Our Playground Rules

This website is meant to increase communication and understanding, specifically in the area of math education.  It is meant to be a safe place to discuss important questions about where math education is going. We expect honest, respectful, and informed inquiry to form the basis of everything we do.  As sad experience has shown, in order to have this, we absolutely must establish ground rules for all posts and comments on this site.

Note that we have set this website up so that we must actively approve all comments.  We also intend to follow the rules closely ourselves.

For our sanity, we have two strict rules we will enforce carefully even if we agree with the content:

  1. No discussion of religion.
    • Religious discussions, even well-intentioned ones, tend to become angry and heated very quickly, at least on the Internet.  We just don’t have the time or energy to referee such debates.  If you feel you absolutely must make a point about religion and math education, please do so in a different venue or through private channels.
  2. Political discussion must obey very strict guidelines
    • This means that any political discussion must focus on the pros and cons of implemented or proposed policy, as it impacts parents, teachers and students.
    • Mentions of political parties, individual politicians (unless they are exemplary educators), and historical politically charged events are banned.  Criticisms of policies, ideas or implementations should stand on fall on their own merits in the here and now, not on who has championed them.  If the association with a particular party, faction or ideology is clear enough, there is no need to say more.
    • This is a world-wide rule.  This means, among other things, that comparing the virtues and downfalls of different national education systems should be kept strictly to the policies themselves.  No debating national character, historical grievances, or anything which cannot be changed going forward.

We also have several other rules which we will enforce as seems appropriate and necessary:

  1. No offensive language.
    • This one is tricky because of the very broad range of things people can consider offensive.  We are generally going to interpret it very strictly.  This includes such things as obscenities, profanities, racial and sexual slurs, and other obvious insults.
  2. No off-topic discussion.
    • This blog is about math education and research into math education.  It can and will include details about mathematics, science and teaching as they become relevant.  If we stray too far from this, though, the conversation will have to be taken elsewhere.
  3. Always show respect to everybody who accesses this website.
  4. We encourage informed discussion.  We do not believe we have all the answers.  There are many sensible things to question about the changes in math education that are being made going forward.
    • That said, we will not allow our website to become a platform for spreading misinformation or ignorance.  We have taken a great deal of care about everything we post here, and we expect the same courtesy from others who comment or post.  If you make any claims which seem extreme, unlikely or uniformed, expect to be required to provide reasonable evidence before being allowed to post.

Thank you for making the math dragons the website it can be.