Diana Lam New York City's new Deputy Chancellor for Instruction

Betting the Bank on a Losing Horse

Letter to the Editor
The New York Times

By Michael McKeown
Co-Founder, Mathematically Correct
August 28, 2002


Joel Klein's appointment of Diana Lam to a position of power in his administration bodes ill for the rest of his tenure in New York City Schools. Ms. Lam is yet another professional 'educator' bringing the same tired, failed agenda of Whole Language reading and Discovery Learning (fuzzy) math that has failed New York and the rest of the country. Like others of the new breed of advocates for such programs, she brings tough talk about teacher training, high standards and desire for results. Unfortunately, the draconian methods used to implement these programs lead to massive teacher dissatisfaction and continued failure in the classroom. The tough talk is impressive to the business community and to editorial writers, but the overall program will be a loser. Mr. Klein is betting his whole bankroll on a losing horse. Such a pity and waste for New York.

Michael McKeown
Barrington, RI

Dr. McKeown is a Professor of Medical Science at Brown University in Providence, RI and a co-founder of Mathematically Correct, a nationwide organization working to improve mathematics education in the U.S.

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