**Reading, Writing & Arithmetic**

FRED MUSANTE, Editor

Stratford Star (Connecticut)

The "3 Rs" - Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic - traditionally form the foundation of education. Collectively known as the "basic skills," their importance is based on the belief that literacy and mathematical proficiency allow an individual to master anything else.

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In the case of math, local educators also contended with "constructivist" teaching methods that relied on complicated word problems. These theories were popular and trendy when they were introduced in the 1980s. However, because they [ ] often neglected to build a foundation of basic knowledge before moving to complex reasoning, they have proven to be inferior to traditional method for teaching most students.

[snip]

The district jettisoned the "constructivist" math curriculum, replacing it with one that used more traditional methods.

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Not only does the new plan align the district goals with the strand objectives, it does so in a way that makes clear what should be taught, what strategy should be used, who is responsible, when in the school year teachers should reach the goal, and what constitutes proof that the goal was met.

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