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Tom:
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(Sorry for the delay - I was in Mexico for two weeks and mail wasn't forwarded to me, so I am just now getting it.)

Thanks so much for taking the time to write and for turning your kids into great math detectives. And thanks for such a well-written (funny, clear, dramatic) query - have you considered a career writing for CSI - Math?

As you may know, while I am fairly proficient in math I am not a Professor or teacher of mathematics (though I taught a very dreary Pre-calculus and Geometry class 35 years ago when a teacher was needed!). My role as a Pearson Consultant was to help the authors and editors make the work more focused on understanding, more engaging, and more coherent (using Understanding by Design, my program, as a basis for the suggestions). As a result, I only interacted with the emerging manuscript a few times.

Thus, I am afraid that I am as much at a loss as you are as to what has happened to the mysterious 42b.

Frankly, I think whatever the truth CAN'T be as interesting and fun as what you guys did with it as a class. In fact, in future textbooks I will strongly recommend to the authors and editors that they routinely leave out sentences, phrases, and entire questions since it seems clear that the investigations posed by you and your students are far more interesting than most of the ones in the textbook!

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I will send your wonderful letter on to my superiors at Pearson so that the program editors might figure out what has happened to 42b.
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