Math is a life skill kids aren’t learn­ing

Calgary Herald - - OPINION -

Re: Fail­ures of dis­cov­ery math mul­ti­ply­ing, June 16

Con­grat­u­la­tions to David Sta­ples on his ex­cel­lent col­umn call­ing for an end to this fool­ish ex­per­i­ment. I’m sure thou­sands of par­ents out there are cheer­ing. They should not have to “pay for ex­pen­sive tu­tor­ing” just so their chil­dren can learn things like the times ta­bles that should be taught in school.

Any ma­ture adult can tell sto­ries of shop­ping in stores with young cashiers. If some­thing goes wrong and the cash reg­is­ter does not tell them how much change to give the cus­tomer, they are lost. Thanks to years of solid math train­ing, we can quickly fig­ure it out in our heads, but the poor kids just freeze. They have no idea what to do.

Even in the early stages of de­men­tia, my mother-in­law could eas­ily pass one of the tests for it, which was to count back­wards from 100 by seven. She still re­mem­bered ba­sic math, as we all do, decades af­ter leav­ing school. It is a nec­es­sary life skill, and to fail to give to­day’s chil­dren this skill is cruel in­deed. Penny Pow­ell, Cal­gary


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