Friday, April 23, 2021

Watching Practice Sessions

 ... is mildly interesting, but it's the games that matter, unless you're part of the Chattering Class.

Virginia is fighting for equity in math.

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is moving to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to 11th grade, effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system.

Clicking on a link to a Facebook post in that article, I read a Loudon Country School Board member say this:

(A)s currently planned, this initiative will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade.  That is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this.  All 6th graders will take Foundational Concepts 6.  All 7th graders will take Foundational Concepts 7.  All 10th graders will take Essential Concepts 10.  Only in 11th and 12th grade is there any opportunity for choice in higher math courses.  

My first reaction to this was that it seemed absolutely bananas, and that it sets a soft cap on the number of higher math courses students are going to be able to take.  My second reaction was to wonder which outside math learning franchises (Kaplan, Mathnasium, etc.) are publicly traded, because I foresee their stock soaring.

This really is bananas and it's another example of insanity - thinking without rational structure. There is no plan. Kids from unmarried families tend to have lower expectations, poorer diet, unpredictable sleep schedules and chaotic home lives. That's why they're not realizing their potential.

Our secular faith denies the advantages of married families which is actually a denial of objective reality which is a hallmark of insanity. And so, to help "disadvantaged youths" in their "communities," we eliminate advanced math classes for everyone.

The "disadvantaged youths" are still screwed because we didn't address marriage. Now we're taking away tools from the "advantaged youths" so all youths will achieve the same results.

We are deliberately handicapping our human capital. You only do that when you have no competition. It's like designing an NFL offense around nothing but trick plays. So long as no actual games are covered by the news media and the academics watch nothing but practices, the talk will be about how brilliant it all is.

But games are being played. They look like this.

Or maybe it's more like this.

Kids in India. Do you think their schools have eliminated advanced math classes?


psudrozz said...

Loudoun county again makes headlines (see . Luckily, I got my family out just in time before the education cold wars really set in.

There is a significant chunk of asian immigrants in that county. These people will find a way to ensure their children will be highly proficient in math despite the public school system.

I know this because many of the immigrant communities there already have math camps that start at kidnergarden.

Those that cannot find, afford, or spare time for their children in Loudoun will have them reduced to the lowest common denominator.

Soon, these fools will notice that some are still excelling, and move to ban outside schooling as it creates an unfair advantage.

tim eisele said...

My problem with this is a bit earlier in the process. I don't think the issue is whether kids have access to "advanced math" in high school. The real problem is that the entirety of elementary school is devoted to teaching kids to hate math. They are presented with arithmetic as an exercise in rote memorization, alternating tedium with frustration. And what it is all good for is only touched on briefly if at all, with "word problems" that are constructed to be annoying puzzles instead of reasonable things that one might actually want to calculate someday. And when they are told "This is what math is all about!", the obvious response from the kids is "But I don't care about any of that!"

And by the time the kids hit high school, they are ruined for doing math. And all the introductory calculus classes in the world aren't going to help. Especially when the advanced math courses do the same thing elementary school arithmetic did - emphasize memorizing a whole bunch of rules about how to do things, instead of understanding why you do things that way, or why you want to be able to do it in the first place.

Ohioan@Heart said...

This is 'equity' gone mad. They are tacitly admitting that they can't raise the lower performing students, so they'll actively hinder the better performing students. Does this actually benefit anyone? Of course not.

I think we should all boycott sports until the make up of their teams 'look like' the nation at large. Do they now? Here are some quick numbers: US (W+Hispanic) 78.8%, (B/AA) 13.4%, (Other) 10.2% [Yes, I know that adds 102.4%, but those are the numbers I see on the Wikipedia site.] Let's look at three (non-random) NBA teams [I chose a west coast team, an east coast team, and a mid continent team, specifically LA Lakers, Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder.] Their composite breakdown are (W) 15%, (B/AA) 85%, (Other) 0% [Note: these were determined by using the unscientific method of looking at photos of the players to determine which category they belong - this is justified because the advocates of racial equity and critical race theory talk about "looking like" the population]. Why isn't anyone crying about the total underrepresentation of White/Hispanics?

No one is complaining because we all recognize that those teams all try to select the best players - because they want to WIN - and really don't care about their race. Imagine that: judging them by the quality of their abilities not by the color of their skin... that's just so... so... racist? Apparently it is in Math, even if it isn't in athletics.

Mostly Nothing said...

A couple of things.

My wife, as you probably know, is a pre-school teacher. It was a strange road getting there, as she has dual degrees in Biology and Chemistry. She teaches the pre-schoolers science and math, in fun ways. And this preschool is not in a "rich" suburb, it is on the edge of St Paul, and get many disadvantaged kids. The School district buys spots in the classes for kids on IEPs. They do a lot of counting and graphing of important things, like what everyone's favorite flavor of ice cream is.

I remember one year, they had a lower grades school 3M traveling wizard assembly. That's when a scientist from 3M shows kids how cool science is. He asked the assembly what it the term was for when you make a guess about what's going to happen in an experiment. The pre-schoolers all knew hypothesis. They will often come up to her all excited about an experiment they thought up and did at home.

My son had a friend on the high school baseball team, he was a year older. As a Junior, I believe he had 1 class actually at school and was at a local University for everything else. He was taking Calc 3 as a Junior. How would that kid have reacted to not being able to take Algebra until 10th grade?

So, I've come up with a hypothesis myself. Everything the left does is to try to tear people down, not bring people up. This initiative is not trying to get the kids struggling to do better, it is only going to get those a little ahead of the curve bored, and then they don't care. And the nation gets dumber. Which maybe the ultimate plan, KT. Dumb people are easier to control.

psudrozz said...

MN: i'd add-less competition for the elites' kids