tv Book Discussion on The Math Myth CSPAN July 17, 2016 7:00am-8:31am EDT
the nature of the combination of having to share power and being dependent upon one's party allows the party, so to speak for me to select a woman as prime minister that she can be bemused. there are at least two things if not more that they hope people will come away with an understanding from the yoke, political women and american democracy. the extent to which we can think of ourselves as a democratic republican political system but
can we think of ourselves as a democratic political system compared to other democracies and other advanced wealthy democracies in the united states. to that extent can we think of ourselves as democratic and inclusive women have a low level of women's representation in the office and inner judiciary as well. even within state legislatures where the numbers have stagnated. that's a serious questions. can we position ourselves as the nation, as a leader in terms of being democratic and inclusive and women's representation is so loved despite the participatory management and how does the mass politics level. the other thing i would want people to take away from the book is to think again about my minimum for diversity in terms of age, employment, social class and certainly in terms of great tennis this day.
not to >> and evening. welcome to the national museum of matt mannix in a very special event. i think we are all delighted that the museum is putting on this event tonight and even more delighted that they are doing up with the support of the mathematical association of america, which is helping out tonight and then purchase killer , james tanton tonight, who i will introduce in a minute. my name is john ewing, president of math for america and they may not petition. [applause] this was not meant to be an aa meeting by the way. every professional mathematician knows that mathematicians and their subjects have a certain reputation. a world famous mathematician is
walking in the countryside one day when it comes upon a huge flock of sheep and being a world-famous mathematician goes to to the shepherd and makes a proposition . one hundred dollars against one of your sheep that i can tell you can me how many sheep are in the flock. the shepherd, knowing there were an awful lot of sheep says, okay, i'll try it here the mathematician looks around and says 900 are decided she peered the shepherd says incredible. that's absolutely incredible. the mathematician picks up an animal, throws it around her shoulders and begins to walk away. the shepherd runs after him. wait, wait he says. double or nothing i can tell you exactly what your profession and spirit the mathematician says this is unlikely so so sure, go ahead. the shepherd says you are
world-famous mathematician. incredible. how could you possibly know. well, since the shepherd, put down my dog and i will tell you. [laughter] this reputation is not new. in 19410, william d. lewis, principal of william penn high school in philadelphia but about democratizing education and be focused on high school mathematics. my objection, he will come into the traditional requirements and mathematics is largely empirical. i have seen so many pupils driven out of school by work, which could not have any practical advantage to them and i have watched so many classes and guessing under the caption of algebra that i have come to believe that we have to discriminate as carefully as possible between those pupils
who really need the advanced mathematics and those who will find other work more profitable. 1914. but that makes me teach in our schools, especially ours high schools has been debated for the past century, often with an eye towards democratization and opportunities for student spirit much longer than a century can you maybe be aware that arithmetic was not taught in elementary school in the colonial. spelling, reading and writing constituted the curriculum at that time. arithmetic was known as folder. arithmetic was needed and when it was needed, it was learned in the child. by the early 20th century, i'll shred jimmy choo were part of the curriculum in nearly every high school in the country. the graduation rate in 1900 was
a person. as graduation rates climbed over the coming decade, the most mathematics became a contentious issue almost everywhere. mathematics was then as it continues to be now the most difficult of subjects for many students. the debate culminated at the end of the 20th century but very provocative and quite exceptional essays written by underwood dudley, a mathematics professor at depaul university with the title is wide math is not my next necessary and what is mathematics for? to the dismay of many mathematicians, woody argued that there were many good reasons to teach mathematics, that utility wasn't one of them. almost all jobs, he wrote, required no knowledge of algebra and geometry at all. he went on. for algebra necessary for 75% of all jobs, algebra textbooks with
refilled with on-the-job problems since examples would be so plentiful. this is clearly not the case. the math mystery by andrew hacker, which is the catalyst for today's discussion is in many ways the child of a century long debate as well as woody dudleys assays. although, i will say, that the two authors reached very different conclusions. is high school mathematics serving society? what mathematics should be taught? how should it be taught and why should it be taught? these are hard questions and i believe that finding answers to hard questions as best in open and public discussion. that is why we are here tonight. are two speakers this morning are andrew hacker and she
tanton. it would be glad to know i've reached the point where i introduce them. andrew hacker is a professor of political science at queens college in the city university of new york, where in addition to teaching political science, he has taught an experimental course in mathematics literacy. he was an undergraduate at amherst college and received his phd from princeton university. he taught at cornell from 1955 until the early night in seven days and since then has been on the faculty at queens college. he's the author of 10 books on a sample of the titles suggest their breach. two nations, black-and-white, separate, hostile and unequal. this match, the growing gulf between women and men, higher education how colleges are wasting our money and failing our kids and what we can do
about it. in 19 -- in 2012, he published an op-ed in the new york times entitled his algebra necessary, which led to his most recent book, mathematics and understand solutions, setting the stage for tonight's discussion. whether or not you agree with the substance of these folks, i am sure you will all agree that the titles are, every one of them, exceedingly clever. james tanton grew up in adelaide, australia. when he speaks tonight come you may detect he is not a native of new york. he received his undergraduate degree in mathematics and came to the u.s. in 1988, where he received his phd in mathematics, also from princeton university. after teaching at st. mary's college in maryland, and
exceptional liberal arts college and my dad, he followed his wife to boston where he soon turned his attention to the general state of k-12 mathematics. eventually, he found himself at a private pool in southborough, st. mark's where he founded the saint marks institute of mathematics and then on to washington d.c. where he served as the mathematical association of america's visiting mathematician and then they're mathematician and residents. james consults for schools across the globe on the teaching of middle-school and high school mathematics. he's also the author of a number of books come to solve this, mathematics activities for students and clubs. mathematics galore and also the author of two wordless puzzle books, without words and more without words, both of which i
am told are being presently translated into serbia. >> i offered to complete the translation for them. james is also part of the global math project with the goal of initiating a fundamental change in the way we perceive and join mathematics. tonight's presentation will be divided into six segments. 215 minute presentations by each of our speakers to lay out the case. 28 minute responses from each and then questions and answers from the audience. the questions are from the audience and presumably the answers to the speaker, followed by a short time for people to come up and talk individually but the speakers tonight. my job tonight is to keep us on schedule and i will do so with ruthless resolve here. so i would like sasser hacker to
begin tonight's presentation. [applause] >> it's a pleasure to be here. i may be the only non-mathematician in the house. but that is not a point. it is not my point to pitch out of business. at the very grand and glorious calling. there is a total, at last count, 217,584 teachers of math mannix in this country. a sturdy profession. i don't think it has anything to fear from me. now, i am a political scientist. a cheap shot that political scientists is to analyze policy, particularly governmental policy
and even more particularly, governmental policies, which we hire everyone to a certain thing. very simply, to drive a car you have to pass a test. the government says so. if you have a child, the child has to be vaccinated. what interested me as a political scientist as an effective governmental policy that we have, which is that every single young person in this country will be required to take the full sequence of mathematics. started like algebra, geometry, pre-calculus and for many the idea is to have everyone studying calculus. by simple reason for being here, simpler reason for writing might look can be summed up in one word. i understand -- i've got one of
via algebra ii is going to be there. well, we are at it past them. the math required to, the math hurdle takes a tremendous toll every year. we raised, in the united states come is very low on the developed countries, about 20 out of 28 in the number of our young people who finish high school. yes, our high school is a a 20%. one out of every five young people you see has failed to finish high school. the major academic for a reason for that is failure of math class. another reason this pregnancy. but the academic reason is we don't keep the exact figures on this, but showalter whose work you may know has included a majority of students eventually
fail one or another of math course. is this because they are or is it because they are asking something of every one that we really shouldn't be requiring universally. one out of five to graduate from high school. of those who graduate from high school and go on to college, for being 3% do not graduate. this is one of the highest college dropout rate in the advanced world. we have more politics for cap, that fewer people finishing college. why? pilot takes mindlessly require mathematics of everybody, even if you are going to major in poetry, modern dance, interior design, we still have to pass an algebra test to get on board.
we have a fantastic policy. we are shooting ourselves in the foot. people who would be very skilled, talented, all sorts of people are not allowed to perceive. somebody who wants an associates degree, certificate and cosmetology. industrial design. let's take martial arts. even they have to pass the math test and as a result, our attrition rate is just savage. something else, too. we hear reports saying 43% of people in the test are not college ready. 43% for college tests. i'm not college ready.
because college ready requires advanced mathematics for everybody and as a result some very good students who might be in my college class won't be there because of this requirement. my book is called tree and six. for more and more i study what is happening, the more we discover that people who are entrenched in a certain profession, occupation, vocation will literally say anything to defend the status quo from which they benefit. this could be true of police officers. and i discovered so much of what we have been told about data sharing that. for example, 62% figure and something called the american diploma project came down and
said within a decade from now, 62% of all occupations will need algebra. at most, 5% of occupation need algebra and i respect those. and the cost of writing my book ever to marietta, georgia over and are viewed era radical engineers and i was blown away by the way they use calculus to study the ice on wings. i sit in the andes. it go on. but you certainly need mathematics and wall street use calculus all the time to study risks, payoffs and the rest.
not 62%, which is the question and only occupational terms why the other 95. i don't want to get too much into the question of the stand story appeared beyond doubt that there is a shortage of people. in fact, people that have degrees, less than half, only slightly more than a third are working in s.t.e.m. occupation. we have an oversupply of people but s.t.e.m. qualifications. we are told we better watch out in the global competition because korea, china, singapore and hong kong are far ahead of us and not mannix. i'll say this to you.
they score higher because they work 23 hours a day. the biggest illness among young people in korea are pediatricians, sleep deprivation. they work 23 hours a day if the international competitions friendships are crossword puzzles, they would slow up there, too. we work 23 hours and i would advise that. there is a whole question of whether all these rates sharpens our mind. i agree that studying math and doing well at it sharpens your mind for dealing with mathematics. that is for sure. there is no evidence whatsoever that mastering mathematics makes you agile, adapt, excel and other fields.
i did the shirt test of my own that queens college. i took the math scores are incoming freshmen. of the freshmen who took an introductory history course. the math scores. versus the history scores. there's the reasoning ability, guess what, the correlation was zero. to be high on math, bomb modern history, vice versa. math does not help another field. i'm not sure i want to call this a myth. there is the view, for example, a mathematician i really respect it. i keep his boat on my bedside is one of the best books i've read
by showing a layperson with mathematics really is. he closes the book and he believes that mathematics is one of the greatest creations of the human mind, perhaps even the greatest. well, i will go along with that. i simply ask, is mathematics something they created or is there something that we discovered? could it be that mathematics is out there, created by nature where she created the calculus. not to discover it. we have defined it. but what i'm saving this i would really love everybody to appreciate mathematics the
business being done by making people year after year. i would love to have math teachers take out time and free of athletics into liberal arts so all of a sudden at the beauty of poetry map of mannix. there's also the view that mathematics is subject to it, which is to say there's one right there. you don't have to worry about opinions, said activity. this may well be true. but there's something else going on. mathematics has built-in biases of it down. not so much the subject, but the way we access and value it. one thing we know, i have a chapter in the book of gender gaps in mathematics. girls and young women actually kept higher grades in math courses than the guys do. we have enough studies across
the board to show that. the girls get higher grades. but when it comes to the task, s.a.t., psat and in times of a common core, and men are always ahead. i would really ask you as mathematicians to find some way of having tests that give girls and young women a chance to show what they really know. for the last half-century, girls have been 30 points behind boys on the sats. by the way, that has consequences. one consequence is the national merit scholarships. the national merit scholarships. you know what they are. do not give a gender break down of their winners. they refuse to do it. they hide the information
because 53%, i'm a numbers person. 53% of people who entered the pair competition are gross, but boys and getting 53% of theo ward. why? because they score 30 points higher than the gross to run these tests. the same thing is going to happen with common core. this is one reason why gross find it harder to get into ivy league schools because ivy league schools require before we have been on application. both math and verbal a 700. two thirds of the 700 above our boys. so as a result, stanford, yale, for example their maturity men because of the math barrier. girls are doing okay in classes, but i need some advice. the country does, on how to give
tests that they indicate the e-mail. bath of course we are told requires -- 30 seconds more. [laughter] i think my last comment here is do i propose to abolish algebra? no, of course not. but i do want to see other options and alternatives in that the full sequence where everybody in 10th grade we can work this out a comment begin to offer options. my teacher class at my college in the math department called deborah c. 101, which is about status and statistics. not high-powered academics, it
doesn't require any math. all it requires and i don't think we have to be ashamed of that at all. [applause] >> and now, james tanton. >> thank you for this evening. this is a real honor in this conversation. thank you is a really important conversation with national concern. we appreciate you bringing it into the world. his fatah reconsider our next generation. the expanded. even further. thank you for coming along today and viewing of video afterwards. your interest in the topic and understand current matters and concerns.
it is truly wonderful that we adults, we are supposed to be compelled to check facts and personally assess the claims made that come away on the internet to the general conversation. we are brave enough to ask how we know what we know when not to, the general question. i see very much enjoyed reading the book and i came away with it an interpretation that many might find some surprising. someone is arguing strongly for mathematics. his sense of deep concerns in public perception before the conception of the common core and also mighty strong warnings about how much of it meant. like me, he doesn't want an implementation of old into a trap with the teachings with heavy-handed speed testing doing
a number of facilities and the bubble pushed it aside. i couldn't agree more that these are real concerns and many proponents i know feel the same way. so i asked, let me just try to put it on the screen. i just asked, i based my discussion and i just bought some beautiful comments about the joy of not mannix here. like to share my philosophy about teaching mathematics. forgive me. i'll need my glasses. i completely agree that dr. hacker, when he proposed in chapter one strongly focus on a
path. he praises philosophy, art, theology and history, all while teaching math. we should teach philosophy in art is a human story of mathematics. but actually, the content at the high school level can be argued as somewhat secondary. i've never used the quadratic formula in my purse and allies. there may not formula wasn't the point. it was the story of quadratic spirit it was the story i cannot find a way for most any problem to do with that subject. i love how mankind battled with the topic to discover a link to geometry of the subject, the success of literally squares. while teaching mathematics, each as the main story of symmetry, teaching high school students had high school students at the beauty and power symmetry.
there's so much beauty and richness that they're in the subject of the quadratic formula itself is somewhat irrelevant and secondary. to me, the goal of education is to help people see and consider the practice taking the risk to higher rates has developed in farmed fears and analyze how you know what you think you know and how to be curious and also to be aware of some great treatment for drama and the revelation of completing the square. learn how to appreciate intellectual accomplishments. high school is really not about content. and having riddled completely away and where is the last time i had to compose a high truth? the content is not so much the point all about teaching an accomplished thinking.
math is particularly good at teaching problem solving and basic life skills, thinking through challenges. they are necessarily transferable, how to possibly prove math. math certainly offers one of many branches of human thinking that's where the pieces to everyone's general thinking repertoire. math is good at teaching patients and problem solving and relying on your weight and challenges, but false terms and the like. we each believe in the common core, but we are deeply concerned about possible in imitation at the deleterious effect of the culture that doesn't seem to ever go away in mathematics education. but teach algebra to come a few minutes, context enjoyed there really can be a great service to our next generation. now, let's be absolutely clear
what the common core actually is. i've gone through what is the common core. it's a list of two standards. they are outlining actual pieces of mathematics that makes sense of the storyline. there's actually not a name and the common core. the storyline that makes sense. however, the common core goes further. they must attend a status of thinking. it wants us to attend the thinking. i have to say yes, yes, yes. make sense of problems and persevere.
we send quantitatively. don't just be aspects of the place of algebra and so forth. we already speak about arguments in mathematics. use the appropriate tools. just use calculus and what you really think about what tools are necessary and appropriate. we can't argue against this. this one misleads people. it sounds like we are going to compute things to 17 decimal places. they made decisions of language. learn how to describe what you're really talking about. you see an equation. can you see maybe the squared saying something for them in a piece of mathematics. look forward to regularity of repeated reasoning. that is the same type of calculations over and over
again. if you take one step back, they'll follow the same structure. maybe you could argue that's the story of algebra. let's be very clear. many people think the common core state standard is hundred and hundred of standards. when i said we can each be personally responsible, you can download the common core state standard. u.k. document, downloaded. i actually counted just 436 state standards. i was generous. so i counted 436. 149 for high school and 30 of those 149 are optional. there's flexibility here.
436 standards all looking good. this is a real danger. it is very easy to confuse states implementation of the common core standard. you can find troubling example is. and that's it, core state standards. there are lesson plans. there are no uniform test our systems. there is no general explanation. people feel like the standards themselves -- i'm just going to use an accent ball from the book. here's to interpret expressions
and give meaning to us, the standard number. no one applies that the expansion to affect pascal's triangle. they are not questions. by the way, this fund is an optional standard. depending on the distaste. the two things to note here. the standards are actually optional and secondly, they are not written for student consumption. they written for experts. it doesn't mean i'm going to call upon and use the language. that's the educator's choice. a common core state standards themselves there's to the academics of the world. it was beautiful. the forgive me for pulling up some of these. i feel he can be in a paper.
there were two words in particular. you did cause a lot of words. i download the document. i asked my astronomy friends. try no milk does not appear. this is a bit funny as the equation. the word asymptote does indeed appear. it's among optional standard. the word algorithm and the claim that the common core is teaching a lot of these strange algorithms relevant to everyday life. it appears five times in the common core standards. grades three through six. on addition, subtraction,
division. so these misconceptions, we can check them for ourselves for people's interpretation of common core. there are actually some terms that people bandy about in the common core. as a mathematician i know it's a very big high-powered research topic, but i think the word list does have possible standard. and they really are some scary words that appear as inverse functions of common core five times as optional. interesting. let's be clear what the common core is. no tests, people's interpretation of the common core that night had that way. there are several places that
people worry about statistics. they don't understand the correlation and causation. what i call the common core, they called us on an actual standard between correlation and causation. proofs, and this is a scary one. we all had the experience for this to common truths. mathematicians do not do proof that way. their pedagogical device and that's not help her face. the shocker for many educators and the common core one place, which is very scary.
i'll tell you my answer is a mathematician. here it is. all depends on what you want to do with it. all these knee-jerk reactions are not part of the common core. let's be honest here. this one comes up on the page. common core, fine. we can go into much further detail. it is so enough common core. again, those 2003 and look what they do.
we want kids to think quantitatively. doing a spectacular course. i went to the i went through the examples and i find illustrative map which relate them to each topic, but the very issues. i did a list of all the examples my time is that. i will stop there. thank you. >> i am just taking some notes. first of all, i am not an expert
in common core. i have read all the common core state standard. i went through them at a certain point i counted something like 700 page 1764 individual standards. the test are going to be given next year nationwide for at least 40 plus states and they are going to be uniform or at least paralleled test. they are being done by government richard or some tests, some states run tests. the whole point of the common core was before the common core, guess what, in mississippi, 90% of the people, high school
seniors are passing in minnesota only 74. common core is going to have a task. those of us who are math teachers will have to teach the test. the test results, not talking about evaluating teachers in terms of salary or even closing schools. states themselves will be evaluated. it doesn't matter whether you recall standards of curriculum. just look what is on the test pictures the test pitcher students will have to go through hour after hour. in the failure rate is going to be disastrous. why? because college level, s.a.t.
level for the common core. second-year algebra. second-year algebra for all. we are going to have one of two things. nader could he have done pilots on common core type tests. two thirds failed. next time around, they decided, the scoring system. we don't have two thirds failing. you're going to hear from great legislators because it's their constituents. gas, white kids from the suburbs who fail, not just kids in the back row and we will see what happens. the question is why are we
putting ourselves to the statistic torture. it doesn't help you at problem solving. yes, with problem-solving and mathematics. like a very problem that i've had to deal with five times myself as a citizen. i have been a juror and five criminal cases. in each of those trials, five criminal of two murders, the prosecution said we will prove beyond reasonable doubt the defendant. we have to use our minds to solve that problem and they have enough proof beyond reasonable
doubt. i assure you that any mathematicians in my cherries were no better than the bicycle messenger. i remember josé pointed to a now saying i never thought of looking on it that way. josé had never even been in a math class. by the way, do you know the name paul wolfowitz? he was rumsfeld's number two in the defense department gave more than any other single person. i knew him because i went to cornell. he was a math major. his father was a math professor. his razor-sharp mind that when we go into bag dad, everybody will cheer us in the street with democracy tomorrow.
the beauty of mathematics -- [inaudible] truth is beauty and beauty is truth. the merchant of venice when teach poetry, there is a beauty bare and my challenge to mathematics teachers and professors as please, you see a beauty in that manic speed can you convey that to your students? you've got a captive audience. and yes, the success rate at the bachelor's degrees awarded last year, only 1% were to math majors. it used to be 3%. it's down to 1% now. something happening there, maybe because of the stuff you have to teach in the textbook if you
can't take time off to show the beauty of pie. well, give it a try. one last thing. do we have one more minute? i realize that most of us in this room are academics. we are not vocational teachers. i'm a liberal arts teacher. they teach liberal arts college. i'm not training people to be voyeurs. we are really being sold on how we have to train and get them to major in the s.t.e.m. fields. on the post something out.
>> stab, stab, stab, even starbucks. but you know, those around the world -- starbucks is all over china and russia, too. not the technology, but the magic of those words. who thought of google? we know what google is. who thought of putting google out there, apple, twitter out there. you don't have to major in math. you don't have to be engineered. we need kids to do that. they are going to stumble over algebra. to feature the country country, s.t.e.m., maybe. when you think of a 612 put down
the hammer of a sound across the globe, more power to you. [applause] >> ask him in the beauty in math, the beauty and general. algebra ii. testing. we are so paid for this culture of testing. it's all about getting answers to what questions. that in and of itself seems so much joyous to me. i personally wouldn't want to participate. when i was a high school teacher, a sabbatical high school teacher. i used to give quizzes. and then a blank space. we should have more of that.
your job is to keep doing it. 100%. take your month to figure it out. great. just a week? no worries. there's a cultural shift. it's a tough one. but i don't think algebra ii was too high a barrier. the issue is how we teach the subject. we teach with beauty and joy. mark is going to be somewhere. let's think of things. trigonometry is often being scary, too scary. let's think about a human story. was the first in mankind with due? where am i.? there's stuff like seen on the horizon, contemplating what i'm doing. the sun rises in the east. they come subtle in the last and it comes back again. something like that.
the human question would be how high is the son some point? no idea how high it is. the only thing i cannot share is this angle i can look at tv angle of elevation. grand. that's the story of trigonometry of reform. that said. all of this. the mathematicians call this assuming you know if the radius is, an astronomically big unit. matt took off in the 800th in the middle east and was trained lay dead and two area bank. paragraph they tend to lessen
of different angles. matt took off in the 400-inch translated from arabic into black. it means clue, why are they calling it? we will use the latin word. why that money but the companions aside. 30 degrees through let's do say one great big astronomic unit. they are giving us a problem and if someone might have been to pick me, look at this. in this case, what must this
link be. a triangle. must be a half. 30 degrees, just like this. this is choice teaching. this is algebra ii that i believe is within reach of everyone. you could use this. what experience does have one have? algebra ii is within reach of our nation. we are to share this with the world. let's bring the human story to it. 337. proof is mathematics hopeful with proof. wow, this scares me because just because the same words used in different context as that man were talking about the same respects. the truth does come up and it scares the dickens out of a lot
of people. two examples than we have time for one. bob allen kaplan wrote about this. imagine there is a town where 10% are blue and 10% are purple. an eyewitness says the cat that went away was luke. an eyewitness said the town out of 100 cabs, 90 will be blue in 10 will be purple. i saw a purple cap go away. i tested the eyewitness and then being shown the correct color 80% of the time frame. 80% of the time a pretty reliable witness. among these named the blue taxicabs, two would be correct 80% of the time. 18 cabs that are actually purple
when they are really blue, we should say they really are blue. of the 10, actually purple ones, two of them are mistakenly blue and eight of them are actually -- purple and blue. all right. this witness says she definitely saw a blue cap go away. she's 80% reliable. of the time she's actually correct? she sent blue. these two cases -- 34 cases, the other way around. eight out of 26 time she was actually correct that it was really purple stained purple. eight out of 26 sounds like
about 30% to me, which is only 30% reliable. i believe this sort of thinking in court cases every now and then insurers by and large cannot follow this. but that is i think a good example that actually 100% of the math we teach is used by somebody and no one individual public dollars 99.5% of us. however, i cannot say which ones i should throw out. maybe it's a great age. that's a hard question. i think we could reach algebra to his being a regional challenge if we actually teach with truth, duty, humanness enjoyed. even polynomials are joyful done in the right way. it really is setting back in
>> we are going to spend about 15 minutes or so with questions from the audience, and then when we are done you will have a chance to come up and ask individual questions of the speakers. i can't help myself. i have to make an observation. and the observation is that all three of us are really in some sense, james has been a teacher but we are not presently teachers in schools. we are in some sense university people or university like people. this is what happens all the time. think about it. we are talking about k-12 education, mathematics and the role in k-12, in high schools but also in middle schools and elementary schools. can you imagine having a meeting
in which we discuss some medical practice and it wasn't a practicing doctor anywhere in sight? can you imagine ever doing that? the fact that we are three people, all of us, who are not teachers, says an awful lot about the state of education in this country. and, and so i would like to say that i will take questions from the audience but i would prefer to take questions from k-12 teachers in the audience, if you don't mind. at least in the beginning of would like to hear from k-12 teachers. all right. i will bring the microphone, and give it a second. if you could stand up. >> i do teach sixth and eighth grade math.
[inaudible] [laughter] >> sure. what do you want? my question is, like what do you suggest? i think you guys have both really great points but what do we do? we are stuck in the middle. we are the ones stuck in the middle right now, like what are a few suggestions because that's where we are right now? >> i think very simply i know you were caught because your school, the state lays down what you have to teach. this is something that i am free from at the college level but i understand and appreciate what you have to do. i would simply say as we always used to say, write your congressman. this is a political question. this is not just an education question. and make your voice heard on this. say look, i want more freedom to
teach the beauty of mathematics rather than the physical eight standard you are required of me. >> my biggest culture shock was to become a high school teacher. [inaudible] >> okay. i get excited. so my biggest culture shock coming from university was how phonetic and mentally busy the world was. all professions should be reflected deeply on teaching, reflected next to no chance to teach them shocking to me and disturbing. i was really interested in the challenge of how to find the wiggle room nonetheless, particularly kids to pass the test. i do admit i was at a public school, a private school which is exempt from state standards state tests at the time, so not actually qualified to teach in
the public school world, but i have a culture was loud and clear. my algebra two experience with my kids, they need to be able to do middle of the road, do push-ups while you're at it. so i talk nonetheless and got my kids to draw boxes on the site of the test. my colleagues did not what these boxes were and they still answered the questions. it's very hard, very exhausting and you feel like you're alone. so do write your congressman and a blog entry about. the power of social media is a strong movement in this very room of people who really are working to bring joy to all levels of math teaching. there is room for a. it can be done. unfortunately, you should have more room. >> i want to speak about teaching in elementary school.
i thought problem solving them how to think mathematically and in the weeks before the test, i said come in two weeks before the test i said to the teacher, you know how to teach them out of bubble and into the test, 90 do that. i want to know what you mean about teaching for the test. to me teaching mathematics is teaching for the test. the better you teach mathematics, the better the students can handle whatever is thrown at them that they might not have seen before. so you're talking about something that i need you to explain because to me it's teaching mathematics. >> just very briefly. what do i mean by teaching for the test? is my best example. princeton review and kaplan, you go to them, uk and they teach you how to beat the test. in fact, some of the people i've
talked to as coaches say i can teach you to get 400. i know it's not great but 400 on the sat without knowing even the thing about mathematics. in fact, there could be a test in bulgaria. they teach you how to beat the test. we are professionals. we are teachers. we love learning. my own view is i happened to be with the far right wing on this. i'm against the common core. i would rather have it got rid of totally in leave it to you in the classroom. ui professional to teach what you think should be taught we think is important. and by the way, it in one school different people are teaching different things in math classes, fine. let a thousand flowers bloom. there isn't one thing everybody has to know. >> teaching for the test, a big, scary when. the easy way to go but that,
here's the point will come let's memorize it, sing a song to help you that will solve the problems. that is teaching for test and you can do that. it is joyless and kind of what is expected in many parts of our culture. it's all about competition. a fundamental paradigm shift has occurred. i don't know how to make that happen of them to keep working at it. teaching my kids to think that i felt confident they will pass the test. but they fell through because they knew their colleagues were doing different things that they get noticed about it. a lot of work needs to be done. i haven't accept that seems to develop some respects i think i can talk to parents that sound like i knew it i was talking about. ph.d helped a lot. however, i admit that was in my favor with discussing the specific parents. they trusted me.
>> i'm a high school student replied taken common core and i guess now it's just a real adjustment period while we i guess transition to the common core. i guess results will be shaky. i think you said only two-thirds of students have passed it in new york or have failed it so far, one-third. i was just wondering over time do you think as more kids have taken it and as teachers have had more time to learn how to prep kids to take it, results will improve and juggled it would be more accepted, the common core overtime? >> by the way i will just say there's a misconception. being proficient, the test has four different levels and the misconception is that in order to pass the test you have to be proficient or advanced.
that's not at all what's been your. this basic advance. the figures you hear about, only one-third passed it, are not correct figures. that's a misinterpretation of the levels but not let's let someone answer. >> please, it's a misinterpretation. know, they haven't failed to they are just not proficient. the word provision does not mean what you think in english. >> let's be very clear, our youth speaking about new york's interpretation? you studied in new york? okay. this is my point earlier on. i am deeply worried about implementation of states interpretations of the common core, and i'm not engaged new yorkers in particular, it was very disturbing to me, we will government is in 2015, as though
every student has gone through the experience of the curriculum and they haven't. so i think, i've had to make a prediction, it will be a tough challenge for new york, if that's the cultural introduction to this. i was an advisor and i was very nervous. right to the 2020 student as though they had already been through it. if we give it a chance i believe this could hope for it. testing is always the issue. i worry about the state of testing. they are trying to be clever they're asking why thinking questions orders an algebra problem. not the actual equation. they are trying. hopefully they will have a good success with that.
>> i'm asking a question on behalf of someone online. he asks, let's suppose andrew hacker's proposal which is to abolish standards, that's a summit of the proposal, he is executed. do we abolish all standards? what might be a consequence? >> the consequences of abolishing standards. [inaudible] >> look what is going to happen with common core. one size fits all. now, currently almost half our students don't go on after college. after high school. they just finish high school and don't go for the. many try college and don't finish.
only about a third of americans finish college. what are we going to do for this nonacademic two-thirds? we will have the common core standards, college and career study segued into it and we will make them both -- [inaudible] my answer is if you get rid of it, we will have much more freedom in a living education for very is levels of students. and i don't mean dumb versus more. i mean tha not everybody is goio go to caltech. they will go to people who will be ups drivers. it's an honorable job why demand that of them? >> the question was abolishing the standards. i can't help -- it's not in the common core. i personally believe, look at
the clay tablet 3000 years ago. there's something delightful about those things. look at the multiplication table. you generate a whole bunch of couples in the basic 10 by 10 multiplication table. triangle, optional standard. if we let go of the standards, i say we let go. i mean, do we want some commonality the kitchen should at least two grade eight mathematics and not about fundamentals or not? i don't know where that line is. my argument is i have no trouble with the content of what is typically deemed algebra to make if it is taught. i would say maybe general
standards. >> one more question. >> i am a high school math teacher in the south bronx, and my biggest concern with the idea of not making higher level math mandatory is that there's already an achievement gap in this country, and my students are already having lots of doors shut on them. and i think by saying okay, only those who can learn math are going to be the ones to put it. that achievement gap is just going to get larger. and so my question to you is how come if we go with this and get rid of the standards are we going to prevent it our students are already at a disadvantage from continuing to get doors closed on them? [applause]
>> i'm really glad that question was asked because it's a basic american question. back in some detained trailer park in rural arkansas or somewhere say, south brooklyn, but anyway, somewhere there is a kid being brought up in a really grungy home. who has the makings of being an astrophysicist. yes, there is such a child. now the question is how do we discover that child? do we do it by making everybody 100%, including the poets and including the dancers, making everybody go through a full mathematical sequence so we find that one person in the trailer
park? someone you've got to work out the probabilities for this. the price we are paying by making 100% do something so that when fraction of 1% would be discovered, maybe there's a better way to discover in the trailer park that kid, maybe at the age of five has a certain light to them, a certain talent to them come and discover them. but don't put it on everybody including the person who wants to be an honorable ups driver that needs a high school diploma for it. >> gosh, don't put it on everybody. so if, where's the line?
do we have this choice? i don't have to make that call. i don't know how to put the answers were people make that call. i feel like it is a false call because as i said let's teach math as you are getting your first chapter. it's a beautiful. let's reach the humanist as much as a scientist. i believe we can do it. i believe there's a real joy is curriculum to be had there and i don't think concepts of algebra to mac instead of curriculum are out of reach for the majority of people. i think it's worth striving for that adult think it's ludicrous to say go with it. it's the culture of how we do it. have a culture where teachers can thrive. i've seen so many school districts with the supervisor
says everyone needs to on the same page by next thursday. give the kids a textbook and we will see you on thursday. it's joyless. that's not how the human mind works. we can't be in uniforms and. that's not the human experience. let's make teaching math the conversation. i think it's fair enough to ideas the waste should be up here. let's trust teachers. [applause] >> thank you both your before we close let me remind you that there will be a book table here for the books from both speakers on sale over here. and also that you're welcome to come up and ask russians as well after we close.
i would like to close since i already mentioned would be deadly with the fireworks of his essays come is mathematics necessary, which is worth reading. in the way it intersects with a lot of the comments that were made tonight by both speakers. but it also a slightly different. so he finishes his essay with these words. what's mathematics pashtun what mathematics education is for if not for jobs. it is to teach the race to reason it does not, heaven knows, always succeed but it is the best method that we have. it is not the only road but there is none better. furthermore, it is worth teaching, were i given to hyperbole i would say that mathematics is the most glorious creations of the human intellect but i am not given to hyperbole i will not say that. [laughter] however, when i am before the
bar of judgment, heavenly or otherwise, and ask to justify my life, i will draw myself up proudly and say i was one of the stewards of mathematics, and he came to no harm in my care. i will not say i help people get jobs. thank you very much. goodnight. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> here's a look at some of the cart best selling books according to the conservative book club.
on c-span2 or on our website booktv.org. >> with regard to the haitian revolution 1791-1804, that rare event, a successful revolt of the enslaved, you cannot begin to understand the haitian revolution unless one sees this spectacular event in some ways as a sequel to the revolt against british rule in north america in 1776 that led to the formation of a slaveholding republic, still not as the united states of america. that is to say, as i argued in my book, contrary to this broadway musical that use the hip-hop forms such as hamilton and contrary to what is routinely taught in schools from the atlantic to the pacific, the foundation of the united states,
1776 took place in no small measure because it was a revolt against abolitionism in london. that is to say, in june 1772, slave property which even been in north america was worth in the millions might be headed for the dustbin of history, as explained in some detail in the book the counterrevolution of 1776. and just as those in state now known as zimbabwe, then known as rhodesia or suffered osha refolded against british rule in november 1965 because they thought london was moving toward decolonization and one person one vote leaving to african majority rule, they tried to continue their white racist minority regime by setting up this new state of rhodesia. they said at the time that they were walking in the footsteps of
1776. that is to say that 1776 was an attempt to escape the logic of abolition of slavery and november 19 cv-5 in southern africa was an attempt to escape the logic of a decolonization and one person one vote, and african majority rule. therefore, you cannot begin to understand the travails and the tribulations and the trials experienced by people of african descent in north america and less you understand that by several orders of magnitude they fought against the permission of the united states of america. they sided with london in its attempt to crush this label of rebellion just like the africans did not accept the establishment of the new state of rhodesia in november 1965. and when you fight a war in lose, you can expect to be penalized and pulverized
forevermore unless and until you're able to turn the tables against your oppressors. one of the ways we were able to turn the tables against our oppressors was through the haitian revolution, 1791-1804, which followed quickly upon the footsteps of the formation of u.s. constitution and the first convening of congress. in some ways it was a rebuke and the reputation of this new slaveholding republic which is what i start the book with u.s. president george washington expressing reservation about the haitian revolution, what was to become known as the haitian revolution. in any case what happened is that the africans in the island then known as español were able to secede against the french military and one of the most powerful examples of valor and fortitude not to history to this
point, and establish this independent black republic in 1804. but as you might have surmised, there was a great consternation in the slaveholding republic about the success in the victory of the haitian revolution. you may recall that if you look at many of the major slave revolts that rocked north america in the period leading up to the u.s. civil war, circa 1800, nat turner's revolt circa 1831 in virginia, they all had the fingerprint of haiti all over them, particularly the revolt in virginia in 1800 which takes place at the same time as the haitian revolution is unfolding here can also recall in charleston, south carolina,
ac fair and purportedly parts of his aim and ambition was to not only revolt against slavery and the escape with numerous formerly enslaved, but brad stevens you sail on to freedom in the island been ruled by africans. that is to say, he. now, -- haiti. what's interesting about many of these revolt is that they are not unlike the revolts that are taking place within the hemisphere in which there is the inspiration by the haitian revolutionaries or direct instigation by the haitian revolutionaries. in fact, the argument that i making this book is that the haitian revolution and knighted a general crisis of the entire slate system that could only be resolved with that system's collapse.