This morning during my KING TV piece on "Making Math Matter," something anchor Joyce Taylor said truly resonated . Often, parents downplay the importance of math education with comments like, "I'm not good at numbers either; my son/daughter must take after me." As Taylor pointed out, this kind of remark (usually said with a little chuckle) is often followed with: "And I never really needed math, anyway."
In journalism circles, we often say (proudly?) we became writers because heaven knows, we never could manage geometry or calculus. Turns out we're not having the last chuckle.
The days of belittling 'rithmatic are way over. Our children are woefully behind when it comes to math know-how. A study called the National Report Card shows that just 23% of students in this country are competent in math by 12th grade. Add that (no pun, really) to our unfortunate WASL results (less than half the state's 10th graders pass the math section) and you understand why we have reason to Be Very Afraid.
Do we really want to come in last in this area? Turns out we journalists could have used some good numbers sense - especially in an economy that's turning journalists into, well, bloggers, and phasing out income sources for print writers and editors.
What kind of math culture are you setting up in your home? How's your family Math IQ? Would love to hear your comments!