Do We Teach Math the Wrong Way?

A new report shows just how far behind American students lag when compared to other countries in math education.

A new report published in the journal Education Next finds that the U.S. is decidedly lacking in number of "highly accomplished" math students. Other countries have a relative plethora of students performing better the 94th percentile of performance among Americans taking the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)—the point where the study considers an American student "advanced." In 2006, 30 countries, including Taiwan, Finland, and even Estonia, outperformed American students on the PISA math test.

The Hechinger Report's HechingerEd blog suggests that the reason American students are falling behind in math has to do with the way we teach the subject. A comparison done in the spring looked at the relative methods for math instruction here and abroad.

Math education expert William Schmidt, of Michigan State University, argues that the U.S. math curriculum seems to throw too many topics at children in early grades and does not structure its subject matter, so that one topic builds into another. He also argues that by testing kids via multiple choice exams, it's hard to deduce where they're getting things wrong. Finally, the teachers in American schools are notoriously bad at math, which doesn't help in training a new generation of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers.

Photo (cc) via Flickr user attercop311.

via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading