Barbie was right: Math is hard

The Is algebra necessary? debate is “insanely pointless,” writes Education Realist.

Elementary students do quite well in math, but stumble in higher grades when the math gets harder — even though their teachers know much more math, ER writes. “We have all forgotten the Great Wisdom of Barbie.” Math is hard.

In California, at least, tens of thousands of high school kids are sitting in math classes that they don’t understand, feeling useless, understanding deep in their bones that education has nothing to offer them. Meanwhile, well-meaning people who have never spent an hour of their lives trying to explain advanced math concepts to the lower to middle section of the cognitive scale pontificate about teacher ability, statistics vs. algebra, college for everyone, and other useless fantasies that they are allowed to engage in because until our low performers represent the wide diversity of our country to perfection, no one’s going to ruin a career by pointing out that this a pipe dream. And of course, while they’re engaging in these fantasies, they’ll blame teachers, or poverty, or curriculum, or parents, or the kids, for the fact that their dreams aren’t reality.

“Kids stuck in the hell of unfair expectations will go nowhere,” ER concludes.

 

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