Sandra Stotsky Responds to Ridgewood News Article on Math Panel

In math wars on February 10, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I just got it in the mail today, and I thank you very much for sending it. It confirms what I know has been a major problem. The newspaper, perhaps inadvertently, set up the debate as between reform and traditional math (in the call-out box), never mentioning that the findings of the NMPanel do not support what reformers call reform. The battle for a solid math curriculum is lost if the reformers get their appealing description into the public eye as reform, and traditional math is described in totally negative terms. The battle is at its core about the intellectual content of the math curriculum and its adequacy. Reform math simply teaches much less math, and incoherently to boot. Can you get in something to correct what is a common misunderstanding, maybe even by this alert reporter? Can you get something on record somewhere that the Board has purposely excluded anyone who could bring a research perspective to the discussion.

Fishbein is another story. Right now, 3 of the 4 consultants are clearly on the Reform side, and Posamentier and I are not on the same page in most respects. He is a math ed prof, and I’m into education research. I’m the only one who would bring that perspective, and that seems to be the one perspective the Board does not want. I have no idea what Fishbein is insinuating about costs for me. All I ever indicated was plane costs, and I would even waive that if the Board was open-minded enough to want to know what is supportable by rational evidence. I’d pay my own way, if necessary. I find the Board’s approach to be reprehensible–they seem to be totally opposed to even finding out what is supported by research. I doubt they would do that if medical care were an issue.


3balls Golf

  1. “Reprehensible” now there’s a good word. Ms. Stotsky hasn’t had to live with our BOE for any amount of time, yet she has found the right adjective to describe its behavior.

    How does a Board get away with this?

    By saying, “it’s for the children.”

  2. Check out the "New SAT Elite" graphic in this NY Times article. Ridgewood is being passed by the tech schools. We're still among the elite, but for how long? If Ridgewood's decline in rank shown in the graphic continues, Ridgewood won't even appear next year.


    And there is loads of evidence that Botsford's fuzzy math will worsen things. Many districts have dropped fuzzy math because SAT and other achievement scores fell. How long will we wait?

  3. Track the kids, have math teachers in elementary schools rather than generlists, and you’d solve the problems.

    If you are not going to track, or get math specialist, get a decent curriculum so that the average and bright kids aren’t so bored all the time.

  4. Let’s talk about the 50 Million dollar referndum in September because our schools can’t handle the growing population of students.

    See US Census information below, birth rates have been steadily going down since 1990!!!

    This 50 million dollar referendum is a scam.

    “Continuing a 12-year decline, the U.S. birth rate has dropped to the lowest level since national data have been available, according to statistics just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The rate of births among teenagers also fell to a new record low, continuing a decline that began in 1991.
    The birth rate fell to 13.9 per 1,000 persons in 2002, down from 14.1 per 1,000 in 2001 and down a full 17 percent from the recent peak in 1990 (16.7 per 1,000), according to a new CDC report, “Births: Preliminary Data for 2002.” CDC analysts say the birth rate is dropping as the increasing life span of Americans results in a smaller proportion of women of child childbearing age.”

  5. PJ Check out this link from the NY times, NJ section.
    It’s an interactive NJ map to show SAT scores around the state.
    If you like it post it.


  6. If you could see (and I know many of you have lived through it) how they are teaching a simple operation like multiplication these days—it makes you want to cry for these children and their future. We have gone from “no child left behind” to “all children left behind”.

  7. You see, the blue collar folks in Wayne will not put up with “reform math” because they want their children to have a better future than themselves.

    In Ridgewood, parents somehow feel that because of their already achieved prosperity, that their children are some how immune to the deficiencies of our current and contemplated reform math programs.

    What Ridgewood parents fail to understand, is that the educrats in our district are ideologues who’s sole agenda is egalitarianism. Unfortunately, if we buy into this, our children will be blue collar while those in Wayne achieve greater prosperity. And Regina and her ilk will have achieved their goal at our expense.

    Nothing remains equal for long. There must always be winners and losers. There will always be those who prosper more than others. Why would we want to offer our children less of an opportunity than the parents in Wayne, because Regina and Dan Fishbein say we should?

    It is time for Ridgewood parents to wake up to the fact that we and our children are being ill served by our BOE and the administrators at Cottage Place.

  8. We have gone from “no child left behind” to “all children left behind”.

    Well, at least that’s fair, and that’s the important thing.

  9. To 10:54 –

    Re: “Check out the “New SAT Elite” graphic in this NY Times article. Ridgewood is being passed by the tech schools. We’re still among the elite, but for how long? If Ridgewood’s decline in rank shown in the graphic continues, Ridgewood won’t even appear next year.”

    I took a look. Ridgewood dropped from 10th place to 19th place!

    Way to go BOE… keep up the good work!

    If this keeps up, our kids will still be able to enjoy the beautiful trees and lavish houses in Ridgewood… only instead of owning them, they’ll be painting, repairing and cleaning the houses and cutting the grass beneath the trees.

    Here’s the URL to the New SAT Elite

    Or Click here:
    NY Times – New SAT Elite

  10. I believe that April 14 is the day of the school board elections this year. If people are unhappy then vote against Hutton or any other lackey that runs for his seat. The only way to change the make up of the board is to get the current members out. 1 seat this year and 2 seats next year.

  11. Sadly, 3:09 PM residents just don’t care anymore. They’ve simply given up. The federated HSA network keeps this idiocy going with their stupid support behind their ill equipped members. For them, HSA is social ranking. Screw the kids and screw having better math. Their personal needs trump everything else. Of course, they work mightily hard to try to convince us of the opposite, but ask yourself the following: when it really mattered, like with curriculum, where are they????

  12. In Goodman’s asinine post a few weeks ago, she opined that bringing in Dr. Stotsky to get her expert perspective would require altering the team’s schedule, and that would “bog things down.”

    I find it amusing that the team did alter its schedule by adding 6th grade focus groups (not in the original plan) “for the purpose of understanding students’ perspectives regarding teaching and learing elementary math.” (It’s in the progress report)

    Yes, Dr. Stotsky, they really are that stupid.

  13. I just viewed the SAT sight. It’s too depressing — a straight line DOWN from 10th to 19th.


  14. I’m on your side about the math, but this chart doesn’t prove reform math is bad…yet.

    Ridgewood High Seniors did not have TERC. They had Everyday Math with older teachers, who taught very traditionally. Those seniors did very well this year.

    You’ll see really bad numbers in 3 or 4 years when some of the Travell Terc babies start to take the SATs.

    Before Charlie Tuna says it, we should point out that Glen Ridge jumped from 43 to 16. So Dan the man would take some kudos for that.

  15. Dr. Stotsky writes, concerning her perspective, “that seems to be the one perspective the Board does not want.”

    Actually, they don’t want the perspective of parents, teachers or mathematicians either. The planning team has none of these. The only Ridgewood folks on the team are administrators whose performance is evaluated by Botsford.

    But after reading a post above, I wonder if she will add a 6th grader?? Does Dr. Stotsky have a niece or nephew?

  16. That’s Dr. Fishbein to you.

  17. Who is Sandra Stotsky? She attempts to diminish people by calling them by their last name, rather than the more formal Dr., Ms, or Mr.

    It is what street fighters do.

  18. 4:07 – I agree the chart doesn’t prove anything about reform math. But it proves one thing: Other districts have improved while Ridgewood hasn’t.

    What’s the vision? Where’s the plan? I haven’t seen either from Bostford or the BOE. Except for low-level math programs created by low-level mathematical thinkers.

  19. It is what street fighters do.

    I like street fighters.

  20. Stotsky seems very unprofessional. I wouldn’t hire her.

  21. This bears repeating…

    “But it proves one thing: Other districts have improved while Ridgewood hasn’t.”

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.

    – Dean Wormer

  22. Stotsky seems very unprofessional. I wouldn’t hire her…

    Of course you wouldn’t, you are associated with the BOE.

  23. street fighter …are you kidding or just pathetic ..oh thats right you work with or for the BOE its both !

  24. NJASK advanced proficient scores of our middle schoolers sure have fallen. In the last 3 years, not a single class has exceeded the DFG mean. Not many schools are 0/9 like us.

    What’s worse is the steady decline year by year. 8th graders are 7.2 below the mean – they were 9.0 above the mean when they were in 4th grade. 7th graders are 8.5 below the mean – they were 7.6 above in 4th grade. 6th graders are 2.9 below the mean – they were 7.3 above as 4th graders.

    According to the NJ Report Card, no other school in NJ is 0/9 and shows steady decline across all grades!

    Isn’t this what the experts have been warning about all along?

  25. The very first TERC babies are Sophomores at RHS and will be taking their SATs next fall.

  26. So, since Regina’s tenure here in RPS… our kids math scores have gone down. Any questions?

  27. Why wait for the SATs? Those TERC babies took the PSATs in November.

    Let’s take a look at their math scores.

  28. to 4:12, 4:16 and 7:57 PM (same person it would appear) Sandra Stotsky is actually a real “Dr.” with a real Phd. Fishbein is not. He does not have a Phd and is therefore not entitled to the title.

  29. Does anyone know if they separate out PSAT scores by grade school group? It would be interesting to see how our kids performed on math based on what program they had in elementary school.

    That might be too much real information for Regina to handle. She prefers to live in El Loco land.

  30. PLEASE, watch public comment from Mrs. Maskin on BOE webcast from Jan 12. Fast-forward to the middle of the webcast. This Lady has the information the BOE wants to ignore and wants us to forget. She also responded to Ms. Goodmans blog “accusations” regarding Mrs. Maskin.
    I am so impress. It is so sad she did not get elected..

  31. Everyone who disagrees with the math fanatics does not work for the board of ed. We turned out in big numbers in the last election.

  32. 845 not even 15% voted it was pathetic

  33. 8:45 PM,

    You are right. Hence the term, “the ignorant masses.”

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