U.S. Math Education is "Broken and Must Be Fixed"
From the National Mathematics Advisory Panel Final Report, released yesterday:
International and domestic comparisons show that American students have not been succeeding in the mathematical part of their education at anything like a level expected of an international leader. Particularly disturbing is the consistency of findings that American students achieve in mathematics at a mediocre level by comparison to peers worldwide.
During most of the 20th century, the United States possessed peerless mathematical prowess—not just as measured by the depth and number of the mathematical specialists who practiced here but also by the scale and quality of its engineering, science, and financial leadership, and even by the extent of mathematical education in its broad population. But without substantial and sustained changes to its educational system, the United States will relinquish its leadership in the 21st century.
This Panel, diverse in experience, expertise, and philosophy, agrees broadly that the delivery system in mathematics education—the system that translates mathematical knowledge into value and ability for the next generation—is broken and must be fixed.
Washington Post--A presidential panel declared math education in the United States "broken" yesterday and called on schools to focus on ensuring that children master fundamental skills that provide the underpinnings for success in higher math and, ultimately, in high-tech jobs.
NY Times--The report cited a number of troubling international comparisons, including a 2007 assessment finding that 15-year-olds in the United States ranked 25th among their peers in 30 developed nations in math literacy and problem solving.
Comment: Can we get rid of "Everyday Math" now and go back to the old math? After all, what was wrong with a system of math education that gave the U.S. its "peerless mathematical prowess?" It seems like that was a much better outcome than 25th place out of 30 among our peers (the panel was being kind to call that result "mediocre") .