Saxon Math Warrior


American math education has been a disaster for 50 years.
John Saxon said the problem was being caused by a politically-driven leadership
that promotes, finances, and writes weak and radicalized teaching materials.
It made him angry that these “leaders” continued to blame teachers for the results.

It began with the 1960s “new math.” Then in 1989 the leadership codified a set of national standards that turned classrooms into social engineering projects. The specific goal was to have girls and minorities “like” math. Two decades later the math education disaster has reached new levels, yet math leaders refuse to accept their roles in the devastating results of their academic experiments on America’s school children. The worse part is that government leaders let them get away with it.

John Saxon, a retired military officer who became a math teacher, author, and publisher, began challenging the leadership establishment aggressively in 1981 after he published his first textbook. He accused them of pushing their unproven ideology onto teachers and students. He showed how mathematics could indeed remain true to itself—a historically rich discipline—and still cause students from all academic levels (and races and genders) to say, “I love math!” The math establishment immediately spurned him. Not being a certified teacher, he couldn’t possibly know how to teach. Worse, he refused to support their ideological reform program that said process was the “real” product of learning. To them, mathematical results were a by-product.

This complete biography of John Saxon tells of his life before and after he decided to take on the powerful American mathematics establishment. The belittlement he experienced as a child, the success he achieved as a West Point graduate and decorated pilot, the close family ties he built among his four children, the incremental construction of his proven user-friendly math program over a 15-year period, and the zealous loyalty of his employees are described in detail. It shows why, when he died in 1996, Saxon Publishers had sales of $27 million in spite of major efforts by math education leaders and their political allies to destroy him personally and professionally.

A NEW FRONT IN THE MATH WAR

New national standards for teaching mathematics and reading are upon us. President Barack Obama has convinced 48 states, some U.S. territories, Washington, D.C., and some major private sector players (the Gates Foundation, for example) to sign on to his federal proposal.  more...

A BOOK FOR MATH WARRIORS

In 1981, John Saxon scraped together $80,000 from loans, savings, and a second mortgage on his house in order to publish his Algebra 1 textbook. He field-tested it for a year and proved that its simplicity was ingenuous and, most of all, that it produced unbelievable and unmatched success among math students from all backgrounds. (The study was even monitored and praised by the Oklahoma office of the American Federation of Teachers.)  more...

A QUIZ FOR ACTION

  1. Do you have trouble understanding the strange math assignments in your child’s elementary and middle school materials and don’t know how to help with those lessons? This isolates you from your child’s “training” by the school system. This should not be allowed by any parent, no matter how much smarter the educators make you think they are than you.

  2. Do you know, for sure, if your child is receiving an elementary mathematics education that will prepare him or her for on-level high school coursework and even for college or the workforce?

  3. Do you know that ours is the only country in the world whose people think it’s acceptable not “to be good” in math? Have you considered that people in third world countries know that genuine mathematics is the language of science, logic and critical reasoning? Is it reasonable then to recognize that we are growing dependent on those countries to provide us with mathematicians and scientists?


An excellent resource: Using John Saxon’s Math Books, How homeschool parents can successfully use them—and save money, Grades 4-12, by Art Reed at www.homeschoolwithsaxon.com and www.DrAardsmasSaxonMathChecker.com for computer-assisted instruction.

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