What Kind of Question Is That?

“Is Algebra Necessary?” Are You High?

Towards the end, Hacker’s reasoning gets just bizarre. He keeps emphasising how important “citizen statistics” is. I’m baffled as to how one could teach statistics in any useful way without the material he wants to throw out! Prerequisites: we needz them. “Is Algebra Necessary?” If you want to do statistics or economics, yes, it is.

One thing Blake doesn’t address (perhaps it’s in one of the links he provides) is part of the larger picture: the idea that because students are not graduating, we should lower the bar. Which makes a diploma quite meaningless; they are not simply participation awards.

edit: PZ Myers does bring it up in his post

3 thoughts on “What Kind of Question Is That?

  1. Heinous tool of racial discrimination algebra is wielded as the preferential treatment of numeric results over alphabetic inputs. All algebra must be conducted in classical Sephardic Hebrew in which numbers are expressed as letters and vowels are voiced but not written. Equations will be set to music, then everybody will sing!

    We will not allow evil eye-Q hegemony in education process endeavors. There must never be a single purpose, a single norm, a single approach, a single entity of people, a single virtue, a single morality, a single frame of reference, a single philosophy of government. We must cut out and burn all that is quantified and standardized like a surgeon cuts out cancer – with a wide periphery to be very, very certain.

    Those who can must never do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach teachers. Those who can’t teach teachers manage teachers. Those who can’t manage teachers manage programs. Those who can’t manage programs dictate policy. Those who cannot dictate policy carry guns. I pledge a movable feast of famine, a battery in every garage, and a pol in every pot to Save Our Children!

  2. imho if there is one thing we don’t need to teach it is long division.
    beyond 5th grade and most don’t even remember how to do it after 7th

  3. I remember long division – and square roots – all done long hand with paper and pen. Rigorous, but basically mechanical tasks are good practice and teach consistency and concentration.

Comments are closed.