If you can do basic subtraction, you might just be more math-savvy than a lot U.S. college students. A new research paper looks at the mathematical prowess of the roughly 50 percent of community college students in remedial math and finds our national math IQ lacking [DOC]. Below are a few questions that a disturbing number of students could not answer:
The researchers argue that since much of math education is blindly following formulas, students are incapable of tracking problems only slightly different than ones they’ve encountered.
If you think that a functioning democracy and 21st century economy depends on a populus comfortable with basic algebra, then this is a frightening study. Some have argued (and I agree) that the majority of innovation comes from the top percentile of students, so our mathematical clumsiness won’t mean we’ll all be speaking Chinese in a generation. But, with statistics an increasing part of the democratic process, as citizens, we should all be worried.
[Image Credit: The Far Side]