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Grandfather Education Report
the old school house - - where quality was number 1

Should we ignore top professors & Nobel laureates who say:
- science textbooks are 'riddled with basic errors - terrible books' -
- math teaching methods ''horrifyingly short on basics and dangerous' -
- 'honors high school science texts no more difficult
than eighth grade reader before World War II' -

by Michael Hodges (email)

This is a sub section of the Grandfather Education Report, a chapter of the comprehensive Grandfather Economic Report series of mini-reports with dramatic pictures on critical subjects proving serious threats facing the economic future of our young, compared to prior generations. Poor education quality is a major threat to our nation, partly caused by error-laden science textbooks and unacceptable math teaching methods.

You are at the section on textbooks & math teaching methods - a very serious issue

Quick Links >
Introduction - - Error-laden Textbooks - proven - - Dangerous Math - proven - - U.S. students below international students - chart - - Teachers speak - - Parents speak - - Comments to Parents

3 Questions:

  1. If 200 mathematicians and scientists, including four Nobel Prize recipients and two winners of a prestigious math prize, the Fields Medal, deplore math teaching methods saying they are 'horrifyingly short on basics' - should we care?
  2. If the president of the American Association of Physics Teachers and his review committee say, 'none of the 12 textbooks used by 85% of middle school students have an acceptable level of accuracy' - - and that 'honors high school texts are no more difficult than an eighth grade reader was before World War II.' - - should we care?
  3. Additionally, are too many teachers of math and science so inadequately educated in their subject as to be unable to identify error-laden text books and inadequate teaching methods to keep same out of the classroom? Many make excuses, trying to deflect blame. What action is being taken to protect students?

Two of the more recent powerful studies proving unacceptable textbooks and teaching methods follow,
including a dramatic picture-chart showing dismal U.S. math & science performance compared to other nations.


85% of middle school students use inaccurate science textbooks
and, honors high school texts are no more difficult than an eighth grade reader was before World War II

The above is exactly from the AP news release. Following are additional excerpts from the report itself

From the internet I found a copy of the full review in WORD format click here - - for ADOBE pdf format click here.
Also, the email address of John L. Hubisz, Ph.D. [note > Dr. Hubisz, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, on 1/23/01 reviewed this page and said, "you may certainly use my name and the link." What a valuable contribution he has made]


Dangerous Math Methods being used by schools - - powerful proof
related to Dumbing-Down Textbooks

(if when reading the following summary you wish to visit one of its links, click your back button to return to this page)

More on this in the Wall Street Journal Lead Editorial, January 4, 2000 - "New Math will take its casualties adding to the already mounting costs of the decline in national educational standards." An archive of the subject is at Math Wars.

2003 - the American Association for the Advancement of Science reported 90% of math books and 100% of science text books are unacceptable. Additionally, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reported that 85% of 12th grade students were not proficient in math and science. (Imprimis, Feb. 2005, page 4)

A college math professor further discusses the New-new math in a section below, saying it is doomed to failure.


International Test SeriesAuthor note >


The U.S. challenge is clear, especially now that our young will face the most globalized economic competitive challenge and better educated foreign students, than ever before in our history. Future freedoms, national security and living standards are at stake - - compared to prior generations.

We must produce the best educated young people in the world by world standards, bar none - - especially in mathematics and the hard sciences of physics and chemistry !! We are sadly lagging - - most significantly - - proven by hard evidence.

Why are so many Teachers allowing error-laden textbooks in their classrooms?

A discussion of this page occurred in various education internet newsgroups. No one disputed the findings of the two studies above. Following is some of that discussion.

After reading the page you are viewing, following are insightful emails from a college math professor, a math teacher and a parent regarding the impact on high school graduates entering the university.

A College Math Professor - on 'new-new math'

Elementary School Teacher

A Parent

from a Parent of a Teacher - in 2006

Bravo on your report. I'm not directly involved in today's education system, but I agree that everyone should be alarmed.  My step-daughter is an elementary teacher who completed her own university education a few years ago. While she was taking a mathematics course, she called me one day for help with her homework. I had recently married her father, so I wasn't a participant in her earlier education.  When she described her math homework, I was confused. These could not be college level math problems - they seemed more appropriate for 6th grade!! I thought perhaps she was taking a class about how to teach elementary mathematics, since she was majoring in education. Sadly, that was not the case. She was truly calling me for help with simple algebra "word problems". My reaction angered her, and she never called me for help again.  A few years later, she graduated with A's and B's on her transcript, and now she is regarded as one of the best elementary teachers in her district. While her classroom management skills are excellent, I don't see how she can give her students a decent dose of mathematics. 23 Feb. 2006

A Parent's Answer > > home school, standards and vigilance

Dear Mr. Hodges,
I enjoyed reading your informative website, but I did find it rather disturbing at the same time. I was most impressed with your stance on how poorly the textbooks are written and proofed (error laden) and how teachers don't seek to teach correct information, but rather blindly follow the book even if it is wrong. The good news is that there is yet another option...Homeschool. After dealing with public schools my husband and I chose the home school option for our sons after the 4th grade. We choose the textbooks, and we decide what we want to teach. And like you noted, I had a Biology text fresh off the press and my sons and I could go through and pick out the errors easily. I am an MD and if I ran across anything that didn't appear correct, I had no difficulty expressing that to my sons. They have learned that I don't know everything, but I am willing to find out the answer. They have also learned that the books aren't always correct. They have learned to ask questions and not be afraid to challenge the status quo. They are bright with SAT and ACT scores well above their peers in public schools. In fact, that was part of the problem with the public school. The system couldn't challenge them, and my sons were vocal about that fact. One child actually read every book in the elementary library by the 4th grade. They didn't know what to do with him, but they refused to move him up to the 6th grade. We finally took them all out and they were so happy and have studied more interesting subjects than I ever had available when I was in school. They know more about Greek and Roman history than most high school teachers. The two older boys were taught pre-calculus by their father who is an electrical engineer, and he ripped the textbook apart each time he found an error. In closing, I agree 100% with you, but rather than fight a system that nearly destroyed my sons, I chose to bring them home and educate them myself.  It is a decision that my husband and I will never regret. Sincerely, Caroline McGee, MD - July 2006 (also see the Homeschool section)

Author's Comment To Parents
teachers within a monopoly -

A reader asked, "Are today's teachers who are pointing blame elsewhere part of the problem?"

The above comments are presented to promote thought and action on this subject.

Testing Standards
how many of today's graduates could pass the 8th grade in 1895?

Mell Gabler, RIP - a personal mission to reform textbooks in Texas. The 'little guy against the biggies.'
(see link #41)

where you will learn about the definitions and causes of unacceptable education quality
presented in picture form for easy learning


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The Grandfather Economic Report series is the intellectual property of its author; all rights reserved under Copyright Conventions. Permission to redistribute all or part of this series for non commercial purposes is granted by the author, provided the associated web page address is included and full credit given to the Grandfather Economic Report and the author, Michael Hodges. Notice appreciated via email.