WSJ wrote: "The nation's math teachers, on the front lines of a 17-year curriculum war, are getting some new marching orders: Make sure students learn the basics.
In a report to be released today, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which represents 100,000 educators from prekindergarten through college, will give ammunition to traditionalists who believe schools should focus heavily and early on teaching such fundamentals as multiplication tables and long division." Read the whole story here.
One motive for this change in the math curriculum is apparently the low scores American kids get in interntational math competition. But the important question is, does it matter? Will the economic might of the US inevitably be eroded because the "wrong" kind of math is taught to its kids ?
If you trust what Gary Becker and Dick Posner have to say on this issue, the bottomline is: It doesn't matter.