Going Deep on the
– Problem & Solution –
The Math Education Crisis
The educational establishment resists genuine improvement.
The educational establishment wields tremendous power.
The educational establishment is a vast conglomeration of government, quasi-government and private entities, including: federal and state education departments, public school districts, private schools, university education departments, accrediting organizations, textbook publishers, and teacher unions.
In the United States alone, these entities employ millions of professionals, including about 3.7 million school teachers, tens of thousands of administrators, thousands of professors on the faculties of education departments at colleges and universities, and an army of union lawyers.
Collectively, the educational establishment controls vast amounts of money. “Total expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools in the United States in 2015–16 amounted to $706 billion, or $13,847 per public school student enrolled in the fall (in constant 2017–18 dollars).”
Some evils exist in the educational establishment.
The majority of people within the educational establishment genuinely care about education and want students to learn. These good people do their very best to help students succeed.
Yet, as most people know, extremely serious deficiencies exist in education. Bureaucratic inertia, politics, egos, vested interests in the status quo, vast financial interests, and (sadly) powerful malicious influences tend to inhibit meaningful improvement.
This is particularly so when mavericks like Mark or the late Jaime Escalente attempt to “shake up” the system. Rather than embracing the mavericks’ extraordinary new methods that work stunningly well, the establishment tends to perceive them as “threats” because they make the status quo look bad. As Albert Einstein famously stated, “Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
In striking contrast, the establishment sometimes adopts ineffective methods that do not work, such as “pre-algebra.” And after 50 years, have they abandoned this dismal failure? No!
Our strategy for dealing with the educational establishment
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