 400 objects with an easy to use interface. Tons of replay value.
Recently released, Mathino, a cool math game for kids. Check it out and watch how you can turn a simple concept into a very cool learning game as children use their minds to devise 4 step math problems FOR FUN!
5/27/09 Connected Math letter to Alpine School District
5/12/09 Investigations Math letter to State College, PA, School Board President
Dr. Richard Bisk's presentation to Utah legislators and educators
(shows tremendous improvements using Singapore math)
Glenn Beck's We Surround Them
Taxation and Monetary Policy at a glance
Math Initiative Bill SB 159 passes out of committee on a 5-0 vote (text of bill)
Passes the Senate (20-1)
In House Rules Committee
A condensed timeline of events in
Alpine School District
1) Around 2000, ASD implements Investigations, Connected, and Interactive math
ASD confiscates textbooks at 4 elementary schools to force them onto Investigations
Parents are told not to teach children the times tables at home or they will mess them up
4) Numerous parents complain about lack of math content
5) In 2005, I attended an ASD public meeting that caused me to run a survey learning most parents hate this math
6) I presented the results to the school board-REJECTED
7) Started research
8) Couldn't find any support for programs - many negative things
9) Presented evidence to legislature
asking for world-class standards
10) Utah got barely better standards-process was flawed
11) Orem city makes moves to allow citizens to vote on breaking away from ASD
12) 2006 - ASD tells citizens at a public meeting they will replace
Investigations with a choice at each school of traditional vs. standards based math
13) Committee to choose curriculum
is stacked and kills Saxon math (traditional option) (1st GRAMA filed shows this)
14) ASD swarms to a program by the same publisher as Investigations that has a written correlation
15) 2007 - State Superintendent removes Inv from approved program list - later removes Connected Math
2008 - BYU's constructivist calculus class bombs huge
ASD's claim that all the studies support their math choices bubble is popped when GRAMA 2 forces them to reveal they have no studies
18) ASD continues to push Investigations in professional development
19) 2009 - ASD openly tells teachers to use Investigations in the classroom
Alpine School District gets brazen--tells teachers to use Investigations math in the classroom--parents lied to again.
New Site: UtahEducationFacts.com - Watch the short video and get the real scoop on education spending in Utah
Politics: On Freedom and Agency (with an LDS Perspective)
ASD personnel continue to push Investigations "math" despite telling public
they replaced it
10/13/08 Alpine School District has NO studies that support their math selections - GRAMA Results
Our Country in Crisis
Click here to see a brilliant example of Singapore's bar model technique
Study concludes there are NO studies that support constructivism
Utah Singapore Math Meeting with Dr. Yeap Ban Har
American Curriculum Set vs. Singapore Math Set
Articles in the press about Singapore Math
March 2008-Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel
11/28/07 - Math is more important than reading for future achievement. Constructivism intentionally destroying English language skills
11/16/07 - Utah state math initiative fails after teaching teachers pedagogy instead of content
11/14/07 - Score one for Utah, Education
sub-committee passes math task force bill. Now goes to full legislature.
DESERET NEWS BLOWS THE LID ON UTAH'S REAL SCORES--COMPARED DEMOGRAPHICALLY
WE'RE DEAD LAST
C.S. Lewis's excellent "Screwtape Proposes a Toast" document (a satire on American socialist education)
October 2007 Education Subcommittee Meeting
(State Superintendent reiterates ban on Investigations as primary curriculum)
The state of the State of Utah's math
Alpine District deceived the public as you can read about here:
ASD's Saxon Math Deception
Part 2 of the Deception
Milgram replies to the State School Board
The State School Board replies to the Legislature on Milgram's Letter
Letters to Utah State School Board on New Weak Standards
What Can You Do About Fuzzy Math in Your Area - 13 Ideas
Math Video Exposes Fallacies of Program
***Second Video Helps Expose Additional Problems
Sign the Math Petition to Remove Investigations Math and Get Higher Standards in Utah (all Utah residents can sign)
Investigations Math in Alpine School District
Poor Utah math standards allow these math programs to be used by Alpine School District as well as other districts:
Dr. Wilfred Schmid at Harvard said of the TERC program (Investigations Math K-5):
"A TERC teacher doesn't explain, and a TERC teacher doesn't teach! I don't want to be misunderstood: group learning and discovery learning are parts of the tool chest of every accomplished teacher, but it is folly to turn these techniques into an ideology. If we mathematicians had to re-discover mathematics on our own, we would not get very far! And indeed, TERC does not get very far. By the end of fifth grade, TERC students have fallen roughly two years behind where they should be."
A Review of Connected Math (6-9th grade) by Lappan, Fey, Fitzgerald, Friel and Phillips
Overall Evaluation: F, "This rating is perhaps deceivingly high, as 7 of the 11 topics rate no higher than 1.2. The rating is as high as it is based largely on two high subscores, proportions and graphing. It is impossible to recommend a book with as little content as this and an inefficient, if philosophically attractive, instructional method."
Dr. David Klein of Cal State Northridge:
"In shutting the door to algebra, Connected Math also closes doors to careers in engineering and science for its graduates."
Wayne Bishop, Ph D, Cal State LA (IMP is Interactive Math used 10-12th grade)
"Although such absolutes are hard to substantiate objectively, it is possible that this is the worst high school mathematics curriculum that has ever been written...districtwide approval of IMP would be nothing short of immoral. The opportunity of upward mobility through education lost for thousands of children."
Alpine School District has implemented these three programs districtwide.
If you are undecided about the quality of the math education in the Alpine School District (which I was in March 2005 and then started doing research on it), check out the information I have posted on my website. If you haven't seen the evidence before, go to the new intro page and read the documentation indicting this program.
CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION to raise Utah's math standards.
NCTM: "Whoever wrote the NCTM math standards must be a physical education teacher." (Click here to find out who said this)
Teachers: If you have only received information from the district concerning how great NCTM standards are and how there's no research to support "traditional" math or denigrate "discovery learning" methods, click here to see the largest independent education study ever performed. I know many of you disagree with the district's use of NCTM math and I encourage you to continue bucking the constructivist theory of teaching. It is a failure and has produced thousands of mathematical midgets in our system while labeling them "A" students.
The Quashed Flyer: If you have heard about the recent flyer being disallowed by the district to be passed out to teachers, click here to open a copy and hand deliver it to your children's teachers.
Engineer Writes to East Valley School District Board Members (this page reflects a lot of the best research I've found but puts it all in one place for easy access)
Parents: You can dual enroll your child
***Alpine Relents on Math*** (read the Norton Plan)
On May 22, 2006, Alpine School District officials announced that next year they would offer choice in math to each community school (click for pdf) . The choices will be decided next year, but they have stated one of the choices would probably be Investigations math. They have no current plans to change out Connected or Interactive math (equally bad for older children). For another idea, see the Norton Plan. For current news and a list of all updates, see the menu below. ***NEW TO FALL 2006---ASD is indoctrinating teachers to stand by NCTM Standards...it remains to be seen if they will give them the other side of the story which my flyer helps with above.
Here's my "Math Menu" which is also at the bottom of each of the math pages.
Investigations Math Menu
** Most important pages to read (all have value but if you will only read
a few pages make it these)
* Very important