Math teachers who can’t do long division

California’s public universities, though heavily subsidized, are failing to give the citizens much for the money, writes Jill Stewart. In particular, teacher education is a mess.

California Education Secretary Richard Riordan says teacher colleges “are probably the worst thing about California public education. The teacher colleges produce certified teachers who can’t teach.”

. . . One problem is that skills such as arithmetic are rejected by many teachers as “drill.” Professor (David) Klein blames UC and CSU teacher colleges who hammered that view into teachers.

At Cal State Northridge, Klein is required to allow the use of calculators during finals. “My students who are going to become middle-school teachers leave Cal State Northridge unable to do long division or to multiply. … Then they go off to teach math to teenagers — but can’t do it.”

Because of the state budget crisis, UC and CSU are underfunded to meet the demand. Yet 58 percent of incoming CSU freshmen need remedial English or math or both. (Stewart notes these students can pass out of remedial classes without retaking the test they previously flunked.) It seems inevitable to me that the public universities will limit enrollment by raising standards, sending the least capable remedial students to community college.

About Joanne


  1. Wacky Hermit says:

    I know a 6th grade teacher who is always coming to me to get help and ideas for her math lessons. She didn’t know 2 was a prime number.

  2. Wacky… that is definitely bad, but may not necessarily mean the teacher is incompetent…
    Some people erroneously learn that 2 can’t be prime because it is even (it is, in fact, the ONLY even prime number)… on the other hand, MANY educated people don’t realize that the number 1 is NOT prime, even though the ONLY numbers that are factors of 1 are 1 and itself, namely 1. Recall that the usual definition of prime is that the number can only have integral factors of 1 and the number itself. The number 1 fits this definition, but is an exception to the rule.

    I don’t know the whole story… but if this teacher knew prime numbers, but maybe messed up on the numbers 1 or 2 since they are “wierd”, that doesn’t mean the teacher is unqualified… it certainly means she needs to take a refresher course, or take it upon herself to brush up on the material…

    I’m assuming of course, that her major was not math…
    and that this is a relatively new teacher?

  3. John from OK says:

    Jab, every teacher I ever had knew that the primes were 2,3,5,7,11…. I knew that in 5th grade. It’s not hard.

    Joanne, you’re wrong. CSU tried to raise standards before, and some geniuse realized that the minority percentages decreased, so the plan was scrapped. You just can’t beat the education-industrial complex.

  4. Walter Wallis says:

    In 1952, I aced the dumbbell english entry exam, but was advised to take it anyway because “almost everyone” did. Even then.

    I didn’t.

    I do not believe college resources should be wasted teaching high school topics. Send them back with instructions to keep them in the oven until they are done.

  5. John…

    I never said it was hard…
    I just pointed out it is a common mistake…
    both 1 and 2 are a little wierd:
    1 fits the “definition” of prime, but isn’t;
    2 is the only even prime.
    A math teacher SHOULD know this…
    but I’m not about to declare the end of civilization as we
    know it because a middle-school teacher made this common mistake… that’s why I asked if she was a new teacher, or if she majored in math/science… most middle-school teachers are not required to have majored in the subjects they teach… maybe this teacher majored in english or history, but is now teaching math… she made a common mistake… bad, yes, but I’m not about to write her off as a horrible teacher… yet.

  6. Dumb math joke:

    A mathematician, physicist, and engineer were asked to
    prove that all odd numbers are prime…
    The mathematician says:
    “3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime… therefore
    by induction, all odd numbers are prime.”
    The physicist says:
    “3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is experimental error,
    11 is prime, 13 is prime, 15 is experimental error…”
    The engineer says:
    “3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime, 15 is prime…”

    Hey, I’m a physicist, so we always used to bash the engineers… until we realized of course, that physicists aren’t trained to do anything practical, and the engineers got all the great jobs…

  7. Okay, the obvious question is:

    Why aren’t teacher’s colleges getting a better class of candidates?

    The students are (obviously) chosen from among those who apply. If they are not getting good students, it’s because the better students aren’t applying. Well, in any other profession, you boost the quality of applicants by boosting salaries, status, working conditions, etc.

    Now that’s obviously unacceptable to all those who think teachers are overpaid and underworked. So to them I ask, how do you attract the best and the brightest?

  8. Insufficiently Sensitive says:

    It doesn’t take the best and the brightest. In the days of the 3 Rs, ordinary blokes and blokesses could mostly do multiplication and long division, because it was taught as a serious technique to use when real answers were required, such as when figuring a 12% down payment. And ordinary blokes and blokesses learned these techniques well enough to teach them to the kids.

    Now that the calculator is the royal road to ‘learning’, the graduates have pumped-up self-esteem and the education of barbarians. Actually, some barbarians had to account for numbers of sheep or camels or slaves, and I shouldn’t be slagging their numeracy.

  9. If it doesn’t take the best and brightest, or even competent, what do you propose?

    And who’d want to work there?

  10. Mad Scientist says:

    OK, there are many instances of people in Engineering and Chemistry professional societies who try to teach math and science at the High School level. These typically are people with B.S. or higher (usually higher) degrees who have spent many years in industry, and due to early retirement offers or downsizing, have looked at this as a good fit between their skills and the skills needed by schools.

    One problem is that most states REQUIRE certification to teach in public schools and these people do not have the certification. Another problem is that most of the engineers and chemists are seriously put off by the idea of having to join a union.

  11. Insufficiently Sensitive says:

    You must have missed seeing the concept of the ordinary human being, who can with some exertion become competent at basic arithmetical operations. As an example, read ‘Andersonville’, wherein the Union Army prisoners passed the time testing one another with mathematical puzzles which would seriously dent the self-esteem of a modern teacher without a calculator. Basic arithmetic is not superhuman.

    Who’d want to work there (I assume you mean teaching in a school)? Plenty of ordinary folks, who would choose teaching in a moment over flogging merchandise at Wal-Mart. Perhaps the barriers to entry to the teaching profession have been a leetle ‘enhanced’, to deter the practical sorts who might shudder at all the tortured psychology classes that were not inflicted on those Andersonville prisoners, nor their teachers.

  12. “how do you attract the best and the brightest?…” The problem is that “the best and the brightest” will not put up with the bureaucracy and administrative arrogance that pervades the public schools. (There are many sainted exceptions, some of whom are probably among the posters to this site, but you expect to run an organization based on the availability of saints.

    The next question, of course, is “how do you get a better class of administrators?”

  13. Mad Scientist says:

    As far as “the best and the brightest” versus salaries go, let me state that my wife is a teacher, mainly in private and parochial (I hope I spelled that correctly) schools.

    When we lived in NJ, yes, the starting salaries are somewhat low. As they are in ANY field of endeavor. However, someone with tenure and sufficient experience could make, on average, $65K per year.

    When we moved back to WNY, she thought she was lucky to land a 4/5 position in the local school district, and they acted lucky to get her. So someone with almost 20 years experience in teaching foreign languages (8 of them overseas), certified in 2 subjects, and a DML (Doctor of Modern Languages) was given credit for THREE years experience (due to the advanced degree).

    This is what a union system devolves to. Perfect credentials, tons of experience, but it does not count because it was not in a public school.

    Why bother?

  14. Maybe the problem is not so much the union, but the absence of an administration that cares enough to resist harmful demands. If you are in the auto business and you give in to demands for silly work rules (a machine setter can’t also plug it in, you have to call an electrician), then you will soon find yourself out of business, because Toyota doesn’t do it that way. But in education, there are no consequences (except to the kids), so it’s easier to go along and avoid unpleasant conflict. There’s no balancing force.

    I find it very interesting, BTW, that educational administrators call themselves “administrators” (as opposed to “managers”)…”administrators” is a term that in not used in any business I’ve ever heard of except for fairly low-level people (like, “contract administrator”). I thinkj it says something about the orientation they bring to the job…they are not running a system, they are letting it run them.

  15. If 1 is a prime, then it screws up the concept of unique factorization in the integers.

    (Yes, I’m a dork. *sigh*)

  16. If it matters … a prime number is a whole number having 2 and only 2 integrtal factors. That definition takes care of the 1. I’m not a dork!!

    Here we go again Mad … I wouldn’t blame teacher unions for the problem of attracting talented kids or even some of those elder statesmen you mention, into teaching. Teacher unions are somewhat of a different animal than trade unions and anyone who wishes to teach would be doing themselves a diservice to not enter on that basis. The ‘credentialing’ is probably the biggest hurdle and I would agree that ist needs to be reassessed.

    I truly believe that teaching like most jobs, is learned and refined while on the job, not before you get it. What most new teachers find difficult is not the subject matter but the ability to manage a classroom. Ask anyone who’s been there and they will tell you. It will not be learned before you get the job, and you’ll probably know very shortly whether or not it’s for you. I don’t care how ‘smart’ you are, it will be secondary to your ability to impart that knowledge. Is pay part of it … probably not as much as you’d think. In many areas, (ie. NY State, but not all of it) the pay is ‘good’. Many will not like to admit it, but todays students for a variety of reasons are a much different bunch that they were 20 to 30 years ago. Examples cited upon request.

  17. Excuse the spelling of integral … and it should have been whole number factors not integral anyway … see I’m not a dork, just careless at times. One more try …A prime no. is a whole number have 2 and only 2 ‘different’ whole number factors. Much better.

  18. David and Mad Scientist, I know full well the motivation-squelching and inspiration-deadening effects of bureaucratic trivia. Inane rules (and NCLB is full of them, as are unions and administrations) used to anger me. Now I’m resigned.

    Perhaps that’s just time passing. Perhaps it’s despair. But there are a lot of us in the trenches who’ve decided not to let attendance rosters, detention lists, potty passes, fire drills, special ed or gifted paperwork, standards, testing mandates, irate parent letters or insensitive comments by national leaders defeat what we know is important.

    We’ve chosen – and choose – to work despite the crap. We’re all we’ve got.

    To say that the “best and brightest won’t put up with administrative arrogance” supposes that only the dumb ones stay. A few do. Many don’t. But longevity and intelligence aren’t mutually exclusive, especially if you’ve learned to sort the occupational gold from brass.

  19. SuzieQ…I adefinitely agree that there are some “best & brightest” who stay despite the administrative idiocies. I just think it takes a rare level of dedication, hence my reference to “saints.”

    My broader point is that we (citizens, parents, good teachers, employers) don’t need to tolerate this stuff. The administrators, ed-school morons, and others who control our educaional system are not feudal lords. We are not serfs.

  20. The NCLB is the driving force behind certification right now. Being highly qualified depends, in part, upon being certified, the NCLB mandates that schools be staffed with highly qualified teachers. Yes, certification needs to be re-thought, but education schools are cash cows (remember, they have to certify at least 3x the number of actual teaching positions because of the attrition rate in the profession), and it is unlikely that they will a) reduce the number of courses one has to take (thus reducing tuition dollars) or b) take fewer students (thus reducing tuition dollars).

    If it makes you feel any better, mad scientist, no district around here will credit you any more than 5 years regardless of actual experience.

    Not all administrators are bad (it seems only the bad ones make the news, though). I have a good team in my building.

    I think teaching is 1/3 subject area knowledge/pedagogy, 1/3 management skills, and 1/3 intangible hocus pocus. Great teachers fire on all cylinders; good teachers hit 2; bad teachers only 1 (if that).

  21. Het Mad, given what Rita C said regarding credit for experience, and I can ditto that restriction, I guess we need even better unions. Ouch!

  22. Mad Scientist says:


    So you are saying that a CERTIFIED teacher, with almost 20 years actual classroom experience AND an advanced degree gets mor more than 5 years credit?

    It is time the Administrations WAKE UP! A good portion of the workforce (i.e., porfessionals such as scientists, engineers, middle and upper management) are REQUIRED to be mobile for a number of reasons, including: Companies require people to move about to broaden their skils, people in other professions change jobs every 5-7 years, mregers and acquisitions force people to change employers, and so on.

    Teachers tend to marry either other teachers, or at least other professionals. Without the protability of their careers, I am afraid that fewer of the more highly qualified/motivated will stay in teaching just because of the economic risk of a non-teacher’s employment prospects.

  23. Steve LaBonne says:

    Again I have to put in a plug for Liping Ma’s “Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics”. Her Chinese interviewees, who were so much more competent at understanding and teaching elementary math than their American counterparts, were educated only through normal school- which in China is only a high school, not a university department. I don’t know exactly what that means for the current discussion, but it’s food for thought.

  24. Wacky Hermit says:

    I echo Steve LaBonne’s plug. I knew math ed was bad in our schools because of what I’d seen in the classroom, but I had no idea it was that bad until I read the book. I’d figured there were just a few bad apples out there and odds were that any given student would at some time study under one of them, but the level of sheer ignorance documented by Ma in the *majority* of the teachers in her sample was just shocking, especially in light of the fact that the way her sample was selected biased it toward the teachers who were best at math among teachers. It goes a long way toward explaining why I kept on getting students coming into my office who did not understand operations with fractions.

    And for the record, the 6th grade teacher friend referenced in my way-earlier post is a veteran teacher who teaches all subjects to her class. (And she didn’t know 1 was not prime either.)

  25. Mad, the limiting of teachers getting credit for years of ‘other’ employment … including teaching, of course varys from district to district, but is basically a function of the school board and not the administration. I know personally of a superintendant wanting to hire an experienced teacher (giving them credit for years taught and experience) had to fight tooth and nail with the schol board to hire that person. Teacher unions have made some inroads in this area but by in large other than starting salaries, the union has had little effect on some of these hiring practices.

    When I first moved to LI in the late 60’s, many school districts were hiring only teachers fresh out of college. This was primarily a school board policy to keep costs down. Even teachers with a masters were at a disadvantage in some districts, while other more affluent ones would only hire you if you had one.

    And, I would think that the highly qualified and motivated would stay in teaching because they are highly qualified and motivated, and like what they are doing and contrary to a comment you made elsewhere teaching the same thing over and over for 20 or 30 years would be boring, but such is not the necessarily the case in high school curriculums. There were things I taught in the ‘later’ years that didn’t exist 30 years ago. I’ve always emphasised to my students that high school is not job training, and, many of you will eventually have jobs that do not even exist today.

    Bringiing young/old, bright and talented people into the profession will require much effort on the part of many; teachers themselves, school boards, parents, unions, State Ed departments, credentaling authorities,and unfortunately politicians.

  26. Perhaps the end result of teachers not knowing or teaching math well is being illustrated in my junior college microeconomics class. Most of the students can not reason quantitatively, many have problems with graphs, and half can not do division of fractions (after all it is a 50-50 proposition when you guess). My conclusion is that high schools are doing a terrible job at teaching math. I keep telling my class that the more math you know the better your ultimate job prospects, if only for the training in critical thinking skills.

  27. Put me down as one of the “bright” ones who got frustrated and quit. I never even made it to actual teaching; I couldn’t stand to get through the teaching program.

    I entered UTD’s teacher education program having already earned a BA in English. My goal was to teach high school English. The classes were a joke. I’ve never taken easier. In the entire program, there was one checkpoint to see if we knew anything about our subject at all. But the defining moment, for me, was when we were told that if we were there to teach a subject, think again: we were there to teach *children* not *subjects*. Unfortunately, *I* wanted to teach *English*. Thankfully I was eventually able to create a position in which I can teach as I wish.

    The useful bits of all those classes could be condensed down into one class focusing on classroom management techniques. The rest was crap. Good teachers don’t need what these teaching colleges teach, and it’s not going to help the bad teachers.

    Thank goodness for the good ones who successfully wade through all the ridiculousness.

  28. Steve LaBonne says:

    What do they respond when you ask, “teach children WHAT?”

  29. Stephanie … you’ve hit the nail on the head … the subject matter is almost immaterial to the job. Much of what you teach ‘most’ (I use that term carefully) know already … some has to be learned along the way … most of what I taught in the ‘twilight’ of my career was not even in existence when I was in college. You need the ability to stay current with new and changing curricula, but classroom management skills and how you relate to the students, their parents and the community is the make or break part of the job. How ‘smart’ you are is fine but it alone will not get it done.

    And Mace, trust me when I say, it’s not for the lack of trying. If you don’t think we tear our hair out day in and day out with this process you need to spend a few months in a high school. As a high school teacher we blamed the junior high school teachers, and they in turn blame the elementary teachers … eventually it gets to the point where someone’s dog is getting kicked. But, to put it in perspective, imagine trying to teach high school algebra to students who still haven’t mastered the multiplication tables and then the thinning out process continues from there. Fewer in Geometry, fewer yet in Advanced Algebra and Trig …. ect. etc. By the time they go on to ‘higher’ education many are pretty weak mathematics students. Mathematics has a fairly unique problem in that a particular knowledge base is quite often necessary to continue on in another. A student ‘goofing’ off in English because he/she didn’t bother reading the last book assigned can decide to turn it on and do a better job on the next one. This is much more difficult in mathematics. Once a student falls behind, too often even the best intentioned student will find it difficult to recover.

  30. It’s the school boards who decide how much credit you get. I taught part-time for years, but got no credit at all when I stepped into fulltime teaching. It’s the money. They want the best teachers for the least amount of money. The teacher with her Masters +30 and 30 years in is costing them waaaaaay more than I am — for the same student load.

    And yes, I think the lack of mobility is a HUGE issue — we don’t don’t collect social security; we’re trapped in the pension system (which is good, but doesn’t let you move out of state). You might even get good, experienced teachers willing to put in a few years in tough school districts if they wouldn’t lose years off their step pay.
    Teaching is NEVER boring. How could my job be boring when I come into contact with 140 adolescents every day? If I were free to tell tales out of school, I’d have you all *howling* at some of the things that happened to me today. Yeah, I’m an English teacher, but they’re what keeps me grading my bazillioneth essay of the year.

  31. Mad Scientist says:

    It’s not just a problem with high school teachers. When I was taking a statistics class, the TA was a young woman who was obviously chosen not for her brains. She was indeed as dumb as a rock.

    I had to debate with her for 15 minutes that the answer I had on my test 3 It’s not just a problem with high school teachers. When I was taking a statistics class, the TA was a young woman who was obviously chosen not for her brains. She was indeed as dumb as a rock.

    I had to debate with her for 15 minutes that the answer I had on my test 3

  32. Mad Scientist says:

    OOPSIE, somehow something got cut out of the last post. There were 2 sets of equations:

    My answer: 3 .LE. x .LE. 5

    Her answer key: 3 .LE. x AND x .LE. 5

    The debate was that these were equivalent.

  33. Mad Scientist says:

    Then there was the hgihg school math teacher. Instead of teaching the relationships of trig functions using the unit circle, she gave us a “memory trick” and did not bother to WRITE the abbreviation on the board. She just wanted us to memorize it.

    Well I memorized it WRONG, and failed the test. I learned I memorized it wrong when I went to find out why I did so poorly. THEN she showed me the unit circle. Simple, concise, elegant. I still do not know why she did not do THAT in the first place.

  34. I spent 15 years as an aerospace engineer before I went into teaching. I am certified in math and physics. I was repeatedly told by the professors in my certification program that I would have trouble finding a job because I already had a masters degree and besides it was in engineering not in education so it was worthless.

    What I found in truth was that I was in high demand. Several principals told me that they could teach me to be a teacher but they could never find a teacher with my experience in the subject matter.

    I was also told by the education professors that I would not be an effective teacher because I was too demanding and too much the “sage on the stage.” Maybe I am but I do know more than the students and I do use a combination of lecture and hands on in the form of labs and demos. I really believe the students need to have a background in what they are doing before they go into the lab. As for not being an effective teacher I am being honored this coming Wednesday (3 March) by Miami University of Ohio as one of the outstanding high school teachers and I am in my second go around in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” I got my first nomination my first year of teaching.

    I really have a problem with schools of education, at least the one I went to. It was not rigorous at all. If teachers want the respect that other professions have then ed schools better start being as rigorous as programs like engineering, pre-med, pre-law, physics, etc.

    In fact I just came from a JETS (Junior Engineering Technical Society) competition at the Univertsity of Cincinnati today. Of course the school of engineering presented information to the coaches. To enter the engineering school the applicant must have an ACT of at least 26 or an SAT of at least 1150. In contrast the school of education presented information on a new program in special education they have (I don’t know why they presented to us but they did) and to enter the program the applicant needs an ACT of at least 18 or an SAT of at least 850. To me that says something about how schools of education see their potential students.

    Just my 2 cents

  35. Mad, you’re gonna love this … I always loved teaching trig and in particular the use of the unit circle … a beautiful piece of art it is and I drew my circles free hand(sometimes).

    And Rita C. where is it that you don’t collect SS? Come to NY … we have good unions here (sorry ’bout that Mad)

    And Jeff that 850 seems extremely low (gulp … even for an Ed. school) In NY I don’t believe that 850 will get you in many(let alone any) SUNY schools. And I might add that an 1150 on the SAT (which BTW was ‘recentered several years ago) seems extremely low as well. An 1150 today translates into about an 1100 in the late 80’s early 90’s. But either way, I’m sad to say is that if the teaching programs were as rigorous as the programs you mentioned then you’d have two major problems. First, do you intend to pay them on the same scale, (who’ll finance that nightmare) and secondly I would contend that you could not in your wildest dreams find that many candidates (given the number of teachers required to staff our schools) that are thusly qualified. There just aren’t enough ‘smart’ people to go around.

    In conclusion here, teaching is not rocket science. There are certainly many subjects that require extensive knowledge in that field, (mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and any AP course in any field). And those subject areas need to have people who are well versed in that field. But, beyond that, the success of a teacher will depend upon his/her classroom management skills, and the relationships developed with the students, their parents and the community. This you will not learn in college … at least not in the course work. There are certain techniques that can be taught and strategies that will be helpful, but until you get there and apply, change, refine, and fail and try again, you’ll not really learn it. Does this require an SAT score of 1150 and up? Probably not. As long as you are well versed in your subject area, whether that takes an 850 or a 1350, and can deal with the ‘human’ side of the job (not to mention the inhuman side … plenty of that) you’ll do just fine. Did I mention caring, humor, and compassion … good …throw that in too, it’ll help!

  36. D. Cooper — it’s a federal law. I can’t cut and paste, but it’s the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Acts that do it. I will probably lose all of my spousal benefits should my husband pre-decease me. My own earned social security benefits will be reduced (even though I had my 40 units in BEFORE going into teaching). Makes career changes for burned out teachers nearly impossible if they want to retire.

  37. Rita C. … to get on the same page …I am a retired NYS teacher … when I am eligible for SS benefits, I’ll recieve the full benefit regardless of my NYS retirement income. I checked that provision you mentioned and it seems to apply to states where public employees are not covered by SS. So, I would find that a bummer to be sure … I guess you’ll have to move to NY. The pay is better here also … cost of living … well that’s another story.

  38. Richard Brandshaft says:

    Prime numbers:

    Any specialized field requires learning a specialized language, and math is more depended on precise definitions than most. But even in math, there are cases where precision really matters, and cases of overwrought quibbling over semantics. A flub over whether 1 and 2 are prime numbers is the latest. Previously on this blog, there have been discussions of when 2 can be called THE square root of 4 and when one should say “+2 or -2”, and whether scientific notation requires exactly one digit before the decimal point.

    Such questions would be proper for a techie equivalent of “On Language” or “Word Court” but they have nothing to do with one’s competence in math. Putting questions that turn on such fine points on high stakes tests (which is how the last two examples came up) is a flub. Refusing to admit the flub when it is pointed out is malpractice.

  39. D. Cooper. I have no intentions of moving to New York. Don’t like the state. And, believe me, once the cost of living is factored in, my pay is much better.

  40. Rita … that was a rather quick rejection of NY State … givem its diversity from NY City, Long Island beachers, to the Adirondacks .. must be something there you’d like. Unless there’s some other reason … weather, Hillary …. I can’t think of any state that I can say I don’t like. I might not want to move to some but I like them all. You hurt my feelings. (yes we do have them here)

    I question your pay advantage … LI is probably one of the higher paid teaching area in the country with most experienced teachers in the 75k to 95k and up range. It more than makes up for the cost of living … when I first began teaching I lived in a much lower paying area of the state with a lower cost of living. No comparison .. teachers here can retire in the 70 to 80 range easily(before SS) and can live practically anywhere they wish.

    And Rich, you’ve got your boxers in a bunch over this prime # deal. 2 has always been prime, and 1 never has been despite the efforts of many a student.
    to get it included. And I’m not sure what your point is. But, if it matters, the common symbol for square root used on calculators is understood to be the positive square root of the number. There are however some people here who absolutely get off on uncovering a teacher when they make mistakes. It makes their day. Incompetence is one thing … a boo boo or a misplaced comma now and then is I believe a forgivable sin.

  41. Mad Scientist says:

    I can think of a state I do not like: NJ. I lived there for 3 years. Always somebody trying to scam somebody out of something. Rude, aggressive, self-absorbed.

    I’ll NEVER move back there.

  42. Just to show you what a good natured person I am, I’m going to concur with you on NJ …. as soon as you cross the Gothals (sp.?) you can smell it. Yipes! However my hapless Jets play there. Given your ‘jock’ sentiments expressed earlier, I don’t suppose you’re a Bill’s fan.

  43. Mad Scientist says:

    As I said, I grew up 60 mi. north of NYC (and was born there).

    I’ve been a Jets fan since I was 5.

  44. Rita C. says:

    Cooper — I’ve been all over New York City and State. Just doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll max out at about $65K. Can you buy a 2000 sq. foot house, newer construction, several acres, for about $130K on LI?

  45. D. Cooper says:

    You mean down payment right. …No, but I can with my extra money move to your state(unless its Alaska or Hawaii) and live like a King. (90k with SS). Is that max out your retirement benefit or your teaching salary??

    PS… I’m sure you must have missed a dew spots in NY, but that’s ok. Didn’t get your state.

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