How Much Math-and What Kind of Math-Do We Need
Sol Garfunkel, executive director of the Consortium for Mathematics and its applications, and David Mumford, emeritus professor of mathematics at Brown University, want to see a fundamental change in the way math is taught in American schools. In a piece titled “How to Fix Our Math Education,” published in the August 24, 2011, New York Times, they write that the “widespread alarm in the United States about the state of our math education” is based on a false assumption. “All this worry . . . [they write] is based on the assumption that there is a single established body of mathematical skills that everyone needs to know to be prepared for 21st-century careers. This assumption is wrong. The truth is that different sets of math skills are useful for different careers, and our math education should be changed to reflect this fact.
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