My 100th post. So why not bash algebra?

Granted, and...

Hard for me to believe, but this is my 100th blog post. That’s the equivalent of a 300 page book – with much less pain, and lots more fun interaction: thanks to all my loyal readers and responders! And hooray for the Internet for permitting easy and rich discourse about one’s ideas.

To celebrate I thought I would return to my favorite educational whipping boy* Algebra I. There are so many reasons for dumping on Algebra but a timely one (on this blog milestone) comes from the fact that one of my blog posts on math was quoted in the recently-released Publisher’s Guidelines on the Math Common Core Standards!

Before I get into my rant, let’s be very clear about a few things:

I love math. I taught math – Pre-calculus and Geometry – and I am good at it, my best grades in school. I think non-Euclidean geometry is…

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What works in education – Hattie’s list of the greatest effects and why it matters

A laundry list of researched factors that all have a greater effect on student learning than home environment and socioeconomic status.

Granted, and...

I have been a fan of John Hattie’s work ever since I encountered Visible Learning. Hattie has done the most exhaustive meta-analysis in education. Thanks to him, we can gauge not only the relative effectiveness of almost every educational intervention under the sun but we can compare these interventions on an absolute scale of effect size.

Perhaps most importantly, Hattie was able to identify a ‘hinge point’ (as he calls it) from exhaustively comparing everything: the effect size of .40. Anything above such an effect size has more of an impact than just a typical year of academic experience and student growth. And an effect size of 1.0 or better is equivalent to advancing the student’s achievement level by approximately a full grade.

The caveat in any meta-anlysis, of course, is that we have little idea as to the validity of the underlying research. In a summary of…

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