A guest writer for the Post’s Answer Sheet blog says that the biggest problem with education these days is not teachers, the lack of school competition, or a need for new tech-based delivery systems. It’s what students are expected to learn.

For students, the problem is not that teachers are ineffective, that schools aren’t accountable or that the textbook is an inefficient technology for delivering content. Their problem is the content itself. Students are disengaged because they’re bored, and they’re bored because the material is often irrelevant and meaningless. For them, the issue is not the who, the where or the how. It’s the what.

The who. The where. The how. We have to address these pieces of the puzzle. But we have to address content, too. For we can hire a generation of enthusiastic teachers, build cathedrals of education and give every student an iPad. And then what?

That “what” is most apparent in the way we teach mathematics.  In most schools, the K12 curriculum is still focused on having students learn a confusing array of algorithms and processes with little or no apparent connection to anything.

With the ultimate goal for almost every kid being Calculus, a level of mathematical knowledge few will ever need.