This Blog is a part of my media social experiment. I believe a scientist has a duty to describe the world in all details, and a right to an interpretation. New posts are announced on Twitter.com/VV_TeachOlogy. For the latest posts use the menu on the right.
People are debating what health care plan is god, bad, or
No one seems to get to the roots.
And the roots are very simple.
1. The globalization had resulted in that many white
Americans lost their highly paid jobs - and NO one (neither Republicans nor
Democrats) know what to do about it, so they do nothing, but blaming each
BTW: what do Democrats do about it? Nothing. They do not
have any vision. Thy just happy that more people get upset with Trump and
express their anger. But what do Democrats do now what we could called NEW and
SIGNIFICANT? Nothing. They just keep doing the same thing again and again and
waiting for new result to happen, but just with more energy.
GOP’s healthcare plan is new tool to keep the status quo. It
is designed to hit the poorest. Anyone who says: “but it also hits Trump’s
base” does not see far enough. It may seem like the plan hits the Trump’s base,
but when it comes to its realization, some adjustments will be done, but not
A couple of weeks after this
post was published, the Republicans came up with the new version of the health
care bill. In that bill they proposed to treat differently rural folks and
urban folks. This is exactly the type of adjustment I originally mentioned!
When they say "rural" they mean "white Americans".
"Urban" means either rich people who will not be affected by any version
of the bill; and poor minorities who will be kicked out of the health care if
the bill will be accepted.
There are however two
commonalities in how Republicans treat all the poor, white and non-white.
1. The Republicans do not
want people to think.
And the best way to keep
people from thinking is to make them work so hard, they have no energy left for
anything else. When one has to work 60 hours a week, juggling two jobs to only
make it a paycheck to a paycheck, one has no ability to think about social and
economical issues. One just comes home, drinks some bear, and falls into a bed.
2. The Republicans do not
want people to know.
That is why they fight
anything which may help improving public schools, especially in urban areas.
teach physics, and that requires that students would be able to do some
ago, I have developed a
short set of math questions for students taking a college level elementary
physics course. The test was and still is supposed to help students to evaluate
how ready they are math-wise; all questions represent examples of some specific
mathematical calculations students would actually have to carry out when taking
a course. I was not collecting any statistical information from the test; I
would offer a test (unlimited time), then I would post the answers, and I would
suggest to review the topics related to the questions that gave a student a
time I decided to check the statistics. And it shocked me.
on this question:
all students had taken some advanced level of math. Close to 10 % of them took
it a long time ago, more than 4 years, but the rest should not yet forget what
they have learned, at least they should still remember the basics.
based on their answers to some questions, close to 50 % of the students had a
very low level of math knowledge.
pooled out some examples, such that a regular high school student (as I was in
the past) should have done without any difficulty.
are those examples.
1. calculating a
sin-value of an angle in a right-angle triangle.
2. Calculating the
area of a trapezoid.
3. 10 % of
students do not know how to add fractions (again – college students).
4. A trivial
change had thrown off 20 % more students.
5. This simple
quadratic equation was too difficult to more than 50 %.
6. This and the
next two questions involve some simple algebraic manipulations (some student
- about 10 - did not even try).
7. And here 40 %
of students could not use a calculator to find the value of the expression.
is a clear and undeniable proof of a very low quality of math education of a
very large population of high school graduates – and we talk here about only
those who has gotten into a college.
as I stated before, there
is NO indication of any improvement in the area of math education (hence, in general – STEM education).
Here is a hint – a 7th
grade math teacher needs to know the 7th grade math plus at least
two more grades below and above it.
good math teacher needs to be able – and has to TEACH – in several grades, at least three, but better four of five. Only then
a teacher can have a deep understanding of (a) math he or she teaches, and (b)
how it needs to be taught.
The dismal state of math education is the direct consequence of the current policy of the NSF in the field of education. What should scare everyone, is that many students who have no required school preparation go to a for-profit college with a very low acceptance threshold, and then drop out because they simply cannot learn at the college level. Or even worse - get a diploma. But that piece of paper does not guarantee any actual solid professional skills. BTW:
all the talk about math anxiety (and
it is a lot) is BS.
it exists – like many other anxieties.
it has nothing to do with math.
has everything to do with a bad math teacher who does not know how to teach it effectively
but blames his/her poor results on children and makes them feel bad about themselves.
growing up, children are not afraid of asking questions or making statements
adults would consider “stupid”. Children are not afraid that someone would call
them “an idiot”. But then they begin a school. And then … Naturally, some children may be born with a nervous more prone to anxieties than other children. But in that case they may have many anxieties, and math is just one of those. But there are people who like to write about it for the sake of publicity.