Saturday, July 02, 2005

Hoover Watch: Time for some accountability

Not sure if anyone has been following Mathbookgate over at Washington Monthly, but its worth noting how dispicable, or extremely irresponsible some of our buddies at Hoover have been:
Our story so far: Diane Ravitch wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week in which she bemoaned the "dumbing down" of math textbooks. As an example, she noted that the index for the letter "F" in a classic 1973 algebra textbook included topics such as factoring and functions, while the index for a newer text listed subjects like football and ferris wheels.

An emailer wrote to tell me this was wrong: the text in question has two indexes, and the topic index includes entries for functions, formulas, fractional exponents, and all the other usual topics of introductory algebra. Quoting the context index was just a bit of agit-prop designed to mislead readers about the content of the book.
Read the whole thing and the first few comments. I'd like to believe it's laziness...but that's still academically iresponsible.


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