links for 2009-06-10

  • "Westport school officials say their less-is-more approach has already resulted in less review in math classes, higher standardized test scores and more students taking advanced math classes. The percentage of the districtâs 10th graders receiving top scores on state exams rose to 86 percent last year from 78 percent in 2006. Advanced Placement calculus and statistics classes enrolled 231 students this year, from 170 in 2006, and a record 44 students will be able to take multivariable calculus this fall, up from four in 2006. "
  • "Now comes word, via a Nature news article that IARPA, the intelligence community's version of DARPA, has decided to stop funding these [Dave Wineland and Bill Phillips] group's research in quantum computing. Ostensibly the reason for this is that IARPA does not want to fund other agencies work. As a bureaucratic bullet point that sounds fine, but as a practical matter, it is, I must say, stark raving crazy."
  • "As it stands, Julia is steadfast that she hates math. While I believe this represents a failure of the school system (and me), Julia scores high on the standardized âno child left behindâ type tests, and for the schools, thatâs success.

    Julia may encounter girl-prejudiced teachers or math-negative peer pressure as she goes along, and if I get wind of it, Iâll do what I can to counter it. But the core problem she faces, as she enters middle school âhatingâ math, is the math teaching itself, gender neutral, uninspiring for all. "

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