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In Jeopardy Again!

Though I don't focus on the Jeopardy game, it keeps showing up. Each occurance reveals more about what others think about math; this current tirade suggests that the show represents the public's view of what is important in mathematics (And it is not NCTM's broad Standards). Scary!

Last week (10/4/2006), in the Back-to-School Tournament (for ages 10-12), a Math category showed up... or as Alex Trebeck said: "That dreaded math category." Isn't that a great start!

As you peruse the set of questions, think about what part of mathematics is being stressed as important:

  • $200: 66 plus 32
  • $400: 148 divided by 4
  • $600: 73 minus 14
  • $800: 17 times 6
  • $1000: 23 plus 8 minus 16
That's right. No geometry, no measurement, no probability, no statistics, no problem solving, no nothing...except computation at the grade 4 level or below. Shame, Alex!

And in case you are interested, the young contestants were unable to answer the $400 and the $1000 clues....that's right, "dreaded" division and a "dreaded" multi-stepper. Why am I not surprised?