Saturday, July 01, 2006

Progress in the Math Wars?

Is this old news? I just read about the new National Mathematics Advisory Panel now, and its seems like it could potentially be a great step forward.

On April 18, 2006, President Bush issued an Executive Order creating the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. The Panel will advise the President and the Secretary of Education on the best use of scientifically based research to advance the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Modeled after the influential National Reading Panel, the National Math Panel will examine and summarize the scientific evidence related to the teaching and learning of mathematics, with a specific focus on preparation for and success in learning algebra.

The National Math Panel will issue two reports containing policy recommendations on how to improve mathematics achievement for all students.

I'm skeptical, but there are some good people on the panel, and both sides of the "math wars" seem well represented.

Linda Moran blogs on this here. Here is an excerpt (the "three scholars" are Liping Ma, Wilfried Schmid, and Russ Whitehurst):

While some views on the panel may be polarized on the two sides of the math wars, the three aforementioned scholars have already concluded that a rigorous, aggressive curriculum which is strong in both concepts and drill, taught both by discovery and direct instruction, is best.

I couldn't agree more. The preliminary report is due out by January, 2007. If anyone has more information or insight into this panel, I'd love to hear your comments.

Update: See Math Panel Watch, a blog set up for tracking the deliberations of the panel.

Also, this link comes courtesy of Vlorbik, and has lots of good info. Thanks!


Darren said...

Trouble on the panel already?

Anonymous said...

thanks for pointing me to linda moran.

maybe i can return the favor:

has a bunch of useful links (to info about panelists, e.g.).

yours in the struggle.

Zeno said...

Thanks for this useful post. This is clearly going to be something to keep an eye on.