Is Tony Alvarado On His Way Back To New York?
The Train Wreck of Everyday Math
Norman Scott on Tony Alvarado's Return to New York City, Courtesy of Gifford Miller, NYC Councilmember
I posted my daughter Marielle's article (see below) about 'fuzzy math' at PS 6 when Carmen Farina was principal to show the despair that I and other parents at PS 6 were feeling when Carmen ended the Talented and Gifted (TAG) program at the school, and required all teachers to implement the dumbed down math program called TERC. Carmen does not believe in TAG programs. She believes that all students can remain at a nice, comfy level 2 or 3 (not 1 or 4) and this satisfies the "all are equal" slogan she lives by.
We parents took matters into our own hands and started tutoring our kids in traditional mathematics, something we were told not to do, and then told our children to hand in their answers with "fuzzy" work, just as mandated by TERC guidelines. The investigations part is hard to stomach, even today. But we all did a great job with the effort to deceive Carmen into thinking that our kids were doing the required fuzzy math as we drew the hats over the computations. Ridiculous and time-consuming, but several teachers told us to do it that way so that they would not be put into 3020-a, or terminated outright if they did not have tenure. It was a group effort, with parents, students, and teachers all in the know. Everyone but the administration. The great, courageous teachers of PS 6 are to be commended for undermining Carmen secretly. We all succeeded in reaching our individual goals for our children with their help. Carmen Farina was removed from PS 6 in 2001.
However, immediately after Marielle's article was published by the NY SUN, the PS 6 administration retaliated against her. Marielle was removed from the math team and told she was 'no good at math'. I asked Marielle if she wanted to take the Johns Hopkins' Center For Talented Youth test, she said yes, and she got in, for both math and ELA. Self-esteem saved!
I saw first hand the retaliation and vindictiveness of Carmen Farina and the DOE, and it was not pretty. In fact, if I had not taken a stand to fight, my daughter would not have succeeded in her academic career as she did. When Marielle graduated from PS 6 she was accepted to NEST+M, a very excellent, rigorous academic school on the lower east side.
WHY TERC? Asks a 9 year old, Who Questions the Value of 'Fuzzy Math' For Her Future Academic Goals
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Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
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Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials
Principal removed for changing grades to boost graduation rates