Our teachers are loving, caring, and hard-working. American kids are no less smart or less diligent than kids of any other nations. However, the prevailing "mile-wide inch-deep"math curricula, resulting from the ideology of Rousseau, Dewey, Kilpatrick, Terman, Cubberley and others, have made math a daunting subject for many kids and contributed to stress for high school students, to the distress of academic mathematicians who have long been endeavoring to correct the falsities.
Generations of American students have lagged behind the high-achieving countries in math and science. This systematic failure has been caused by systematic reasons --- textbook, pedagogy and standards have jointly turned math into a daunting subject for American kids. The mediocre K-8 education has made high school life stressful for many students. Ze’ev Wurman will tell you the behind-scene story…
“Simple concepts are made artificially intricate and complex with the pretense of being deeper—while the actual content taught was primitive.” “The Common Core fails any comparison with the standards of high-achieving countries, just as they fail compared to the old California standards. They are lower in the total scope of learned material, in the depth and rigor of the treatment of mathematical subjects, and in the delayed and often inconsistent and incoherent introductions of mathematical concepts and skills.”
-- Marina Ratner, professor emeritus of mathematics, UC Berkeley
“It's almost a joke to think common core students will be ready for university math, it will put our students two grades behind other countries.”
-- James Milgram, professor emeritus of mathematics, Stanford University
“The cruelest irony of the common core mathematics is in the huge negative impact it is bound to have on the achievement of minority and disadvantaged students.”
-- Ze’ev Wurman, former senior adviser, U.S. Department of Education
Wurman's talk will help us re-think our approach to learning math and hopefully make our kids' lives easier and healthier -- a good mastery of math will reduce the overall academic stress and leave more time and energy for other activities such as sports, art, and music.
Ze'ev Wurman was a senior adviser to Department of Education. He participated in developing California’s education standards and STAR assessments between 1995 and 2007. In 2009-2010 he analyzed the Common Core math drafts for the Pioneer Institute and for the State of California and served on the California Academic Content Standards Commission. Wurman has professionally evaluated Common Core State Standards and other state and national standards, and published multiple professional and opinion articles in national media.