January 23, 2002

By E-Mail


To the Chancellor and Members of the Board of Education:


I am unable to attend tonight’s BOE calendar meeting.


But I am in full support of Elizabeth Carson’s view that the math grants that will be rubber-stamped tonight support a math program that will reduce students to the lowest common denominator.


After five years of fighting a high school battle, I am tired of the fiction that the BOE wants parental involvement; it certainly didn’t want our middle-class input.  Regardless of the subject, we are dismissed as elitist.  As a physician, I used math professionally.  I, and all the physicians I know, view the claim that what they teach is “real world” math as ridiculous.  It is simply inferior mathematics.  At the end of the day, two things count in math: speed and accuracy.  This “real world” math devalues both. I cannot imagine a single adult who would welcome the physician, pilot, engineer who supplanted accuracy with creativity in math. 


I have started to collect homework from other parents at school who are appalled at this program.  The following is an example:

“You would have gotten a 5 [a perfect score] because all the math is correct.  But you did not right [sic] complete sentences.”


I think that sums it up.


Jeanne Kassler, MD

Co-Founder, Partnership for an Upper East Side High School