Educating All Parents To Ensure The Future Of Our Republic

Educators Ignore Project Follow-Through

As I have engaged in the "extreme-sport" business of changing a school district's opinion on the methodology of teaching math, I have come across many roadblocks, the major one is of course, the education establishment that feels one such as I cannot be considered seriously because I am an outsider. I suppose under that same logic we shouldn't let politicians regulate the accounting profession since they're just not qualified (FYI--I'm a CPA).

Another major reason as I discussed in the June 21, 2006 update, once a person makes up their mind about something, there is a high probability that the hold they have to break on that belief must be broken emotionally as well as logically, and the emotional decision is far harder because the subject is no longer objective. It is a psychological challenge for an individual to continue to be open minded once that person has arrived at what he or she thinks is a correct answer. Perhaps this is why educators all around the country continue to ignore real facts about education because so many have bought into philosophies and fads that sound good on the surface but in actuality produce poor results. This is what has led us to experience the Enron of education when we deal with an unresponsive, irresponsible set of educators that ignore the search for truth and are willing to gamble on fads for our children's future.

Project Follow-Through was the largest study ever produced. It cost over $600 million, covered 180 schools, and 79,000 children. For a more comprehensive look at the study, Jeff Lindsey has a nice write up on it here:
*What the Data Really Show: Direct Instruction Really Works! The dirty little secret from the biggest education study ever

The following graph visually shows the results of the study. Direct Instruction works and constructivism doesn't. To see the more detailed report this graph comes from, go to this pdf (http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/carnine.pdf). I've included a few snippets from the article below the graph.

From the pdf (http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/carnine.pdf)

"Until education becomes the kind of profession that reveres evidence, we should not be surprised to find its experts dispensing unproven methods, endlessly flitting from one fad to another. The greatest victims of these fads are the very students who are most at risk.

The first section of this essay provides examples from reading and math curricula. The middle section describes how experts have, for ideological reasons, shunned some solutions that do display robust evidence of efficacy. The following sections briefly examine how public impatience has forced other professions to “grow up” and accept accountability and scientific evidence. The paper concludes with a plea to hasten education’s metamorphosis into a mature profession."

Not only did the study find that direct instruction was the best method for transmitting information to students, IQ's also rose under the method in significant ways. Amazingly (or not, once you're familiar with how educrats work) the programs that failed students (all the constructivist based programs) were then hailed as successful by the Department of Education and instead of promoting direct instruction programs to make them even better, extra dollars were spent to improve the failing programs. The author then states:

"This is a classic case of an immature profession, one that lacks a solid scientific base and has less respect for evidence than for opinion and ideology."

...<snip>

Education has not yet developed into a mature profession. What might cause it to? Based on the experience of other fields, it seems likely that intense and sustained outside pressure will be needed. Dogma does not destroy itself, nor does an immature profession drive out dogma.

The metamorphosis is often triggered by a catalyst, such as pressure from groups that are adversely affected by the poor quality of service provided by a profession.

If educators were objective about education, they would look at real evidence and follow it. Since January 2006, Alpine School District hasn't even been able to produce a single study they relied on to put Investigations, Connected, and IMP math into our district. Some within the district discard the above study because the graph above is from 1981, as if that era must be loaded with data that isn't accurate anymore. This would be a mistake. The data showed that constructivism doesn't work. Direct instruction does. This has never been refuted by any modern peer reviewed study to compare it to. The purpose of Project Follow-Through was to identify what worked. It reached a complete conclusion. You can't simply negate it because you were taught methodology in the latest education fads. It's real science.

To see how hundreds of top mathematicians and Nobel Laureates have condemned constructivist programs, click here.

To obtain a potentially revelatory experience on NCTM standards, please visit this page where you'll learn who said "Whoever wrote the NCTM math standards must be a physical education teacher".

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

Research and Information Press Coverage

THE PETITION TO REMOVE INVESTIGATIONS MATH** (OVER 5% of ASD represented--still ignored by ASD)

MASTER SUMMARY AND INTRODUCTION**

Math With Madeline Video

All Weekly Email Updates **

Edspresso Article on WMD Comics

Weapons of Math Destruction Comics**

What Can You Do About Fuzzy Math in Your Area - 13 Ideas**

Brain Programming

ASD's Saxon Math Deception
Part 2 of the Deception

4/21/07 ASD Superintendent Calls Parents Extremists (for wanting the times tables in schools)

Alpine School District Residents Should Choose Saxon Math

9/13/06 Dual Enrollment Guidelines - Opting Out of Math or Other Classes

9/2/06 Jaime Escalante and NCTM Standards**

9/2/06 Amber Lee's Independent Research

The Math Story (ie. How I Got Started)

7/31/06 Educators Ignore Project Follow-Through**

7/26/06 Comparison of Alpine to Nebo and Provo Districts and comments on Orem City Breaking Off **

3/30/06 Utah Public Radio Broadcast with David Wright and Damon Bahr* (Right-Click and use Save As to download)

Insane Supplementary Materials Compound Investigations Math Nightmare**

Map of ASD Precincts and Election information- You must register to run by 3/17

3/2/06 David Wright's Mathematician Petition to the State of Utah*

2/14/06 Why are Charter School Scores Better than Alpine School District's?*

2/14/06 Alpine School District IOWA Test Math Scores

10 Myths About Math Education and Why You Shouldn't Believe Them

2/1/06 The Case for Utah adopting California's Math Standards-Testimony to Utah Congress**

1/10/06 School Board Meeting challenge to find just one valid study by 1/31/06 ** (I'm still waiting)

Math Tutors in Utah (find one/list one)

11/9/05 Update - How ASD is failing more children each year**

ASD's statement to teachers authorizing them to teach traditional math without fear of repercussion

California Study showing tripling of scores for schools that left constructivist math and implemented Saxon Math**

10/31/05 Petition Maps (see where people are signing the petition-blue dots are schools, red are petitions)

How About Grades 6-12 Connected and Interactive Math?**

Raising Critical Thinking Skills*

Pro-Investigations websites (for anyone interested)

8/15/05 Update (compares Alpine to other districts and charter schools) *

7/29/05 Update (resources given to ASD, sample problems, ASD vs. Nebo School District) *

Investigations Math Origins and Articles*

Math Programs Compared ("Traditional", Investigations, Saxon)

Supplementing your Public School Student's Education**

The California Investigations Math Failure**

Community comments - both Pro/Anti Investigations **

Investigations Math Poll Introduction and Question Summary*

 

Additional articles are covered in weekly updates since April 2007

Victory in Utah - State to Revamp Standards (11/16/06)

Major Breaking News...NCTM does a 180 after 17 years of destroying math in America

It must really irritate the folks at Alpine School District (ASD) who have taken to calling all my work "biased and flawed" to have such no-name disreputable organizations pandering to my lies. The legacy of ASD will be the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of students unable to obtain a technical higher education degree.

4/25/07 Provo Daily Herald - Math petitioners called 'extremists' in Alpine District

4/24/07 Deseret News Article - So how many different programs are appropriate to use at one time Mr. Henshaw?

3/1/07 - Deseret News - Schools' grades mixed - Utah system rated by U.S. Chamber in a new report

2/14/07 Provo Daily Herald - Committee makes math program suggestions for Alpine: Many in district pine for 'Investigations'

2/14/07 Deseret News - Alpine seeking balance in math

2/12/07 Deseret News - Math Program Deleted - Alpine District dumps controversial approach

11/16/06 Deseret News - State leaders support math overhaul for schools

11/16/06 Salt Lake Tribune - Utah's 'fuzzy math' curriculum scrapped; legislators endorse plan to revamp state standards

11/15/06 New York Times - As Math Scores Lag, a New Push for the Basics

10/29/06 Provo Daily Herald - Survey: Math Program Doesn't Add Up

10/25/06 Deseret News - Students decline at 5 Utah colleges

10/19/06 Deseret News - Math learning is shallow in U.S., professor says

10/19/06 Deseret News - Math in Utah — 'fuzzy' or A-OK?

10/06 Salt Lake Tribune - Bad marks for Utah's schools

10/9/06 BYU NewsNet - Alpine School District Under Attack

9/30/06 Provo Daily Herald - Districts evaluate 'failures' in testing

9/29/06 Provo Daily Herald - Utah schools receive progress rankings

9/26/06 Townhall.com - Parents Know the Right Equation for Teaching Math - by Phyllis Schafly

9/12/06 Wall Street Journal - New Report Urges Return to Basics In Teaching Math

9/6/06 Provo Daily Herald - Parent suggests Alpine district be responsive

8/28/06 Provo Daily Herald - Alpine readies to let schools choose curriculum for math (be sure to check out the comments section)

8/26/06 Provo Daily Herald - Charter schools attract parents concerned about public education

7/29/06 Deseret News - Burned-out teachers problematic

7/26/06 Deseret News - Most favor creation of small school districts

5/28/06 Salt Lake Tribune - Alpine School District relents and will change its math offerings***

5/26/06 Deseret News - Alpine opts for choice in its math programs***

5/25/06 Provo Daily Herald - District Reviews Math Options***

5/23/06 - Provo Daily Herald -Orem OKs feasibility study of splitting from Alpine district

5/23/06-Deseret News - Orem not hastening into a schools split

5/23/06-Salt Lake Tribune Article-Orem to study Alpine District split

5/12/06 Provo Daily Herald - Math decision delayed

5/10/06 Provo Daily Herald - Petition Requests District Division

5/6/06 Deseret News - Utah to study states' math programs

4/16/06 Provo Daily Herald- Alpine District continues to lose students to charters

4/6/06 Provo Daily Herald- Charter school debate heats up in Alpine school district

3/20/06 Salt Lake Tribune - Alpine in grip of 'Math Wars'

3/3/06 Provo Daily Herald-Professor: Clearer math standards needed

3/2/06 Deseret News- Math Petition Circulating

2/19/06 San Jose Mercury News - Math back in forefront, but debate lingers on how to teach it.

2/18/06 Salt Lake Tribune-Battle over math teaching spreads

2/15/06 Salt Lake Tribune-Indifference to math skills part of the problem

2/15/06 Deseret News-Parents voice their views on Alpine math

2/15/06 Provo Daily Herald-Provo district seeks math balance

2/9/06 Deseret News - Alpine trio defend approach to math
Rebuttal Letter to Editor: Math approach is harmful

2/7/06 Deseret News - Alpine defends math classes

2/2/06 Deseret News - Lawmaker Gives Alpine Math an F

1/29/06 Salt Lake Tribune - Charter School Funding Tight

1/20/06 Deseret News Letter to Editor: Rote exercises pay vital role in mathematical education

1/7/06 Provo Daily Herald - Investigations: Not your parent's math

12/18/05 Provo Daily Herald -Math doesn't add up for all

12/13/05  15 Charter Schools Scheduled to Open Next Year

11/24/05 Provo Daily Herald - Parents mad over new math curriculum (be sure to read the comments)

 

 

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