Author Archives

I am entering my 21st year as a math teacher at Weston High School, the sole public high school in Weston, MA. It’s also my 44th year as a teacher altogether. In addition to my day job, I taught for 20 years at the Saturday Course in Milton, MA. I also teach at Harvard’s Crimson Summer Academy each summer; 2017 was our 14th consecutive summer.

Sometimes I work on educational software. I also read, cook, and continue building my model railroad whenever I can. For some reason I'm left with less so-called free time than would be ideal. Nevertheless, I manage to devote time to my wife, Barbara, and to our excessive number of cats as well.

  • Principal search

    We’re looking for a new principal, as our previous one moved to Georgia over the summer to become an Assistant Superintendent in the Cobb County district. This year we have an interim principal at Weston, as we search for a… Read More ›

  • Conspiracy theories

    From the right: THE HILLARY CLINTON ’08 CAMPAIGN AIRED ITS FIRST, HOUR-LONG COMMERCIAL last night. [caps in original] Unfortunately, it came masked as a primetime network TV series… Last night, “Commander in Chief” portrayed conservatives as ruthless, power-hungry, militaristic, Bible-thumping, sexist… Read More ›

  • Are men malingerers?

    According to the Boston Globe: Men are twice as likely as women to play hooky by calling in sick, according to a recent poll. The 11th annual Attitudes in the American Workplace poll, reported by the Marlin Co., a workplace… Read More ›

  • Robert Noyce and Bringing Down the House

    Usually I’m in the middle of reading two books at once — typically a novel and a non-fiction work. But for some reason I’m currently reading a biography that’s definitely non-fiction and a former best-seller that purports to be non-fiction…. Read More ›

  • Merit pay

    Our distinguished governor, Mitt Romney, advocates merit pay for teachers, based on the standardized test scores of their students. Vivian Troen and Katherine C. Boles wrote an op-ed piece about this idea in the Boston Globe on 9/28. I was… Read More ›

  • Back-to-school night

    Yesterday evening we held our annual Back-to-School Night at Weston High School. You know the drill: the parents come to school, arrive late at their first-period class because they can’t find a parking space, go to one ten-minute class after… Read More ›

  • Partial Credit

    One of my students — let’s call her Artemis — muses in her blog: Giving partial credit may be helpful to a student’s grade in school but in real life, people don’t want to know how you did something, they… Read More ›

  • Habits of highly effective teachers?

    Key Curriculum Press publishes our new Algebra II textbook as well as two software products that have had a significant impact on many high-school math teachers, Geometer’s Sketchpad and Fathom. Their recent catalog includes a moderately long article entitled “The… Read More ›

  • Bullet voting, pro and con

    On Tuesday, Boston voters will go to the polls in the “preliminary election” for City Council. Something like a primary, the preliminary election narrows each race down to a number of candidates equal to twice the number who will be… Read More ›

  • Standards-based Education, Part IV

    Standards-based education encourages us to give untimed tests. This idea makes a lot of sense: if I want to tell whether a student can solve a quadratic equation, I shouldn’t be testing how fast s/he can solve the equation. The… Read More ›