Some people believe math is a magic wand. Or, at least, that studying lots of math in school leads to magical economic outcomes.
The current Prime Minister of the UK is one of those who seems to buy into that idea.
No, not why does math exist. That question is actually relatively easy to deal with.
Once upon a time I did a major in the subject. Later I spent nearly two decades teaching math to middle and high school students. Or trying to. Which means I have a pretty good idea of how mathematics developed over the centuries and how it’s used in the real world.
For most of this year, we heard lots about how “parent rights” were being trampled by schools that were trying to keep hidden the many nefarious things happening in classrooms. The high-volume screaming for “transparency” was the disingenuous center of the recent elections in Virginia.
Since the inauguration in January, I’ve cut way back on time spent scrolling through Twitter. But even with the limited access and following mostly sane people, sometimes the stupid still leaks through.
It’s rare when I get to write this but…
In his column from yesterday, Jay Mathews makes some great points. Starting with the headline: “We must dump marginal learning standards and other annoyances in return to classrooms”.1