Why is basic skills in math so important?
I came across an article recently written by Tom Loveless that confirmed all of my beliefs about the importance of basic math skills. In a study done by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) , it was found that half of US 9th graders are unable to divide or multiply whole numbers and half of 13 to 17 yrs-olds are unable to compute with fractions. These statistics are alarming to say the least. These numbers are simply unacceptable. In order for US to compete as a nation against the rest of the world, we need to do better, we need to be better. Hopefully you are not reading this post and thinking; "That's not my kid, mine is doing well in school" and some of you are probably even thinking " This has nothing to do with me, those kids were probably inner city children". I would caution anyone with this attitude. While it is true that some children in the inner cities lack basic skills in reading and math, the problem does not reside only in the inner city. It is seeking new residence in the suburbs. Besides, we need to keep this in mind. We are one nation and when our nation fails, we all suffer whether directly or indirectly.
How will this impact us as a nation you may wonder. Just think about it this way. Since over fifty percent of our future workforce or business owners are not adequately prepared for college, some will probably end up spending more money in college taking remedial classes and unfortunately some students simply will not be accepted to college because they lack the necessary skills to enter college. That will, in the long run, impact their financial status because they will have difficulty gaining 'middle-class' employment.
By Monia S.
My next article will cover what we can do to help our children get ahead.