With all the hoopla over the students protesting for political correctness and free college, I found something that truly warrants protest. I wonder if this person can balance a checkbook or cook a meal. Algebra was fun and a challenge. But if these other issues seem absurd, I’m open to an explanation of the indispensable nature of algebra for the average student.

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6 responses to “

  1. Then there’s Women’s and Gender Studies; Black History; Inequality;
    Race/Ethnicity and Immigration; Gender, Culture and Identity; Family and the Life Course; etc., etc. The graduate can expect great financial rewards from completing these major study areas. Sure . . .

    • I’ve often said… no public school whatsoever. Two teachers came to visit this week. Dawn’s brother and Shirley with their son for her dad’s funeral. We talked about this. He thinks school could be public up to 8th grade. I agreed to compromise and agree with him because we are so far gone already. We think that age would be old enough with parental guidance to enter a world where we pay our own way. Those courses you mention would soon become a dark memory.

      On Wed, Dec 23, 2015 at 9:27 AM, alternativebyfritz wrote:

      >

      • I shudder to think of the level of stupidity that would exist in this world if people were made to pay for school higher than the 8th grade. I guarantee by that point my real education was barely started — and I’m not just talking about math, reading, writing, etc., but real life lessons, how to work with others, excel with independent goals, etc.

        Once upon a time folks were fairly mature at the 8th grade level, but the only skills required were the ability to slop a hog, plant a kernel of corn, and try not to get yourself killed by wolves. A much different world we live in now, I think.

      • You assume no one would school past eighth grade unless someone else paid for it? Do you have an inquisitive mind? If so, are you the only one? I really doubt it.

        There may be plenty of people nowadays who would stop at eighth grade without it being confiscated from productive people on their behalf, but that’s come about more from spoilage than an inherent desire to be dependent or lazy.

        What David and I had observed was the excessive waste produced by compulsory and free education, not education itself. Things paid for by the user get utilized more efficiently. He sees exceptional kids held back and slow kids passed over all the time and it isn’t because the school could do a better job than it does, it is because the payer has no right to refuse an inferior product. I admit I am extremely idealistic. Maybe that ideal can be used as a way to incrementally improve education.

        You mention: “real life lessons, how to work with others, excel with independent goals, ect.” All perfect examples of where a job or apprenticeship would be more effective than school. But then you probably had a different experience in school or at work than me.

        On Sun, Dec 27, 2015 at 8:32 PM, alternativebyfritz wrote:

        >

    • Must all areas of study lead to financial gain? Surely some of areas of education and discourse are gains in and of themselves; else, we might as well ditch art, music, theatre, philosophy, religion, etc….none of those contribute to one’s bottom line.

  2. I do believe at least the first year of algebra is very useful because it imbues in one the ability to solve problems that have no clearly-defined parameters, no easy ways to add 1 + 1 = 2, no clearly-laid-out equations. Algebra is messy math, solving for the unknowns in the world.

    I don’t disagree on higher forms of algebra and calculus and trig; those haven’t been overly useful for me in the long term, but all the same, I’m glad I’m exposed to them so I know they’re out there and, if need be, I can drag them back into my toolbox as needed. Likewise, I don’t use Greek philosophy every day, but it’s a useful tool to have in my box for those occasions when need arises.

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