Boaler, Conrad and the War of the Tattletales

Stanford mathematician Brian Conrad is a prominent critic of the California Mathematics Framework. During the drafting phase, Conrad worked insanely hard documenting the flaws in the CMF and in particular documenting the many examples of citation misrepresentation. Conrad’s work subsequently appeared to form the basis of an anonymous complaint made to Stanford University regarding CMF author and Stanford’s Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Education, Jo Boaler (Stanford Daily). Conrad has denied being involved in the complaint and it is highly implausible that he was: why would he transform a carefully crafted public critique about the CMF into a rambling and anonymous complaint about Boaler? Nonetheless, Stanford has now also received a complaint about Conrad, which seemingly includes the accusation that Conrad was involved in the anonymous complaint against Boaler (Stanford Daily). Which is all hilarious.

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NSW’s Requisite Sense and Nonsense

This one is old, and older, but it should still be done. First off, a couple weeks ago NESA issued a media release, notifying people that mathematics would continue to be optional in NSW senior high school. This was the new Labor government’s killing off of a 2019 Gladys plan to make senior mathematics compulsory. Why the reversal? Because, as we wrote at the time, the original plan was really, really stupid. Continue reading “NSW’s Requisite Sense and Nonsense”

Jo Boaler, Hypocrite?

Jo Boaler, the Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Education at Stanford University, was one of the main culprits behind the new California Mathematics Framework. (See here for Stanford mathematician, Brian Conrad‘s detailed criticism of the CMF). As part of the fight over the CMF, Boaler also had a run-in with Berkeley computer scientist, Jelani Nelson, and see also here and here. Boaler and her fellow clowns won, of course, which means, amongst other things, that high school algebra is now screwed up for millions of Californian public school kids. But, as Jelani Nelson has just reminded us, private schools are freer to do their own thing:

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What Are the Good Mathematics Teaching Resources?

There’s no been shortage of Bad Stuff posts lately, even by the wallowing standards of this blog. So, today, let’s have an uplifting chat:* what are the good mathematics teaching resources?

This is the third and final post inspired by mysterious commenter texas. First, for who people should read on maths ed, see the discussion here. Then, for the discussion about good (and bad) mathematics curricula, go here. Now it’s on to mathematics teaching resources, by which we mean anything that can contribute to the content of teaching: notably good textbooks, problem sets and so forth.

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What Are the Good Mathematics Curricula?

And, for that matter, what are the bad mathematics curricula? Given that California has just shot itself in the everything it would be rude to ignore them.

We’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but simply haven’t gotten around to it. Mysterious commenter texas asked a number of “Where do I look?” questions. For one, on who should people read on maths ed, we put up a discussion point, which seemed to garner plenty of interest. So, finally, here is post on the second question (of three). Continue reading “What Are the Good Mathematics Curricula?”

California’s Memory Loss

The California Mathematics Framework has taken another step, with the latest draft released last week (many Word documents, many idiots). Critics who wish to comment have been given about three minutes to digest the thousand pages and then do so. For those who care to try, Jelani Nelson has posted an anonymous person’s monster work in compiling and PDF-ing the CMF documents, and tracking the (mostly lack of) changes. It is pretty clear that the CMF Powers don’t give a stuff what anyone thinks, but opponents gotta do what they gotta do.

There’s not much point in us working hard on this (our earlier snipes are here and here and here). Undoubtedly, Brian Conrad will soon update his site with comments on the new draft, and Greg Ashman has written on the CMF gang’s love of making things up.  We’ll just comment a little on one aspect of the CMF madness: memory.

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Jo Boaler, Ever the Victim

Jo Boaler, the Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Education at Stanford University, has just posted on her recent mistreatment at the hands of a campaign against her. The post is titled,

Crossing the Line: When Academic Disagreement becomes Harassment and Abuse  

Boaler’s post includes detailed claims that she has received abuse, rape threats and more, the truth of which there is no reason to doubt and which if true then obviously points to inexcusable and disgusting behaviour directed at Boaler. The problem is, Boaler is also playing a game. Again.

I briefly discuss Boaler’s latest post, below, but first and mainly, I want to outline a prior dispute involving Boaler, which went public in 2012. The purpose of revisiting this decade-old dispute is not to distract from Boaler’s latest claims, but to provide needed context for these claims.

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Brian Conrad Rips into the California Mathematics Framework

We haven’t paid all that much attention to the California Mathematics Framework, except for noting Jo Boaler (and Keith Devlin) making an idiot of herself again (ditto Devlin). We’re too busy with the local clowns. Greg Ashman, however, has noted a remarkable new front in the war over CMF, and it is worth highlighting. Continue reading “Brian Conrad Rips into the California Mathematics Framework”

Professor Smarts Defends Professor Karen

Yesterday we wrote about Jo Boaler, her latest own goal and some of her checkered history. But her defenders are coming out as well to, well, defend her. Fair enough. Except, that their defense is dishonest and farcical. As it must be.

Yesterday, Keith Devlin took time off from trying to start World War III to retweet support for Boaler:
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Jo Boaler Shows Her True Colours, Again

There’s something poetically unfair about Jo Boaler being whacked this way and that for gouging some poor school district, and for threatening a black guy with calling the cops. The gouging was real and the threat was undeniable, and undeniably nasty, but none of it was surprising for Boaler and none of it was the point. Her gouging and her being a Professor Karen are not the main reasons why the people now whacking Boaler are so enjoying whacking her. But, God it is fun to watch, and God she deserves it. Continue reading “Jo Boaler Shows Her True Colours, Again”