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(Miami Herald)   Guess which state lets dumb children into Advance Placement classes and wonders why they don't score higher on tests   (miamiherald.com) divider line 126
    More: Florida, Advanced Placement, high schools, College Board, ETS, adult educations, credit hours, class size, Broward Schools  
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8657 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Dec 2012 at 9:12 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



126 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-12-24 08:30:32 AM  
Dnrtfa

The schools get extra funding for each student in AP classes, so they pack them in as much as they can.

This is what happens when legislatue gives financial incentives for student "performance."
 
2012-12-24 08:40:09 AM  
"I'm gonna go write myself a minivan."

~Wally
 
2012-12-24 09:16:29 AM  
I was going to say "Texas", then I remembered there aren't enough smart kids in Texas to warrant an Advance Placement program. Then I saw the Florida tag and thought, "Hey, that makes sense."
 
2012-12-24 09:19:08 AM  
i758.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-24 09:21:43 AM  
Typical libtard reaction toward the dumb kids, so at least their *feelings* won't be hurt by being placed on the little bus.

/dnra
 
2012-12-24 09:22:29 AM  
 
2012-12-24 09:23:46 AM  
We want more minorities in advanced placement classes!

What do you mean, most of them didn't pass the tests? Make the tests easier!

What in god's name is a jive turkey?

/ you can't expect AP classes to have the exact same ratio of minorites as the rest of your school
 
GBB
2012-12-24 09:23:53 AM  
That's because AP is the new Honors
'B's are the new 'D's
PhDs are the new Masters Degree
Going-to-college is the new getting-a-job-straight-out-of-high-school
 
2012-12-24 09:25:39 AM  
Most states do this, and none of them wonder why the kids don't do better. It's considered discriminatory to exclude kids who want to take the classes even if everyone knows going in he has no chance of passing the test. When I took these tests 16 and 17 years ago, my parents had to pay the test fees. I'm pretty sure they can't do that anymore either.
 
2012-12-24 09:26:30 AM  
Maryland. Though, that don't just let them, they encourage them.
 
2012-12-24 09:30:36 AM  
My school wouldn't let me take the AP classes because I was a "discipline problem." I sat for the exams anyway; I had to cover the fee from each one, then the school reimbursed me the money when I passed.
 
2012-12-24 09:33:01 AM  

StrikitRich: Florida students' reading scores rank second in world


Doesn't say which world.


What Florida did was basically spend all their resources on the lowest performers. Now those same "lowest performers" are taking the AP classes.
 
2012-12-24 09:34:07 AM  
NC has this problem as well, There's a magnet school in Raleigh that is supposed to have 80% high achievers and 20% local population, however the ratio is reversed yet they still get the funding. A buddy of mine teaches AP math there, he was told by admin that no one can fail the tests in his class and no one can come out of the class with less than a B for the year. He's got 5 classes a day full of kids who can barely do fractions and he's required to give them passing grades that they simply don't earn in Trig and Pre-calc or even Algebra.
 
2012-12-24 09:34:35 AM  
New York.  I remember having a couple tards in my AP classes.  Made the rest of us feel better about ourselves.
 
2012-12-24 09:36:21 AM  
So, subtard, since the kids aren't able to speak that means they aren't bright enough to be in an AP class?

That is what you meant by, "dumb", right?
 
2012-12-24 09:36:42 AM  

JWideman: StrikitRich: Florida students' reading scores rank second in world


Doesn't say which world.

What Florida did was basically spend all their resources on the lowest performers. Now those same "lowest performers" are taking the AP classes.


So what you are saying is spending money on education works?
 
2012-12-24 09:49:26 AM  
Wow, there is more talking out of the ass here than I usually see. Start with Subby - no, the state isn't wondering why they don't score higher on the tests, it is understood from the beginning that expanding enrollment to AP classes will lower the average score. I know, that doesn't make as funny a headline.
 
2012-12-24 10:00:34 AM  
I tutor remedial-level math at a large, public comprehensive university. The students coming to us from high school are functionally illiterate in math. 60% of entering freshman need remedial math to start the college level curriculum - that's the national average and we meet it dead on. Our lowest level remedial math course starts at 6th grade math, and students are flunking it in record numbers. These are students who, no joke, need a calculator to multiply and divide and add or subtract more than 2 numbers.

The majority of the problem doesn't lie in high schools. The problem starts much earlier than that. Students don't understand the fundamentals of math like arithmetic, fractions, and postive/negative numbers, so when they get to high school level work - Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Precal - they are completely bewildered.
 
2012-12-24 10:02:12 AM  

Mambo Bananapatch: I was going to say "Texas", then I remembered there aren't enough smart kids in Texas to warrant an Advance Placement program. Then I saw the Florida tag and thought, "Hey, that makes sense."


Actually the idea comes out of a program from Texas. Laying the Foundation has tried to compete with College Board financially.

Most states are seeing what FLA is seeing.
 
2012-12-24 10:03:49 AM  

StrikitRich: JWideman: StrikitRich: Florida students' reading scores rank second in world


Doesn't say which world.

What Florida did was basically spend all their resources on the lowest performers. Now those same "lowest performers" are taking the AP classes.

So what you are saying is spending money on education works?


Nope. Those kids don't pass.
 
2012-12-24 10:04:50 AM  

Macular Degenerate: I tutor remedial-level math at a large, public comprehensive university. The students coming to us from high school are functionally illiterate in math. 60% of entering freshman need remedial math to start the college level curriculum - that's the national average and we meet it dead on. Our lowest level remedial math course starts at 6th grade math, and students are flunking it in record numbers. These are students who, no joke, need a calculator to multiply and divide and add or subtract more than 2 numbers.

The majority of the problem doesn't lie in high schools. The problem starts much earlier than that. Students don't understand the fundamentals of math like arithmetic, fractions, and postive/negative numbers, so when they get to high school level work - Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Precal - they are completely bewildered.


Problem lies with the push to get all students into college.
 
2012-12-24 10:08:48 AM  

Macular Degenerate: I tutor remedial-level math at a large, public comprehensive university. The students coming to us from high school are functionally illiterate in math. 60% of entering freshman need remedial math to start the college level curriculum - that's the national average and we meet it dead on. Our lowest level remedial math course starts at 6th grade math, and students are flunking it in record numbers. These are students who, no joke, need a calculator to multiply and divide and add or subtract more than 2 numbers.

The majority of the problem doesn't lie in high schools. The problem starts much earlier than that. Students don't understand the fundamentals of math like arithmetic, fractions, and postive/negative numbers, so when they get to high school level work - Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Precal - they are completely bewildered.



Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations. It doesn't help that pop culture depicts math as something you either magically "get" or you don't (Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting, etc).
 
2012-12-24 10:12:50 AM  

CreamFilling: Most states do this, and none of them wonder why the kids don't do better. It's considered discriminatory to exclude kids who want to take the classes even if everyone knows going in he has no chance of passing the test. When I took these tests 16 and 17 years ago, my parents had to pay the test fees. I'm pretty sure they can't do that anymore either.


There's that, and IIRC, I had to be "recommended" by teachers to be allowed to enroll in an AP class in the first place.

/ didn't take the AP Calculus I exam in 1986
// I suck at math...
 
2012-12-24 10:18:11 AM  

Wulfman: Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations. It doesn't help that pop culture depicts math as something you either magically "get" or you don't (Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting, etc).


I cringe every time I hear grown adults say "oh I'm bad at math" and most people just agree that's a reasonable thing to be bad at. If someone said "I can't read very well" most people would suggest they enroll in a class or get some self-help materials because they'd realize illiteracy is a big problem that will affect someone's life greatly.
 
2012-12-24 10:19:07 AM  

Wulfman:
Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations.


And they are right, math is fairly useless for the vast majority of people.
 
2012-12-24 10:20:17 AM  

itsdan: I cringe every time I hear grown adults say "oh I'm bad at math" and most people just agree that's a reasonable thing to be bad at. If someone said "I can't read very well" most people would suggest they enroll in a class or get some self-help materials because they'd realize illiteracy is a big problem that will affect someone's life greatly.


Probably because not reading will actually impede an average person's life, where an inability to factor is relevant to only a tiny cross-section of people.
 
2012-12-24 10:20:45 AM  

lilplatinum: Wulfman:
Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations.

And they are right, math is fairly useless for the vast majority of people.



[citation needed] Do you have any numbers to back that up?

/hint, it's a trap
 
2012-12-24 10:21:10 AM  

Forbidden Doughnut: CreamFilling: Most states do this, and none of them wonder why the kids don't do better. It's considered discriminatory to exclude kids who want to take the classes even if everyone knows going in he has no chance of passing the test. When I took these tests 16 and 17 years ago, my parents had to pay the test fees. I'm pretty sure they can't do that anymore either.

There's that, and IIRC, I had to be "recommended" by teachers to be allowed to enroll in an AP class in the first place.

/ didn't take the AP Calculus I exam in 1986
// I suck at math...


When I was in high school I had to be recommended for AP classes for freshman year, and then maintain a certain gpa to continue the following years.
 
2012-12-24 10:25:44 AM  
The answer is definitely Pennsylvania. My sister had classmates in her AP American History class last year who thought Al Gore was black, the American Revolution was a war over slavery, and New Jersey is a part of Pennsylvania. And when she reported her findings to the school board because as the student representative it was her responsibility to do so, she caught hell from the school (and encouragement from the school board - go figure).
 
2012-12-24 10:28:33 AM  

Wulfman: lilplatinum: Wulfman:
Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations.

And they are right, math is fairly useless for the vast majority of people.


[citation needed] Do you have any numbers to back that up?

/hint, it's a trap


What would you need advanced math for if you are not in a field that uses it? I passed the AP test in calc so I didn't have to be subjected to that nonsense throughout school, and I have used nothing I learned past 6 grade in the 13 years since. The only thing that was more a waste of my time from school was cursive... (Remember when they told you that thats how all adults write?)
 
2012-12-24 10:32:13 AM  

lilplatinum: Wulfman: lilplatinum: Wulfman:
Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations.

And they are right, math is fairly useless for the vast majority of people.


[citation needed] Do you have any numbers to back that up?

/hint, it's a trap

What would you need advanced math for if you are not in a field that uses it? I passed the AP test in calc so I didn't have to be subjected to that nonsense throughout school, and I have used nothing I learned past 6 grade in the 13 years since. The only thing that was more a waste of my time from school was cursive... (Remember when they told you that thats how all adults write?)



So we have moved the goalposts from "math" to "advanced math" in our conversation? I'm looking at exactly what you typed.
 
2012-12-24 10:36:19 AM  

Wulfman: So we have moved the goalposts from "math" to "advanced math" in our conversation? I'm looking at exactly what you typed.


Clarification is not "moving goalposts", and yes, I meant anything beyond basic math. Obviously basic arithmatic is used in daily life sometimes.. that is about all.
 
2012-12-24 10:37:36 AM  

lilplatinum: And they are right, math is fairly useless for the vast majority of people.


It's useless if you're planning on working a McJob for the rest of your life. But if you want a job that actually pays a decent wage, you're probably going to be working with budgets, figuring out percentages and proportions, and maybe figuring out some kind of simple algorithm.

If I went into a restaurant and asked my dinner companions to tell me what was on the menu because I couldn't read, people would look at me like I had three heads. But if I ask them to help me calculate the tip because "I suck at math," I'd hear rounds of sympathy from around the table. "It's OK - I suck at math too." We've allowed it to become acceptable to be math illiterate in this country, and that's farked up if you ask me.
 
2012-12-24 10:37:39 AM  

Macular Degenerate: I tutor remedial-level math at a large, public comprehensive university. The students coming to us from high school are functionally illiterate in math. 60% of entering freshman need remedial math to start the college level curriculum - that's the national average and we meet it dead on. Our lowest level remedial math course starts at 6th grade math, and students are flunking it in record numbers. These are students who, no joke, need a calculator to multiply and divide and add or subtract more than 2 numbers.

The majority of the problem doesn't lie in high schools. The problem starts much earlier than that. Students don't understand the fundamentals of math like arithmetic, fractions, and postive/negative numbers, so when they get to high school level work - Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Precal - they are completely bewildered.


I tutored math 302b which was theory of counting for teachers. You know why students fail the fundamentals with that class. Converting base 10 to any other base is the basis of the final. That class is the number one repeated class at my alma mater. Teachers don't understand fundamentals, how can their students.
 
2012-12-24 10:39:21 AM  

GBB: That's because AP is the new Honors
'B's are the new 'D's
PhDs are the new Masters Degree
Going-to-college is the new getting-a-job-straight-out-of-high-school


As a university & college prof, lecturer, instructor, I would like to point out that higher education was never meant for anyone other than the rich.
Think about that when you send your snowflake off to an eternity of debt.

No worries though, I'll be 77 before my loans are paid off - no lie - so I'm in the same boat
 
2012-12-24 10:39:43 AM  

lilplatinum: Clarification is not "moving goalposts", and yes, I meant anything beyond basic math. Obviously basic arithmatic is used in daily life sometimes.. that is about all.


What exact operations do you include in basic arithmetic? Obviously not integration or differentiation of functions; presumably, addition and multiplication. What else?
 
2012-12-24 10:40:16 AM  

lilplatinum: Wulfman: So we have moved the goalposts from "math" to "advanced math" in our conversation? I'm looking at exactly what you typed.

Clarification is not "moving goalposts", and yes, I meant anything beyond basic math. Obviously basic arithmatic is used in daily life sometimes.. that is about all.



So not statistics?
 
2012-12-24 10:41:33 AM  

Wulfman: Macular Degenerate: I tutor remedial-level math at a large, public comprehensive university. The students coming to us from high school are functionally illiterate in math. 60% of entering freshman need remedial math to start the college level curriculum - that's the national average and we meet it dead on. Our lowest level remedial math course starts at 6th grade math, and students are flunking it in record numbers. These are students who, no joke, need a calculator to multiply and divide and add or subtract more than 2 numbers.

The majority of the problem doesn't lie in high schools. The problem starts much earlier than that. Students don't understand the fundamentals of math like arithmetic, fractions, and postive/negative numbers, so when they get to high school level work - Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Precal - they are completely bewildered.


Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations. It doesn't help that pop culture depicts math as something you either magically "get" or you don't (Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting, etc)that only socially awkward nerds get.


ftfy
 
2012-12-24 10:42:51 AM  
FTFA: The curriculum exposes them to more information. Students generally have to write more and under tight deadlines. The format is supposed to spur critical thinking, independent study and confidence.

God forbid that students try to challenge themselves and actually learn. FU Floriduh!!!
 
2012-12-24 10:43:04 AM  

Macular Degenerate: It's useless if you're planning on working a McJob for the rest of your life. But if you want a job that actually pays a decent wage, you're probably going to be working with budgets, figuring out percentages and proportions, and maybe figuring out some kind of simple algorithm.


I work as a ship broker, I have to run voyage calculations, figure out my commission, etc. Everything is done on a computer in about 5 seconds. Anyone with even the vaguest understanding of math could do it since you are not required to calculate anything yourself. I also use more math than the majority of people, "McJobs" or not.

Communications skills are infinitely more important to having a good job than being able to calculate things, unless you want to be an Engineer or so...

If I went into a restaurant and asked my dinner companions to tell me what was on the menu because I couldn't read, people would look at me like I had three heads. But if I ask them to help me calculate the tip because "I suck at math," I'd hear rounds of sympathy from around the table. "It's OK - I suck at math too." We've allowed it to become acceptable to be math illiterate in this country, and that's farked up if you ask me.

Yes, because reading is a more important skill and one that cannot be made up for by an app on your farking phone as of yet.
 
2012-12-24 10:43:07 AM  

StrikitRich: Florida students' reading scores rank second in world


Doesn't say which world.


Lemme know when their comprehension scores come in.
 
2012-12-24 10:43:29 AM  

MyRandomName: I tutored math 302b which was theory of counting for teachers. You know why students fail the fundamentals with that class. Converting base 10 to any other base is the basis of the final. That class is the number one repeated class at my alma mater. Teachers don't understand fundamentals, how can their students.


Obligatory.

Heck, it might even help you with the tutoring.
 
2012-12-24 10:45:23 AM  

abb3w: lilplatinum: Clarification is not "moving goalposts", and yes, I meant anything beyond basic math. Obviously basic arithmatic is used in daily life sometimes.. that is about all.

What exact operations do you include in basic arithmetic? Obviously not integration or differentiation of functions; presumably, addition and multiplication. What else?


Division? Being able to average something out? Fractions? I mean not much else for the average schmuck.. I can't recall ever factoring something in real life...

Wulfman: So not statistics?


For the average schmuck with no aspiration to be a good poker player? Figuring out statistics is probably not a very common activity..
 
2012-12-24 10:46:43 AM  

lilplatinum: If I went into a restaurant and asked my dinner companions to tell me what was on the menu because I couldn't read, people would look at me like I had three heads. But if I ask them to help me calculate the tip because "I suck at math," I'd hear rounds of sympathy from around the table. "It's OK - I suck at math too." We've allowed it to become acceptable to be math illiterate in this country, and that's farked up if you ask me.

Yes, because reading is a more important skill and one that cannot be made up for by an app on your farking phone as of yet.



I'm going to quibble with this. I've traveled in countries where I didn't speak the language and English wasn't widely spoken there. I managed to get delicious food everywhere despite not being able to read the menu. My point with this is that I'm not sure I want basic utility to be the foundation for the curriculum at my children's schools.
 
2012-12-24 10:50:35 AM  

lilplatinum: For the average schmuck with no aspiration to be a good poker player? Figuring out statistics is probably not a very common activity..


Probability is a slightly different branch than statistics, though they're related.

However, statistics kind of basic to understanding the significance of opinion polls... and understanding that your personal circle of acquaintance are likely to be a somewhat different from a representative sample of the US.
 
2012-12-24 10:51:21 AM  

lilplatinum: Wulfman: So not statistics?

For the average schmuck with no aspiration to be a good poker player? Figuring out statistics is probably not a very common activity..


I've got to run (gym in 26 minutes) but I suspect we're not so much at odds here as I initially thought. I don't agree with the above, however. Stats are such a great way for politicians and salesmen and advertisers to manipulate the innumerate, I don't see how schools can justify not offering it. That and basic econ would be much more useful than calc, regardless of the field the student intends to pursue. Hell, I used stats more than calc even when I worked as a physicist.
 
2012-12-24 10:51:47 AM  

Wulfman: My point with this is that I'm not sure I want basic utility to be the foundation for the curriculum at my children's schools.


There's also the utility of opportunity.
 
2012-12-24 10:52:55 AM  

Wulfman: I'm going to quibble with this. I've traveled in countries where I didn't speak the language and English wasn't widely spoken there. I managed to get delicious food everywhere despite not being able to read the menu. My point with this is that I'm not sure I want basic utility to be the foundation for the curriculum at my children's schools.


I have lived in both China and Germany years and got some farked up shiat on my table due to not being able to read the menu. A lack of an ability to read or communicate is far more impactful in your daily life than a lack of proficiency in math.
 
rpm
2012-12-24 10:53:49 AM  

lilplatinum: For the average schmuck with no aspiration to be a good poker player? Figuring out statistics is probably not a very common activity..


No, but being played by statistics is common, so a good grounding is essential.
 
2012-12-24 10:56:04 AM  

abb3w: Probability is a slightly different branch than statistics, though they're related.

However, statistics kind of basic to understanding the significance of opinion polls... and understanding that your personal circle of acquaintance are likely to be a somewhat different from a representative sample of the US.


Working in a largely financial field I would estimate that my personal circle of acquaintance involves more math activities than the majority of Americans working in non technical jobs.

And yes, one is a more educated consumer of media if one understands how polls work, but for the average day to day life of the average American this is a fairly academic point.
 
2012-12-24 10:57:52 AM  

Wulfman: I've got to run (gym in 26 minutes) but I suspect we're not so much at odds here as I initially thought. I don't agree with the above, however. Stats are such a great way for politicians and salesmen and advertisers to manipulate the innumerate, I don't see how schools can justify not offering it. That and basic econ would be much more useful than calc, regardless of the field the student intends to pursue. Hell, I used stats more than calc even when I worked as a physicist.


I will agree that stats should be taught more actively as it is infinitely more relevant to life than calc ever was.
 
GBB
2012-12-24 10:57:53 AM  

Marcintosh: GBB: That's because AP is the new Honors
'B's are the new 'D's
PhDs are the new Masters Degree
Going-to-college is the new getting-a-job-straight-out-of-high-school

As a university & college prof, lecturer, instructor, I would like to point out that higher education was never meant for anyone other than the rich.
Think about that when you send your snowflake off to an eternity of debt.

No worries though, I'll be 77 before my loans are paid off - no lie - so I'm in the same boat


Good thing my employer offers tuition reimbursement. Bachelors in Accounting, which means the best I can hope for is Bookkeepper.
 
2012-12-24 11:08:10 AM  

walkerhound: New York.  I remember having a couple tards in my AP classes.  Made the rest of us feel better about ourselves.


Did one of those tards happen to go by the name Mambo Bananapatch?
 
2012-12-24 11:11:00 AM  

lilplatinum: Macular Degenerate: It's useless if you're planning on working a McJob for the rest of your life. But if you want a job that actually pays a decent wage, you're probably going to be working with budgets, figuring out percentages and proportions, and maybe figuring out some kind of simple algorithm.

I work as a ship broker, I have to run voyage calculations, figure out my commission, etc. Everything is done on a computer in about 5 seconds. Anyone with even the vaguest understanding of math could do it since you are not required to calculate anything yourself. I also use more math than the majority of people, "McJobs" or not.

Communications skills are infinitely more important to having a good job than being able to calculate things, unless you want to be an Engineer or so...

If I went into a restaurant and asked my dinner companions to tell me what was on the menu because I couldn't read, people would look at me like I had three heads. But if I ask them to help me calculate the tip because "I suck at math," I'd hear rounds of sympathy from around the table. "It's OK - I suck at math too." We've allowed it to become acceptable to be math illiterate in this country, and that's farked up if you ask me.

Yes, because reading is a more important skill and one that cannot be made up for by an app on your farking phone as of yet.


No, there are apps that can make up for your inability to read. They're mostly designed for the legally blind, but there's no reason the illiterate couldn't use them as well. And I'll bet you use math (including some that's well beyond the capacity of many high school students) on a daily basis without even realizing it. Ever estimate your gas mileage? Or device which can of beans is a better deal? Or make sure the cashier gave you correct change? Or figure out when to take your next dose of medicine?
 
2012-12-24 11:26:11 AM  

Death Whisper: walkerhound: New York.  I remember having a couple tards in my AP classes.  Made the rest of us feel better about ourselves.

Did one of those tards happen to go by the name Mambo Bananapatch?


I LoL'ed
 
2012-12-24 11:34:05 AM  
I'm looking forward to the day when devices are so long-lasting, that when they finally break down and need to be replaced, there will be nothing but bloated, pasty dummies asking in words of one syllable, "How fix? How fix thing?"
 
2012-12-24 11:37:52 AM  
LAUSD does this too, under the guise of "every child should have access to the same educational opportunities."

Because failure doesn't make a student who works up the nerve to take the class want to just throw in the towel altogether, AMIRITE?
 
2012-12-24 11:38:43 AM  

lilplatinum: And yes, one is a more educated consumer of media if one understands how polls work, but for the average day to day life of the average American this is a fairly academic point.


IE, the country can keep on in more or less the same level of informed discourse as it has been.
How's that been working out for you? Oh, wait; you said you're in finance.

media.tumblr.com


lilplatinum: I will agree that stats should be taught more actively as it is infinitely more relevant to life than calc ever was.


Unfortunately, stats ties to probability, which has ties to calc unless you stick with discrete distributions, in which case the math gets harder than continuous distributions.

This is without even getting into the opportunity costs resulting from an inability to recognize a logistic curve when it's chafing their nads, or the resistance to learning basic propositional logic.

CreamFilling: And I'll bet you use math (including some that's well beyond the capacity of many high school students) on a daily basis without even realizing it. Ever estimate your gas mileage? Or device which can of beans is a better deal? Or make sure the cashier gave you correct change? Or figure out when to take your next dose of medicine?


Most of those are still at the level of addition/multiplication arithmetic.
 
2012-12-24 11:39:04 AM  

CreamFilling: lilplatinum: Macular Degenerate: It's useless if you're planning on working a McJob for the rest of your life. But if you want a job that actually pays a decent wage, you're probably going to be working with budgets, figuring out percentages and proportions, and maybe figuring out some kind of simple algorithm.

I work as a ship broker, I have to run voyage calculations, figure out my commission, etc. Everything is done on a computer in about 5 seconds. Anyone with even the vaguest understanding of math could do it since you are not required to calculate anything yourself. I also use more math than the majority of people, "McJobs" or not.

Communications skills are infinitely more important to having a good job than being able to calculate things, unless you want to be an Engineer or so...

If I went into a restaurant and asked my dinner companions to tell me what was on the menu because I couldn't read, people would look at me like I had three heads. But if I ask them to help me calculate the tip because "I suck at math," I'd hear rounds of sympathy from around the table. "It's OK - I suck at math too." We've allowed it to become acceptable to be math illiterate in this country, and that's farked up if you ask me.

Yes, because reading is a more important skill and one that cannot be made up for by an app on your farking phone as of yet.

No, there are apps that can make up for your inability to read. They're mostly designed for the legally blind, but there's no reason the illiterate couldn't use them as well. And I'll bet you use math (including some that's well beyond the capacity of many high school students) on a daily basis without even realizing it. Ever estimate your gas mileage? Or device which can of beans is a better deal? Or make sure the cashier gave you correct change? Or figure out when to take your next dose of medicine?


I'm pretty sure there are apps and devices to do math for one's self, too.
 
2012-12-24 11:43:21 AM  

abb3w:
IE, the country can keep on in more or less the same level of informed discourse as it has been.
How's that been working out for you? Oh, wait; you said you're in finance.


Improving math skills is not going to somehow impart political wisdom in the plebians. If anything the lack of knowledge in politics arrives from an atrocious lack of basic civics education in school.

CreamFilling: And I'll bet you use math (including some that's well beyond the capacity of many high school students) on a daily basis without even realizing it. Ever estimate your gas mileage? Or device which can of beans is a better deal? Or make sure the cashier gave you correct change? Or figure out when to take your next dose of medicine?

Most of those are still at the level of addition/multiplication arithmetic.


Hell, determining which can of beans is a better deal is just counting...
 
2012-12-24 11:46:10 AM  
My step daughter is in the same boat. She's dumb as a post but is always ready to brag about how she is in the gifted program. She can't spell, reads books more suitable for 6 year olds (she's 12) doesn't know history science math or geography yet she is I. The gifted program? Gtfo. We live in South Carolina and she couldn't find Georgia on a map or tell me what states we had to drive thru to take her to her sperm donors in Maryland this Christmas...
 
2012-12-24 11:48:43 AM  
"More minority students are taking the classes. Broward and Miami-Dade have gotten top honors in the country for Hispanic and black students' participation and performance(inflated scores) on AP. "

Yay. We're more equal!
 
2012-12-24 12:01:13 PM  

lilplatinum: Wulfman:
Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations.

And they are right, math is fairly useless for the vast majority of people.


I don't need no maths, the cash register dun do it subtraction for me!

/JudgeSmails.jpg
 
2012-12-24 12:05:50 PM  

HighlanderRPI: lilplatinum: Wulfman:
Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations.

And they are right, math is fairly useless for the vast majority of people.

I don't need no maths, the cash register dun do it subtraction for me!

/JudgeSmails.jpg


Its 2012, who the fark uses cash?
 
2012-12-24 12:11:14 PM  

lilplatinum: Its 2012, who the fark uses cash?


* raises hand *

Although, that has more to do with my "Where's George?" bill-tracking habit....
 
2012-12-24 12:12:48 PM  

abb3w: Most of those bookkeepers are still at the level of addition/multiplication arithmetic.


And most CPAs, accountants, bookkeepers, and auditors had great qualifications* when they were hired in 1937.

*Great gams.
 
2012-12-24 12:12:48 PM  

lilplatinum: abb3w:
IE, the country can keep on in more or less the same level of informed discourse as it has been.
How's that been working out for you? Oh, wait; you said you're in finance.

Improving math skills is not going to somehow impart political wisdom in the plebians. If anything the lack of knowledge in politics arrives from an atrocious lack of basic civics education in school.

CreamFilling: And I'll bet you use math (including some that's well beyond the capacity of many high school students) on a daily basis without even realizing it. Ever estimate your gas mileage? Or device which can of beans is a better deal? Or make sure the cashier gave you correct change? Or figure out when to take your next dose of medicine?

Most of those are still at the level of addition/multiplication arithmetic.

Hell, determining which can of beans is a better deal is just counting...


Unless you're doing polling, statistics is just addition/muliplication arithmetic, so I don't see the point of saying that.

You need to know basic finances and statistics. While you may not use them every day of your life, the decisions you do make with them will affect every day of your life. Just ask anybody who had a balloon payment four years ago.
 
2012-12-24 12:22:29 PM  
Took AP Calculus AB in 11th grade. Scored a 4 out of 5. Took AP Calculus BC my senior year, probably barely got the 3 out of 5. The teacher was insane for both.

/csb
 
2012-12-24 12:26:42 PM  

Genju: Took AP Calculus AB in 11th grade. Scored a 4 out of 5. Took AP Calculus BC my senior year, probably barely got the 3 out of 5. The teacher was insane for both.

/csb


Wait you took both classes or both tests?
 
2012-12-24 12:32:25 PM  

Nofun: Dnrtfa

The schools get extra funding for each student in AP classes, so they pack them in as much as they can.

This is what happens when legislatue gives financial incentives for student "performance."


It's what happens if they do it badly. What if the school gets financian incentives based on the number of students who pass?
 
2012-12-24 12:40:55 PM  

Enigmamf: Nofun: Dnrtfa

The schools get extra funding for each student in AP classes, so they pack them in as much as they can.

This is what happens when legislatue gives financial incentives for student "performance."

It's what happens if they do it badly. What if the school gets financian incentives based on the number of students who pass?


They'll just put more and more in unless you include the percentage as part of the calculation. Currently there are thousands of students taking AP classes who have no interest in the class and no intention of going to college.
 
2012-12-24 12:45:33 PM  

Mambo Bananapatch: I was going to say "Texas", then I remembered there aren't enough smart kids in Texas to warrant an Advance Placement program. Then I saw the Florida tag and thought, "Hey, that makes sense."


Coming from a "closeted" Qubec'r, I question your use of the word "thought".
 
2012-12-24 12:46:43 PM  

Subtle_Canary: My step daughter is in the same boat. She's dumb as a post but is always ready to brag about how she is in the gifted program. She can't spell, reads books more suitable for 6 year olds (she's 12) doesn't know history science math or geography yet she is I. The gifted program? Gtfo. We live in South Carolina and she couldn't find Georgia on a map or tell me what states we had to drive thru to take her to her sperm donors in Maryland this Christmas...


I've seen this too.

Kids that were clearly behind their peers, talking about their having made the honor role.

They're not bieng made aware of just where they sit on the curve it seems.
 
2012-12-24 12:51:19 PM  

lilplatinum: I have used nothing I learned past 6 grade in the 13 years since.


Well the world needs ditch diggers too.
 
2012-12-24 12:53:11 PM  

abb3w: lilplatinum: For the average schmuck with no aspiration to be a good poker player? Figuring out statistics is probably not a very common activity..

Probability is a slightly different branch than statistics, though they're related.

However, statistics kind of basic to understanding the significance of opinion polls... and understanding that your personal circle of acquaintance are likely to be a somewhat different from a representative sample of the US.


Which nearly nobody does correctly anyway.
 
2012-12-24 12:56:10 PM  
Seems to me that over my lifetime kids have had less and less expected of them in school. All sorts of basic skills fell by the wayside as they were blamed for discriminating against some people who were (allegedly) just as able but for some reason can't cope with revision / final exams / spelling / grammar / handwriting / essay writing / textbooks ... and maths. Kids who still couldn't cope for some reason or another found it increasingly easy to get "diagnosed" with a "learning disability" for eg extra time on tests (usually dyslexia ...). University professors everywhere are now complaining about the lack of basic academic skills in their first-year undergraduates, and having to waste valuable time teaching basics such as writing essays and school-level maths. There's been a huge increase in the percentage of people going to college. The thinking behind all of this seems to be that nobody is "really" any more able than anyone else.

I'm sure the genuinely bright kids are suffering through all of this. My daughter actually keeps complaining about how little homework they get given at her school. She's not some kind of Einstein, either. Just an average-bright kid. Since when did kids themselves complain about the work they got given being too easy and not enough? That's just weird. She gets quite upset and angry about it, but there is nothing I can do. Textbooks simply don't exist as we remember them any more - the best you can get is these "workbook" things which look like the kind of thing we were given when we were 6. Apparently not even 16 year olds can cope with a page of writing without a cartoon or two - and the writing is only a paragraph.

/dnrtfa
//rant
 
2012-12-24 12:57:17 PM  
Wives resemble Pacific salmon...they spawn and they are done.
 
2012-12-24 01:01:28 PM  

lilplatinum: Working in a largely financial field I would estimate that my personal circle of acquaintance involves more math activities than the majority of Americans working in non technical jobs.
.


You need to broaden your circle of acquaintances or improve your estimation skills....
Visit pretty much any DC or manufacturing facility and you will find that anyone from the floor lead/supervisor role on up will have a solid understanding of math because they are drilled on performance metrics on an hourly basis. The same goes for the upstream supply chain folks that do demand and supply forecasts. Don't forget the accountants and finance types as well. As well as the downstream folks like retail managers, etc. Many of those jobs aren't really technical and require nothing more than a BS/BA to get into.

But if I ever interview anyone and they say they course work that they are weakest on or like the least is math, they have a zero percent probability of getting the job.

/zero percent means they won't get the job...in case you needed help with that
 
2012-12-24 01:02:36 PM  

StashMonster: Seems to me that over my lifetime kids have had less and less expected of them in school. All sorts of basic skills fell by the wayside as they were blamed for discriminating against some people who were (allegedly) just as able but for some reason can't cope with revision / final exams / spelling / grammar / handwriting / essay writing / textbooks ... and maths


At least they know how to properly abbreviate singular nouns...
 
2012-12-24 01:05:08 PM  
Guess which submitter wrote "advance placement" instead of "advanced placement."
 
2012-12-24 01:05:37 PM  

lilplatinum: StashMonster: Seems to me that over my lifetime kids have had less and less expected of them in school. All sorts of basic skills fell by the wayside as they were blamed for discriminating against some people who were (allegedly) just as able but for some reason can't cope with revision / final exams / spelling / grammar / handwriting / essay writing / textbooks ... and maths

At least they know how to properly abbreviate singular nouns...


That's a British thing. They don't just learn one math, they learn multiple.
 
2012-12-24 01:06:43 PM  

Eponymous: lilplatinum: Working in a largely financial field I would estimate that my personal circle of acquaintance involves more math activities than the majority of Americans working in non technical jobs.
.

You need to broaden your circle of acquaintances or improve your estimation skills....
Visit pretty much any DC or manufacturing facility and you will find that anyone from the floor lead/supervisor role on up will have a solid understanding of math because they are drilled on performance metrics on an hourly basis. The same goes for the upstream supply chain folks that do demand and supply forecasts. Don't forget the accountants and finance types as well. As well as the downstream folks like retail managers, etc. Many of those jobs aren't really technical and require nothing more than a BS/BA to get into.

But if I ever interview anyone and they say they course work that they are weakest on or like the least is math, they have a zero percent probability of getting the job.

/zero percent means they won't get the job...in case you needed help with that


Because they don't like math as much as other subjects, that's a dealbreaker?
 
2012-12-24 01:08:22 PM  
When people talk about the utility of math, they like to talk about how they don't need to learn it because a calculator can do it for them. Well, that is sort of true of arithmetic, but that's only taught now because it helps understand the higher levels. A calculator can't do algebra for you, or geometry, or help you solve word problems - you won't know what to put into it to get the proper result.

Fortunately I think most people know more math and solve more math problems than they realize - they're just framed differently enough they don't realize they're doing math at the time. Things like working out budgets, or coming up with mental estimates of things.
 
2012-12-24 01:09:52 PM  

Eponymous: You need to broaden your circle of acquaintances or improve your estimation skills....
Visit pretty much any DC or manufacturing facility and you will find that anyone from the floor lead/supervisor role on up will have a solid understanding of math because they are drilled on performance metrics on an hourly basis. The same goes for the upstream supply chain folks that do demand and supply forecasts. Don't forget the accountants and finance types as well. As well as the downstream folks like retail managers, etc. Many of those jobs aren't really technical and require nothing more than a BS/BA to get into.


Very few of those jobs involve actually doing any financial calculations yourself. I deal with daily voyage calculations - how much fuel a vessel will consume, all the relevant costs, revenues, etc. Everything gets plugged into a spreadsheet/voyage calc program. I read market reports/etc. and track freight/cargo rates, etc - but all of that is looking at charts..

Sure, I understand whats going on but very rarely will I actually perform any sport of mathematical operations myself, nor do I actually believe that any of the people of the above jobs really do (aside from some people on the finance sides).
 
2012-12-24 01:10:45 PM  

lilplatinum: Yes, because reading is a more important skill and one that cannot be made up for by an app on your farking phone as of yet.


Funny you would think there would be one on the market years ago.
Just take an OCR to scan in the menu, and a text to speach program to play the words. add in a translator for when traveling abroad and poof no need to be able to read. all he options can be done with symbols...
 
2012-12-24 01:11:09 PM  

CreamFilling: lilplatinum: StashMonster: Seems to me that over my lifetime kids have had less and less expected of them in school. All sorts of basic skills fell by the wayside as they were blamed for discriminating against some people who were (allegedly) just as able but for some reason can't cope with revision / final exams / spelling / grammar / handwriting / essay writing / textbooks ... and maths

At least they know how to properly abbreviate singular nouns...

That's a British thing. They don't just learn one math, they learn multiple.


I know, it is one of my pet peeves. The only thing worse is "Drink Driving" - WTF is that? An anthropomorphic drink driving?
 
2012-12-24 01:12:02 PM  

sjmcc13: lilplatinum: Yes, because reading is a more important skill and one that cannot be made up for by an app on your farking phone as of yet.

Funny you would think there would be one on the market years ago.
Just take an OCR to scan in the menu, and a text to speach program to play the words. add in a translator for when traveling abroad and poof no need to be able to read. all he options can be done with symbols...


Google is working on it (and I assume others), but automated translation is still a problematic technology.
 
2012-12-24 01:27:12 PM  
My son's middle school began an Academic Academy this year. The kids had to have a certain percentage last year to qualify. They also began an intermediate math class. Last year, for 8th graders, it was regular math or Algebra (which is high school credit). They've made all 4 core classes pre-AP and added a pre-AP 8th grade math.

My kids all take dual credit classes in 11th and 12th grades. They are AP, but they don't take the test, and they graduate with several college credits. My eldest had 24. My daughter, who is a Senior now, should have enough to be a Sophomore when she graduates. Band is her only non-DC class right now. She took math and Biology at the local University and will have Historical Geology next semester.
 
2012-12-24 01:30:08 PM  
I have it on good authority that a tax increase from 35% to 39.6% is a hike of 4.6%

citation : Link
 
2012-12-24 01:32:30 PM  
Anyone ever listen to MOST teenagers speak nowadays? They're retards. It's a wonder they manage to tie their own shoes w/o help!
 
2012-12-24 01:35:52 PM  

Buffet: Anyone ever listen to MOST teenagers speak nowadays? They're retards. It's a wonder they manage to tie their own shoes w/o help!


The grammar kills me.
 
2012-12-24 01:41:18 PM  

beefoe: FTFA: The curriculum exposes them to more information. Students generally have to write more and under tight deadlines. The format is supposed to spur critical thinking, independent study and confidence.

God forbid that students try to challenge themselves and actually learn. FU Floriduh!!!


AP courses are not a format to learn, nor is critical thinking or independent study. Perhaps, and this is unlikely due to the numerous deadlines, high pressure, and significant body of knowledge to be learner, confidence is raised, but the others cannot exist in a classroom of strict rote memorization.

The only purpose of AP courses is academic creep: increasing the amount of schooling, especially higher education, supposedly necessary and compactjng all of this.
 
2012-12-24 02:02:56 PM  

lilplatinum: Genju: Took AP Calculus AB in 11th grade. Scored a 4 out of 5. Took AP Calculus BC my senior year, probably barely got the 3 out of 5. The teacher was insane for both.

/csb

Wait you took both classes or both tests?


AB is the equivalent of Calc 1. BC is the equivalent of Calc 2. Took Calc 3 once I left for university.

/probably missed the 4 out of 5 in BC because of some of the crazy set theory crap that I can't remember anymore
 
2012-12-24 02:11:42 PM  

Genju: lilplatinum: Genju: Took AP Calculus AB in 11th grade. Scored a 4 out of 5. Took AP Calculus BC my senior year, probably barely got the 3 out of 5. The teacher was insane for both.

/csb

Wait you took both classes or both tests?

AB is the equivalent of Calc 1. BC is the equivalent of Calc 2. Took Calc 3 once I left for university.

/probably missed the 4 out of 5 in BC because of some of the crazy set theory crap that I can't remember anymore


Its been a long time since high school but I recall people going straight from pre-cal into BC as it covered all the shiat from AB plus some.

Did they change it?
 
2012-12-24 02:15:46 PM  
I've never known anyone who can calculate lottery odds to be willing to buy lottery tickets or lose in Vegas. It's x!/(n!/(n-x)!) so for our local state lottery it's (6/53)(5/52)(4/51)(3/50)(2/49)(1/48)= 4.3558788e−8 or 1 chance in 22,957,480 that you're going to select the correct 6 numbers out of 53 choices. Probability should be taught at least as much as geometry.
 
2012-12-24 02:20:50 PM  

StashMonster:
Since when did kids themselves complain about the work they got given being too easy and not enough? That's just weird. She gets quite upset and angry about it, but there is nothing I can do.


Homeschool. Seriously.

Here's my CSB:
My daughter is in second grade. For kindergarten and 1st grade she went to the local public school. My wife was very active at the school and got a job as a sub. While subbing, she got a really good look at the school system and what our daughter would face in the coming years. The school system is 100% aimed at getting kids to pass the standardized tests. If your kid can pass, they get ignored. All the effort is spent on getting the lowest performers to pass. And the teachers won't/can't fail kids; they just get shuffled on up to the next grade - elementary grades don't count in the long run, so who cares if they really earned whatever grade they're given?

Our school system has also implemented the dumbing down of AP classes. It's now to the point where AP is for the "normal" kids and regular school is for the problem kids.

For second grade, we decided to give homeschooling a shot. So far it's working great. There's lots of different curriculums available, from touchy-feelie rainbows & butterflies to the classical trivium. We joined a co-op that helps provide structure and accountability.

My daughter is now reading on a 5th-6th grade level, memorizing multiplication tables to 15, diagramming sentences, and doing a lot of other stuff that she'd never get in public school.
 
2012-12-24 02:31:33 PM  

Wulfman: Macular Degenerate: I tutor remedial-level math at a large, public comprehensive university. The students coming to us from high school are functionally illiterate in math. 60% of entering freshman need remedial math to start the college level curriculum - that's the national average and we meet it dead on. Our lowest level remedial math course starts at 6th grade math, and students are flunking it in record numbers. These are students who, no joke, need a calculator to multiply and divide and add or subtract more than 2 numbers.

The majority of the problem doesn't lie in high schools. The problem starts much earlier than that. Students don't understand the fundamentals of math like arithmetic, fractions, and postive/negative numbers, so when they get to high school level work - Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Precal - they are completely bewildered.


Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations. It doesn't help that pop culture depicts math as something you either magically "get" or you don't (Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting, etc).


I am one of those college students, and I went to an excellent, math-focused high school (dropped out due to illness.) I can tell you that my math issues started much earlier than that: probably in the third or fourth grade, and largely due to the issues already stated. (although we weren't allowed calculators, so I can at least do that.)

A lot of my personal issue was dyscalculia: while I understood the principles, I tended to reverse numbers, and so the calculations never came out correctly: I never learned to trust my understanding, because it always "came out wrong."

Plugging in the hours needed now to develop the skill is tough: it's how I'm spending my winter break, for one. I wish it had been done much earlier; my life would have been very different.


/really has reeled herself all the way back to trig for the winter, so cool
 
2012-12-24 02:58:50 PM  
The reason why college degrees are "required" to get a good job is because there is no faith in the high school system to produce graduates who can read, think, and do basic math. HIgh school should be all the education a person needs to function as a responsible, productive, adult and the curriculum needs to change with the focus on teaching life skills.

As far as math is concerned, the first priority for high schools should be to make sure every student understands fractions, negative numbers, and coordinates. When they can demonstrate understanding of it, teach them statistics and finance. Specifically, show lots of examples of how statistics can be misleading and teach them how stocks, bonds, and other common financial products work. Every adult should be familiar with the "Rule of 72" since it will help them save for a house, retirement, etc. Keep Algebra 1 and maybe geometry as required courses, but algebra 2, trig, and calculus should all be optional. I think algebra 1 is a good tool for teaching logic and critical thinking skills and geometry helps with spatial thinking. Kids should be exposed to higher math, but then it should be optional if they want to continue to pursue it.
 
2012-12-24 03:20:21 PM  

CreamFilling: Currently there are thousands of students taking AP classes who have no interest in the class and no intention of going to college.



[citationneeded.jpg]
 
2012-12-24 03:50:12 PM  

Mambo Bananapatch: then I remembered there aren't enough smart kids in Texas to warrant an Advance Placement program.


About 65% (two-thirds) of children in Texas are black or hispanic. Is that what you mean?
 
2012-12-24 03:57:10 PM  

Mitrovarr: When people talk about the utility of math, they like to talk about how they don't need to learn it because a calculator can do it for them. Well, that is sort of true of arithmetic, but that's only taught now because it helps understand the higher levels. A calculator can't do algebra for you, or geometry, or help you solve word problems - you won't know what to put into it to get the proper result.

Fortunately I think most people know more math and solve more math problems than they realize - they're just framed differently enough they don't realize they're doing math at the time. Things like working out budgets, or coming up with mental estimates of things.


Yup--the calculator can do the math, it can't tell you what numbers to plug in. I used to work with a guy who categorically didn't get it about algebra. I was simply unable to explain to him how to set up a system that put actual dimensions into placeholders. It took me quite a while to catch on to what the issue was--he simply couldn't comprehend the idea of doing math involving unknowns. It didn't matter that the math was trivial. At the time he took the job he had no idea that down the road there would be algebra.

11thmetal: The reason why college degrees are "required" to get a good job is because there is no faith in the high school system to produce graduates who can read, think, and do basic math. HIgh school should be all the education a person needs to function as a responsible, productive, adult and the curriculum needs to change with the focus on teaching life skills.

As far as math is concerned, the first priority for high schools should be to make sure every student understands fractions, negative numbers, and coordinates. When they can demonstrate understanding of it, teach them statistics and finance. Specifically, show lots of examples of how statistics can be misleading and teach them how stocks, bonds, and other common financial products work. Every adult should be familiar with the "Rule of 72" since it will help them save for a house, retirement, etc. Keep Algebra 1 and maybe geometry as required courses, but algebra 2, trig, and calculus should all be optional. I think algebra 1 is a good tool for teaching logic and critical thinking skills and geometry helps with spatial thinking. Kids should be exposed to higher math, but then it should be optional if they want to continue to pursue it.


I would do algebra 2 as mandatory. It makes them actually use the material from algebra 1 and thus makes it stick much better. The real world has enough solve for x type problems that people need to know how to do them.
 
2012-12-24 03:58:38 PM  

Earpj: Buffet: Anyone ever listen to MOST teenagers speak nowadays? They're retards. It's a wonder they manage to tie their own shoes w/o help!

The grammar kills me.


AMEN!
 
2012-12-24 04:01:07 PM  

Mitrovarr: When people talk about the utility of math, they like to talk about how they don't need to learn it because a calculator can do it for them. Well, that is sort of true of arithmetic, but that's only taught now because it helps understand the higher levels. A calculator can't do algebra for you, or geometry, or help you solve word problems - you won't know what to put into it to get the proper result.

Fortunately I think most people know more math and solve more math problems than they realize - they're just framed differently enough they don't realize they're doing math at the time. Things like working out budgets, or coming up with mental estimates of things.


Know how I know you've never used a TI-89? Or Wolfram Alpha? These days, computers can absolutely do algebra, geometry, calculus, and so on. Heck, you can just feed the problem as it's written in the book and the computer will "solve for x" for you.

Having said that, it's helpful to have a working understanding of what "acceptable values for x" are. For example, if you fond yourself unwittingly solving a binomial for some reason, you might only want one of the two possible solutions. A good understanding of math, or at least the problem domain you're working in, will really help.

That said, we need to be honest with ourselves here. Communication skills are important, but that doesn't mean you need to be able to write the next Great American Novel or be able to generate meaningful free verse. You just need to be able to express your ideas concisely while being able to understand others' ideas. Similarly, you don't need to be able to calculate a Diffie-Hellman algorithm in your head, but you're missing something important if you can't at least do some qualitative analysis on the fly (e.g. I think I'll tip my dinner bill with the decimal point moved over a digit, then multiplied by 2).
 
2012-12-24 04:49:22 PM  
I went to the #1 public high school in the country, and we had to pass a test and get two letters of recommend from the faculty in order to vote allowed to take an AP class. Thirds fee for all methods is grossly confusing to me. I alleyways thought of AP classes as a privilege that you earned.
 
2012-12-24 05:18:45 PM  

Eponymous: Visit pretty much any DC or manufacturing facility and you will find that anyone from the floor lead/supervisor role on up will have a solid understanding of math because they are drilled on performance metrics on an hourly basis.


My observations ( having worked in semiconductor manufacturing ):

"Floor lead" (or equivalent): has to be somewhat competent at math

Supervisor: Varies, there are some some surprising ignorant ones...( OTOH, standards have risen in the last decade)

Equipment Engineer: Has to be pretty good at math

Process Engineer: Has to live and breathe mathematics...
 
2012-12-24 05:21:34 PM  
Haven't read all the comments, so I don't know if anyone has posted something similar yet, but my son was accepted into an engineering charter school here. The school required a testing level aptitude and was only open to 400 freshmen per year for the whole county, they got accepted through a lottery of all eligible students. My son began taking college level math, science, and language classes in 9th grade; half of the accepted class was gone by the end of the first year. The curriculum was so difficult, and they taught and graded the kids just like a college would, if you missed a class or a day, you were way behind. If you had a bad teacher, you were almost certain to fail. My son is now a Junior and is extremely intelligent, but his GPA has been beat up so bad that he will have to go to JUCO before he can attend a regular college.
It has taken all we can do as a group of parents to give our kids a support group to get through this ordeal, and we all communicate regularly to keep everyone up to speed, but it does seem as if the thing that was supposed to get them way ahead in life has instead often done the opposite - my son is extremely knowledgeable and would make a great engineer, but this has pushed back his working in that field by at least two years.
 
2012-12-24 05:35:16 PM  

lilplatinum: What would you need advanced math for if you are not in a field that uses it?


Not getting screwed by compound interest working against you would be a big bonus for an awful lot of people, apparently.
Some of them might even be motivated to make it work in their favor, if they understood even the tiniest bit about exponentials.
 
2012-12-24 05:47:28 PM  

Sliding Carp: lilplatinum: What would you need advanced math for if you are not in a field that uses it?

Not getting screwed by compound interest working against you would be a big bonus for an awful lot of people, apparently.
Some of them might even be motivated to make it work in their favor, if they understood even the tiniest bit about exponentials.


The big takeaway from education should be: the more you know, the more you can use what you know. To the majority of students and former students, otherwise known as basically everyone, mathematics is a load of symbols and formula which serve no application. Having working understanding, which should not be the finale in an academic career with the why forgotten upon introduction, practically reinvents the world it touches
 
2012-12-24 06:22:06 PM  

lilplatinum: StashMonster: Seems to me that over my lifetime kids have had less and less expected of them in school. All sorts of basic skills fell by the wayside as they were blamed for discriminating against some people who were (allegedly) just as able but for some reason can't cope with revision / final exams / spelling / grammar / handwriting / essay writing / textbooks ... and maths

At least they know how to properly abbreviate singular nouns...


Like mathematics?
 
2012-12-24 06:57:34 PM  

Wulfman: Macular Degenerate: I tutor remedial-level math at a large, public comprehensive university. The students coming to us from high school are functionally illiterate in math. 60% of entering freshman need remedial math to start the college level curriculum - that's the national average and we meet it dead on. Our lowest level remedial math course starts at 6th grade math, and students are flunking it in record numbers. These are students who, no joke, need a calculator to multiply and divide and add or subtract more than 2 numbers.

The majority of the problem doesn't lie in high schools. The problem starts much earlier than that. Students don't understand the fundamentals of math like arithmetic, fractions, and postive/negative numbers, so when they get to high school level work - Algebra, Geometry, Trig, and Precal - they are completely bewildered.


Math is treated as an obstacle by most students and most parents, even a lot of smart and successful parents, and they view the ability to do math without a calculator about the same way that most people regard navigation by stars and compass - a pointless exercise that isn't seen as relevant to anybody's life going back several generations. It doesn't help that pop culture depicts math as something you either magically "get" or you don't (Beautiful Mind, Good Will Hunting, etc).


But,....in the general populace, math above basic functions is as pointless as navigating by the stars. That's what people fail to realize. so you have to do 'quarterly reports' at work. Who gives a fark? just figure out how to do that and move on. Math is hugely important in jobs that require it. Im a huge supporter of space exploration, and I love technology in every aspect. But one of my heros, Neil De Grasse Tyson, says how important it is that we have all these higher math classes and it's just something I don't see. If you can do basic operations, find the area of something, and a few more things, who cares about it? You dont need it? I think people who are great at math have a small axe to grind in that they are easily replaced by a calculator. you show me your great math skills, i'll lean back and pop a calculator out and toss it on the desk. its faster and more accurate than you are. Deal with it. we , as in humans, are being replaced by machines in all aspects. the faster we just accept it, the happier we will be.
 
2012-12-24 07:14:41 PM  

CreamFilling: That's a British thing. They don't just learn one math, they learn multiple


We're polymaths
 
rpm
2012-12-24 08:07:59 PM  

Mitrovarr: A calculator can't do algebra for you


I had a calculator that could do algebra back in 1988, so yeah, they can do algebra.

Plus there's this
 
2012-12-24 08:17:03 PM  

kriegfusion: But one of my heros, Neil De Grasse Tyson, says how important it is that we have all these higher math classes and it's just something I don't see. If you can do basic operations, find the area of something, and a few more things, who cares about it?


Because education in general is not about the minimum you will need to survive but providing greater opportunity. Fewer engineers and doctors and researchers, on through dancers and painters and actors, would exist if we did not try and teach passed what the mundane life demands. Simply because others resigned themselves to mathematical ignorance because some disinterested educator taught them in a detached manner per bloated curriculum demands does not mean the knowledge or skills lost value; the value is unrecognized in the day to day.

As to calculators replacing the need, you will find the majority of folks cannot translate the world into a formula the calculator needs, and what an appropriate answer may be is completely lost on those who succeed; not to mention, outside of massive numbers needing precise results, calculators are slower.
 
2012-12-24 08:48:07 PM  
Well,
Calculators are faster, people inputting information are slower in very small basic computations. the answer there I believe is to speed up the input process, or eliminate people all together.
The world does need fewer dancers painters etc ( everytime I hear yet another person going into business, law etc I just mentally roll my eyes: and my fav, advertising and marketing , ugh) however if you dont go into the fields, i see math as having very little utility. If you are a doctor, engineer etc then by all means bone up on it.

You are correct, there is too much bloatware in teaching. I think we can teach what is needed for people in perhaps 4 years or less, not twelve to sixteen years.

I am simply not sure its the value that is unrecognized; its simply plain-old-fashioned not needed. If the world was full of math majors, down to the last individual, i think it would be a better place, but not terribly so. There wouldn't be a lottery, so we'd have that going for us.

Maybe its just that I have a bone to pick with education in general. Im disappointed in the whole process. I don't like how I am currently studying subjects, and although I may find them interesting, if joe shmoe next to me simply has a greater memory, he passes the test. all school, all education comes down to knowledge, or regurgitation of facts. Is that why I have less respect for mathematics? Maybe. I just feel knowledge of math is simply knowing how a formula works and following it. I see it as no different than cooking. To each their own I suppose.
 
2012-12-24 09:28:36 PM  
You're a bit of a troll on this one, subby.  Every state in the union does this.

Thanks for playing.
 
2012-12-24 09:31:34 PM  

Vangor: As to calculators replacing the need, you will find the majority of folks cannot translate the world into a formula the calculator needs, and what an appropriate answer may be is completely lost on those who succeed; not to mention, outside of massive numbers needing precise results, calculators are slower.


Yup. If you don't understand algebra in the first place you're not going to be able to set it up for the computer to solve.

Computers are marvelous at brute force crunching. They are very short on understanding. If you don't know *HOW* to solve a problem yourself it's unlikely you can get the computer to do it for you. The power of the computer lies in doing it in a millisecond instead of a millenium.
 
2012-12-24 09:32:24 PM  

lilplatinum: Genju: lilplatinum: Genju: Took AP Calculus AB in 11th grade. Scored a 4 out of 5. Took AP Calculus BC my senior year, probably barely got the 3 out of 5. The teacher was insane for both.

/csb

Wait you took both classes or both tests?

AB is the equivalent of Calc 1. BC is the equivalent of Calc 2. Took Calc 3 once I left for university.

/probably missed the 4 out of 5 in BC because of some of the crazy set theory crap that I can't remember anymore

Its been a long time since high school but I recall people going straight from pre-cal into BC as it covered all the shiat from AB plus some.

Did they change it?


Not sure I graduated 2001.
 
2012-12-24 09:55:58 PM  

Genju: lilplatinum: Genju: lilplatinum: Genju: Took AP Calculus AB in 11th grade. Scored a 4 out of 5. Took AP Calculus BC my senior year, probably barely got the 3 out of 5. The teacher was insane for both.

/csb

Wait you took both classes or both tests?

AB is the equivalent of Calc 1. BC is the equivalent of Calc 2. Took Calc 3 once I left for university.

/probably missed the 4 out of 5 in BC because of some of the crazy set theory crap that I can't remember anymore

Its been a long time since high school but I recall people going straight from pre-cal into BC as it covered all the shiat from AB plus some.

Did they change it?

Not sure I graduated 2001.


Check your diploma, it should have a year printed on it. Or do you think it could have all been a dream?
 
2012-12-24 11:21:54 PM  
I graduated high school more than 10 years ago...AP classes were vindicating because even if the best I could do was a C+ or B- in the class itself (major focus/concentration/learning issues)...scoring 5 and surprising everyone. Unfortunately, those C+ and B- and a whole crop of 4s and 5s didn't help much with college admissions.....
 
2012-12-25 11:02:09 AM  

Mike Chewbacca: lilplatinum: StashMonster: Seems to me that over my lifetime kids have had less and less expected of them in school. All sorts of basic skills fell by the wayside as they were blamed for discriminating against some people who were (allegedly) just as able but for some reason can't cope with revision / final exams / spelling / grammar / handwriting / essay writing / textbooks ... and maths

At least they know how to properly abbreviate singular nouns...

Like mathematics?


Yes, mathematics is a collective noun and therefore is gramatically singular. Can you count it? One mathematic, two mathematics? No. An S at the end of an english word does no automatically make it plural. "Maths" is a product of poor folk logic. Grammar girl's website has a very long article that shows why this nonsense is incorrect.
 
2012-12-25 11:06:54 AM  

Vangor: The big takeaway from education should be: the more you know, the more you can use what you know.


Meh, there were plenty of functionally useless things I had learned in school. Calculous being pretty high on that list. I would say Latin is even ahead of it since knowing Latin helped me learn German quicker when I had to (although had I just taken German in high school that would have been even better).
 
2012-12-26 12:49:12 AM  

lilplatinum: Improving math skills is not going to somehow impart political wisdom in the plebians.


No, but it does help with teaching the habitual use of logical methods, which is a precursor to critical thinking. It's not a panacea, merely one ingredient.

lilplatinum: Hell, determining which can of beans is a better deal is just counting...


Depends whether the cans are the same size.
Unless you're suggesting counting the beans? Grocery stores tend to frown on that while you're there.

BSABSVR: Which nearly nobody does correctly anyway.


Yeah, but there's more and less wrong.

But that gets into metric spaces, which doesn't get covered in normal HS math. Maybe in some of the IB programs....

StashMonster: /dnrtfa


tl;dr

Mitrovarr: A calculator can't do algebra for you


HP48GX does a decent job. There's a couple iPhone emulators, too.
Not so good on abstract algebras, though.

Oatworm: Know how I know you've never used a TI-89?


Infix scum, DIE!

Oatworm: Similarly, you don't need to be able to calculate a Diffie-Hellman algorithm in your head, but you're missing something important if you can't at least do some qualitative analysis on the fly


Also, the more advanced math you can do, the more you can follow REALLY advanced math, meaning the less you have to take on blind trust... or will reject from blind distrust.

OscarTamerz: Probability should be taught at least as much as geometry


Probability has more immediate practical application; geometry requires mastering more generally applicable logical methods, in a means that still relates to something most kids can at least start to picture.
 
2012-12-26 12:07:55 PM  

abb3w: lilplatinum: Hell, determining which can of beans is a better deal is just counting...

Depends whether the cans are the same size.
Unless you're suggesting counting the beans? Grocery stores tend to frown on that while you're there.


Do you shop much? Grocery store price labels list a per ounce/gram/whatever price most of the time (unless you are shopping in bodegas, but at that point you are probably buying frozen food and beer)
 
2012-12-27 12:07:14 AM  

lilplatinum: Grocery store price labels list a per ounce/gram/whatever price most of the time


Yes. And a lot of the time, the units differ. I've not done a formal sampling to get a percentage; maybe if I get really bored this weekend....
 
2012-12-27 01:42:30 PM  

abb3w: lilplatinum: Grocery store price labels list a per ounce/gram/whatever price most of the time

Yes. And a lot of the time, the units differ. I've not done a formal sampling to get a percentage; maybe if I get really bored this weekend....


Thats alright, fortunately most American kids know how to convert between units due to the drug trade.
 
2012-12-27 04:43:44 PM  

lilplatinum: Thats alright, fortunately most American kids know how to convert between units due to the drug trade.


Let's hear it for vocational education.
 
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