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View Diary: AZ-Republican Leader against Algebra (84 comments)

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  •  I tend to agree (1+ / 0-)
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    The math I had in high school -- college-prep algebra, geometry, trig, pre-calc, and calculus (which I skipped) was interesting to a few (almost all males), and I'm sure it's useful to even fewer -- essential people like engineers, but still, a distinct minority.

    What most people really need (beyond being able to do arithmetic in their heads -- my mom made me, and I totally agree on that) is a basic understanding of statistics (difference between "mean" and "median," for example), and basic accounting so they understand their paystub, checkbook, mortgage interest rates (and compound interest), amortization schedules.

    At least be able to figure out whether 3 apples for $5 is a better deal than 4 for $6, since the grocery stores don't seem to get the concept of unit-pricing laws.

    I also know some schools (including one fabulous charter here in Providence) that teach navigation -- the old-fashioned way, where you have to use triangles and sextants and stuff -- and slip the math in that way. That makes sense to me too.

    These are all useful discussions about what we mean by "education" and what everyone should know. Dismissing algebra because it uses letters rather than numbers is just dumb.

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