Public Schools: The Price of Mathophobia

Johnny doesn't add very well. According to results of a major survey of math instruction in twelve nations* released last week, the U.S. is startlingly remiss in teaching its children how to add, subtract or solve calculus problems. Despite U.S. prestige as the world's leading technological power, American 13-year-olds ranked a low eleventh in their understanding of math—outscoring only children from Sweden, and lagging well behind those from Japan.

The math study, conducted by the International Project for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement with the help of UNESCO, was easily the most...

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