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10 February 2000
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Thursday, February 10, 2000
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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I submit for the RECORD and highly recommend to all of my colleagues Bill Evers Secretary Riley Reignites the Math Wars, which recently appeared in the Weekly Standard. Mr. Evers provides an excellent overview of the controversy created by the Department of Educations endorsement of ten
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Mr. Evers article points out that the federal government has no constitutional authority to dictate or even recommend to local schools what type of mathematics curriculum they should adopt. Instead, all curriculum decisions are solely under the control of states, local communities, teachers, and parents. I would remind my colleagues that outrages like new math did not infiltrate the classroom until the federal government seized control of education, allowing
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The solution to Americas education crisis lies in returning to the Constitution and restoring parental control. In order to restore true parental control of education, I have introduced the Family Education Freedom Act (HR 935). This bill would give parents a $3,000 per year tax credit for each childs education related expenses. Unlike other so-called reform proposals, my bill would allow parents considerably more freedom in determining how to educate their children. It would also be free of guidelines and restrictions that only dilute the actual number of dollars spent directly on a child.
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The Family Education Freedom Act provides parents with the means to make sure their children are getting a quality education that meets their childs special needs. In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I remind my colleagues that thirty years of centralized education have produced nothing but failure and frustrated parents. I, therefore, urge my colleagues to read Mr. Evers article on the dangers of the federal endorsement of fuzzy math and support my efforts to improve education by giving dollars and authority to parents, teachers and local school districts by cosponsoring the Family Education Freedom Act.
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Williamson Evers is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, an adjunct professor of political science at Santa Clara University, a research fellow at the Independent Institute and an adjunct fellow of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute. Mr. Evers has served on the California State Commission for the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards and he is currently a member of the California State Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) assessment systems Content Review Panels for history and mathematics as well as the Advisory Board of the Californian History-Social Science Project. Mr. Evers is the editor of Whats Gone Wrong in Americas Classrooms (Hoover Institution Press, 1998). Mr. Evers has been published in numerous scholarly and popular periodicals, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor.
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(By Bill Evers)
BILL EVERS IS A RESEARCH FELLOW AT THE
HOOVER INSTITUTION AND A MEMBER OF HOOVERS
KORET TASK FORCE ON
In early 1998, U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley called for a
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Despite this call for a
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In response to the Department of Education, about two hundred mathematicians and scientists signed an open letter to Secretary Riley, which was published in the Washington Post on November 18, 1999 (see letter at www.mathematicallycorrect.com/riley.htm.) The signers, who included Nobel laureates and some of the countrys most eminent mathematicians, didnt like the Department of Educations new equation: Federal Math=Fuzzy Math. The letter asked Riley to withdraw the federal endorsements. The news stories that followed got at the essence of the debate.
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Steve Leinward of the Connecticut Department of Education was on the U.S. Department of Educations panel that picked the math programs that would receive federal approval. In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Leinward defended the approved programs as the least common denominator — a common core of math that all students can master.
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Leinward is not saying that the federally approved programs cover the material taught in
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Mathematics professor David Klein of California State University at Northridge is a proponent of solid content. He is quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education as saying that algebra is the key course for students, the gateway to success in mathematics and to success in college in general. Leinward says that Kleins
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Here we have the central difference between the two sides. The rigorous curriculum side says that, like Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore, we can have algebra for all, preparing students for technical careers and
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These federal recommendations are for kindergarten through high school, which has serious consequences. In essence, the U.S. Department of Education, by making these endorsements, is closing the gate on going to college or even on technical
2000 Ron Paul 7:1 Mr. Evers provides probably should not have an apostrophe: Mr. Evers provides.