Katharine Beals has an interesting blog post over at Out In Left Field. I wrote a long comment which was immediately eaten by Blogger, so I thought I'd write a post on my own blog.
Unlike Katharine, I consider myself both liberal and progressive, and I think progressive ed theory does have useful ideas. The implementation of progressive ed in traditional schools is usually horrendous, but I'm still open to the idea that progressive ed, done well, could be a beautiful thing. I care a lot about what school feels like for my kids, and I want an education that will help them develop as entire human beings. I want my kids to enjoy school and learning.
Although Katharine and I disagree in many ways, we agree on two points: homework should be eliminated in the early grades, and Reform Math is a disaster.
I don't think it's fair to include "lay people" among the conspirators who have promoted Reform Math. The fact is that lay people have zero influence over the schools, especially the public schools. Just ask Sara Bennett how much of a difference her book, and years of advocacy, have made to the homework problem. For that matter, ask the folks over at kitchen table math how much of a difference they've managed to make, after years of impassioned advocacy against constructivist math.