A look at NSF-funded K-12 math programs

Edspresso.com has a reprint of an article by David Klein which fisks the various K-12 mathematics programs funded/created/perpetuated by the National Science Foundation. It’s not pretty. The opening line of the article is a problem from a quiz from the Connected Mathematics Program:

Find the slope and y-intercept of the equation 10 = x – 2.5.

The answer given by the book, by the way, was slope 1 and y-intercept -2.5. And if that’s not bad enough for you,

Contemporary Mathematics in Context (Core-Plus) and Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) are two NSF-funded secondary math programs that are supposedly college preparatory. But Core-Plus students do not learn how to expand (a + b)^2 until their third year of high school, and IMP delays the quadratic formula until 12th grade, at which time a derivation is not even provided.

Perhaps the NSF could make a lot of people happier if it stopped funding stuff like this and put the money back into basic scientific research, which seems to be horribly underfunded right now.

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