What’s 1/3 + 1/4? Asked by a radio host, the president of the New York City teachers’ union said she couldn’t answer without a pencil and a piece of paper. Another guest, Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy, supplied the correct answer, seven twelfths.
According to New York State standards, adding fractions with different denominators is sixth-grade work. But (Randi) Weingarten defended her lack of a quick answer. â€œI do it the old-fashioned way,â€ Ms. Weingarten said. â€œYou take your paper, your pen, you add it up, you get to the fractional whatever.â€
â€œAnd you show your work, right?â€ (host Mike) Pesca prodded. â€œSo a good teacher can give you partial credit.â€
Ms. Weingarten replied, â€œA good teacher will look at it and talk to you about what went right and went wrong.â€
When she negotiates contracts, it’s all about the decimals.