Re: Character Assassination in Math Debate Doesn't Add Up

Letter to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman
October 22, 2002
By Jonathan Goodman

Dear Mr. Norman,

I'm writing to thank you for your column "Character Assassination in Math Debate Doesn't Add Up". I'm on the Wayne Bishop side of the issue. It "frustrates" me (substitute a stronger word) that "reform" educators, such as those in Pittsburgh, paint us as conservative nuts. I am not a conservative. The reformers often say that traditional math education only works on rich white boys. I don't think there is any scientific evidence of this, or for much else they say. We are pushing to give the kids of Pittsburgh (and New York City and elsewhere) the tough math that prepares them for technical careers (doctor, engineer, scientist, ...). The reformers offer sweet sounding but useless watered down mush.

Jonathan Goodman
Professor of Mathematics
Courant Institute, NYU

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