An emeritus political science professor at taxpayer-funded Queens College in New York City has a new book hot off the presses arguing that requiring American students to pass a course in basic algebra as a graduation requirement is a cruel deterrent that causes millions of students to drop out of high school.
The professor is Andrew Hacker, reports the Associated Press.
Hacker’s book is entitled “The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions.”
“One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school. This is one of the worst records in the developed world. Why? The chief academic reason is they failed ninth-grade algebra,” Hacker told the Associated Press.
The professor also claims that a measly 5 percent of all occupations — and perhaps less — require algebra or any other sort of advanced math.
Instead of learning how to solve rudimentary equations, Hacker argues, American high schoolers should be presented with a math curriculum concentrating on statistics and number sense. (Number sense is an en-vogue academic buzzword for the ability to estimate and compare numbers.)
“Will algebra help you understand the federal budget?” Hacker — not much of a Keynesian man, apparently — asked, according to the AP.
Without question, algebra has long proven to be a stumbling block for many students. Well over half of the nation’s community college students end up in remedial math — and a large percentage fails to pass it.
“This is where their hopes and aspirations go to die,” Karon Klipple of the Carnegie Foundation’s Community College Pathways program told the Associated Press. “They’re in college to try to make a better life for themselves, and they’re stopped by mathematics.”
On the high school level, only 52 percent of the students in New York City’s public schools passed a statewide Algebra I Regent’s test in 2015. (RELATED: New York’s Common Core-Aligned Standardized Tests Are PAINFULLY Stupid And Awful)
Isaiah Aristy, a recent New York City public school graduate who now seeks a career as a police officer, failed the test on both of his tries.“We don’t need to learn what x and y is,” Aristy assured the AP. “When in life are we going to write on paper, ‘X and y needs to be this?'”
Hacker’s book explaining the uselessness of algebra currently has 17 reviews on Amazon.
Champions of the book call it “a revolutionary challenge to the American education system, and long overdue.”
Critics suggest that Hacker, a political scientist, “lacks sufficient understanding of mathematics.”
Hacker has written several books. He is also a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books on a wide variety of topics.