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Published on May 24, 2012
http://saxonmathwarrior.com I wrote the biography, John Saxon's Story, a genius of common sense in math education, to memorialize the life of a powerful teacher, author, and publisher. Before retiring in 2006, I had witnessed success with Saxon materials as a K-12 principal/teacher on an Indian reservation and as the principal of an 80% white, upper middle class school in Seattle, WA. My students excelled in math. Several of the elementary teachers admitted they understood math "for the first time."
Why, then, did John Saxon and his program become so hated by national and state leaders, district bureaucrats and many teachers? For one thing, he told them the disastrous results in math education have been due to their bad decision-making. Those decisions impacted the performance of teachers and students and they needed to accept responsibility for the disaster. That was not well received. They, unwisely, declared war on him.
The book chronicles the battles of this ridiculed West Point graduate who held three engineering degrees, was a Korean War hero and test pilot among future astronauts, and an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He was not the dummy portrayed by math education leaders. In the battles, John Saxon would find his greatest passion in fighting a "good war" to save American math education. For that, he is still honored by tens of thousands of students and parents today. (More than half of America's 1.5 million homeschooled students use his materials.)