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James Stergios, Charles Chieppo and Jamie Gass
The Massachusetts Exception « Back to Story

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Educated citizen lauds Massachusetts.
The success in Mass. schools is exhilarating but almost incredible. It begs for close examination. What happened at schools in affluent neighborhoods, in inner cities, in controls on mass cheating, on male/female comparison? Please reference further studies. (Self-educating 40 years+ -- teaching physics to college students 34 years.)
One wishes that the twisting of our moral instincts to justify egalitarianism, that the law applies not only to all, but to all in the same way, could be crucified along with it's supporters. Or at least that not only their use of sticks and carrots (understandable) but our tolerance of that would lessen.

What works ought to be continued, regardless of the population's opinion.
"I do, however, think that too many parents find it much easier to watch the "Hillbilly Handfishin'" marathon on Animal Planet (and then break up into discussion groups) than to raise their kids to study pre-Calc Algebra & Trig or to read Lear."

^^BINGO!!!
And regarding the 'dumbing down' of the math curriculum:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?_r=1&hp&pagewanted=all
@slyscribe:
"...possibility that a dumb population is easier to control...than a smart one?"
Of course it is. No disagreement there.

"Do you think there is even the slightest chance that this is intentional..."
What? -- a vast right-wing conspiracy?! No, I don't; but, then, I generally am very skeptical of conspiracy theories.

I do, however, think that too many parents find it much easier to watch the "Hillbilly Handfishin'" marathon on Animal Planet (and then break up into discussion groups) than to raise their kids to study pre-Calc Algebra & Trig or to read Lear.
Do you think there is even the slightest chance that this is intentional, that there is the teeniest possibility that a dumb population is easier to control and fatten up (literally) than a smart one?
Peter Bonaccorsi July 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM
I cannot agree with this article. My son attended a private school in Massachusetts from grades 1-5 and was an A student. Then he attended (just graduated 8th grade) an Attleboro, MA. public school in grades 6-8. He was bored, cruised through with little or no effort and did worse than when he attended the private school. The standard must be to attain mediocrity.
Being a product of public education, I am disenchanted with the Massachusetts model. Perhaps I am missing the big picture so please help me out.
Unfortunately, money talks/influences and cajoles and voila,another dumbed-down curriculum in place. Shame on Massachusetts!
I am not sure that delaying algebra until 9th grade is all that bad.

For me, personally, I wasted all of 8th grade (1962) math learning "new math" (http://www.math.rochester.edu/people/faculty/rarm/chron.html). Got to algebra in 9th and calculus (diff and integral) in 12th. Got all the way thru Advanced Calculus in engineering school.