Here’s a simple algebra problem:
So California now requires algebra and geometry of all its high school graduates. Forty-four percent of all Los Angeles high school students fail algebra, and an additional 17 percent pass with a D.
This led Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen to proclaim that “you will never need to know algebra.”
And this caused PZ Myers to spontaneously combust.
Reading the L.A. Times article, it sounds like the real problem is that California is trying to fix its schools by imposing standards from the top, rather than figuring out how to prepare students for high school math. It’s a tough problem to solve. Fortunately, Subway needs plenty of clerks, and their cash registers do the math for you.