School is out for the summer, but the debate over the "Common Core" standards rages on. I have to admit I haven't paid a lot of attention lately since my kids are well past high school, but I do know the issue of the "New Math" has been going on since I was in high school. And we don't appear to be making any progress with each new generation of math. So an article in the WSJ by a professor emerita of math at Berkeley caught my eye on Wednesday. Marina Ratner wrote it from the perspective of a grandmother with a grandson in the Berkeley public school system so it has a front row feeling to it. She writes
...when teaching fractions, the teacher required that students draw pictures of everything: of 6 divided by 8, of 4 divided by 2/7, of 0.8 X 0.4, and so forth. In doing so, the teacher followed instructions...to use visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem.
Who would draw a picture to divide 2/3 by 3/4?
The model-drawing mania went on in my grandson's class for an entire year, leaving no time to cover geometry and other important topics.
I'm pretty sure the B'game school curriculum is in the same boat. Can any parents or grandparents confirm this?