Bowen wrote in the comments recently:
Hey, speak for yourself, we dumped FOIL in our high school books. I guess that means we’re not mainstream!
I replied, with respect to CME, which is the FOIL-dumping curriculum to which he refers.
Is this news to you, Bowen? Is it bad news?
This got me thinking about high school curriculum-mainstream and non. Look back at the NSF-funded high school curricula of the 1990’s and the associated Math Wars. One major sticking point in the brouhaha was the idea that these programs were integrated. That is, they were not Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II/Trig, PreCalculus/Statistics sequences. They were First Year, Second Year, etc. programs in which each year integrated algebra with geometry and statistics, etc.
And I have to ask, was that really necessary?
In hindsight, I’m not sure I really get the motivation for it. Wouldn’t it have been enough to improve high school pedagogy and content within each traditionally organized course? Did we have to try to blow up the whole structure at once?
I’m just asking.