Comment on coherent math curriculum

I received this comment about my Coherent Math Curriculum article just recently, and I thought my readers here might find it interesting:

I am a 8th grade mathematics teacher that homeschools his four kids. There is no way in the world I am putting my kids back in public school for the exact reason I just read in your article. As a matter of fact, I am going into my 3rd year of teaching (I am 27) and I have been ranting and raving about precisely the same argument that is being posed within this article. There is too much stuff in a math curriculum over here in the States and we spend entirely too much time reviewing. I should not have 16 year olds in my 8th grade class who have no idea how to change a improper fraction into a mixed number, that's 3rd, 4th grade stuff. It's absolutely ridiculous and I commend you for this article.

M. S.

His rant about the math curriculum is is nothing new or surprising; I found it interesting though that he is working as a teacher and homeschools.

Anyway, what could a teacher do in this sort of situation? Not much alone. But, maybe one could get together with 6th and 7th grade teachers and discuss how to change the situation for better.

I know the constant testing makes it difficult to do radical changes, but maybe one could organize the math topics on grades 6-8 a little more coherently, with more time on each topic, so that fractions wouldn't need to be studied on each of those grades. (I find it amusing that 8th graders are still even studying fractions!) Say, organize most of the probability and statistics topics for 8th grade, most of the geometry and measuring for 7th, and fractions and decimals and other arithmetic mostly for 6th... And spread some topics such as percents, proportions, problem solving on all grades.

Maybe that would be possible locally, within just the school he teaches in.

What do all you teachers think?

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