Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Mathematics Education Doesn't Add Up

About a year and a half ago, I was a visitor in a 9th grade mathematics classroom in Houston, Texas. I was shocked to see one student use his calculator to add 8 seven times because, not only did he not know the multiplication tables, he didn't even know how to multiply on his calculator. This incident highlights the problems with mathematics education in the U.S.

From Malcolm Kline:

In international comparisons, American high school students ranked 24th out of a 29-country survey compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The OECD results raise a question: What math are students learning? In many high schools the answer is, very little.

...Students today may know less mathematics than the pupils of any previous generation but they do feel better about it. Unfortunately, it is hard to build a bridge with high self-esteem.

For another take on Math deficiencies in U.S. education, see pages 17 and 18 of this Dallas Fed Report [Note: it is a large pdf file and takes awhile to download; thanks to SCSU Scholars for the link].
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