The sad legacy of Everyday Math, II

Here’s a follow-up post to my first “sad legacy of Everyday Math” post, in which I concluded by saying that

You can’t blame the mathematical deficiencies of these 4th and 5th graders on their parents: both the private school and the after school program select for parents who care about education. You can’t blame it on the kids: my kids, who clearly wanted to learn, had been admitted [to our after school program] in part based on their behavior.

Continue reading

The sad legacy of everyday math

[Everyday Math, I gather, is still very much in use, and so I thought it worthwhile to recycle this old post from Out in Left Field.]

Twice this past week I saw shocking examples of the cumulative effects of Everyday Math. Last Thursday I visited a nearby private school with sliding scale tuition and a diversity of students. For years the school had used Everyday Math, but recently, with the encouragement of a friend and colleague of mine who advises schools on math curricula, they’d begun to use Singapore Math. They’re phasing it in gradually, however, and currently don’t introduce it until 4th grade. For the first few grades, like nearly every other school in Philadelphia, they use Everyday Math.

Continue reading

False choices in remediation: “addition and subtraction over and over again” or Marxism and Shakespeare

I suspect the rejection of true remediation has only grown over the years since I posted this on Out in Left Field, as schools, bowing to the Common Core standards, increasingly expect nearly all students to engage with the same material based not on academic readiness, but on what year and month they happened to be born in.

Another false choice in remediation: “addition and subtraction over and over again” or Marxism and Shakespeare

Continue reading

Is there really no Theory of Mind deficit in autism? Part II: the validity of the standard Theory of Mind measures

Cross-posted at

In my previous post on Gernsbacher and Yergeau’s 2019 paper, Empirical Failures of the Claim That Autistic People Lack a Theory of Mind, I discussed problems with the authors’ arguments that the original studies that showed Theory of Mind deficits in autism have failed to replicate and been overturned by later studies. As the article continues, the authors embark on a second line of argumentation—this one concerning the inherent validity of the various ToM tests.

Morton A. Gernsbacher, Professor of Psychology, University of Wisconsin
Continue reading

A linguist’s meditation on youth, age, and the passage of time

Does the passage of time–forward or backward–make things younger or older?

A short time ago, the youngest countries (e.g. Eritrea and South Sudan) came into existence. 

A long time ago, America was one of the youngest countries. 

As time moves forward, America gets older and older and so do we.

Going back in time, as we get younger and younger (and eventually don’t exist), we eventually find older and older languages, cultures, civilizations, and historical figures… 

But long ago, many of these things were new…