tomorrows adults live up to the expectations of this nation from its children. And parents as role models essay it remains, to this day, our most successful method to seek out creative and productive solutions for them. The American education system differs from many of the nations that are touted as high performers. That intellectual stimulation and growth are possible and enjoyable for all children. We must work to improve the system. That students learn best when encouraged and supported by knowledgeable teachers who help them explore and understand underlying concepts. (How many people believe that the point of multiplication tables is to torture students till they can recite them at the speed of light? Mathematics is where we can teach that critical ability to reason analytically.
We expect that what they learn will be beneficial to their growth and future opportunities. People can succeed without mathematics in their lives. (And conversely, quantitative literacy as a goal itself should not be limited to the mathematics classroom. Even if as students years ago we may have had difficulty in certain subjects, as parents we want to ensure that our children go beyond what we ourselves have achieved. Which schools and school districts would not be offering those now optional advanced mathematics courses? That todays students need to learn to tackle complex and ill-defined problems requiring both individual and collaborative effort. Their integers sneered up at me and teased my superficiality. For this audience of college and university educators, some of whom might be tempted by Hackers bravado and wonder about implications for higher education, Id like to also point out that Hacker seems to forget why we educate our young. (While I myself have argued elsewhere that we might just do that, my tongue was decidedly set in my cheek, and my concern was the essence of what is lost in most mainstream experiences of school mathematics. But this drove my curiosity. There is stillness in the room. My brain functions as a powerful machine with thrusts reverberating throughout the room.