Faulty Logic: Math Wars

make math

If you haven’t seen it yet, two professors (one philosophy, one math ed) just published an opinion piece in the NY Times online blog, decrying the state of the reform movement in math education.  These reformers, they warn, are trying to get away with not teaching the standard American algorithms for computation.  These upstarts and their “numerical reasoning” may destroy us all.

“At stake in the math wars is the value of a “reform” strategy for teaching math that, over the past 25 years, has taken American schools by storm. Today the emphasis of most math instruction is on — to use the new lingo — numerical reasoning. This is in contrast with a more traditional focus on understanding and mastery of the most efficient mathematical algorithms.”

It may have been a mistake to go on to browse the comments.  The top comment right now reads,

“I am a mathematician…

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