Daniel Koretz on Progress in Mathematics

Daniel Koretz: We have seen over the last 20 years an improvement in the mathematics performance of elementary school students that is faster and larger than the decline that got everyone so upset to begin with.  Now what’s odd is the decline was called by people, [the policy, both] large, alarming, catastrophic, and so on.  The increase has been called stagnation.  I don’t quite understand the logic.  I think, some of the people simply who do this simply don’t understand the data.  But what we’ve seen is relatively flat performance in reading, which is not as bad news as it seems because international comparison show that the United States is fairly good at teaching reading.  We have seen very large, very rapid consistent gains in performance in mathematics in elementary school, moderate-sized gains in middle school, and then the bad news, no real gains in high school.  So in mathematics, the bad news is not deterioration, it’s a failure to maintain the gains that young children have shown as they progress through school, that progress is eroded.

Daniel Koretz laments that math gains in elementary and middle schools are not maintained in high school.

A psychotherapist explains why some adults are reacting badly to young climate strikers

When adults are challenged to behave like adults, by a child, they can go in one of two directions.

Barbara Alper/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs

Young climate strikers I spoke to recently are confused and distressed about the things adults are doing.

Keep reading Show less

34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
  • The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
  • According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Keep reading Show less

Why should you always assume you're wrong? Science.

When it comes to scientific theory, (or your personal life) be sure to question everything.

Videos
  • The theories we build to navigate the world, both scientifically and in our personal lives, all contain assumptions. They're a critical part of scientific theory.
  • Cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman urges us to always question those assumptions. In this way, by challenging ourselves, we come to a deeper understanding of the task at hand.
  • Historically, humans have come to some of our greatest discoveries by simply questioning assumed information.
Keep reading Show less