Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thank you! I'll have this job forever!

My deepest, most heartfelt thanks to those committed to making algebra required for 8th graders!

You have guaranteed my job at the local community college until I die.

There are those who believe that we'll be able to teach reading to all 3-year-olds. It's the same group who believe we should be teaching algebra to every 8th grader. They probably also believe that we can start doing some education before the child is born. Perhaps they believe that humankind is on an upward evolutionary path, so of course all kids will be walking by 7 months, reading by age three, and math/science geniuses by age 16.

This is nonsense, of course, evident to anyone who has actually raised a child they bore or adopted. Not many US parents do that these days, so perhaps that's why this fallacy exists.

Anyway, my job here is to teach high school algebra to adults. I really like it! My classes are filled with students who did poorly in math in high school, but now that their brains are older and better, they get it just fine. My part is to help them overcome the math anxiety they learned in algebra in the 8th grade.

So again, my solution to education is to give folks a certain number of years of education, take it when you're ready. Then we won't be stigmatizing folks who don't read when they're three, or do algebra when they're in the 8th grade. They'll be absolutely, perfectly normal, rocket science and all.