To improve math ed, cut excess numbers

From The Onion, here’s how U.S. schools can improve math education.

Onion: More 5th graders take gap year

“A growing number of American fifth-graders are opting to take a gap year to unwind from the stresses of elementary education and recharge themselves before taking on the rigors of middle school,” reports The Onion. “It may soon be the norm for kids to spend a year learning a specialized skill, such as getting really good at riding their bike with no hands or seeing how many Twizzlers they can fit in their mouth, rather than reflexively moving up to the next grade.”

Most U.S. students can recognize math

In a dramatic breakthrough, the majority of U.S. students can recognize math, the U.S. Education Department announced proudly yesterday, reports The Onion.

“When presented with a series of numbers, mathematical symbols, or even fairly complex equations, more than half of our young people were able to correctly identify math as the academic subject before them,” said Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell.

In another encouraging study, adds The Onion,  “a majority of American eighth-graders are now able to look at a map of the earth and point to where the world is.”

Inventing the new, new math symbols


Math with Bad Drawings suggests urgently needed math symbols.


Maybe school’s just not our nation’s thing

“After years of watching it struggle to perform academically in nearly every area of study, U.S. education officials told reporters Wednesday they have begun to think maybe school just isn’t the nation’s thing,” reports The Onion.

“When it comes down to it, school isn’t for everyone,” said Education Secretary John King Jr. “Every country learns in its own way,” he continued. “And that’s okay.”

Higher is better

Marketers still trying to reach inner-city child

Nation’s Marketers Only People Still Trying To Reach Inner-City Child, reports The Onion. Marketers hope to understand Derek Crawford of  Kansas City, Missouri, so they can influence his decisions as he grows older.

(They have) demonstrated more interest in Crawford than any teacher, social worker, policymaker, nonprofit organization, or government agency has during his entire life.

. . . marketing firms have reportedly devoted enough resources to know precisely which area of the city he inhabits, his favorite music, how he spends his free time, which athletes he looks up to, his preferred soda flavors, the TV shows he watches, and the websites he visits. Similarly, sources said, the marketers have access to far more data than educators do on where Crawford is and what he is doing on the days when he is absent from school.

TapSource Partners, a small marketing group in Los Angeles representing major soft drink and snack clients, confirmed that it had “spent 10 times as much money as every after-school program, outreach organization, and social service provider in the young teenager’s community.”

Out of step

Via Larry Cuban:



Onion: Serial killers didn’t get toy on store trip

Most serial killers were denied a toy in childhood when visiting a store with their parents, reports The Onion. Even one toy denial may trigger violent impulses, said forensic psychologist Edgar Pruitt. “John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, the Green River Killer—these were all people who did not get the toys or games they wanted. So as a parent, you have to ask yourself if the $15 you save by not purchasing Legos or a Spider-Man figurine is worth the potentially dozens of innocent lives your child might one day brutally take.”

Young girls who were told they had to eat their dinner before they could have dessert all went on to become mothers who drowned their own children in the bathtub.

Left behind