Famous lefty professor argues that algebra is too hard for American kids
The American left, and the educational establishment it controls, has always wanted a readily controllable population produced by schools, but leftists usually write and speak in misleading euphemisms (“outcome based” or “critical thinking,” for example) to disguise their intent. But Andrew Hacker, former Cornell and Queens College professor, a man who has been a leading light of the left for many decades and is now well into his eighties, has lost some of his inhibitions in his old age and is openly advocating giving up on teaching American children algebra, apparently willing to cede to our Chinese, Japanese, European and – hell, just about everywhere else – masters the role of scientists and technologists in the era when these skills determine the fate of economies and civilizations.
Eric Owens writes in the Daily Caller:
Andrew Hacker, reports the Associated Press [says]: (snip) “One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school. This is one of the worst records in the developed world. Why? The chief academic reason is they failed ninth-grade algebra,” Hacker told the Associated Press.
But instead of improving our public elementary and secondary education system (the most expensive in the world), Hacker questions the need to teach algebra in his new book, The Math Myth and other STEM Delusions.
“Will algebra help you understand the federal budget?” Hacker — not much of a Keynesian man, apparently — asked, according to the AP.
Hacker’s reasoning is chilling:
The professor also claims that a measly 5 percent of all occupations — and perhaps less — require algebra or any other sort of advanced math.
Instead of learning how to solve rudimentary equations, Hacker argues, American high schoolers should be presented with a math curriculum concentrating on statistics and number sense. (Number sense is an en-vogue academic buzzword for the ability to estimate and compare numbers.)
Algebra is an exercise in quantitative reasoning, a means to train a mind in understanding how to relate figures to one another. And it is this quantitative reasoning that equips people to grasp things like, say, how big a percentage of increase in taxes they have just experienced on their paychecks when the tax law changes.
Hacker is part of what Dan Luskin memorably called “the conspiracy to keep you poor and stupid.”