Re: "Mayor Bloomberg's Test: Teaching the Teachers How to Teach Reading"

Letter to the Editor
The New York Times

By Elizabeth Carson
August 23, 2002
(not published)

To The Editor:

Re: "Mayor Bloomberg's Test: Teaching the Teachers How to Teach Reading" (Editorial Observer, August 23, 2002)

Mayor Bloomberg faces an identical challenge to turn around the dismal state of NYC mathematics education.

The romantic education theory behind failed reading instruction has also brought experimental fuzzy math programs into our schools. Parents have pleaded for an alternative; asked for math instruction that is structured, coherent, skills based, and that builds methodically through the grades. Their requests have been summarily dismissed as wrongheaded by an arrogant education leadership with a seemingly religious devotion to discovery learning, and with a profound distaste for explicit instruction in basic skills and concepts.

And so, parents who are able, teach their children at home what the schools omit, hire tutors or leave the public system entirely.

Recent improvements in mathematics achievement across California schools, most notably in urban poor school districts, where fuzzy math programs are no longer used, deserves Mayor Bloomberg's close scrutiny.

Elizabeth Carson
public school parent
Co-Founder, NYC HOLD Honest, Open, Logical Debate on math reform
A consortium of concerned parents, educators, mathematicians and scientists working to improve mathematics education in NYC schools

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