Adding Up Fuzzy Math: Right Answers Aren't Important

The New York Post
April 18, 2001

By Arnold Ahlert

THERE was a time when doctors used to cut peoples' flesh open and "bleed" them in order to rid their bodies of disease. While this method of healing was no doubt hailed by doctors during those times, it was eventually discovered to be totally ineffectual. Doctors no longer bleed patients.

I bring this up because it's becoming apparent that the way we educate our children in today's public schools is no more effective than the bloodletting technique of years ago. It is also apparent that the people in charge of the system are incapable of seeing it for the failure that it is.

Educrats no longer educate children.

The new math curriculum being imposed in city schools should surprise no one. Nor should it surprise anyone that this "latest" approach to problem-solving is hailed by those educrats who are convinced that getting the right answer to a math problem is only a secondary consideration.

Just as doctors in medieval times had the power to act with impunity, so do today's educrats, because they know the same thing those doctors did: Their power is unassailable.

It doesn't matter whether or not children learn anything anymore. Excuses can be made. Test scores can be rigged. Standards can either be lowered or abandoned. Parents can be convinced testing is an inappropriate method of evaluating skills because it reduces the amount of time teachers can be "creative."

The system doesn't need to be fixed any more than medieval bloodletting techniques needed to be fixed or improved upon. It needs to be abandoned. Bloodletting has been relegated to the dustbin of history. The educrats and their entire way of doing things should follow.

You don't reform incompetence, you get rid of it.

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