The teachers weren’t accused of not teaching the times tables, ASD threatened their contracts in some schools and confiscated textbooks at night in some schools, in order to force teachers onto Investigations math and ensure that children didn’t get the times tables.

My own personal experience with Investigations matches thousands of other frustrated parents and is the reason that ASD has so many charter schools. In fact just tonight I learned that ASD is of the the top 10 districts in the country with the highest charter school growth and it’s almost entirely due to math.

My story of getting started in this math war is as follows…

A few years ago my oldest daughter was finishing up her third grade year and at a parent/teacher conference I asked her teacher when they were going to start learning the times tables since they hadn’t yet and I’d done it nearly thirty years earlier in third grade. The teacher replied, “Oh, we don’t do that anymore.”“You don’t do that anymore?”“That’s right, it’s not part of the curriculum.”“Well then how do you expect the children to learn their times tables?”“Well, the smart kids will just pick it up as they go.” This was a 22 year veteran teacher. I then had a conversation with the principal who assured me this was the latest research on the best way to teach. I left his office and drove to Walmart and bought flashcards. I’m an accountant. :)I didn’t understand what they were doing but I mostly ignored it and supplemented at home with Singapore math books. It hit a breaking point though after several more very frustrating episodes hearing my daughter cry that she wasn’t allowed to do long division the way I showed her and so I got involved with a lot of other people and the district does times tables and long division now but hasn’t dropped their infatuation with constructivism. This is not the teachers’ fault, it’s the administration. I learned my first political lesson early on when after a school board meeting I made some comments, a lady who got the teacher of the year award came out in the hall when I was leaving and told me “I used to shut my door to teach the times tables.” I shared that with my email list and one week later I had a letter on ASD letterhead from this lady telling me how I’d misheard what she said and it was a misunderstanding. WOW, I’d almost got her fired! I was much more careful after that. So my oldest daughter got into a charter school with Saxon math, but returned to ASD schools in 9th grade, got the highest math score at Mountain Ridge Jr. High, and is doing very well now. Unfortunately, the constructivism problem has produced a 70% remediation rate at UVU where 20-30% of the students are ready to do college level algebra (https://blog.oaknorton.com/the-uvu-remedial-math-situation/). That’s pitiful and I blame the school districts for this. Tens of thousands of children graduated from ASD without knowing their times tables or long division because “they’ll always have a calculator…” is the mentality.

]]>https://www.oaknorton.com/mathupdates/20080903.cfm (study that shows no studies exist to support constructivism)

https://www.oaknorton.com/imathresults34.cfm (Project Follow-Through which proved constructivism ineffective)

Without a foundation, Einstein and Columbus wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. When a school district (and many do this) like Alpine where I live says to parents, “we’re not teaching the times tables and long division to children anymore and don’t teach them at home or you’ll mess up your children,” common sense and foundational skills are both missing to a large degree.

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