US Scientists Slam K12 De-emphasis on Mathematics

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Scientists have written an open letter criticising an effort to de-emphasise advanced mathematics in K-12 courses.

Open Letter on K-12 Mathematics

We write to express our alarm over recent trends in K-12 mathematics education in the United States. All of us have first-hand experience of the role that clear mathematical thinking has played in advancing information technology and American economic competitiveness. We all also share the urgent concern that the benefits of a robust mathematical education, and the career opportunities it opens up, should be shared more widely between students of all backgrounds, regardless of race, gender, and economic status. We fully agree that mathematics education “should not be a gatekeeper but a launchpad.”

However, we are deeply concerned about the unintended consequences of recent well-intentioned approaches to reform mathematics education, particularly the California Mathematics Framework (CMF). Such frameworks aim to reduce achievement gaps by limiting the availability of advanced mathematical courses to middle schoolers and beginning high schoolers. While such reforms superficially seem “successful” at reducing disparities at the high school level, they are merely “kicking the can” to college. While it is possible to succeed in STEM at college without taking advanced courses in high school, it is more challenging. College students who need to spend their early years taking introductory math courses may require more time to graduate. They may need to give up other opportunities and are more likely to struggle academically. Such a reform would disadvantage K-12 public school students in the United States compared with their international and private-school peers. It may lead to a de facto privatization of advanced mathematics K-12 education and disproportionately harm students with fewer resources.

Another deeply worrisome trend is devaluing essential mathematical tools such as calculus and algebra in favor of seemingly more modern “data science.” As STEM professionals and educators we should be sympathetic to this approach, and yet, we reject it wholeheartedly. The ability to gather and analyze massive amounts of data is indeed transforming our society. But “data science” – computer science, statistics, and artificial intelligence- is built on the foundations of algebra, calculus, and logical thinking. While these mathematical fields are centuries old and sometimes more, they are arguably even more critical for today’s grand challenges than in the Sputnik era.

We call on national, state, and local governments to involve college-level STEM educators and STEM professionals in the design of K-12 mathematics and science education curriculum, set the following as explicit goals, and allocate resources to help school districts meet these goals:

1. All students, regardless of background, have access to a math curriculum with precision and rigor, and that would enable them to pursue STEM degrees and careers if they so choose.

2. Far from being deliberately held back, all students should have the opportunity to be nurtured and challenged to fulfill their potential. This is not only for their own benefit but also for society and the nation’s economic competitiveness.

3. There cannot be a “one size fits all” approach to K-12 mathematical education. Students should be offered multiple pathways and timelines to explore mathematics. But one of these pathways should be the option to obtain the fundamental preparation for college-level STEM, including algebra, calculus, and logical reasoning. Students should have the opportunity to take those classes at varying grade levels of middle and high school when they are ready, so that they acquire the tools to explore other STEM options and can build their proficiency in a balanced pacing, avoiding irresponsible compression late in high school.

Mathematical education is a challenging enterprise, and we have the utmost respect for our K-12 colleagues who are doing this hard work. In appreciation of the difficulty, we believe that changes to educational standards should be approached with care, using incremental experimentation building on lessons learned from both the US and abroad and using credible measures of success. In contrast, initiatives like the CMF propose drastic changes based on scant and inconclusive evidence. Subjecting the children of our largest state to such an experiment is the height of irresponsibility.

Finally, K-12 math curriculum development cannot be disconnected from one of its most important end goals: Preparing students for success in college-level STEM education and a STEM career. As educators in public and private institutions, and working professionals in the technology industry, we have a first-hand understanding of the skills needed for this goal. While the US K-12 system has much to improve, the current trends will instead take us further back. Reducing access to advanced mathematics and elevating trendy but shallow courses over foundational skills would cause lasting damage to STEM education in the country and exacerbate inequality by diminishing access to the skills needed for social mobility.

Contacts:

Boaz Barak b@boazbarak.org

Edith Cohen edith@alumni.stanford.edu

Adrian Mims amims@thecalculusproject.org

Jelani Nelson minilek@berkeley.edu

Related:

Blog posts (cross-posted): Shtetl-Optimized Windows on Theory

Fuller Analysis

Signatories

Total: 597 as of December 5, 2021

(Affiliations are provided only for the purpose of identification)

Scott Aaronson, Professor of Computer Science and director of the Quantum Information Center, University of Texas at Austin; ACM Prize in Computing, Alan T. Waterman Award, ACM fellow

Mina Aganagic, Professor of Mathematics and Physics, University of California, Berkeley; Fellow of the American Physical Society, Simons Investigator

Adebisi Agboola, Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Santa Barbara

Amna Ahmad, Professional Development Specialist, Moreno Valley Unified; HS Math Teacher/RCOE Site Support Person of the year 2020

Samuel K Ainsworth, PhD student, University of Washington

Aditya Akella, Professor, Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin

Jason Alicea, Professor of Physics, California Institute of Technology

Mark Allison, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Michigan Flint

Ryan Alweiss, Graduate Student, Mathematics, Princeton University

Victor Amelkin, Research Scientist, Amazon

Alon Amit, VP of Product, Intuit Inc.; Proof School Board, Math Circle Leader

Nima Anari, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University

Richard J Anderson, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington

Thomas G Anderson, Postdoctoral Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Michigan

Anton Andreev, Professor of Physics, University of Washington

Cedrick Argueta, PhD Student, Computer Science, Princeton University

Nima Arkani-Hamed, Professor in the School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study

Scott Armstrong, Professor of Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

Raymundo Arroyave, Professor of Mecahnical Engineering, Texas A&M University

Sepehr Assadi, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Rutgers University

Irina Astrovskaya, Sr Bioinformatics Engineer; PhD

Salman Avestimehr, Dean’s Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science, University of Southern California; IEEE Fellow, PECASE

Babak Ayazifar, Teaching Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley; IEEE Education Society’s Mac Van Valkenburg Early Career Teaching Award; UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering Division’s Outstanding Teaching Award; MIT Goodwin Medal for excellence in teaching.

Godmar Back, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Virginia Tech

Vineet Bafna, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego; Fellow of International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB)

Frederick K Baganoff, Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research; Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Marcello Balduccini, Assistant Professor of Business Intelligence and Analytics, Saint Joseph’s University

Boaz Barak, Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University

Burcu Baran, Sr Machine Learning Engineer, LinkedIn; PhD in Number Theory

Jacob A Barandes, Lecturer, Co-Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Physics, Harvard University

Vladimir Baranovsky, Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Irvine

Martin Z Bazant, E. G. Roos (1944) Professor of Chemical Engineering and Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs, Andreas Acrivos Award for Professional Progress in Chemical Engineering

Paul Beame, Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington; ACM Fellow

Mikhail Belkin, Professor of Data Science and Computer Science, University of California, San Diego

Huck Bennett, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Oregon State University

Arkady Berenstein, Professor of Mathematics, University of Oregon

Roman Bezrukavnikov, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abhishek Bhrushundi, AI Research Scientist, Bloomberg LP

Michael R Bird, Senior Architect, IT, UPMC

James S Blachly, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics, The Ohio State University; Computational Biologist

Joshua Bloom, Professor of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley

Dan Boneh, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University; Fellow of ACM and AMS, Member NAE, Gödel Prize, ACM Prize in Computing

Richard E Borcherds, Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley; Fields Medal

Endre Boros, Distinguished Professor, MSIS Department, Rutgers University; Foreign Member of the Academy of Sciences of Hungary

Steven G Boxer, Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University; Member National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Fellow American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), Royal Society of Chemistry, Biophysical society

Stephen Bradforth, Professor of Chemistry, University of Southern California

Simina Branzei, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Purdue University

Maxim Braverman, Professor of Mathematics, Northeastern University

Michael P Brenner, Michael F. Cronin Professor of Applied mathematics and Applied Physics and Professor of Physics, Harvard University; Research Scientist, Google Research, Harvard University/Google Research

Philip H Bucksbaum, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Stanford University

Itay Budin, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego

Aurel Bulgac, Professor of Physics, University of Washington

Claudio F Campagnari, Professor of Physics and Department Chair, University of California Santa, Barbara

Ran Canetti, Professor of Computer Science, Director of the center for Reliable Information System and Cyber, Boston University

Pei Cao, Distinguished Engineer, Google

Bryan Catanzaro, VP, Applied Deep Learning Research, NVIDIA

Amit Chakrabarti, Professor of Computer Science, Dartmouth College

Moses Charikar, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University; ACM Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award

Pratik Chaudhari, Assistant Professor, Electrical and System Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Kamalika Chaudhuri, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego

Swarat Chaudhuri, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin

Alvaro E Chavarria, Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Washington

Shuchi Chawla, Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin

Jeff Cheeger, Silver Professor of Mathematics, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

Xiaohui Chen, Associate Professor of Statistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ying-Ju Tessa Chen, Assistant Professor, Statistics, University of Dayton

Hai-Ping Cheng, Professor of Physics, University of Florida

Mahdi Cheraghchi, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Christopher Chidsey, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University

Junghoo Cho, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles

Andrey V Chubukov, Professor of Physics, University o Minnesota – Twin Cities

Julia Chuzhoy, Professor of Computer Science, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago

Kenneth L Clarkson, Distinguished Research Staff Member, IBM Research; Fellow of the ACM

Elizabeth S Cochran, Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey; 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers; Geological Society of America Subaru Woman in Science Award

Edith Cohen, Research Scientist, Google Research; Fellow of ACM

Judith G Cohen, Kate Van Noyse Page Professor of Astronomy emeritus, California Institute of Technology; Member, National Academy of Sciences

Benjamin Cohen-Wang, Machine Learning Engineer, Robust Intelligence

Henry Cohn, Senior principal researcher, Microsoft Research, and Adjunct Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jeffrey Cohn, Research Staff Member, IBM

Chase Coleman, Lead of Data Science and Economics, UMA

Jason Connor, Biostatistician, ConfluenceStat; PhD in Statistics & Public Policy

Steve R Conrad, high school math teacher (retired), NCTM, MAA; 1985 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching 7-12 from Reagan

Bruce A Conway, Professor Emeritus & Research Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinios at Urbana

Corinna Cortes, VP Research, Google, Inc.; ACM Paris Kanellakis Award

Carina Curto, Professor of Mathematics, The Pennsylvania State University

Ashok Cutkosky, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University

Shibin Dai, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Mathematics, University of Alabama

Rahul Dalal, Postdoctoral Fellow, Johns Hopkins University

David Darmon, Senior Data Scientist, Moody’s Analytics; PhD in Scientific Computation

Aniruddha Das, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Columbia University and Zuckerman Institute

Sanjoy Dasgupta, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego

Fred Daum, Principal Fellow, Raytheon; IEEE Fellow; IEEE Distinguished Lecturer

Ernest Davis, Professor of Computer Science, New York University

Anindya De, Assistant Professor of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania

Laura G DeMarco, Professor of Mathematics, Harvard University; Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Percy Deift, Professor of Mathematics, New York University; Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), National Academy of Science (NAS)

Alin Deutsch, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego

Bob Devereux, Sr Software Development Engineer, Amazon

Tamal K Dey, Professor, Purdue University; ACM Fellow

Enrique Diaz-Alvarez, Chief Risk Officer, Ebury; PhD in Electrical Engineering

Isil Dillig, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin

Mark J Dittmer, Mathematics Teacher, Piedmont High School

George G Djorgovski, Professor of Astronomy and Data Science, California Institute of Technology

Stefan Doboszczak, Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, University of Maryland

Pedro Domingos, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington

David Doty, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Davis

Bogdan Doytchinov, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Elizabethtown College

Anca Dragan, Associate Professor, EECS, University of California, Berkeley

Songzi Du, Associate Professor of Economics, University of California, San Diego

Sergei Dubovsky, Professor of Physics, New York University

Shaddin Dughmi, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Southern California

Jozo Dujmovic, Professor of Computer Science, San Francisco State University

Zeev Dvir, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, Princeton University

Semyon Dyatlov, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Leslie P Eastman, Environmental Health and Safety Consultant, Zoubek Consulting, LLC; Masters of Science/Chemistry, B.Sc. (Chemistry and Geology), Certified Hazardous Materials Manager

Alexei A Efros, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley; ACM Prize in Computing, Guggenheim Fellow

Michael B Eisen, Professor and HHMI Investigator, University of California, Berkeley; Editor in Chief, eLife

Shmuel Eisenmann, Sr Manager, Research Science, Amazon Web Services, Center for Quantum Computing; PhD

Yakov Eliashberg, Professor of Mathematics, Stanford University; Veblen, Hopf, Crafoord and Wolf Prizes, Member of NAS and AAAS.

Oguz H Elibol, Head of Applied Science, Machine Learning, Bright Machines

Tatiana Engel, Assistant Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Pavel Etingof, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Fellow of the AMS, Fellow of the AAAS, Chief research adviser of PRIMES, Chief Editor of JAMS and Selecta Mathematica, member of the AMS Council, Chair of the Leelavati Prize committee for ICM 2022

Reuven Falkovich, Graduate student, Chemistry and Biological Engineering, Massachussettes Institute of Technology

Edward Farhi, Principal Scientist, Google; former Director Center for Theoretical Physics MIT

Nicholas Fausti, Lead Software Engineer, smileML, Penn Engineering; MSE in Computer and Information Science, Assistant Teacher @ Penn Engineering

Karen Favie, Math Teacher, CA Public High School

Joan Feigenbaum, Grace Murray Hopper Professor of Computer Science, Yale University; Fellow of the ACM, Fellow of the AAAS, Connecticut Technology Council Woman of Innovation, Amazon Scholar

Vitaly Feldman, Research Scientist, Apple

Ila Fiete, Professor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; HHMI Faculty Scholar

Marta Filizola, Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Joel W Fish, Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of Massachussettes, Boston

Daniel S Fisher, David Starr Jordan Professor of Science, Stanford University; Member, National Academy of Sciences; Onsager Prize

David Fisher, Ruth N Halls Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, Indiana University

Will Fithian, Assistant Professor of Statistics, University of California, Berkeley

Matthias Flach, Professor of Mathematics, California Institute of Technology

Steven T Flammia, Principal Research Scientist, Amazon Web Services Center for Quantum Computing; Honorary Professor, University of Sydney, Pawsey Medal

Eanna Flanagan, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Cornell University

Andrew T Flicker, Director of Account Strategy, StatBid; ASU, Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics

Daniel S Freed, Professor of Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin

Eric A Freudenthal, Associate Professor, Computer Science, University of Texas at El Paso

Daniel Freund, Assistant Professor of Operations Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Yoav Freund, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego; Godel prize, Kannelakis Prize

Susan Friedlander, Professor of Mathematics, University of Southern California

Stefano Fusi, Professor of Neuroscience, Columbia University

David Futer, Professor of Mathematics, Temple University

Peter Gacs, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Boston University

Surya Ganguli, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University

Barry Garelick, Retired math teacher (middle school), Retired; Have written articles on math education that appeared in Atlantic, Education Next, AMS Notices, Educational Leadership; presented at researchED.

Michael Gelfond, Professor Emeritus, Computer Science Department, Texas Tech University; Fellow of the Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

Samuel J Gershman, Professor of Psychology and Brain Science, Harvard University

Dan Gertmenian, Math Olympiads Instructor, City of Cupertino, Formerly at: Cisco Systems; CPRS Professional Merit Award

Robert Ghrist, Professor of Mathematics and Electrical/Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Drew Gilliam, Chief Operating Officer, AutoCloud

Grover C Gilmore, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Department of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University

Peter W Glynn, Professor of Management Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Electrical Engineering), Stanford University; Member of National Academy of Engineering, John von Neumann Theory Prize, Fellow of IMS and INFORMS

William A Goddard, Professor Chemistry, Materials Science, Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology; Member US Academy of Science

Ashish Goel, Professor of Management Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) Computer Science, Stanford University

Leo Goldmakher, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Williams College

Alexander B Goncharov, Professor of Mathematics, Yale University

Yannai A Gonczarowski, Assistant Professor of Economics and of Computer Science, Harvard University

Eduardo Gonzalez, Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics, University of Massachussettes, Boston

Joseph E Gonzalez, Associate Professor of EECS, University of California, Berkeley; Involved in the design and teaching of the data science curriculum at UC Berkeley

Francesca Gordini, Architect, Patrick Ahearn Architecture

Noah Graham, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Natural Sciences, Physics Department, Middlebury College

Peter W Graham, Associate Professor of Physics, Stanford University; Director of Undergraduate Studies in Physics at Stanford, New Horizons Prize in Physics

Daniel Green, Associate Professor of Physics, UC San Diego

Jacob Greenstein, Professor of Mathematics, University of California Riverside

Sabee Grewal, PhD Student, University of Texas at Austin

Darij Grinberg, Assistant Professor oh Mathematics, Drexel University

Benedict Gross, Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, Harvard University; Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Member of National Academy of Sciences, MacArthur Fellowship, Member of American Philosophical Society, Cole Prize in Number Theory

David Gross, Chancellor’s Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics, KITP, University of California, Santa Barbara; Nobel Prize in Physics

Piyush Grover, Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Material Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nestor Guillen, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Texas State University

Sarah Guo, General Partner, Greylock Partners

Anupam Gupta, Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Victor Gurarie, Professor of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder

Dan Gusfield, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Computer Science, Univ. of California, Davis; Fellow IEEE, ACM, ISCB

Syed Mahbub Hafiz, Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Davis

Eran Halperin, Professor of Computer Science, Anesthesiology, Biomathematics, Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles; ISCB fellow

Roni Harnik, Senior Scientist, Fermi National Accelarator Laboratory; Quantum Theory Department Head

Fiona Anne Harrison, Professor of Physics; Chair, Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology

Aram W Harrow, Associate Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Nurit Haspel, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Joel Hass, Professor of Mathematics, University of California at Davis

Pooya Hatami, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, Ohio State University

Leshell Hatley, Executive Director, Uplift, Inc.; PhD

Patrick Hayden, Professor of Physics, Stanford University

Patrick J Hayes, Senior Scientist, Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition; AAAI Fellow

Dudley R Herschbach, Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University; Nobel Prize in Chemistry, National Medal of Science, American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal

Mark H Histed, Investigator, National Institute of Mental Health, Intramural Research Program

David A Hoffman, Adjunct Professor of Mathematics, Stanford University; Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of Massachusetts, Chauvenet Prize, Mathematical Association of America

Susan Hohenberger, Research Professor, Department of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University

Tara S Holm, Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics, Cornell University; Fellow of the AMS

Christian Howard, PhD Student in Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Daniel Hsu, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University

Qixing Huang, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, The University of Texas at Austin

Steve Huntsman, Principal Scientist, Systems & Technology Research

Michael Hutchings, Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley

David Hyde, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Vanderbilt University

Nicole Immorlica, Senior Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research

Kenneth Intriligator, Professor of Physics, University of California, San Diego

Elena Ionova, Algebra Teacher (afterschool), Russian School of Math

Sandy Irani, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Irvine

Ehud Isacoff, Professor of Neurobiology, Director, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley; NAS

Phillip Isola, Assistant Professor of EECS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Gene Itkis, Research Scientist, Lincoln Laboratory, Massachussettes Institute of Technology, Visiting Professor at West Point US Military Academy

Sonia Jaffe, Research Economist, Microsoft

Mohit Jaggi, Technical leader and manager of software and ML, Uber (signing in personal capacity )

Jainendra Jain, Evan Pugh University Professor of Physics, Penn State University; Member of National Academy of Sciences, Fellow AAAS

Lalit K Jain, Assistant Professor, Foster School of Business, University of Washington

Kevin G Jamieson, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Washington

Alan Jasanoff, Professor of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ania Jayich, Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara

David S Jerison, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; AAAS, Stefan Bergman Prize, Simons Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow

Ranjit Jhala, Professor of Computer Science Engineering, University of California, San Diego

Svetlana Jitomirskaya, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Irvine; Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), AMS Satter Prize, APS & AIP Dannie Heineman Prize

Kyle A Johnsen, PhD student, Georgia Tech

Cynthia D Jones, Educator, Baltimore City Public Schools; Computational Thinking Certification

Laura E Jones, Biostatistician, PhD Student, Statistics and Biometry, Albany School of Public Health, State University of New York; PhD, MS

Victor Kac, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), member of the National Academy of Sciences

Shamit Kachru, Professor of Physics, Stanford University

David Kagan, Full Time Lecturer in Physics, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Yael T Kalai, Principal Senior Researcher and Adjunct Professor, Microsoft Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Archana Kamal, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Daniel Kane, Associate Professor, Computer Science Engineering and Mathematics, University of California, San Diego

Rishabh Kapoor, PhD Candidate, Systems, Synthetic and Quantitative Biology Program, Harvard University; Education Minor, Stanford University

Anna R Karlin, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington; Bill & Melinda Gates Chair, National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Science, Fellow of ACM

Neven Karlovac, Chief Executive Officer (Retired), Cellmic Inc. (now part of Now Diagnostics Inc.); Ph.D. EE, Senior member IEEE

Mehebub Karmali, Former 9-12 math teacher, Former MSJHS

Efthimios Kaxiras, John Hasbrouck Van Veck Professor of Pure and Applied Physics, Harvard University

Alan C Kay, Adjunct Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles; Turing Award, Draper Prize, Kyoto Prize

Zvi M Kedem, Professor of Computer Science, New York University; Fellow ACM, Fellow IEEE

Ralph Kelsey, Professor, Ohio University

Todd Kemp, Professor of Mathematics, University of California, San Diego; Founding Faculty of the Halcioglu Data Science Institute

Christina Kendziorski, Professor of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Wisconsin-Madison; ASA Fellow

Maya Keshavan, Electrical Engineer, Consultant

Rania Khalaf, Chief Information and Data Officer , Former Director of AI and Cloud Research, Inari

Vedika Khemani, Assistant Professor of Physics, Stanford University

Mohammad F Kiani, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Radiation Oncology, Temple University

Roozbeh Kiani, Associate Professor of Neural Science, New York University

Ju-Lee Kim, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MIT Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising

Michel A Kinsy, Associate Professor & Director of the STAM Center, Arizona State University

Alexander Kirillov, Professor of Mathematics, Stony Brook University

Mike Kirschner, President, Design Chain Associates, LLC; American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute Advisory Board member

Steven A Kivelson, Prabhu Goel Family Professor of Physics, Stanford university; Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Bjørn Kjos-Hanssen, Professor and Associate Chair, Mathematics, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Sergiu Klainerman, Higgins professor of mathematics, Princeton University; Member of US Academy of Sciences, foreign member of the French Academy of Sciences

Dmitry Kleinbock, Professor of Mathematics, Brandeis University; Fellow of the AMS

Bruce Kleiner, Professor of Mathematics, New York University

Patrice Koehl, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Davis

Ilya S Kofman, Professor of Mathematics, College of Staten Island and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Krishna C Kolakaluri, Principal Engineer, Plume; Bachelors in Engineering

Daphne Koller, CEO and Founder, insitro; Adjunct Prof. of Computer Science, Stanford; Coursera co-founder; MacArthur Fellow; NAE Fellow; AAAS Fellow; AAAI Fellow.

Anatoly B Kolomeisky, Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Rice University

Risi Kondor, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Statistics, University of Chicago

Alex Kontorovich, Professor of Mathematics, Rutgers University

Konrad Paul Kording, Professor of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania

Richard E Korf, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Los Angeles; AAAI fellow

Nisarg Kothari, Senior Staff Software Engineer, Google

Pravesh K Kothari, Assistant professor of computer science, Carnegie Mellon University

Petros Koumoutsakos, Herbert S. Winokur, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University; International member US National Academy of Engineering ; Area Chair of Applied Mathematics, Harvard University; Director, Institute of Applied Computational Science, Harvard University

Alex Kovner, Professor of Physics, University of Connecticut; APS Fellow

Vladik Kreinovich, Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at El Paso; Vice President of International Fuzzy Systems Association

Peter Kuchment, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, Texas A&M University; Fellow of AMS, APS, SIAM, AAAS, IoP

Susan Kulawik, Senior Research Scientist, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute

Shrinivas R Kulkarni, George Ellory Hale Professor of Astronomy & Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology; Member, National Academy of Sciences

Arun Kumar, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering and Halicioglu Data Science Institute, University of California, San Diego

Ravi Kumar, Research Scientist, Google Research; Fellow of ACM

Anastasia Kurdia, Senior Professor of Practice of Computer Science, Tulane University

James V Lambers, Professor of Mathematics, The University of Southern Mississippi

Ian Langmore, Sr. Software Engineer, Google

Frederic Latremoliere, Professor of Mathematics, University of Denver

Thomas Lauritzen, VP of Data science, Iterative Scopes; Ph.D. biophysics

Hung Le, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Yann LeCun, Professor of Computer Science and Data Science, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University; ACM Turing Award; member NAS, NAE; Fellow, AAAI; Chief AI Scientist, Meta

Jason Lee, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Princeton University

Matthew S Leifer, Assistant Professor of Physics, Chapman University

Benjamin Lev, Associate Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Stanford University

Leonid Levitov, Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Avi Levy, Engineer, Microsoft; PhD in Pure Mathematics (University of Washington, 2017)

Harry R Lewis, Gordon McKay Research Professor of Computer Science, Harvard University; Recipient of the IEEE 2021 Mary Kenneth Keller Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate Teaching Award

Jing Li, Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Tech

Jacky Liang, PhD Candidate in Robotics, Carnegie Mellon University; NSF Fellow

Daniel A Lidar, Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California; Viterbi Professor of Engineering

Vladimir Lifschitz, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin; Fellow of the Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence

Tony Lima, Professor Emeritus of Economics, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA; B.S., MIT, chem. eng. PhD Stanford economics

Xin Liu, Professor, University of California, Davis; IEEE Fellow

Yang Liu, Graduate Student, Mathematics, Stanford University

Zhen Liu, Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

Ivan Loseu, Professor of Mathematics, Yale University; Fellow of the AMS

John Lott, Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley

Shachar Lovett, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego

Andrew Lucas, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder; Sloan Fellow

Jonathan Luk, Associate Professor in Mathematics, Stanford University

George Lusztig, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Shaw Prize in Mathematical Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Elena Machkasova, Associate Professor of Computer Science, University of Minnesota Morris

Mauro Maggioni, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Statisics, Johns Hopkins University; Popov Prize, Sloan Fellow, Simon Fellow, Fellow of the AMS

Mehrdad Mahdavi, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Penn State University

Konstantin Makarychev, Professor of Computer Science, Northwestern University

Yury Makarychev, Professor of Computer Science, Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago

Juan M Maldacena, Professor, Institute for Advanced Study; Member of the National Academy of Sciences

Michael Malione, Director, Malione Learning Center

Natasha Mallette, Professional Practice Engineer, Oregon State University

Vladimir Mandelshtam, Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine

Juan J Manfredi, Professor of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh

Richard Mann, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University

Aneesh Manohar, Distinguished Professor of Physics, University of California, San Diego

Vanel Marc, Algebra Teacher, Southshore Charter Academy; Founder of Sherpa Math Game

David Margulies, Retired Research Staff Member, IBM Research-Almaden Lab

Amelie Marian, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Rutgers University

Ivan Marinovic, Professor of accounting, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

Brad Marston, Professor of Physics, Brown University; Fellow of the American Physical Society, recipient of a number of awards.

Sergei Maslov, Professor of Bioengineering and Physics, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign; U of Illinois Presidential Award and Medallion, Fellow of APS and AIMBE

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Kevin Wayne, Phillip Y. Goldman ’86 University Lecturer in Computer Science, Princeton University

Michael B Weissman, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; APS Fellow

John S Wettlaufer, A.M. Bateman Professor of Geophysics, Mathematics & Physics, Yale University

Steven R White, Distinguished Professor of Physics, University of California, Irvine; Member, National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Daniel Wichs, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Northeastern University; Sloan Fellow

Michael Willis, Postdoctoral Scholar (Mathematics), Stanford University

Barry M Wise, President, Eigenvector Research, Inc.; EAS and Wold medal winner for achievements in data science (chemometrics)

Stephen J Wright, Professor of Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Laurence G Yaffe, Professor, Department of Physics, University of Washington

Avi Yagil, Professor of Physics, University of California, San Diego

Deborah Yelon, Professor and Chair, Cell & Developmental Biology, University of California, San Diego

Lexing Ying, Professor of Mathematics, Stanford University

Alexander Yong, Professor of Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bryant W York, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Portland State University; ACM Fellow

Andrea Young, Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara

Zhiwei Yun, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, AMS Fellow, Packard Fellow, ICCM Gold Medal

Matias Zaldarriaga, Professor of Astrophysics, Institute for Advanced Study; Member of the National Academy of Sciences

David Zeeman, Mathematics Teacher, San Francisco Unified School District

Di Zhang, Associate professor of electrical engineering, Naval Postgraduate School

Wei Zhang, Professor of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, Fellow of the AMS, Simons Fellowship

Yuanlin Zhang, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Texas Tech University

Maksym Zhenirovskyy, Principal Engineer, PARC; Ph.D. in Physics

Jonathan Zhu, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati; PhD, Physics, University of California, Berkeley

Eric Zitzewitz, Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College

Denis Zorin, Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics and Chair of Computer Science, New York University

David Zuckerman, Professor of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin; Simons Investigator, ACM Fellow, Packard Fellow

I don’t have a problem with schools providing alternatives to advanced math classes. Some otherwise intelligent people just can’t do advanced math, any more than I can write world class poetry or compose a rock song anyone would want to listen to.

But advanced math classes should always be an option. Denying advanced math courses to children with a born talent for math is just as bad as denying artistically gifted students access to musical instruments and art lessons and materials.

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John
December 6, 2021 10:11 pm

Completely agree
Maths is the foundation and should be along with the core Science and English / native language courses

if you cant measure / calculate a volume / work out an area etc then you cant follow recipes, work out how much paint you need or work out how electrical problems of the new erra

then all the data analytics is useless as you wont have computers or anything else

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  John
December 6, 2021 10:37 pm

We don’t want people to be able to calculate that unreliables are a waste of money, do we?

Vuk
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 7, 2021 5:10 am

Agree, Einstein wasn’t very good at solving differential equations. At first relied on help of his wife, later on help of his fellow scientists. His black hole equation was solved by Karl Schwarzschild, crouching in a WWI trench somewhere on the Russian front.
Despite the difficulties Einstein still proclaimed
” Pure Mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas”It’s rather obvious that I’m not Einstein, but to pass Mathematics II at university I had to (successfully, I’m pleased to report) solve the exam’s set Bernoulli’s second order differential equation.If you like a challenge I’m sure you can find an example somewhere on internet if you search hard enough.

Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
December 7, 2021 5:31 am

Ahha, after a short search I found a generalised solution on youtube here:
https://youtu.be/_WKq3emMPfs

If you are man of maths have a go, needless to say after so many years I wouldn’t have been able to do it again, but watching the video, the long gone dead brain cells came to life, barely.
And that is a simple version, so your next step is to try
d^2y/dx^2 +…. =f(x)y^n
If you ask me to try it the answer would be ‘explitable delitable’

Last edited 1 month ago by Vuk
Sara
Reply to  Vuk
December 7, 2021 6:09 am

Vuk, all I needed to know about was HOW Bernoulli’s principle applied to lift for an airfoil (plane wing) when I was learning to fly gliders. Ir also explained (without specifically doing so) why some birds can glide forever while others, not so much.

Vuk
Reply to  Sara
December 7, 2021 8:49 am

Hi Sara,
Yes indeed it is one of classic physics principles.
Bernoulli family of Swiss mathematicians and scientists in general, did make huge contribution to number of science branches including hydrodynamics, mechanics, ballistics, differential calculus,thermodynamics, gas theory even magnetism.
Their importance is on the level of great 17th and 18th century scientists.
There were more than one Jacob, Johann, Nicholas (about 2 or 3 of each), and a Daniel Bernoulli who worked on magnetism among many other things.
Which one did what I have no idea, but I’m sure google will know.

Sara
Reply to  Vuk
December 7, 2021 11:47 am

Thanks! Ever wonder if they had fights over it at the dinner table?

GoatGuy
Reply to  Sara
December 8, 2021 8:32 am

fairly certain of it. I’ve been practicing ‘real’ science for oh, 50 years going or so, and i’ve yet to encounter a dinner party of fellow science types, that isn’t either peppered or marred by a vigorous-to-ridiculous debate of something or another.

IT IS THE WAY we need to be: opinionated, debating, resolute, wiley. Without that, science becomes an gruel of thin platitudes, whitewashed orthodoxy and brittle scaffolding.

David McEwen
Reply to  Vuk
December 7, 2021 11:44 am

There appears to be an error in the video; at about 1:37 the equation produced by dividing by x squared is missing the y factor in the second element.

Vuk
Reply to  David McEwen
December 7, 2021 1:31 pm

Hi David, well spotted, looks like error in copying of for the video, After introducing variable z, he got (-1/x)y at around 4’10”.
I’m not tempted to go all the way to the solution.

bill Johnston
Reply to  Vuk
December 7, 2021 12:09 pm

And if you inquire of a member of the younger set to tell you what 10% of 3 dollars would be, you will undoubtedly be given a blank stare. Or as I was told, “We weren’t taught that”!!!

MarkW
Reply to  bill Johnston
December 7, 2021 12:46 pm

A lot of time doing math is just a matter of finding the best way.
One time when my wife was struggling to calculate 15% in her head, I told her a trick I use. Instead of trying to multiply by 0.15, take 10%, then take half of that. Add the two sums together.

yirgach
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 3:45 pm

A lot of math is pattern based, but as they used to tell us, does the answer look reasonable?
Especially if you’re using a slipstick (slide rule).

GoatGuy
Reply to  yirgach
December 8, 2021 8:35 am

I’d give you a +10 if I could.
Poor ol’ slide rules.
I till pack mine in my briefcase…

To haul out at times during meeting.
To get that ‘incredulous dinosaur’ stare.
And ALWAYS to get the ‘same answer’ well before the youngsters

Its a joy.
GoatGuy

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  MarkW
December 8, 2021 3:22 am

That is the same shortcut I have been using for decades! It is surprising how many people don’t get how much easier it is that way.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
December 8, 2021 10:00 am

You mean there are people of at least average intelligence that don’t immediately get that on their own? I always thought I do it that way because “I’m not very good at math”.

beng135
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 7, 2021 11:13 am

We don’t want people to be able to calculate that unreliables are a waste of money, do we?

Or understand or be interested in anything involving numbers. So they’ll be free to manipulate the numbers w/o worrying — nobody will know or care how to challenge them.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  John
December 7, 2021 4:57 am

UN Agenda 21, education systems around the world must be devalued as educated people have higher carbon footprints (whatever they are) than lower educated people. The Great Reset, only the wealthy elites sill be educated, the rest must have to look up to the elites for guidance on how to live our lives!!! I don’t believe in conspiracy theories per se , Agenda 21 is no conspiracy, conspiracies are undertaken behind closed doors, Agenda 21 is being conducted in full view of everyone, but who wants to read hundreds or thousands of pages other than to get to sleep???

Duane
Reply to  John
December 7, 2021 8:03 am

But math is just so inconvenient to the True Believers in any area of science … whether extreme left or extreme right on the political spectrum.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Duane
December 8, 2021 10:06 am

Do you actually know anyone you could describe as “extreme right”?

I mean in terms of a 1950’s definition, not today’s definition, where anyone to the right of Angela Merkel is condemned as “far right”. 😉

DMacKenzie
Reply to  John
December 7, 2021 8:39 am

Math exams can separate the smart from the not-so-smart quite easily…so are against the very principles of leftists…

GoatGuy
Reply to  DMacKenzie
December 8, 2021 8:38 am

And in my little corner of sunny California, some school districts are eliminating both D and F grades, to be more equitable, I hear. What becomes the point of having ‘a stick’ and (A B) a carrot, without the stick part?

Having a fiancee with a ‘failed in school’ child … raised as a hedonist, and taking ‘to the streets’ without any fear of what ‘F’ was going to hold back at home, I can tell you, ‘the stick’ part is beneficial.

gringojay
December 6, 2021 10:14 pm

Send Dave Chappelle to sort things out.

8CEB1730-A429-4A01-92BC-2442E4E0E5E6.jpeg
Dnalor50
December 6, 2021 10:16 pm

Taking gender theory and intersectionality into account we need to take a more nuanced approach to the teaching of mathematics thereby ensuring that nobody gets left behind or has feelings of inadequacy. /sarc

Gunga Din
Reply to  Dnalor50
December 6, 2021 10:45 pm

As long as we ignore biology then, one male rabbit + one female rabbit = a bunch of asexual Minions! I always wondered where they came from!
(If you don’t know what a Minion is, thing of a Twinkie with an eye (sometimes two).

Leo Smith
Reply to  Gunga Din
December 7, 2021 3:05 am

Meaning of minion in English

minion
noun [ C ]
  usually disapproving uk
/ˈmɪn.jən/ us
/ˈmɪn.jən/

a person who is not important and who has to do what another person of higher rank orders them to do:

Andy H
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 7, 2021 6:27 am

Originally it meant favoured servant.

Michael Lemaire
Reply to  Andy H
December 9, 2021 9:00 am
Gunga Din
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 7, 2021 11:32 am

But “Minions” are important … until they are are gone.

PS I was alluding to the “Minions” in Despicable Me. But you probably knew that. 😎

Reply to  Dnalor50
December 6, 2021 11:02 pm

Oh, come on, Dnalor50. Intersectionality has its place:
comment image

John in Oz
Reply to  Dnalor50
December 6, 2021 11:17 pm

intersectionality

nounA feministsociologicalmethodology of studying the relationships among multiple dimensions and modalities of socialrelationships and subject formations.

This and gender theory should never see the inside of a mathematics class

Reply to  John in Oz
December 7, 2021 4:21 am

Nor should it see the inside of any scientific institution… like NASA GISS:
comment image

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 7, 2021 7:30 am

I ‘marvel’ at her unjustified assurance that she understands the Big Picture.

MarkW
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 7, 2021 8:51 am

Climate science is the universal hammer, by which every wish of the left will be forced onto the rest of us.

GoatGuy
Reply to  Dave Burton
December 8, 2021 8:41 am

Oh, let her ‘be right’. Then follow up with “and neither CLIMATE nor SOCIAL ‘justice’ are actually JUSTICE by any LAW ON THE BOOKS, because such laws would be either racist or totalitarian”

Right?

Neo
Reply to  Dnalor50
December 7, 2021 9:59 am

Based on equity, all variables are equal to the same value … probably 0 or NaN

Last edited 1 month ago by Neo
Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Dnalor50
December 7, 2021 12:25 pm

The answer to the age-old question of 2+2 is a number that lies on the spectrum from 3 to 5.

Ken Irwin
December 6, 2021 10:28 pm

I suspect the problem is lack of teachers with good math skills – typical for arts and humanities educated persons – the bulk of teachers.
My high school math results were appalling – requiring a year of evening math classes to remedy in order to get into college.
Eventually I scored in the 99th percentile in my math section of my G-MAT tests for my masters degree.
So I had the innate skills – but poor teachers left me mathematically illiterate on leaving high school.
Subsequently as a technical lecturer I was constantly seeing the exact same illiteracy in adult students who had “passed” High school math.
The inability to read a simple X-Y graph for instance.
A vicious circle ensues – such people go on to arts and humanities and become teachers.
I am not trying to slight teachers – just pointing out a problem.
Dumbing down high school math will exacerbate this problem.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 7, 2021 4:37 am

My 8 year old grandson loves maths. His particularly joy is Friday’s “Beat The Teacher”, 100 questions multiplication and division. His regular teacher doesn’t always beat him. But a couple of weeks ago there was a supply teacher to cover for his usual teacher. My grandson beat him/her by over 2 minutes and the teacher got some wrong apparently. I was apalled at such poor basic maths skills in a teacher even one teaching 8 year olds.

As an aside I find the lack of history and geographical knowledge in teachers equally worrying.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 7, 2021 7:33 am

“Those that can’t do, become teachers. Those that can’t teach, teach teachers.”

Rocketscientist
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 9, 2021 9:21 am

Those who cannot teach become administrators.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Rocketscientist
December 10, 2021 11:31 am

Those who can’t teach teachers become politicians.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 7, 2021 8:03 am

“As an aside I find the lack of history and geographical knowledge in teachers equally worrying”

Totally agree but I would extend that to too many people in general. You can’t begin to understand the modern world without a decent understanding of history and geography,

MarkW
Reply to  Dave Andrews
December 7, 2021 8:51 am

Which is why the left is so determined to both bury and re-write history.

Neo
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 7, 2021 10:25 am

Becoming a teacher has nothing to do with subject matter.

Bob Hunter
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 7, 2021 5:03 pm

Here in Calgary many of the Jnr High School (Grades 7, 8, 9) math teachers did not take math at University. Also, those teachers are in the lower income neighborhoods.
And, the Standard of Living North America enjoys for the most part is due to STEM. IMO, too many of our bright students have ended up being lawyers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bob Hunter
sycomputing
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 7, 2021 6:02 am

“I suspect the problem is lack of teachers with good math skills – typical for arts and humanities educated persons – the bulk of teachers.”

Your suspicion is both badly reasoned and poorly researched. The problem is very clearly a philosophical approach to modern education that implements a racist, quasi-Marxist method to outcomes whereby so-labeled “People of Color” are assumed less capable than their “White” contemporaries of doing high level mathematics. Or at least that’s the excuse they’re using to suppress accelerated learners. You know . . . like yourself. Moreover, the idea is to suppress individual achievement in favor of communal “equality.”

This isn’t a problem of finding individuals who can teach higher mathematics. It’s a problem that’s directly a function of how progressive liberals view minorities as being of lesser intellect, probably excused within their own minds by the contradiction that communal equality is fairer than individual superiority.

From the CA DOE FAQ on the headline article:

“Research provides evidence that schools and districts that design pathways with access, opportunity, and equity at the center are more successful in preparing all students to be ready for college-level math and science. As a result of the documented negative outcomes on certain student populations found in both tracking and ability grouping, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) strongly advocates for creating a middle school mathematics that will “dismantle inequitable structures, including tracking teachers as well as the practice of ability grouping and tracking students into qualitatively different courses” (NCTM, 2020).”

https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/mathfwfaqs.asp

Translating the above loosely: “Our research allows us to conclude that minorities aren’t as intellectually capable as their ‘White’ colleagues, thus we think it best not to trigger within them emotional turmoil by pushing them to be better (since, after all, they don’t have the ability to improve in the first place).”

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  sycomputing
December 7, 2021 8:42 am

Absotively posilutely. It’s not about math; it’s about Marxist Race Baiting and the stupidification of American children. So-called “Diversity” is dragging down everyone to the lowest level. If one child can’t learn, then none must learn. Equity is nothing for everybody.

The commies fear achievement; it threatens their totalitarian dream. Can it be that some academics are finally catching this clue?

DonM
Reply to  sycomputing
December 7, 2021 9:58 am

During the 2008-2012 era of no work for civil engineers, a co-worker got his masters and began substitute teaching. His BS grades from weren’t high enough to qualify for the ‘real’ teacher program so he got his masters in the industrial/ag type teaching (don’t know much about that program). He now has a permanent teaching job & still, on occasion, asks me about some of the math issues.

Back then I thought about doing the same thing. When I looked into the teaching Masters degree at University of Oregon I found that acceptance into the program was not only dependent on the bachelors program grades, it was dependent on a required essay about how necessary/reasonable diversity & inclusion practices are for our society. I thought about faking it, and I even went to one orientation session, but decided to ride out the economy and keep fighting with the bureaucrats.

My point being that teachers are told from the start that performance is not as important as the other crap. Most of them are even required to agree with the concept before they are accepted into the program. So, at the U of O, you will get two types of graduates … those that are on the diversity bandwagon & those that are willing to lie about being on the bandwagon; my hunch is that the U of O is not unique.

Ken Irwin
Reply to  DonM
December 7, 2021 1:40 pm

I went on to teach adult evening classes – this while running my own business.
I did it because I enjoyed doing it.
But finally I ran out of tolerance for all the bureaucratic (and increasingly “woke”) BS and quit.

MarkW
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 7, 2021 6:33 am

In most colleges, those who have failed at pretty much everything else, go into education.
Those who fail in education go into journalism.

Neo
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 10:26 am

The bottom appears to be “communications”

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Ken Irwin
December 8, 2021 3:32 am

Every child should learn basic arithmetic, how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, while in elementary school. This is a basic life skill. Getting wrong answers is how we learn to get to the correct answers. Kids aren’t stupid, eventually they figure out they got it wrong and teacher apparently doesn’t know the correct answer either!

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 6, 2021 10:34 pm

Another deeply worrisome trend is devaluing essential mathematical tools such as calculus and algebra in favor of seemingly more modern “data science.”

We don’t want kids growing up to be mathematically literate. They might question ‘the narrative’, and we can’t have that.

Give ’em “Data Scientology” skills. Then they’ll be able to manipulate any data to fit ‘the narrative’.

Remember, folks: any field with “science” in its name ain’t science, just like any country or party with the word “Democratic” isn’t.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Doc Chuck
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 6, 2021 11:17 pm

Quite right Ziggy, innumeracy is the best friend of those political manipulators for whom rescue of the planet without the slightest of hesitations is the order of the day, with warm emotions like ‘hope and change’ substituting for carefully crafted benefit/cost for policy. Besides, now that Science itself has been self-declared by a certain Dr. Anthony Fauci to personally reside within himself, any contention over his edict of the week must threaten that grand old traditional means of careful inquiry. And with the stunting of social skills among the masked students as well as recurrent overhanging fear to hobble them, they should prove to be desirably sheepish adherents.

Lorne WHITE
Reply to  Doc Chuck
December 7, 2021 2:05 am

Methinks Fauci is the one scientist proving that “the science is never settled”.

He must be a climate sceptic!

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Doc Chuck
December 8, 2021 10:24 am

Fauci would have said: “l’État, c’est moi”, if he spoke French.

Neo
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 7, 2021 10:27 am

You mean “torture the data” to fit ‘the narrative’.

Gunga Din
December 6, 2021 10:34 pm

I remember back in the ’70’s (maybe in the early 80’s) there was a move to teach kid’s that instead of 2+2=4 that 2+2 probably is 4. (Whoever said that likely oversimplified what he saw was happening, but, maybe not.)

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Gunga Din
December 7, 2021 12:15 am

Probably 4. Perhaps 5?

2.4 +2.4 = 4.8

Now round to the nearest integer:

2 + 2 = 5

QED

MarkW
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 7, 2021 6:36 am

I don’t remember it anymore, but in high school I learned a formula that proved that 1 = 2. The trick was that when you inserted numbers into the formula, you found that there was a hidden divide by zero in the middle of it.

DonM
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 10:11 am

yes, if X = 2, you cannot divide by (X-2) …

That one stuck with me too. The kids that like that one are ready to move past algebra. The kids that don’t give a crap keep at it or give up.

Gunga Din
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 10:17 am

I remember a couple of variations of that.
It would seem to be the foundational “formula” used in “Climate Science” today.
(I’m thankful that there is WUWT and other sites that can and have spotted the hidden “divide by zero”‘s in the CAGW hype.)

Gunga Din
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 7, 2021 11:18 am

1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples.
That’s how it used to be taught to young kids.
No “slices” involved.
Perhaps, teaching the “probability” that 2+2=4 was part of beginning of slicing and dicing our kids’ ability to think logically?

Back in 1976 I was a teachers’ aide at a Junior High. One of the teachers I worked with taught 7th and 8th graders remedial reading.
I’ll never forget one section in the workbook.
“There are two things I like about my little brother Billy and two things I don’t like.
The two things I like are that he’s easy to please and that he’s fun to play with.
The two things I don’t like are that he screams and cries a lot and that he breaks everything I let him play with. Just yesterday he broke my favorite model airplane.

The two reading-comprehension questions were “What are the two things he liked?” and “What are the two things he didn’t like?”
(Let’s hit the HIGH button on the Brain Scrabblier one more time!)

PS In that workbook, every time, EVERY time a Dad is mentioned he was ALWAYS in a sleeveless tee-shirt, watching TV and drinking a beer.
If the kid was coming to him for help for something, it was always a girl (not the Mom) that provided the help. (I don’t remember if the copyright was Disney.)

Sara
Reply to  Gunga Din
December 7, 2021 6:16 am

I really have been wondering why kids can’t count to 10 any more, or do simple addition/subtraction problems in their heads. This is sad. Galileo weeps. (Math is the language with which God has written the universe – Galileo Galilei)

GeologyJim
Reply to  Sara
December 7, 2021 8:59 am

I’m sure you’ve had a like experience –
Present your goods to the cashier, total = $17.18

Give the “kid” a twenty dollar bill and a quarter – – – and they stare at you blankly

Good Lord. The future is not bright in that one.

DonM
Reply to  GeologyJim
December 7, 2021 10:13 am

Wait till you do that and you get …

“Do you want your change back or to you want to donate it to …”

Sara
Reply to  GeologyJim
December 7, 2021 11:44 am

I have seen that myself. It is very, very sad.

bill Johnston
Reply to  GeologyJim
December 7, 2021 12:24 pm

The result would most likely depend on the cash register being employed.

TonyG
Reply to  GeologyJim
December 7, 2021 1:29 pm

Give them a $20 and 18 cents, same look.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  GeologyJim
December 8, 2021 11:24 am

How many people would know if they got the right change back? If they got back $2 how many would know it is wrong? If they got back $3 how many would know it is wrong?

DonM
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 8, 2021 1:13 pm

I worked a hot dog cart 40 years ago. People would show up and order lunch for themselves and 4 others (eg 2 sausage dogs, 2 large regular, one regular, two small drinks, two large drinks, one water, three chips four cookies…)

I would add it up in my head and tell them how much. Only about one in fifteen would (could?) check and make sure I was charging them correctly.

December 6, 2021 10:47 pm

As a California inmate, I totally agree with the sentiments expressed by these educators and scientists.

I had not heard of CMF but I am not surprised by the effort to coddle students with simplified math.

I can envision the debacle that data analysis by “data trained” high school students could soon bring to commerce. Just look at the “insights” that Facebook, Google, Yelp, and others are already foisting on us all.

I think I’ll share with our local school superintendent and see what transpires.

Last edited 1 month ago by John MacDonald
HAS
December 6, 2021 10:58 pm

This dumbing down of the curriculum seem to be something of a global trend these days.

Down in NZ a group of pretty respectable scientist wrote a letter to a local magazine objecting to mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) being given equal status in the school science curriculum with what had been referred to as “Western” science. See background here https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2021/11/guest_article_a_professor_without_honour_in_his_own_country.html

This issue has bubbled on with the Spectator weighing in https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/why-punish-a-scientist-for-defending-science- and now Richard Dorkins and Jerry Coyne, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at The University of Chicago joining in https://pointofordernz.wordpress.com/2021/12/07/richard-dorkins-a-foe-of-creationism-pitches-into-the-nz-furore-over-letter-in-defence-of-science-by-seven-professors/
One suspects it is becoming endemic, we can only hope the push back has soem effect, but one suspects there will be a need for new bodies to represent science.

AndyHce
Reply to  HAS
December 7, 2021 12:09 am

You guys are party poopers. I say pre-Galileoian Church teachings should also be given equal emphasis, and don’t forget the Aztecs!

whiten
Reply to  AndyHce
December 7, 2021 8:31 am

Specifically, Inca math was mind blowing (still is).
🙂

MarkW
Reply to  whiten
December 7, 2021 8:54 am

In a similar vein, doing math with Roman Numerals is quite a trip.

Glen
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 11:44 am

I thought about how one could go about doing that. “Just no” came to mind.

bill Johnston
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 12:26 pm

Using an abacus?????

Gunga Din
Reply to  MarkW
December 8, 2021 3:24 pm

Adding and subtracting letters.
I think that’s how they teach English these days!

Joe Gordon
December 6, 2021 11:21 pm

I watched this kind of thing happen to my son. Every single communication from the district was about “eliminating the gap.” Well, there are two ways to do that. One is to magically teach students who are unwilling or unable to learn and the other is to reduce what is taught.

I know this is seen as a “white supremacist” argument by the CNN crowd. I believe I’m for equality. But I’m also pragmatic enough to understand that education is a contract between a family and a school. A student can’t succeed without educational support from both.

Unfortunately, right now, that means there are racial “gaps” that have nothing to do with systemic racism. Maybe it’s single-parent households or other factors. More likely, it’s the cruelty of low expectations.

Whatever the reasons, it’s not a substitute for thinking individual children in minority groups can’t thrive. The “eliminate the gap” group seems like the group that wants to deny individual minority children the chance to succeed.

The most pernicious element of this CRT document referenced by the letter is that individualism is considered a major sign of white supremacy. That’s the kind of thing that makes me think we’re headed back into the dark ages. And that even if a lot of smart people show convincingly that global warming isn’t a current crisis (or even all that warm), it’s too late. We’ve lost the future.

So my son received math and science instruction better suited for children half his age. Not surprisingly, he started disliking school. Nothing is worse than going into a middle-school parent-teacher conference, in October, and having a science teacher tell you, “well, I don’t think he’s going to learn anything in this class this year.” Surely the teaching profession needs some sort of version of the Hippocratic Oath.

You might think this is a poor district or an otherwise challenged district. No, it’s a very wealthy school district in a major university town. It just hasn’t had anything other than Democratic rule in decades.

Ron Long
Reply to  Joe Gordon
December 7, 2021 1:58 am

Joe, it looks like you’re getting into the topic of “the racism of low expectations”. This appears to be the actual result of the current “Woke” movement and it’s various associates. If you even brought up this topic at most public schools you would likely be shouted down and labelled (and maybe investigated by the Justice Department?).

MarkW
Reply to  Ron Long
December 7, 2021 6:43 am

One school board member in Virginia has been releasing personal information on those who have been opposing the liberals. Including home address and phone, information on employers, etc.

MarkW
Reply to  Joe Gordon
December 7, 2021 6:41 am

I don’t know if this still the case, but I remember reading about minority kids being ridiculed for being good at academics. They were accused of “acting white”.
My family has been helping recent emigres in our community learn English and otherwise help them adapt. Their kids are ridiculed for trying to learn and speak English in school by Hispanic students who have been here longer.

mkelly
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 7:03 am

Mark, this true. In the 1970’s one of the three networks did a special on the poor academics of inner city youth. One of the issues holding back many was the peer pressure of not “acting white”.

old engineer
Reply to  mkelly
December 7, 2021 4:42 pm

mkelly

I remember that too. It is likely that those who were ridiculed have gone to be successful engineers, scientists, mathematicians, and business persons. While those that did the ridiculing are now the proponents of CRT.

DonM
Reply to  Joe Gordon
December 7, 2021 10:16 am

‘if we give them a fair chance, there is no reason that black kids can’t do just as well as the smart kids’

(or something similar)

Redge
December 6, 2021 11:27 pm

Denying advanced math courses to children with a born talent for math is just as bad as denying artistically gifted students access to musical instruments and art lessons and materials.

One of my regrets in life, I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention, is having passed my O level at not quite 14, I was told by the maths teacher she couldn’t help me anymore.

I spent the next couple of years sitting at the back of the class reading fiction and helping other kids with their maths.

Bit of a waste of someone who seemed to have a natural ability, but then I was a product of the comprehensive system transitioning to a more liberal attitude to teaching.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Redge
December 7, 2021 4:51 am

I had the same experience in science and maths, I got a low grade in the Scottish 11+ exam and went to the High School rather than the Academy. There my maths and science bloomed thanks to some good teachers. In Physics I sat at the back amusing myself, I was too disruptive when sitting with the rest of the class. The maths teacher used to send me round the school with round robin notices for other teachers. I was too honest/niave to read these notes but I suspect they just said “send him to next on the list”.
On the other hand my hand skills meant I was never going to be one of the joiners, mechanics, metal bashers and brickies who were the usual output from the school, not that these aren’t important skills no longer taught either.

Redge
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 7, 2021 5:07 am

yeah, mine was maths, chemistry and physics. I found the subjects interesting and fairly easy

It’s not like it was rocket science

Never really used them in real life though

Sara
Reply to  Redge
December 7, 2021 6:33 am

Never used in real life???? Fiddlesticks, Redge!!! Balderdash!!

Chemistry? What do you think goes into preparing food? There is massive chemistry in the kitchen, Too little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and the cookies will be hard and nasty and your pancakes will be too thin for words.

Not enough salt (sodium chloride) on the fries or the roast beef and it becomes a rather dull chewing exercise, never mind the rest of your food.

I’d bet you think there’s no chemistry in black pepper, right? Try this: Piperine is the primary ingredient that distinguishes black pepper and other related peppers (like white pepper). The chemical makeup of piperine is C17H19NO3, or 17 parts carbon, 19 parts hydrogen, one part nitrogen, and three parts oxygen. – https://sciencing.com/chemicals-salt-pepper-sugar-8506178.html

I could go on with that, but those are just a few samples for chemistry.

In regard to physics, how do you think the proper pressure for your car’s tires is determined? It’s PHYSICS, Big Guy, because without those volume and pressure calculation to determine the proper volume of air to pump into your tires, you’d still be driving a wooden-wheeled cart.

We “use” or apply physics, math and chemistry every cotton-pickin’ day, whether or not we pay attention to it, and that includes the camera in your phone, the storage in the hard drive of any type of computer whether a desktop or a handheld tablet, etc. That is all PHYSICS and CHEMISTRY, which requires calculating resistances and strength of materials, as well as output, which is MATHEMATICS, and the actual chemicsl (CHEMISTRY) that puts all of that into existence.

Never use any of it???? Poppycock!!! You use it every time you pick up your electronic stuff or turn on the stove or punch the buttons on your microwave.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sara
Tim Gorman
Reply to  Redge
December 7, 2021 8:53 am

So you had never had to calculate the value of a tip for service? You’ve never had to calculate what the interest cost on a loan or credit card balance will be? You’ve never had to adjust your speed while going around a corner in your car to maintain traction? You’ve never had to calculate how much water to add to a cleaner concentrate, fertilizer concentrate, or weed killer concentrate? You’ve never built a bird house or picture frame? You’ve never had to estimate what size nail you need to put in the wall to hang a picture from?

Redge
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 7, 2021 11:00 am

No

I have people to do that for me

Paul
Reply to  Redge
December 7, 2021 4:59 pm

look ! it’s Reggie from the Archie comic strip
or was it Richie Rich ?

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 8, 2021 10:45 am

You’ve never had to adjust your speed while going around a corner in your car to maintain traction?”

People who can’t even spell calculus seem to do just fine with this.

As for the amount of Baking Soda in cookie dough, that’s what recipes are for, n’est-ce pas? In Ca tipping is simple. The tax on the bill is @8%. Just double that, and round up a bit depending on the quality of the service. Even I can do that in my head, no need for the calculator on my cell phone.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Robert Hanson
December 9, 2021 6:32 pm

Didn’t say they needed to have studied calculus to understand slowing down going around a curve. But they *are* using it, even if they can’t quantify it. Besides that’s more vector algebra than calculus.

Redge
Reply to  Redge
December 7, 2021 10:59 am

Never really used them in real life though

Crikey, it was meant as a joke

Same as “It’s not like it’s rocket science” – maths, chemistry and physics – get it?

TonyG
Reply to  Redge
December 7, 2021 1:34 pm

When I was in school there was a policy of not teaching algebra below 9th grade. I took it in 6th grade. But since I was required to take math in 7th and 8th, I did pre-algebra two more years in a row…

RonPE
December 6, 2021 11:44 pm

In my home community and others of this deep blue State, I am aware of efforts to do away with ALL high school Advanced Placement courses. To make everyone equal. Is that sarcasm?

Leo Smith
Reply to  RonPE
December 7, 2021 3:09 am

In today’s liberal progressive conflict-free education system, everyone gets full Marx.

MarkW
Reply to  RonPE
December 7, 2021 8:56 am

And these are the same people who want all grading to be just pass and fail.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  MarkW
December 8, 2021 10:47 am

No fail, just participation trophies.

stinkerp
December 6, 2021 11:56 pm

Communists figured out the best way to reduce “disparity” a long time ago: force everyone to be poor and stupid. It works, and it destroys people and societies.

Ever notice that the people most emphatic about reducing “disparity” are colossal losers? If I were a loser, I’d probably be jealous of all the winners around me too. Jealousy is a common trait of losers. Bridle your envy and start being grateful and you’re halfway to being a winner. Gratitude is a common trait of winners.

commieBob
Reply to  stinkerp
December 7, 2021 1:26 am

The reason the Left hates Jordan Peterson is that he eloquently points that our. link

It is very easy to convince the lazy and stupid that they are victims and that anyone who is successful is an oppressor. Stalin did that:

That’s an absolutely terrible thing to do. In the Soviet Union when that happened, they introduced that idea along with the notion of “class guilt.” So, for example, when the Soviets collectivized the farms, they pretty much wiped out or raped and froze to death all of their competent farmers. They called them “kulaks,” and they attributed class guilt to them because they were successful peasants, and they defined their success as oppression and theft. They killed all of them, pretty much — shipped them off to Siberia and froze them to death. And they were the productive agriculturalists in the Soviet Union. And then in the 1930s in the Ukraine, because of that, about 6 million Ukrainians starved to death. The Soviets were big on collective guilt.

commieBob
Reply to  commieBob
December 7, 2021 5:50 am

I missed a category: lazy, stupid, clueless

You’d think cluelessness could be cured by education but it seems to be hard to do.

MarkW
Reply to  commieBob
December 7, 2021 6:45 am

Cluelessness can only be cured by education, when that is the goal of the educators.

bill Johnston
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 12:36 pm

Education is a two-way street. While the one doing the educating must be reasonably versed in the subject being taught, the student must be reasonably motivated to accept the learning offered. Without both, failure is guaranteed.

Lorne WHITE
Reply to  stinkerp
December 7, 2021 1:35 am

Dictators do it far better than communists.

Most communist countries have Billionaires (think China) => they aren’t even vaguely communists, more like National Socialists.

MarkW
Reply to  Lorne WHITE
December 7, 2021 6:47 am

None of the countries that claimed to be communist ever was communist.
Communism is an impossible ideal, however 100’s of millions have died trying to reach that ideal.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
December 7, 2021 9:48 am

Yep, the transition to communism always get stuck at either fascism or socialism. Those in the fascist/socialist government bureaucracy simply won’t give up their power. Consider how we are ruled today by a Bureaucratic Hegemony. Think they will *ever* give power back to the people?

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 8, 2021 10:55 am

“fascism or socialism”

Not wanting to quibble, but Fascism is just one application of Socialism.

Paul Tikotin
Reply to  stinkerp
December 7, 2021 1:39 am

It’s actually a bit more complicated than that. In fact the average standards for kids in maths in, say, China are pretty high and getting higher.

Why are the standards falling in the U.S. (and Australia where I live)? Surely the curriculum has something to do with it. But, I sense strength in maths is just not prized as much as it once was. If people just don’t think maths is so important, then kids won’t bother with it.

A young acquaintance of mine who had decided to be an engineer was shocked and discouraged to find that he would have to do mathematics. Time for me to be shocked. How can that be?

As for data science, it is understandable, but completely wrong to imagine a computer will do your mathematics for you. Again, how anyone could be so misled as to believe that for more than a minute is a worry. It speaks to a lack of education amongst the educators. A good statistician is good at mathematics. Can’t have it any other way.

MarkW
Reply to  Paul Tikotin
December 7, 2021 6:49 am

Fat fingering an input is trivially easy to do. Even when using calculators, you need to have enough familiarity with the math to recognize when the result of your calculations simply make no sense.

DonM
Reply to  Paul Tikotin
December 7, 2021 10:28 am

If he got an Environmental Engineering degree and went to work for a governmental agency he wouldn’t have to utilize any math.

(I was trying to determine capacity in a storm line so I pulled the City storm study. All it said was:

“I ran the program with a 12″ pipe and the result was a water surface above the curb. I ran it again with an 18″ pipe and the water surface more than 12″ below the gutter; this was determined to be acceptable.”)

And this graduate was not even a Environmental 🙂

So, if your acquaintance can memorize it long enuf to get past the tests and they want a govt job, they’re good.

stinkerp
Reply to  Paul Tikotin
December 7, 2021 4:13 pm

China abandoned Maoist/Marxist communism decades ago and allowed limited private ownership and limited free enterprise which drastically improved their economy and education, but the government remains totalitarian and private enterprise is subservient to the CCP. Scholastic achievement, however, has long been a point of pride among many east Asian cultures, regardless of government.

climanrecon(@climanrecon)
December 7, 2021 1:52 am

“Such frameworks aim to reduce achievement gaps”

This is typical lefty thinking, dumb everything down until everyone gets a prize.

But … high school education is way too academic in my view, everybody has to learn to solve quadratic equations, in order to pass exams, then never again to use the skill, unless it is to teach the next generation. The problem is that maths education is under the control of maths teachers, with their vested interests.

The solution to this problem is obvious, it is already known in the adult education sector, in which people who struggle with maths are taught only what they need to know to deal with everyday life. So, teach everyone in school the adult education subset of maths, and make academic maths available as an option.

Joe Gordon
Reply to  climanrecon
December 7, 2021 9:14 am

How will a child know whether he or she wants to be in one of the many fields that requires advanced mathematics if he or she isn’t pushed into understanding the basics of algebra and geometry? This opens the door to chemistry, physics, much of biology as well as engineering and medicine.

One of the important ideas CRT gets completely wrong is that required math should be limited to “real world” concepts, like making sure you are capable of handing out the right change once you’re promoted to cashier at McDonald’s. In other words, second grade should be the end of compulsory math. Just rinse and repeat for the next ten years.

A large percentage of adults never need to understand quadratic equations. But if they’re never forced to try as children, it’s closing off an entire world.

Math curriculum has been carefully designed to expose children to concepts, then enter appropriate tracks, or just stop entirely. Taking that away, which is what CRT proposes, eliminates STEM opportunities for disadvantaged children. That’s what makes CRT so awful – minority adults are only granted opportunity from their benevolent political leaders. The ability to earn opportunity on their own, and thus escape that control, is the greatest danger to the political leaders of urban areas.

Meanwhile, the only children who will become capable of learning those professions will be the ones who have private schooling. CRT eliminates upward mobility, which is exactly what it’s designed to do.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Joe Gordon
December 7, 2021 7:10 pm

A large percentage of adults never need to understand quadratic equations.”

I’ve heard the exact same thing about geometry. Yet when you ask tradespeople like carpenters and welders how they tell if something is square they quote you basic geometry. Same thing for someone digging laterals for a septic system except they quote you basic trigonometry. Sadly many of them don’t even know it!

TonyG
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 8, 2021 8:39 am

I find myself needing geometry and trig in DIY projects around the house or woodworking all the time. Sometimes I need even more advanced math – stuff I’ve forgotten so I have to look it up, but since I learned it in the past I can remember it fairly easily once I have the reference again. Having to learn it on the fly would be rather difficult.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  TonyG
December 9, 2021 5:39 pm

Ask a carpenter how to calculate the rise and tread of a stair! Or the anangles on a roof truss.

Oldseadog
December 7, 2021 1:55 am

What is K-12 please?

Leo Smith
Reply to  Oldseadog
December 7, 2021 3:10 am

K–12, from kindergarten to 12th grade, is an American expression that indicates the range of years of publicly supported primary and secondary education found in the United States, which is similar to publicly supported school grades before college in several other countries, such as Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, the Philippines, South Korea, and Turkey.

Oldseadog
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 7, 2021 3:23 am

Thanks.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 7, 2021 7:49 am

And here I thought that it was a smarter than average K9. 🙂

MarkW
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 7, 2021 8:57 am

At least that’s what my dog tells me.

MarkW
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 7, 2021 8:58 am

An old prayer

God, please make me the kind of man my dog thinks I am.

Lorne WHITE
December 7, 2021 1:59 am

Math is great stuff BUT let’s not forget that morality is now taught in English literature class (analysis of Shakespeare, et al), as religions have rapidly declined in the modern era.

Critical thinking is further developped in History class as we unlearn our national myths and try to remember the lessons of 1,000 years of battles between rulers and ruled that have produced our evolving Parliaments. Canadians weren’t born nice – we descend from much blood, some of which we inflicted on our First Nations after they welcomed Loyalist settlers and helped save us from American invasion. At least, we are committed to Reconciliation for those mistakes of our ancestor settlers.

Ditto for Americans unlearning their national myths and reconciling with the bad deeds and broken treaties of their ancestors, starting with their first – Versailles 1783, which ended the American Revolution.

Ditto for every other country.

Most of the sceptical wisdom of WUWT comes from people evaluating incorrect math about complex climate concerns, then evaluating how and why we’re in this mess from knowing past world history and politics. We need to be well rounded thinkers.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lorne WHITE
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Lorne WHITE
December 7, 2021 7:57 am

I would agree that “We need to be well rounded thinkers.” However, most of the rest of what you wrote strikes me as being a patronizing lecture based on your interpretation of the behavior of the “noble savage.”

Joe Gordon
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 7, 2021 9:20 am

One of the ugliest foundations of modern “morality” is the notion that every group was an unthinking monolith. History was written by the conquerors. We know that. And today, it is being rewritten in exactly the same way, only this conquering was much more subtle.

The truth likely lies somewhere between noble savage and brave pioneer. Replacing one myth with another is not critical thinking.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 8, 2021 11:10 am

These noble savages were constantly at war with neighboring tribes. Stealing land, women, and later horses, was a source of pride for them.

And the “first people” weren’t the ‘first’ either. That would be the Clovis people, most likely killed off by the native tribes. Perhaps there were even others before them.

Captain climate
December 7, 2021 3:09 am

I’m sick of these activists being described as “well-intentioned.” They’re not. If you think reducing a disparity by making everybody worse off is a good idea, you’re a communist pure and simple. These clowns think that if you ration mathematics education that somehow poor kids will get more of it. They’ve never once considered the impact of uneducated parents and poor cultures supporting an anti-intellectual lifestyle.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Captain climate
December 7, 2021 5:22 am

You’re damn right, Captain, you’re damn right!

The question is NOT reducing disparity by moving towards average, but to elevate the worst off, so that the average is also elevated.

Thank you very much for such synthetic and clear statement.

MarkW
Reply to  Captain climate
December 7, 2021 6:56 am

They also believe that the way to reduce income disparity is to use government to take money from those who have succeeded and then to give that money to those who haven’t been successful.

Someone once made the claim that if we took every penny of wealth on the planet and divided up equally amongst everyone. Within 20 years, almost everyone who is wealthy now would be wealthy again, and those who are poor now would be poor again.

Those who are willing to work hard, and those who know how to work smart, will always accumulate wealth. Those who aren’t able to, or willing to do either, will always end up poor.

I’m willing to help those who aren’t able to help themselves, I’m not willing to do anything for those who just want to sit back and complain how they don’t have everything they want.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  MarkW
December 8, 2021 11:13 am

Robert Heinlein:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

dearieme
December 7, 2021 3:29 am

well-intentioned”: if you believe that you’ll believe anything.

Tim Gorman
December 7, 2021 3:53 am

I am firmly convinced that if someone had the time and resources they could quantify the loss of math skills in high school graduates by analyzing what percentage of beginning engineering students drop that major choice at the end of the first semester.

A far lower percentage dropped out in 1968 when I started than when my oldest child started in engineering in 2003. I can only surmise that it was because of lower math skills. I was even more dismayed when my youngest started in 2007 in microbiology. At that point they were only recommending algebra for that major, no calculus, probability, or statistics. They told him that if he needed something mathematical done he could get a math major to do it for him. I convinced my son that he needed all of this to be successful in whatever branch of biological science he chose and he has never regretted it. He went on to get his PhD in immunology and is now quite successful in industry – where he has to teach grad student interns and post-doc researchers how to do basic statistical analysis of experimental results.

I am a firm believer that math and music (not singing but the actual math of music, progressions, chords, etc) train the brain to follow logical thinking, which helps in *all* subjects from science to the humanities. It is truly disturbing to see a de-emphasis on this. It’s why the US is falling behind the rest of the world in science, math, and READING skills. Even reading benefits from being able to logically analyze what is being read.

MarkW
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 7, 2021 7:01 am

Trying to understand what the author was trying to say is rapidly becoming a lost art.
Literature today is mostly about what the words mean to whoever is reading it, forget context, both textual and cultural. Whatever you feel is right for you and anyone who disagrees is trying to oppress you.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 7, 2021 8:04 am

Tim,

When I started college in 1960, the math and physics classes were widely viewed as a method to weed out the engineering and physics majors who didn’t have an innate aptitude for the subjects.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 7, 2021 2:43 pm

I would include chemistry. In fact our classes were named Engineering Calculus and Engineering Physics. If you had not taken calculus in high school (which my tiny high school didn’t offer) you had to bust your butt in Eng Calc in order to stay up in Eng Physics as they got into things like derivatives. I agree they were weeding out classes.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tim Gorman
December 7, 2021 3:49 pm

That sounds very familiar. I walked away with most of the science and math awards at my high school; however, when I got to college I was competing against all the other exceptional students, among whom I was just average. Like you, I wasn’t exposed to calculus in high school, and I had to run to just stay in place. It seemed that my physics classes were always about two weeks ahead of my calculus classes! At least it gave me a preview of what I could expect in calculus in a couple of weeks. 🙂

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 9, 2021 4:51 am

Yep!

2hotel9
December 7, 2021 4:47 am

Yes, offering advanced mathematics is needed, what is desperately needed first is emphasis on basic math. Far too many people are coming out of high schools unable to do plain math, or to read and comprehend simple instructions. Our education system has been bludgeoned into the ground by leftist morons who, first, hate America, B. hate capitalism and finally hate themselves. It is to our eternal shame that we have allowed these severely mentally ill people to destroy our educational system.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  2hotel9
December 7, 2021 4:42 pm

If I had to pick one it is the hating of the self which does the greatest damage.

Peta of Newark
December 7, 2021 5:04 am

If anyone wanted to ‘slam’ anything, it would be what I discovered recently
i.e. That High Fructose Corn Syrup is used to make Formula Baby Milk

Babies up to 24 moths AT LEAST, ideally 30 months+ need their mother’s milk to build a normal and properly functioning brain.

Slam THAT for christsake!!!!

And most it is GM highfootrosebrainrotshyte to boot

Because that is where your science, politics, social skills, personalities & relationships, marriages, birth-rate and ‘most everything that makes proper people and societies has gone

jeez what a mess

DonM
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 7, 2021 12:12 pm

mebbe, but based on what you say, more than 99% of people don’t have a normal and properly functioning brain.

You are going to have redefine normal.

PaulH
December 7, 2021 5:36 am

As mentioned above, monkeying with mathematics curriculum is becoming a global trend. Look at the description of the mathematics curriculum for the province of Ontario, Canada. The rather wordy description begins with great promise, as it describes “the importance and beauty of mathematics” in everyday life.
However, it goes off the rails at the section titled “Human Rights, Equity, and Inclusive Education in Mathematics.” Uh-oh. A sample:

Students bring abundant cultural knowledges, experiences, and competencies into mathematical learning. It is essential for educators to develop pedagogical practices that value and centre students’ prior learning, experiences, strengths, and interests. Such pedagogical practices are informed by and build on students’ identities, lived experiences, and linguistic resources. When educators employ such pedagogy…

There is plenty of turgid prose dedicated to systemic barriers, cultural context, intersectionality, and other trends.

MarkW
Reply to  PaulH
December 7, 2021 7:06 am

I don’t care what your culture or skin color is. 2 + 2 still equals 4.

Graemethecat
Reply to  PaulH
December 7, 2021 8:05 am

Students bring abundant cultural knowledges, experiences, and competencies into mathematical learning. It is essential for educators to develop pedagogical practices that value and centre students’ prior learning, experiences, strengths, and interests. Such pedagogical practices are informed by and build on students’ identities, lived experiences, and linguistic resources.

What arrant drivel! Students are kids who know next to nothing – that’s why they are at school, to learn!

DonM
Reply to  Graemethecat
December 7, 2021 12:19 pm

no, no, no. Little 7 yr old Jamal won’t accept that 2+2=4 unless you value and centre his(her) prior learning, experiences, strengths, and interests; as based upon little 7 yr old Jamal’s identities, lived experiences, and linguistic resources.

(Little Jamal is screwed.)

Sara
December 7, 2021 6:02 am

“…any more than I can write world class poetry”

Whaaaat????? Oh, this cannot be possible!!!! I was so sure it was Eric Worrall who wrote that famous ditty, the “Philosopher’s Drinking Song”, and now he’s saying “not me, someone else”????

Given good teachers, kids can learn anything even if it’s difficult. Unfortunately, inflicting political correctness on them seems to be more important right now than actually teaching them things they’ll need if they want to get into college.

Doug S
December 7, 2021 6:28 am

I’m in the part of California called the Bay Area. It’s home to many of the big high tech companies where salaries are high, especially if you have math and engineering skills. The starting pay for teachers is $30,000 per year in some communities here so the chances of hiring a competent math or science teacher is very low. The teachers that are assigned to teach the math and science classes are not trained in math or science. This fact creates a motivation to dumb down the curriculum. Another factor, that has been in play for many years, is an almost complete segregation of the public/private schools in this region. The white children have left the public schools in very large numbers. In communities where the demographic breakdown, as an example, is a mix of 33% white, 33% Black and 33% latino, you will find single digit percentages of white children still enrolled in the public schools. This trend has been happening for decades now and it is a painful reminder of the failing public school system. The high school graduating math literacy rate for the minority students in public schools is down around 2%.

However, there is hope. Almost all parents, Black, White, Latino + Others are demanding more charter schools. The teachers and administrators along with their school board minions are doing their best to slow the charter school approval process but there is great pressure from parents and long waiting lists pushing the charter school movement ahead. I think the progressive communities in California may be the canary in the coal mine for our dysfunctional K-12 public school systems. If parents can defeat the powerful interests of the democrats and teachers union here, the rest of the nation may follow.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Doug S
December 7, 2021 8:20 am

The starting pay for teachers is $30,000 per year in some communities here …

Something doesn’t seem right. I started teaching at Foothill College in the Bay Area in 1971 at $11,000 per year. When I left teaching a decade later to go into industry, I was earning over $30,000 per year. That was back when you could still buy a house for $100,000. It is difficult to believe that the starting salaries for teachers is $30,000 when many, if not most, homes in the Bay Area cost about $1million. Starting salaries for engineers in the Bay Area are over $100,000.

MarkW
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 7, 2021 9:04 am

It’s also astounding considering the Bay Area has some of the highest tax rates in the country.

Doug S
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 7, 2021 10:26 am

I stand corrected Clyde, good catch. It seems I’m a decade behind on the salary schedule. I looked up the current starting teacher salary here in my community and it’s now $49,500 per year. We’re desperately short of qualified Math and Science teachers. People with these skills are commuting into the high tech centers for much larger salaries.

MarkW
December 7, 2021 6:30 am

This is the essence of modern left wing thought.
To make everyone equal, the first thing they do is tear down the successful.

Jim
December 7, 2021 6:56 am

Math leads to understanding the world and that would not be good for propaganda and MUST be taken off the indoctrination table. the sooner the better

David Strom
December 7, 2021 7:12 am

There are a lot of comments here about dumbing everyone down … y’all might want to check out the story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut. He took extended this idea to a logical but extreme conclusion.

Doug D
December 7, 2021 8:16 am

Yes it decreases disparities by bringing the more adept down to the levels of the lesser adept students. It’s like socialisms goal to make everyone equally miserable

Olen
December 7, 2021 9:07 am

There is no satisfaction or achievement in forced equality. It only results in lower outcome. People like water will rise or sink to their own level when free to choose with opportunity.

John the Econ
December 7, 2021 9:27 am

“However, we are deeply concerned about the unintended consequences of recent well-intentioned approaches to reform mathematics education, particularly the California Mathematics Framework (CMF)”

I question the “well-intentioned” part. Agendas such as AGW would be a much harder sell if more of the population was better educated in math and statistics.

“Some otherwise intelligent people just can’t do advanced math, any more than I can write world class poetry or compose a rock song anyone would want to listen to.”

But “equity”! If “Some otherwise intelligent people just can’t do advanced math”, then nobody should be made to feel bad for being unable to do advanced math. My dad could do calculus in his head. I struggled with it on paper. This made me feel bad. I should not have had to endure such emotional trauma!

OweninGA
December 7, 2021 9:40 am

The letter is only addressing one of the symptoms of the mathematics desert that is K-12.

The number one issue is the fact that the vast majority of our graduates in early grades education get their certificates without a single numeracy course on their transcript. Even when they take a science course to fulfill a requirement, it is one that is dumbed down to bare concepts without any mathematical engagement.

Many if not most of these “educators” are afraid of math and avoid it like the plague. When they get into the classroom, their fear of math translates into students who avoid math and can’t even add two-digit numbers in their heads. Then we get to see these students in our introductory college STEM courses and find they aren’t even suited to do the college math intro course, let alone a calculus-based physics or chemistry.

K-12 education is handicapping many of our students by not engaging them in the full field of arithmetic by 3rd grade and beginning mastery of the concepts of algebra, geometry and statistics by 6th. Starting in 7th grade they should be doing formal algebra with a strict adherence to the logical application of the lemmas and theorems, continued into 8th grade. By high school, they should be able to start on the introductions to analytical geometry, trigonometry, and calculus, or for those without STEM interests, household math, business math and accounting.

This math curriculum issue is being influenced by the lowest common denominator, a math term as it turns out, catering to the unprepared and unmotivated students bringing all the others down to their level. The worst part is the dire epidemic of low-low-low expectations that handicap motivated and unmotivated students alike.

OK, off my soap-box. I have this rant two or three times per semester when I have corrected very simple math errors from arithmetic to simple algebra too many times from the first week of class to mid-terms.

climanrecon(@climanrecon)
Reply to  OweninGA
December 7, 2021 10:48 am

“Starting in 7th grade they should be doing formal algebra with a strict adherence to the logical application of the lemmas and theorems”

Every pupil should be doing that? Even those who will become plumbers and nurses? How many people avoid becoming doctors because they fail to get qualifications in abstract algebra?

OweninGA
Reply to  climanrecon
December 7, 2021 11:37 am

yes. Formal logic and application of a rules based structure will impact their thinking when solving problems on a job site – the algebra may be long forgotten, but the pattern of logic will stick with them.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  OweninGA
December 7, 2021 3:58 pm

As I remarked above, I started teaching in 1971. During the decade that I taught, I noticed a decline in the math ability of most of the students, despite largely drawing from upscale Palo Alto high school. By the time I quit teaching, I observed that many students didn’t realize that one could multiply/divide by powers of 10 by just moving the decimal point.

Mark Pawelek
December 7, 2021 9:43 am

Maths is actually a lot easier than it used to be. When I was a kid, up to the age of 15, all calculations were done with pen, paper and head. We were taught how to use log tables at 15 and my first slide rule began at high school. Kids today have calculators. So, if they are not doing advanced maths – there’s nothing left to keep their interest! There should be more advanced maths, not less.

pochas94
December 7, 2021 1:44 pm

I’ll bet the schools that deemphasize math are the same as the ones that teach critical race theory.

Edward Katz
December 7, 2021 5:52 pm

North American education departments seem to specialize in recent years at finding ways to water down curriculums to facilitate inflated grades and higher high school graduation rates. That way they can give the impression that students are learning more when in fact it’s the opposite. That’s the reason we hear education policy makers tell us the emphasis is on “creativity” and “critical thinking” which can be judged subjectively rather than by standardized skills tests which “progressive” educators vehemently oppose. Why bother to teach basic skills when the grades can be jacked up artificially? The whole concept is full of holes since it’s like trying to build a house from the roof downward or trying to teach basketball without any emphasis on the skills of passing, rebounding, or shooting. Just toss the ball onto the court and hope the kids will acquire the skills as they play.

Pat from kerbob
December 7, 2021 9:11 pm

“ Such frameworks aim to reduce achievement gaps by limiting the availability of advanced mathematical courses to middle schoolers and beginning high schoolers”.

Insanity. Some people are better at math, so remove the programs where they can excel so no one can shine above the others?

Level the playing field by cutting down all the tall poppies.

This article encompasses everything wrong with western society

TonyG
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
December 8, 2021 8:41 am

Pat, looks like Harrison Bergeron is happening as we watch.

Pat from kerbob
December 7, 2021 9:17 pm

Thankfully here in AB we elected a nominally conservative government that got rid of “discovery math” which is just as it sounds, leave kids to work it out for themselves with predictable results.
Also, no memorizing of multiplication tables so every simple problem takes forever.
When I found this out I printed off copies and started drilling my girls, their marks improved substantially

And when their teacher found out he huffed that he would have to do the same with all the kids.

DUH!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s our own fault for allowing such people to gain power

NickSJ
December 8, 2021 10:09 am

I would replace at least one advanced math class with a required course in economics, the knowledge of which is absolutely necessary for understanding human society. Watching high officials, including those at the Fed, attributing inflation to anything except expansion of the money supply, without pushback from most commentators, shows just how ignorant most people are of this basic phenomenon. Of course, the problem now is that economic science has been corrupted by its proximity to government, just as environmental science has.

TonyG
Reply to  NickSJ
December 8, 2021 12:00 pm

“attributing inflation to anything except expansion of the money supply”

The way I learned it, “inflation” did NOT refer to the increase of prices. It meant inflation (increasing in size) of the money supply.

Ian Coleman
December 9, 2021 3:22 am

This is one of the few examples of a discussion on WUWT where I actually have firsthand knowledge of the problems involved. I used to be a Math tutor.

The belief that everybody should be taught subjects like Calculus and Trigonometry is just a superstition. Probably 90 percent of people who take high school Math never use it to any great degree in their adult lives. Math in schools is, for many people, and arduous and rather cruel hazing ritual, because they don’t really understand Math.

A lot of people who are perfectly capable of getting degrees in various liberal arts have major trouble understanding Math. One of my first priorities when I was tutoring teenagers was to explain to them that, just because they had trouble with Math, they weren’t therefore unworthy or stupid. What you can do with someone with an I.Q. of 115 is teach him or her to recognize Math problems and then apply by rote the procedures to get the right answers. But most of them don’t really understand what, for example, logarithms are, or how they work.

Compulsory Math is a lot like compulsory Physical Education. There is a large subset of students for whom these subjects are just torture. Just as you need a certain base level of physical strength and co-ordination to succeed in Phys Ed, you need a certain kind of mental acuity to succeed in Math.

Of course, athletic people should be trained to use their gifts. Of course we need engineers and statisticians. It’s just that we should get off the backs of young people who are not athletically or mathematically inclined, at a point in their lives when they are vulnerable to the need to please adults.

Algebra for me was easy and fun. I remember classmates bursting into tears because they couldn’t solve the problems, when all they wanted was to please their parents and teachers.

So what do I think? Administer I.Q. tests to all students and exempt students with I.Q. scores lower than 120 from any obligation to learn high school Math.

Carol P. Andrzejewski
Reply to  Ian Coleman
December 10, 2021 5:58 am

Algebra is necessary as a basic subject. Who says that algebra is not useful in life – I’m happy for you, but how do you calculate the interest on the loan, take a mortgage and, trivially speaking, count your salary? I work as a writer and after writing my literary review, I have to count the number of characters in the text. And there is a lot of work from the fact that we are recommended by students to each other and the end of the year I have all in writing. I want to finish by saying that education in mathematic sphere should always be a priority for people.

Last edited 1 month ago by Carol P. Andrzejewski
Ian Coleman
Reply to  Carol P. Andrzejewski
December 11, 2021 9:16 pm

I take your point, Carol, but I don’t think I’ve made my point with you. Of course most people will need to know things like percentages, or how compound interest works, or, if you’re a carpenter, basic Euclidean geometry. All of these topics are covered in Canada by the end of Grade nine. I’m talking about the more arcane and complex Math systems that teenagers are required to learn in high school.

Whenever anyone complains that high school students are being coddled, I challenge them to get a copy of the final exam in Grade 12 Math and see if they can pass it. I mean really, when was the last time you had to factor a binomial equation or apply a trigonometric identity?

As you are a writer, think of the course requirements for high school students in English literature. I graduated from high school in 1970 (sigh), but I remember what a slog it was to read Macbeth. Even now, it takes me five minutes to read a page from a Shakespeare play, because I can’t read more than ten words without having to consult a key explaining archaic language. ( I really, really dislike Shakespeare, and I have yet to meet a single human being who has actually read a Shakespeare play on his own time, without some kind of reward or goad to motivate him to read it.)

My point is that clever people, like the ones who post on this site, are supremely indifferent to the struggles of people of just average intelligence, and have no problem imposing terrible labours on them when they are young and vulnerable. It does absolutely no good to force teenagers with I.Q. scores of less than 115 to learn the things that people like us can do with so little effort, and in fact considerable pleasure. It is cruelty to them for the sake of enhancing our own vanities.

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