Little Has Changed...
Now We Worry About the Many Children of These 15 Million!
Every weekday, 25 million children study mathematics in our nation's schools. Those at the younger end, some 15 million of them, will enter the adult world in the period 1995-2000. The 40 classroom minutes they spend on mathematics each day are largely devoted to the mastery of the computational skills which would have been needed by a shopkeeper in the year 1940--skills needed by virtually no one today. Almost no time is spent on estimation, probability, interest, histograms, spreadsheets, or real problem-solving...things which will be commonplace in most of these young people's later lives. While the 15 million of them sit there drilling away on those arithmetic and algebra exercises, their future options are bit-by-bit eroded.
Mathematical Sciences Education Board
The Underachieving Curriculum: Assessing U.S. School Mathematics from an International Perspective. A National Report on the Second International Mathematics Study, 1986