More thoughts on math teacher training

Jo Anne Cobasko:

“A small cadre of math specialists is helping teachers with instruction and curriculum.”
While it sounds promising that “math specialists” will be helping teachers with instruction and curriculum, the converse may be likely to occur.
In the following excerpt from “Why Johnny Can’t Calculate” (Los Angeles Times, September 26, 2005–link here), CSU-Northridge mathematics professor David Klein and high school teacher Jennifer Marple have detailed how the “experts” responsible for professional development for LAUSD often fail to deliver.
The district requires math teachers to attend in-service meetings to learn more math and better ways to teach it. No one would quarrel with those goals, but the quality of professional development programs is often so poor that they are likely to cause more harm than good.