A nightmare of a program is headed to Los Angeles where there is already a sleazy Deasy mess in the making.  It is founded and supported by individuals unburdened by years of excellent Math classroom experience.  Reasoning Mind is a brand that is constantly being “refreshed” and for 2015, it is advertised as an Early Algebra Preparation System.
Are you getting goosebumps over the PR rigor of it all?

But what does this slice of the educational-industrial complex look like in action?
Just about what you would expect.  Teachers are TOLD that it is being inflicted upon them.  
There is never even the hint of a PROFESSIONAL consultation with faculty to ask if they want, need, or approve of RM. Teachers are laboring long hours in behalf of their 2nd and 3rd grade students from a very impoverished neighborhood, with test scores in the basement, but now they will add one more requirement to the mix.  Instantly, they must acquire hardbound composition books for their 300 + charges and label each with student name, username and password.  

These passwords are in addition to those already in use for Accelerated Reader/Math, State Testing, MySatori,AutoSkills, Reading Counts, iStation and whatever else constitutes the newest tech flavor of the moment.

The RM sessions must take place in a big computer lab, multiple times a week, monitored only by the teacher, and for a specified total # of minutes “in program”.  Big Brother keeps a relentlessly close eye on the stats. Much like the current Food Network, every aspect of RM is instantly transformed into a competition in which educators vie against one another for data indicators of progress, which are then posted throughout the school and celebrated over the PA.

Adults are directed Not To Assist students at any time. The administration-driven competitions help to establish the marketable efficacy of Reasoning Mind, all at the expense of under-paid/overworked teachers. Time on Task and Mastery Levels are what get used when it is time to fundraise from the donor base and make the winning sales pitch to nationwide school districts.

NTA means that even though you may know for certain that Caleb cannot manipulate the online number line embedded into the positive and negative integers sequence, you must sit and watch him struggle from a distance, absent all prompts or intervention.  The software program will cycle him back through until he “gets it”, not to worry!  

Predictably, an emotional disturbance resembling a storm front sets in.
These RM sessions create an atmosphere percolating with frustrated children, unable to “show your work/reasoning” on the pages of the composition books which are crammed into a severely limited tabletop space, now strewn with broken pencil parts.  Student frustration eventually turns to detachment, misbehavior, anger, alienation, a contempt for mathematics and an indefatigable genius for discretely clicking onto fun screens like Lego, PBS Kids and BrainPop.  Remember that these time and energy consuming computer sessions Do NOT take the place of mandated classroom math instruction, assessment, RTI, and after-school tutorials by teachers.

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