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Originally Posted by

**kdaleb**
Totally hear you Bart. My mom was a high school math teacher in the Vancouver, WA area. She retired in 98 and moved out to a small town Klickitat County. She would sub there sometimes, but spent most of her work and volunteer time at the church she attended. She moved back to Vancouver two years ago and took a long term sub job at Ft Vancouver. She was astonished at the inability of the students to handle basic algebraic concepts But how can you teach algebra if they can't multiply or divide. And the most frustrating part is they showed no interest in learning. Despite the fact that very few students knew how to do basic algebra, the scoring rubric the school provided to her (another long story... it was fairly opaque to the teacher, especially one who hadn't used it before) ended up having almost every student pass her class. She was shocked at the change in the last 20 years.

It's odd... my own sixth grader is with a group of students being fast tracked in math - he'll be taking Algebra 1 for high school credit as a 7th grader (which apparently is not uncommon at least in the Vancouver School District), but then here in the same district high school sophomores are passing Algebra 1 without being able to solve fairly simple equations.

Nice story, enjoyed hearing it, informative, too.

I fit in during that time when she actually taught, and I could not stand math, hated every single thing about it, could not figure out at all what use any of it would be (other than basic add/subtract, divide/times). I think it was taught wrong back then, at least in my school (very likely your mother did a much better job teaching it).

Someone needed to tell me that math is used to describe the physical world, all the way down to the most sophisticated leading theories in theoretical physics. Now with computers, it is also used in all-important algorithms.

Perhaps nothing would have worked (good chance given my laziness) but had someone really demonstrated why math is at the root of absolutely everything, from how a rock falls and why, to the way an economy functions. Top economists are near or equal to the theoretical physicists in their math abilities.

Nowadays, I read chaos theory, quantum mechanics, and theoretical physics for fun, just fascinates me.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

Mark Twain.