Selected comments from our readers

Regarding a November 28 review by Emmy L. Partin:

If I were writing your article, I would have to have called it, "Schools Are Worse than You Can Imagine!" And it would apply to publicly-funded schools nationwide along with many of the private schools.

I am a retired Air Force research engineer and I have spent the last six years doing research at Richard Allen Schools in Dayton, Ohio, and developing what they call their E-Curriculum.

One recent article sort of sums it up for me. In the September 12, 2006, edition of the Wall Street Journal, there was an article titled, "Arithmetic Problem: New Report Urges Return to Basics in Teaching Math." This article says that the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) now admits that they got it wrong when they pushed what has been derisively called "Fuzzy Math" back in 1989. And that now the NCTM wants to return to teaching the "Basics." The "Basics" would include memorizing math tables instead of giving calculators to kindergarteners.

I have no confidence (the NCTM) would be able to define...the "basics," or that they would easily jettison all the bad ideas that they have pushed for almost 20 years.

The same problem of no longer teaching the "Basics" that exists in math also exists in English language arts, science, and social studies... How can public schools be any good when their state academic content standards, their textbooks, their tests, and ultimately their curriculums are largely based on a lot of bad ideas? 

From Bob Douglas

If you have something to say about The Ohio Education Gadfly, say it in an e-mail to an article author or to the editor, Mike Lafferty, at mlafferty@edexcellence.net. Correspondence may be edited for clarity and length.