Welcome, You New Guys

Over the last few days there has been a number of new subscribers to this blog: the influx has raised the total to seventeen. I guess you new guys are somehow a byproduct of the ABC story on VCAA’s maths exams, but I’m not sure exactly how. Presumably someone wrote a social media thing saying “Marty isn’t an asshole, you should subscribe”, or “Marty is an asshole, you should subscribe”, or something. Anyway, welcome, and if you care to indicate how you got here, I’m curious.

For you new guys, who may be wondering what you signed up for, the clearest one-off indicator is the post here. For more on the VCE exams and VCAA generally, there are many posts, but you might start here and here and here and here and here. For ACARA and the Australian Curriculum, you can look here and here.

I haven’t posted for a while, being flat out with Life and with my submission to the ACT thing (which you regulars should also be doing). I do have a few things lined up, however, for later in the week: in gratitude for the reporting on VCAA, I have a couple whacks planned for education reporters; and, Red Five has suggested a new TNDOT.

Back to regular programming soon.

17 Replies to “Welcome, You New Guys”

  1. I’m not that new. Been reading you for a little under two years. But I’ll tell you how I got here.

    Sometimes, when I’m really annoyed with or enraged by something, I google a phrase which describes my feelings, hoping to find someone out there who has expressed what I’m experiencing in a more articulate fashion than I’m able to muster.

    I found this blog while putting together my first Methods SAC when, in a kind of contemptuous frustration, seeking validation, I googled the phrase “SACs are such f****** sh**” and found this: https://mathematicalcrap.com/2020/05/03/sacs-of-shit/

    I’ve been a devotee ever since. 🙂

    1. Me too.

      As for the new subscribers: Starting a few weeks ago I have been greeted by an ad whenever I come here, saying
      “Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive”. I guess that some regulars were sufficiently annoyed by it to subscribe.

  2. Hi Marty, I’m an occasional reader. You might have picked up the new subscribers from one of Greg Ashman’s recent emails, which linked to your article on Peter Liljedahl.

    1. Ah, I see. Good ol’ Greg. Thanks, James. I know Greg refers to this blog on occasion, but last week was a weirdly large influx (by the standards of this blog).

  3. I am super new and found my way here after I read that San Francisco is putting 8th grade algebra on the ballot this March. I guess the vote is whether to encourage the school board to reinstate algebra 1? I have never seen this kind of ballot measure before. I found this an interesting and almost comical development and was wondering if it was some kind of response to the state for finally adopting the framework. I don’t know what it all means, I am not as well versed in these matters but I am trying to learn. At my school (extra large public high school in the far east bay) I am an island in my disagreement with the ideas promoted by Boaler and while searching for thoughtful criticism to help me better articulate why, I ended up here. I am excited to poke around and read more!

    1. Well, welcome! I’ve only looked at the CMF from a distance, but I’ve been nauseated by Boaler for many years. I’m not sure you’ll get much “thoughtful criticism” here, but we’re good at foul-mouthed contempt.

      That’s interesting that algebra is on the CA ballot. I hadn’t heard that and I’m not even sure what that means. I know judges can be recalled and the like, but can public initiatives mandate curriculum changes?

    2. Hi, Jill: It is weird that the SF citizens will be voting on algebra. You can read more about it here: https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/education/why-sfusd-math-education-is-headed-to-march-2024-ballot/article_78f47d88-8995-11ee-abe6-a7076ddc817a.html

      ‘At the meeting, Walton said he didn’t understand the purpose of the measure. If passed, the measure would simply urge the district to bring algebra back to middle school, but there would be no mandate to do so. The Board of Supervisors has no jurisdiction over the school district. “I don’t like misleading the voters by making them think that we’re putting something on the ballot that has any teeth or that actually does anything,” he said.’

      In fact, the SFUSD board just voted to restore algebra in grade 8, but in a limited pilot program in just a few schools. Read more about the decision here: https://thefrisc.com/sfusd-8th-graders-to-get-algebra-again-but-not-all-in-the-same-way-f1efd34f7321

      1. Thanks, MPSS.com. I have little sense of this ballot or, generally, California politics (or the whole, nutty country). The ballot thing has always seemed to me pretty weird. Or, in the case of the campaign to remove Justice Bird and her colleagues, simply for not wanting to murder people, pretty evil.

        Your second linked article hardly inspires me with confidence. And, even if the ballot measure cannot carry any legal clout, a strong “We’re mad as hell” vote would have plenty of political clout.

  4. I found the blog by searching for criticism of Australia’s Orwellian online NKVD outfit esafety commissioner Julie Inman Grant after I saw the esafety department issue a legal challenge to X to censor information the Australian government doesn’t want you to know. At least some people are pushing back.

    I stayed because I was previously studying to become a Mathematics teacher myself but did not complete my degree after some unfortunate events at some particularly rigid culturally captured schools. So the topic interests me.

    I was predominately consuming Greg Ashman’s blog during my studies as it was the most sane thing I was exposed to compared with what they were pushing at Vic Uni. As a quite outspoken student I was singled out and isolated particularly towards the end of my diploma as my opinions did not fit the correct ‘mold’ so to speak.

    1. I cannot stand JIG, and I cannot stand the pig-ignorant media clowns who quote her without a thought of how manipulative and dangerous she is.

      With your teaching degree, you make it sound as if you were looking for trouble. That is fine, but you cannot then object when you find trouble. You can email me if you care to discuss it.

    2. My favorite transgression during studying was presenting research critical of this particular STEM in education lecturers pet theory of Learning Styles during my practicals.

      I considered learning styles a pop education theory with no evidentiary basis and a plague on the education system and he took my criticism’s quite personally. I guess people fall in love with these theories so much they become part of their identity which is what I expect happened.

      1. Of course the LS stuff is nonsense and, yes, you were clearly looking for trouble. But that cannot possibly be why you quit the degree. (Also, please try to make fewer grammatical transgressions.)

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