No wonder the “education” system is screwed…

by wfgodbold

The inmates are in charge of the asylum.

Math sections on tests like this aren’t exactly difficult.*

I’ll agree that most people aren’t going to use a lot of the math covered on those tests; that doesn’t mean that math is useless.**

The fact that this administrator is trumpeting his inability to answer any of 60 10th grade math problems (though he did get 10 correct by guessing!) is baffling.

That said, not everyone needs to be good at math. What matters is being able to figure it out in the end (life is an open book test, after all); if this guy couldn’t even figure out how to get started on 10th grade math, then it’s a good fucking thing he went into education administration, cause if he’d gone into a real field, he’d be screwed.

Pardon my French. It’s the language of math.

And anger.

*Full disclosure: I’ve taken a lot of math, and stopped when I didn’t understand it any more. Which was around neighborhoods.

**Far from it; I think most people would benefit far more from classes in discrete math, particularly probability and logic.


2 Comments to “No wonder the “education” system is screwed…”

  1. I think it’s more that people aren’t properly taught math and even the teachers think it’s ‘not for everyone’ and probably aren’t too great at it themselves. (Don’t even get started on the quality of people who choose to go into education…)

    The reality is, there’s not a single field that doesn’t touch upon mathematics at some point or another. Ideally, there shouldn’t be a distinction between the ‘real fields’ of engineering and science and the ‘soft fields’ of the political sciences. Perhaps standards should be raised, not only on state exams, but also in the work force?

    The real issue here, imho, is that America values ignorance and force of personality over knowledge and technical skills. There’s a stigma against being smart. There’s stigma against being educated. We’re stupid and damn proud of it >_<

    • I’ll agree that we overvalue force of personality instead of knowledge and technical skills (case in point: Dolph Lundgren is far more successful (monetary-wise, at least) as an actor than he would have been had he gotten a job using his chemical engineering degree).

      I also should have mentioned statistics; it slipped my mind when I was writing the post, but statistics are (is?) everywhere. Geometry, trigonometry and algebra are all useful. The key (I think) is that each level of math has basic material that you have to memorize. If you don’t, you’re not going to be able to understand or use the math (stuff like multiplication values, some basic formulas, that kind of thing). My teachers drove that point home; I remember having to memorize trig identities at the start of the class; it was a good thing, too, because we used them for the rest of the year.

      In the meantime, we’re stuck with a generation of people who apparently can’t do basic math.

      Political science always struck me as more philosophy than actual science.

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