# 60 years of math in the US.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by clearconscience, Jan 16, 2011.

1. ### clearconscience Vancouver, WA Gold SupporterGold Supporter

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Is this true??????????????????
Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for \$2.58. The counter girl
took my \$3.00 and I was digging for my change when I pulled 8 cents from my
pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3
pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her
discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she
hailed the manager for help.
While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the
1950s:

1. Teaching Math In 1950s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for \$100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Math In 1960s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for \$100.
His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or \$80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math In 1970s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for \$100.
His cost of production is \$80. Did he make a profit?

4. Teaching Math In 1980s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for \$100.
His cost of production is \$80 and his profit is \$20. Your assignment:
Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math In 1990s: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he
is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or
the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of
\$20.
What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class
participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels
feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if
you feel like crying, it's ok.)

6. Teaching Math In 2010: Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara \$100.

El costo de la producciones es \$80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?

2. ### cyclesurvival Vancouver Well-Known Member

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Man oh Man you got that one dead on. made me laugh but I know its no laughing matter. my 9 and 10 year olds do hard math in there heads I make a point of teaching them and they get in trouble for not showing there work. Dam I get mad when they tell me about it.

3. ### Mitchell Washington County OR Member

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My wife and I got a good laugh out of that. On the bright side, my second grade daughter (public Beaverton elementary school) is learning about coins and making change. Too bad that knowledge might be obsolete if hyperinflation hits the US.

4. ### SargentMac 'Murica Active Member

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I'm only 26 and I used to get in trouble all the time for not showing my work.

"You have to show your work"
"But I did it in my head"
"You still have to show your work"
"I can't, I did the work IN MY HEAD"
"You're going to get an F if you don't show your work"
"No"
"WTF"

5. ### Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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To bad the truth has to hurt "all" our kids !!

6. ### duginsky Tualatin Active Member

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If you are going to rely soley on the schools to educate your kids, you better be ready to enjoy watching your child fumble at the counter or grill of the local fast food joint. Parents MUST have an active role in all aspects of education, regardless of how formal the process may be.

7. ### MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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I think this is a tasteless joke , and aimed at trying to make a point about illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is not a problem...as illustrated by a recent telephone poll taken in California.
Only 20% answered "Yes" to the question: "Is illegal immigration a problem?"

8. ### ejmpnu92 Hillsboro, Or Active Member

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MA Duce: For the first sentence, you got me to take the bait. Then I relaxed just a bit after that. However, unfortunately, I have a feeling it is too true.

Think there should be a #7. Everything will be in Chinese.

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Too true

10. ### atypicalparkie sowfeast poetland, ohraygun Member

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It was funny working at Dick's Drive In up in Seattle in '89-'91, company policy was to do the math in your head & count back their change. Not tough in the 1st place, and sure was easy with repetition. since there were certain combos that were so often ordered. Yknow for example a Deluxe, fries & shake + tax = \$3.24 (back then), etc etc. And it was always astounding how often all kinds of people would be stunned that we'd be able to add such difficult sums in our heads and count back their change properly... yeah, we were a buncha burger-flipping geniuses :laugh:

11. ### Sling Blade Yamhill County Well-Known Member

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I'm gonna be a contrarian here, and say that relying on computers/cash registers to do math is just part of the times we live in. How many of you could build a lapstrake boat, or forge hinges? They used to be common skills back in their day, but got displaced when new things came along. Same goes for long division and multiplication tables.

With computers, knowing how to do math in one's head is about as important as knowing how to replace tubes in a TV.

12. ### oasis618 Tacoma, Wa Active Member

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Oh man I remember that issue coming up a more than a few times too!

13. ### clearconscience Vancouver, WA Gold SupporterGold Supporter

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You know I'm so guilty of this. I can't do basic multiplication and division. I can do algebra, some pre calc, but I can't do the basics without a calculator.

I blame my mom. When I was a kid about 2nd-3rd grade my mom would try to "help" me with my homework. She liked to drink and if I didn't know how to do something she wouldn't try to explain it, she would just yell at me and tell me I'm stupid. So no wonder I hated school and never tried. To this day I won't ask people for help. I used to move heavy equipment at work and I would darn near break my back before I would ask for help.

14. ### ejmpnu92 Hillsboro, Or Active Member

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I understand why they want to see the work.
When I was a freshman in college, taking Calculus, (I soon changed my major), I had to show a problem on the caulk board. I did so. The problem was, I got the right answer, but my equation was totally off. I just could not remember all the right combination's of algorithms and all the blasted rules. I could not even explain how I got the right answer, but you could follow my logic by the work. I had a difficult time explaining that I did not cheat. The only reason I did not get hit with a cheating accusation was because I had it on paper. Although I was wrong, I am so glad I had it on paper, saved my rear.

15. ### Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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I can build a lapstrake boat. Working on learning how to forge hinges

16. ### Jamie6.5 Western OR Bronze SupporterBronze Supporter

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Building a lapstrake boat would be more the work of a shipwright than the common man, just as forging hinges would be the work of the village blacksmith.
(As a side note, the spellchecker here doesn't recognize the word "lapstrake" Hahahahaha)
But for a real perspective on "scholastic standards then and now," give this a try:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/education/v/tests.pdf

That is a test from the 1930s that a West Virginia elementary school student had to pass before they could even attend high school.
There is an accompanying article here:

http://www.letsredu.com/2010/12/thi...0s-is-really-hard/#fbid=zg2v7OBYbeo&wom=false

So the "joke" in the OP really isn't a joke at all.
Despite what the NEA will tell you.

17. ### Sling Blade Yamhill County Well-Known Member

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I just knew someone was gonna say this. :bluelaugh: Ok how about harnessing up a team and plowing a straight row down a field, after you've gotten done making home made butter, healing a sick calf and splitting some new shingles for your roof?

Just kidding - my point is that doing math in one's head is going the way of the buggy whip, drafting tables, carbon arc torches, etc.