Michelle Malkin is on a little Jihad today against Mayan Math. Mayan Math in US schools The laudable goal is to get the kids more engaged, but this kind of thing works real badly in practice. My son was exposed to lattice multiplication in 4th grade, and it set him back a whole lot. He brought his home work, and it confused the heck out of me, and he lost ground for the year. I am all for exposure to interesting varied ideas, but math is more important that fuzzy feelings of goodwill. I am wiling to concede the Mayans were pretty good at astronomy. But I am not interested in astronomy at the 4th grade level, I am interested in understanding solutions.

Those in their 50's and 60's remember when 'new math' was introduced. Parents were unable to help their children, the processes in the books didn't match up with what they knew. Oh they could get the answer, they knew how to solve, but didn't have the right 'proofs.' So, those kids for the most part couldn't help 'their children' with math, because they sucked at math. They memorized for tests but hadn't a clue to how they got there. The kids who 'succeeded'? Well they learned from their parents, they got math and by high school the teachers let them show the proof any way that worked, (those teachers having been raised with the parents' methodologies didn't hurt). Now for the past 20 years or so, 'fuzzy math' has reared its head. Very popular in university education departments and textbook publishers. Every unit contains some basic math, algebra, trigonometry, and geometry. Have a 3rd grade unit on fractions? Throw in some algebra and geometry. Somehow the kids are going to 'pick up the processes' of all along the way. Guess what? 8th graders cannot tell you spot on what 8 X 7 is. Seriously.

Base 20. Now isn't that special? This should be reserved for the College level and be taught in the History department.

Ever see a kid who could not do algebra try to take a Calculus class? If they cannot do masic arithmetic, they cannot (generally) do algebra, but the PC and progressive retards 'know' they are right and force crap like this onto the grade schools, then complain that no one knows math. Who woulda thunk it?