In his June 1 Point of View “ The common traits of our failed school experiments,” Paul Slobodian asserted that the “new math” of the 1960s led to the failure of “millions of kids.”
As a product of the “new math” generation, I would like to point out that despite our alleged lack of mathematical prowess, we still managed to invent the integrated circuit, microprocessor and PC; put men on the moon; decode the human genome; and invent the Internet, cellular communications and a few other math-intensive breakthroughs in the late 20th century.
We did all that partly as a result of a world-leading education system that produced a steady stream of science, technology and math majors, many of whom reached advanced degrees.
Where are we today? We have fallen behind many, if not most, of our peer countries in primary education and now graduate more foreign-born students with advanced degrees in STEM fields.
Slobodian would abandon Common Core as another “failed school experiment” and instead would “give parents the power to choose where to get their child’s education.” The U.S. could benefit greatly by regaining its prominence as a world leader in education. Common Core is an affirmative step in that direction. Retreating into ourselves is not the answer.
Robert L. Wood