## How to End the Math and Reading Wars

Letter to the Editor, The Christian Science Monitor

By Jonathan Goodman

February 10, 2003

To the Editor,

Jonathan Zimmerman (One way to end the math and reading wars, Op, Ed,
Sept 10) says we should just hire good teachers, like in the good old
days, let them invent their own curricula, and our kids will be well
taught.

Forget about standards and accountability, the master teachers of
tomorrow won't need that. In the mean time, today's New York City
Department of Education is imposing a uniform math curriculum on
everyone. The K-5 component, Everyday Mathematics, teaches ten
convoluted ways to subtract numbers but not the simple "standard" way.
It is remarkable that the authors of these fuzzy curricula feel
qualified to reinvent mathematics without consulting actual
mathematicians to find out what math is. The way to end the math and
reading wars it to rely on experts and data in choosing curricula, not
the pipe dreams of bureaucrats and Ed School fanatics.

Jonathan Goodman

Professor of Mathematics

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

New York University

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