Letters in response to Put two and two together, by Elizabeth Carson, Op-Ed, the New York Daily News, October 16, 2006.
Chester, N.Y.: Re Elizabeth Carson's Oct. 16 Everyday Math Op-Ed piece: Don't credit Everyday Math for the 75% third-grade passing rate. My third-graders scored very well on the state test without using the inadequate Everyday Math. Are there any other public school third-grade teachers willing to join me in telling the truth?
Roseanne McCosh, PS 8
Manhattan: Re "Put two and two together" (Oct. 16): Not only are test scores bad, but the exams themselves are shockingly weak, making one wonder what it means these days to "perform at grade level." You'd think that an eighth-grader should be able to add fractions with different denominators, but try to find such a question on the exam and you'd be out of luck.
Mathematics professor, NYU
Woodland Hills, Calif.: Congratulations to Elizabeth Carson for telling it like it is ("Put two and two together," Opinions, Oct. 16). As a California teacher, I'm gratified to see reason prevail at the state level in rejecting Everyday Math and other such misguided programs. Brave voices such as Carson's wake us up to the fact that in order for math to be learned, it must be taught.
Brooklyn: Elizabeth Carson is 100% correct ("Put two and two together," Opinions, Oct. 16). We need the fundamentals of math to be taught. We need textbooks for all subjects and all grades. We need spelling to be put back into the curriculum. Our schools were once known for producing educated people. They can be again, if Mayor Bloomberg realizes his mistake in appointing Joel Klein chancellor.
Chicago: As an author of Everyday Mathematics, I want to set the record straight about mathematics achievement in New York public schools. That record was seriously distorted in Elizabeth Carson's Oct. 16 Opinions article, "Put two and two together." This is no surprise, as Carson is co-founder and executive director of a group that opposes using Everyday Mathematics no matter how good its results. Scores on the state test tend to vary from year to year. Some years the test is harder than other years. Last year, for example, the test seemed to be a bit easier than usual; this year's test seems to be a bit harder than usual. Scores are up substantially in N.Y.C. since Everyday Math has been the uniform curriculum, and no amount of spinning from Carson can change that fact.
Senior Research Associate University of Chicago
Whitestone: To Voicer Andy Isaacs: The current math curriculum is absurd. My son has never been taught the multiplication table - forget division. Instead of contributing research from Chicago, set foot in a New York City public school and you'll find a lot of parents who agree that math basics should be taught instead of focusing on tally marks.
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