Outraged by Education Committee's Math "Hearing"

By Arthur P. Goldberg
Computer Science Department
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University

Dear NYC City Council Committeee on Education

I'm a parent of 2 NYC schoolchildren, a professor of Computer Science at NYU, a property owner and taxpayer, and co-founder and owner of a small NYC computer business.

I'm outraged by last week's (11/5/3) Math Education 'hearing'. I'm insulted that the public was only allocated 10 minutes out of a 3 hour meeting. In addition, the public was only allowed to speak after the TV camera was removed and after one of the council members left. I attended but was prohibited from testifying.

The message I receive is that the views of parents, mathematicians and educators are completely irrelevant.

I think you should hold a hearing at which you allow the public and active teachers to testify. You should give department of education employees the opportunity to testify anonymously, so they can testify without fear of retribution. You should hold hearings during the evening or on the weekends when parents and working teachers can participate. You should hold hearings in other boroughs.

My kid's school teaches TERC, which teaches counting instead of math. So I teach math to them and their friends weekly at home. The third grade teacher knows she's not teaching math, so 2 months before the standardized tests she throws out TERC and keeps the kids after school for 3 days a week to learn math. No wonder the standardized scores are so high!

Arthur P. Goldberg

Clinical Associate Professor of Computer Science
Computer Science Department
Courant Institute of Mathematical Science
Director, Masters of Science in Information Systems

Warren Weaver Hall
251 Mercer, Room 409
New York University
New York, NY 10012

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