I never said not to teach the other 80%, they will still learn. But if you don't meet the needs of the 10-15%, then you won't have as competent group of mathematicians and scientists in the future. It is that group that decides to go into Engineering, for instance, because they understand they have that math ability. Now some have a misplaced sense of accomplishment, and may waste their time going into a field that doesn't suit them. It seems to me 80-85% of the students were not failing when I was in school, it seems to me most did. I was a merely average student in math. Yet it was still strong enough of a background for me to get my Master's in mathematics. Many of the students I see have A's in high school math, yet have much more difficulty with math than I did at the undergraduate level. Ask the English teachers to loosen up what they teach since not everyone is going to write a book. Ask the history teachers to lighten up since not everyone is going to be a historian. Ask the Gym teachers to take it easy on everyone since most won't become professional athletes. Tell the music teacher that the students only have to play the song once, and then assume they know it well enough to play it any time in the future. The math being taught out there in the public schools is not strong enough. Eight years ago we started offering Pre-Calculus for students with weak backgrounds. Forty students out of 600 would take this course. Now using the same placement exams, having mostly students from the same high schools that we did then, we should be placing 300 out of the 600 into Pre-Calculus (Instead they lowered the standard to be placed into Calculus and only 240 end up in Pre-Calc). I am not against everything about reform. I am against removing the elements of memorization and practice that are crucial to mastering mathematics. Much of reform tends to eliminate those. Eric Kaljumagi wrote: > > > I just wish that the "Math Education" people, who > > ultimately make the decisions on how best to teach > > pre-college students, would listen to > > "Mathematicians" who know what level of math > > understanding is necessary for students to succeed > > in math, science, and engineering degrees. > Roughly 25% of high school juniors go on to earn bachelor's degrees. > I'm guessing that at most half of these are in the sciences. > Mathematicians (of which I am one) without an educational > background only understand the needs of 10 - 15% of > students. Why not teach the other 80+% too? > > Prof. Eric Kaljumagi > LAC/Math > Mt. San Antonio College -- Craig Andres Director, Study Abroad and Tutor Program Kettering University (Continuing the GMI heritage) email: [log in to unmask] Phone: (810)-762-9642 Fax: (810)-762-9505 "We must look forward to the future as that is where most of us will be spending the rest of our lives." Charles Kettering.