This just in from my newsfeed,
“WASHINGTON (AP) American students have a math problem.
The latest global snapshot of student performance shows declining math scores in the U.S. and stagnant performance in science and reading.
Education Secretary John B. King Jr. says this country is losing ground and he finds that to be a troubling reality when, in today’s economy, ‘the best jobs can go anywhere in the world.'”
Well, hello hello, the same news story has come out of Australia and New Zealand recently too. In fact, Math scores are falling in most western nations (see: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11757118). The politicians are placing the blame at the feet of teachers (see: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11759955) and teachers are placing the blame at the feet of math-deficient parents and parents who never could do Math are blaming anyone who will listen. It turns out that Australian 15 year olds are now two years behind their international peers (see: http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/australian-school-students-two-years-behind-worlds-best-performing-systems-20161206-gt4w8p.html); and 15 year old math students in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) are 18 months behind their overseas peers in Mathematics. So, who is to blame – the media, business, test scores themselves, or perhaps…no, it can’t be…the students themselves??! Oh, this debate will rage as long as Mathematics is being taught or, perhaps, trying to be taught? (Note: students themselves hardly ever get blamed for this decline).