Comments Policy

Here at “The Voice for School Choice” we are unabashed supporters of giving all families educational options.  Having said that, we understand there are reasonable people who might disagree with school choice – for a variety of reasons.  This blog is our effort to inform both supporters and “reasonable” opponents of school choice on the benefits associated with granting families access to as many educational alternatives as possible.  So, in the spirit of civil discourse we are opening “The Voice” up to moderated comments.  We encourage dialogue and debate from both sides of the issue, but with the help of the “delete” button we plan to maintain our focus solidly on legitimate comments, questions and concerns.  If you feel an irrepressible desire to rant, start your own blog or write in to The State.  If all else fails, you still have NPR.  That said, we look forward to hearing from you!

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7 responses to “Comments Policy

  1. Galen Manapat

    Galen Manapat Note: reposted to correct word mispelling)

    I am not an educator.

    Rather I’m fairly intelligent dad with education concerns. When I went through South Florida schools, almost 50 years ago, math was taught poorly to me. I was also in a home getting ready to divorce. Between the two influences I never learned advanced math well. I should have.

    Now I’m a father with a 2o year old and a 13 year old in Lexington Schools.

    I know that my 20 year old felt at the University of Hawaii last year that she could have been better prepared for college by her high school education. She worked hard throughout high school! It was not that she isn’t smart or well motivated; I think that part of her education in the Lexington SC public school system was “sloppy” or not up to standard. Again math wasn’t taught well to her.

    A year and half ago, my middle daughter, Christine had a horrible math teacher at White Knoll middle school.

    Often Her teacher demonstrated that she didn’t even like the students in her class. Christine suffered under those conditions, and guess what; even when you complain to the principal, the solution is apparantly: Well you know, we just can’t get math teachers. They are hard to hire.
    Boy, now there is an answer!

    Why would I have an air conditioner installed by a company that says: we have found that good technicians are hard to find, in fact we don’t have any?

    So now I have been failed by public education, in math in particular, in South Florida in my youth, and I’m watching my two daughters experience the same thing here.

    I AM READY FOR A REVOLT!

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  2. I no longer have students in SC Public schools, thankfully my kids have graduated before our public school system fell into a state of total disrepair. Jowever, I remain very concerned about the state of our education system in SC. Aiken Cunty now has a program called Cafe Redo, at Midlan Valley High School,teachers are no longer ALLOWED to give a student a grade of zero for not completing a assignment. It is the TEACHERS responsibilty to send the student to cafe Redo and give alternate work or a another test if the student has failed a scheduled test. This amounts to handing out grades, students are no longer required to put forth an effort to pass a class. Dont want to turn in that assignment on time? its ok, just come to cafe redo and turn it in. They cannot recieve an A for making up missed work, unless its a excused absence but they are not allowed to give a failing grade either. All this to make up for poor graduation rates and failing to meet adequate yearly progress. This should be a illegal class and our state department of education needs to put a stop to schools handing out grades that have not been earned. This sets a very dangerous precedent fro the studebts and teachers, it certainly cheapens anyo0ne who has earned a high school diploma by following the rules and not just attending school. I am appalled and dismayed the county has approved this method of grading it should be declared illegal by the state department of education.

  3. I was schooled in two states through high school, Florida and Massachusetts. Although preschool was a private school in Florida, when we moved within the state I attended a public school until completing 5th grade.
    The 6th through 12th grade was completed in several different boarding schools in Massachusetts. I did not want to be sent away from home and I responded negatively to the experience.
    However, I learned to enjoy school and developed a hunger for learning during my experiences.
    I have lived in Greenville County since 1964 and have substitute taught in several private or church schools.
    My work has been with teenagers (middle school age) as a friend, teacher and counselor, although my profession has nothing to do with education.
    My success in this life of encouraging teenagers and my enjoyment of mathematics, latin (4 years), reading, writing, history, etc., was taught to me by all those teachers who were willing to do what they could for me.
    My ‘ministry’ in the last 44 years has been to encourage middles schoolers to find an enjoyment in the learning process.
    As the opportunity comes to me I take time to speak to teens about all the wonderful (and often fun) things that are available to us in every single area of study.
    I do this because at the worst possible time in my life, I had great teachers who cared for me as an individual.
    Now, I said all that so that you might understand where I am and where I have come from in the 71 years of life I am enjoying.
    To address the present problem of our SC school system, we need a plan and a solution to the problem
    We have been talking the issue to death. If we had employed this method of solution to a serious major statewide problem on D-Day we would still be in the boats and would never have landed on the beaches!
    I do not have the solution to the problem but it is way past time to:

    a. COME UP WITH A PLAN.
    b. DETAIL IT TO THE PEOPLE
    c. AND GO WITH IT – put it TO WORK.

    We don’t need more committees, we need commitment to find a solution and try it!
    We don’t need more money, we need less greed and more getting to work on implementation.
    We don’t need more discussion, we need details, determination, and doing.
    We don’t need politics, we need purpose, plan, and people (to volunteer to teach and train).
    We don’t need muddling, we need motives, maneuvers, and movement.
    We don’t need the “let’s get along” and “let’s accommodate the not too bright” and ” let’s just pass this poor student-its the right thing to do” and “let’s not set the bar too high because someone will be offended or unable to attain to it”. We need to RAISE the bar so that the lowest attainer will strive enough to reach as far as they can reach (while being encouraged to do more than they think they can)!
    WE DON’T NEED MORE TALK….

  4. PARENTS BE AWARE.
    A parent has the RIGHT TO FULL DISCLOSURE.
    WHAT YOUR SCHOOL WILL NOT TELL YOU – Please do your own research and come to an informed conclusion.

    Washington State: Math Education and Inconvenient Truth (Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI

    A FAILED EXPERIMENT. Our children are not guinea pigs.
    Fuzzy Math (Everyday Math, TERC, Investigations) etc is a FAILED EXPERIMENT. Stop treating our children as guinea pigs. We ranked # 1 in the World in Math and Science, we are now at # 25 (PISA 2007; other studies where we rank way behind the developed world are OECD, TIMMS studies)
    http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2006/nov06/math-teachers.html

    EVERYDAY MATH RATED WORST
    Everyday Math rated “worst” – Educational Research Analysis Report -2008
    Email them and ask for the 2008 reports
    TxtbkRevws@aol.com

    FUN AND GAMES TODAY…..EXCESSIVE HOME TUTORING AND REMEDIATION TOMORROW
    Remediation: (2008) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2008/09/01/2008-09-01_many_entering_cuny_students_failed_place-2.html
    Remediation: (2008) http://mathunderground.blogspot.com/2008/02/60-uw-faculty-critical-of-current.html
    Need for tutoring: http://vormath.info/WordPress1/?cat=4
    Every Night Math: http://www.nypost.com/seven/12072007/postopinion/letters/everyday_math___junk_778730.htm

    CALCULATORS CRIPPLE COMPUTATION SKILLS
    Calculators are introduced in Kindergarten. Ask for your school Math curriculum.
    • Mathematicians reject the early use of calculators, beginning in kindergarten, and they question the current excessive use of calculators, during all of the K-12 years.
    • The National Math Advisory Panel Report 2008 cautions: that to the degree that calculators impede the development of automaticity; fluency in computation will be adversely affected. (page 24, point 29)
    • Educational Research Analysis 2008 Report outlines in detail how Everyday Math Cripples Computation Skills. The main goal of elementary school mathematics education is to get students to think about numbers and to learn arithmetic. Calculators defeat that purpose. They allow students to arrive at answers without thinking. When calculators are introduced in Kindergarten, where is the incentive to learn? In grade 5, there is an entire chapter on how to use a calculator.

    MATHEMATICIANS REJECT THE UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES OF EVERYDAY MATH
    What mathematicians say: http://www.voteboe2007.org/what_professors_say.htm
    Discovery based learning: http://www.wgquirk.com/NJmathst.html
    Multiple algorithms: http://www.math.nyu.edu/~braams/links/em-arith.html
    Estimation as an important part of imprecise Mathematics: http://www.wgquirk.com/chap3.html#Estimation
    Spiraling Method http://www.nychold.com/em-spiral.html
    A California group that supports traditional methods of teaching math. http://www.mathematicallycorrect.com/

    WHEN THE “COUNCIL OF TEACHERS OF MATHEMATICS” REJECTED EVERYDAY MATH IN 2006 WHY SHOULD SCHOOLS PERSIST IN
    Math teachers: Parents are right http://www.eagleforum.org/column/2006/sept06/06-09-27.html
    Math teachers reverse course http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2006/nov06/math-teachers.html

    WHAT COLLEGE PROFESSORS HAVE TO SAY:
    What Professors have to say – Remediation: http://mathunderground.blogspot.com/2008/02/60-uw-faculty-critical-of-current.html
    Washington State: Math Education: A University View (Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymvSFunUjx0&feature=related

    CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN EVERYDAY MATH ?
    • Conflict of Interest: McGraw Hill, the publisher of Everyday Math, also owns CTB McGraw Hill which publishes the Terra Nova and other tests used to determine whether teaching has been successful. Several math reformers have commented on the seeming impropriety of the same company selling both a curriculum and the test used to determine whether that curriculum is working. http://illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html#chicagomath

    • Conflict of Interest: CTB McGraw Hill is the leading publisher of standardized achievement tests for children and adults.
    http://www.ctb.com/static/about_ctb/about_ctb.jsp?CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_id=10134198673246865&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=9852723696535573&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=1408474395213825&bmUID=1126020525603

    • In the US dept of education findings which reviewed 61 studies on Everyday Math, NONE met evidence standards. One study to show potentially positive effects (2001 Riordan and Noyce) suffers from a huge conflict of interest.

    • States are dumbing down (State) Student Achievement Tests. Federal funds for education can be withheld from states in which students fail to meet the standards of the state-designed NCLB tests.

    • The proponents of Fuzzy Math are often the publishers themselves and the school districts which have already spent heavily on instructional materials, not the parents.

    STOP DUMBING DOWN
    http://www.georgeallen.com/2008/07/29/allen-stop-dumbing-down-america-washington-times/
    http://clivecrook.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/03/the_dumbing_of_america.php
    Dumbing Down Tests: http://www.boardofed.idaho.gov/NAEP/info/media(2007-10-30)-PooleyLetter&Response.pdf
    Dumbing down State Student Achievement tests: http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2007/06/18/are-states-dumbing-down-student-achievement-tests.htm

    DON’T BE FOOLED BY JARGON
    Everyday Math Jargon: http://www.jamerson-es.pinellas.k12.fl.us/docs/vocab.pdf
    Jargon: Put Two and Two Together By Elizabeth Carson, New York Daily News, October 16, 2006. “If you ask administrators to explain it, they’ll use just enough jargon to make it sound decent.”
    Standards should be unambiguous, understandable, and without needless jargon. http://vormath.info/WordPress1/?page_id=4
    Requires Reading and Vocabulary proficiency: http://www.edweek.org/login.html?source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Farticles%2F2001%2F12%2F05%2F14mathread.h21.html&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Farticles%2F2001%2F12%2F05%2F14mathread.h21.html&levelId=2100&baddebt=false
    ESL and Everyday Math In a class with one teacher, where is the time for this kind of “differentiation” ? http://dev.wrightgroup.com/download/em/page92.pdf With one teacher in each class where is the time to effectively play games with multiple tables of childern at differing levels of skill ?

    WHAT THE NATIONAL MATH ADVISORY PANEL 2008 REPORT HAS TO SAY
    The National Math Advisory Panel calls for back to basics systematic approach to Math http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/report/final-report.pdf
    • requires fluency with the standard algorithms for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (page 19, point 11)
    • focus on effort increases their engagement in mathematics learning (page 20 point 14)
    • The Panel cautions that to the degree that calculators impede the development of automaticity; fluency in computation will be adversely affected. (page 24, point 29)
    • U.S. mathematics textbooks (publishers should make every effort to produce much shorter and more focused (page 24 point 31)
    • Mathematics literacy is a serious problem in the United States. (page 31)
    • The need to be globally competitive (page 32)
    Panel calls for Systematic Basic Approach to Math
    http://www.edweek.org/login.html?source=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.diigo.com%2Fuser%2Fcheryl_vt%2FNMAP&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.edweek.org%2Few%2Farticles%2F2008%2F03%2F19%2F28math_ep.h27.html%3Ftmp%3D425769355&levelId=2100&baddebt=false

    OUR CHILDREN NEED TO BE GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE:
    Math Skills suffer in the US – New York Times:
    http://www.nationalmathandscience.org/index.php/blog/math-skills-suffer-in-us-study-finds.html
    The need to stay Competitive: http://www.nationalmathandscience.org/index.php/staying-competitive/
    Its all about being Globally competitive (VIDEO)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdgNJ4AibMw&feature=related
    Math and Science Reform http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/PreK-12EducationFactSheet.pdf
    Rising Above the Gathering Storm – Two Years Later: 2008 http://nationalmathandscience.org/convocation/
    Why US kids rank 33rd in the world – http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=59262
    American Institute of Research – What the US can learn from Singapore’s World class Math system (and what Singapore can learn from the US) 2005 http://www.air.org/news/documents/Singapore%20Report%20(Bookmark%20Version).pdf

    MATH WARS CARRY ON. Texas and California Reject Everyday Math in part
    South Carolina: Everyday Math Bottoms out at Beaufort https://thevoiceforschoolchoice.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/education-bottoms-out-in-beaufort-with-new-math/
    New Jersey – Recall Everyday Math Long Valley http://longvalleymath.com/
    New Jersey Long Valley NJ recall Everyday Math http://longvalleymath.com/category/national-math/
    Columbia Missouri district back to traditional Math http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2008/09/24/district-decides-go-back-traditional-math/
    Washington State Math Mess- a case against constructivist Math http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2008253262_opin12nutting.html
    Utah turning to the Far East http://www.highbeam.com:80/doc/1P2-16709447.html
    Virginia: Stafford County – Everyday Math is dumbing down our children 2008
    http://www.schoc.org/id56.html
    Virginia: Prince William County, Arlington County, Fairfax, Loudoun, Howard
    Parents Rise against Everyday Math: 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/18/AR2008021802244.html?referrer=emailarticle
    Virginia Prince William County: Parents take Action (2008) http://www.pwcteachmathright.com/
    Texas: http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_93930.asp
    Humor: Peaceful movement to disarm Fuzzy Math http://www.weaponsofmathdestruction.com/thumbnails.cfm
    600 schools in the US have shifted to Singapore Math http://www.illinoisloop.org/mathprograms.html#singapore
    New Jersey Ridgewood:
    http://vormath.info:80/WordPress1/?cat=6
    New York http://www.nychold.com/let-nydn-0610yy.html
    New York http://www.nychold.com:80/let-action-0712.html

    New York – Fuzzy Math is not cuddly
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11282007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/fuzzy_math_isnt_cuddly_685276.htm?page=0
    Massachusetts: http://www.massachusetts.edu/stem/stem_math_woes.html
    Math bottoms out in Beaufort
    https://thevoiceforschoolchoice.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/education-bottoms-out-in-beaufort-with-new-math/
    Add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers, decimals, and fractions accurately, efficiently, and flexibly without calculators http://gse.berkeley.edu/faculty/AHSchoenfeld/Schoenfeld_MathWars.pdf

    Math Wars around the country: http://mathematicallycorrect.com/citylist.htm

  5. CHECK IF YOUR SCHOOL IS BOUND BY FIDELITY OF IMPLEMENTATION.

    Research based curriculums often make the school sign a fidelity of implementation contract so taht they may use the school’s students as research subjects. In return the schools get some benefits like teaching support hiring support etc.
    http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/lausd/offices/hep/news/fidelity.html

  6. is there any movement on the home scholers access bill ?

  7. Barbara Barnett

    I believe that the you-tube video you have posted is unfair. The video takes Dr. White’s comments out of context. Also Kim Nelson is shown on the video ranting about wanting “her” money to be used ONLY for the classroom, which is only a nonsense statement that is just a got ya statement (so she thinks).
    Just please be a thinking person when you here people shout out things like this and respond using your intellect and not your emotion.
    Thanks for caring about our school district 7
    Barbara
    parent at Spart 7

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