Time to acknowledge problems

Town and Village
July 5, 2001


To the Editor:

In response to "Result Split on Parent Math Forum" you neither showed a split or reported the facts accurately. The only people who supported the 'constructivist math' were people from District 2 school board members (Karen Feuer and Mae Gamble), math staff developers, and teachers who are in their employ.

It is sad that the people responsible for our children's education felt that a math forum was "too academic." The fact that District 2 received a five year $ 3.5 million grant and has two years left of this grant does not allow them to admit that their mandated fuzzy math curriculum doesn't work, except that test scores have plummeted.

The president of the school board, Karen Feuer has gone on record saying she would take the word of "math educators" over mathematicians any day. "Math educators" are not mathematicians. Medical supply salesmen are not doctors. Mathematicians know math and parents have recognized that the curricula mandated in District 2 is deficient in math content. Levy's math commission has confirmed the positions presented at the forum: this math will not prepare our students for college level math, and test scores back this up.

Ms Feuer's constant insistence on her faith in "math educators" is totally consistent with the ignorance that prevails in our District; our Director of Math, the person behind the grant and leading our children in their math education does not have a degree in mathematics, but rather in theatre.

Ms Feuer dismissed what the mathematicians said because they were "mostly men over 50," apparently their age and sex are more important to her than their knowledge.

Should we dismiss Ms Feuer's opinions because she is blonde and female, or rather because her positions are incorrect?

AS a publicly elected official she has just written-off a great many T & V readers. Neither she nor the District have ever acknowledged that parents are tutoring to make up for what the district is not providing, but parents at the forum confirmed through questionnaires that that is exactly what they have to do!

Your article only highlighted the fact that our district is run by biased people

Denise Matava Haffenden
Co-Chair, NYC HOLD Math Forum
Board of Education employee

Reproduced with permission from Town and Village.

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