January 1, 2002

By E-mail


Dear Ms. Segarra,


   I just learned that the Board of Education is about to approve a huge expendature on mathematics curriculum and professional development for teachers.  All of the programs being considered are substandard ``fuzzy math'' that are worse than what is in place now.  I am a

professional mathematician with 20 years of teaching experience.  I have had two kids in district 2 schools, one is still at Stuyvesant. I have examined many of the curricula being considered, including TERC, ARISE, and CMP.  These programs were created by people with a limited understanding of mathematics and no idea how mathematics is used in college.  Children taught with these curricula are being set up to fail when they join the real world.  The vast majority of professional mathematicians and scientists feel as I do, as evidenced by the more than 200 signatures on the "Klein letter" protesting fuzzy programs.  The State Board of Education in California has rejected these programs. 


I strongly urge the Board of Education to gather more facts before making such a large committment.  It is only a matter of time before fuzzy math goes the way of whole language.  Let New York City be a leader rather than the last to catch up.




Jonathan Goodman

Professor of Mathematics

Courant Institute, NYU