ADVISORY to EDUCATION REPORTERS, NEWS PLANNING and ASSIGNMENT DESKS
'WHY JOHNNY CAN'T ADD' DEBATE HEATS UP
When the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics released the1989 document "Standards for School Mathematics" it set off a debate that still sizzles a decade later. Dubbed the "Math Wars," the controversy created deep divisions in the means and methods of math education and has resulted in at least one threatened hunger strike and a full-page ad in the Washington Post by a group called the Mathematically Correct that denounces the reforms.
The debates will come to a head next week as 18,000 mathematics teachers, school administrators and education leaders gather in Chicago for the annual NCTM conference, April 12 - 15. Leading this year's meeting is the official NCTM release of the revised "Principles and Standards for School Mathematics," an updated version of the 1989 reforms.
The University of Illinois at Chicago has been at the forefront of this reform movement, implementing pilot programs in schools nationwide and authoring various portions of these reforms.
The reform document will be unveiled at the press conference April 12. Expected to attend are Gov. George Ryan, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, and Superintendent of the Illinois Board of Education Glen McGee.
Elementary, middle and high school visits in the Chicagoland area for reporters wishing to observe classrooms using the new reform can be arranged with advance notice. Contact Rachel Snyder, 996-3457; firstname.lastname@example.org
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