I'm insanely angry.
My mentor worked her butt off to make sure that the elementary ed math classes I teach are the types of classes that they are: hands-on, focused on concepts rather than skill drilling, activity-based. Yes, they are small. You can't assign homework to more than 30 or so people and have them write up full responses including why they think and do problems the way they do and grade it all. But this is what is necessary.
Standardized testing in my state is free-response in some grades. Children are required to write solutions and their thinking on how they solved problems, not just fill in a bubble. So, it only makes sense to teach their teachers to do the same, to teach their teachers how to use manipulatives and drawings to gain deeper understanding into basic math, to teach them how to explain what it is they are going to teach, right? Well, it was until now.
Now, the department head is crumbling under pressure from the provost to increase class size. Since we can't grade 100+ people's homeworks in a reasonable amount of time, they're looking at textbooks with computer homework options. Now, tell me: how can software grade whether someone understands where a child's thinking went wrong or that they can explain in full detail how and why we get common denominators or that they know what multiplication means? It can't!! It can't determine 50 different ways of answering a question the way I can. But no one seems to care except those of us teaching the courses. Since we're not PhDs, we have no power and our cries of warning and impending doom go unheeded.
They want to take something that works, that's doing the job it's supposed to, and change it into something they can dump 50+ people in and shove them on through math so they can start their education classes sooner. The toady behind the ring leader doesn't even teach the fucking classes! He's got a master's in math ed, and he teaches the Geometry for high school teachers class, but won't touch the elementary stuff. Maybe he thinks it's beneath him. I don't know about that asshole, but I do know he shouldn't be changing our entire way of doing things without consulting us or the fucking RESEARCH that says that what we're doing is the BEST WAY to do it. They've been teaching this way in China since the 70's, and we wonder why they are so good at math and we in the U.S. suck? I mean, other universities are modeling their curriculums after ours now, but we're flushing it all.
I'm just so angry, and there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. What do you do when your screams of protest fall on deaf ears? Quit. That's right. If this happens, I'm going back to teaching Calculus or Trig. Let the asshole who thinks he knows so much, who wouldn't even tell me what curriculum his wife used to home school their 5 kids, teach the damned classes. Suck my big monkey cock!