Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One more enlightened exchange

...with an individual who does not wish to be called "a defender of Reform Math," and who is, most emphatically, neither a relative, nor an associate, of E. Paul Goldenberg (the latter being a much-respected friend of a friend of mine).


1. Any choice among curricula should include comparisons of specific problem sets.
2. The problem set comparisons on my blog that you find so unfair compare Reform Math to Singapore Math.
3. You yourself have said that you don't possess Singapore Math materials, and that you currently do not have "an adequate opinion to comment" on Singapore Math.
4. I have taught children of all ages all levels of Singapore Math for the last four years, problem set by problem set.
5. For a forthcoming book I've spent years analyzing specific Reform Math problems from a variety of curricula and at a variety of grade levels.
6. I've invited you to adduce what you consider to be fairer problem set comparisons than those I offer on my blog... and am still waiting for a reply.
7. Yet I'm apparently the one who is "deeply prejudiced and uninterested in learning a thing that [I] don't already know is Absolute Truth".

Mr. Goldenberg:

Funny. We have two anonymous people (the blogger and one of the his sychophants), slapping each other on the back while neither has the guts to post anything under his own name. If "Lefty" was so interested in a responsible exchange of ideas, he'd post under his real name. I don't waste time with cowards. Offer a real name and a reliable e-mail address (e.g., not web-based and untraceable) so that you are accountable for what you write, and I'll worry about what you have to say.

Let's recall that you came to MY blog and started in about Singapore Math on an item that was NOT about that. You then returned to "scare" me about your public posting of our exchange (and maybe you need to read a bit more of my blog before labeling me a defender of "Reform Math"; not to mention that I am one person, not multiple people, so your claim of exchanging with "defenders" is as phony as your pseudonym).

I guarantee I've written more words criticizing specific reform books than you have written criticizing any aspect whatsoever of Singapore Math. True believers NEVER find flaws in those books, though I've met with Singaporean mathematics educators who do, oddly enough. That's because they don't have religious blinders on. Too bad the same can't be said for you, "Lefty."

You may just want to get the other side of your brain engaged, because the one you claim to favor isn't doing such a wonderful job. And that book you're promising on "selected" reform math problems? That should be one interesting example of selectivity.
Note at what great length Mr. Goldenberg is willing to carry on about how religious and non-lefty I and my "sycophants" must be, but can't "waste time" addressing a single one of my specific points--until (or so he suggests) such time as I supply my actual name and email address.

I've dropped enough clues by now that anyone who really wants to can figure out who I am (including email address, professional activities, and Facebook friends) in about 5 minutes; at the moment I'm enjoying being gender neutral to those who don't choose to spend the time. It's been an interesting experience seeing what assumptions people tend to make about my gender, (not to mention my politics and religiosity). But because of my book, which isn't published anonymously, I will be coming out of the closet soon.


Mrs. C said...


I'm one for reasonable precautions taken as to my own safety on the blogs. It's an unfortunate reality that a woman was killed for her unborn child not too far from where I live... by someone who gleaned personal info about her online and attacked her in her home. (I'm not saying your readers or mine are that way - just that we have to be careful!)

So I blog under a pseudonym. It's hardly anonymous in that I am consistent in my use of said pseudonym and am contact-able... I just don't leave ALL my real info out there for everyone I don't know just floating about the internet.

BTW, Lefty, I've followed links and stuff and I read your NAME on one of them.

PS. For someone who doesn't have a lot of time to play childish games, some folks have made quite a bit of room in their schedules! Ah, well. I stand in my opinions of EM and SM just the same... I really do think they both have reasonable strenths and weaknesses in their programs and enjoy supplementing with EM.

Why the hate?

Well, I have lots of other things to get worked up about... but usually I *do* enjoy discussing different curriculum and teaching methods online. Whatever.

PS HOW did the comic book project go over? Do update. :]

Michael Paul Goldenberg said...

Lefty keeps trying to continue this on my blog. I wouldn't want him/her/it to feel totally unloved.

Michael Paul Goldenberg said...

Why people blog under pseudos is not so much my concern as when they bring their pseudos to MY blog to post with intent to stir up shyte. Lefty chose to come to MY house, not vice versa, and it is clear from what I read when I visited here what game is being played: tilted playing fields to bash one set of ideas. As previously stated, that's boring, and it's old news. But if Lefty wants to bring his/her/its concerns over to where I'm in charge, I want a real name to indicate accountability. Since such appears not to be forthcoming, I guess Lefty will have to play here, and I'll invest just as much or little time as suits me to retort or not.

Have a lovely day.

lefty said...

Mrs. C, and Mr. Goldenberg,

Thanks for your thoughts on pseudonyms. ihmo, people can be "held accountable" for their ideas even if they keep their legal names to themselves. Indeed, pseudonyms are a great way to ward off ad hominem attacks and encourage people to stay focused on ideas--though some people will still find ways to resist this.

Mrs C, we're still waiting to hear back about the cartoon assignment-- stay tuned!

TerriW said...

How odd. I glommed on to the idea of Lefty as female somewhere along the line, though for the life of me now, I can't figure out what the original reason was.

(I'm sure someone, somewhere has put a lot of thought into how we determine whether someone's words are "male" or "female.")

jd2718 said...

It's ironic that he writes on his blog: "Critical commentary welcome: please keep it civil and substantive."

when in fact it was my first hand account of dealing with an NSF publisher and their paid hands that led him to block my comments from his blog. Apparently testimony from teachers that contradicts his views, not considered civil. What makes a constructivist censor?Jonathan

vlorbik said...
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