In the current issue of ASCD Express, their online newsletter, a math teacher writes that it’s time for change in mathematics education.

He notes that we are still teaching “manipulative” math to students when both inexpensive technology and the internet make it possible to emphasize thinking skills instead of continuing to “focus our curricula on skills that we no longer need”.

We still need “pure” mathematics courses to prepare future mathematicians, engineers, and scientists, but for 90 percent of the population, we need to teach proper data mining and how to use that data to solve problems. We can’t quantify the skills we require from the next generation, and we can’t measure them by standardized tests, paper-and-pencil tests, or even “practicals”: we can only measure them by outcomes, which may be several years in the future.

However, it’s his closer that drives home an excellent point about more than just math.

We need to completely discard our perception of K—12 education and start fresh. If we are to remain a highly educated society, we must design the new curricula that will prepare our children with the critical-thinking skills necessary to solve not only our current problems, but also the ones yet to come.

Take a couple of minutes to read the whole thing.