Teachers Need Help as Math Gets Tougher
With algebra now taught as early as grade school, many lack skills
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2007 6:55 AM CST
Asian students have long outpaced their American counterparts in math education.   ((c) tony cassidy)
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(Newser) – Having long lagged behind other nations, the United States is finally kicking up the level of mathematics instruction in public schools. But as algebra becomes a subject for middle schoolers, and basics are introduced to elementary students, It's turning out to be as much a challenge for the teachers as their kids, the Washington Post reports.

A recent international exam confirmed that, just like their pupils, American teachers are at the back of the pack in math proficiency. "Many of them had trouble with math themselves," says a UVA professor who advises elementary educators. For teachers of the youngest students, words often come more easily than numbers, and many are having to teach themselves the basics of algebra once again.