Panel: US Math System 'Broken'

Group, worried about future competitive disadvantage, advises focus on basics
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 13, 2008 1:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – A presidential panel today called US math education “broken” and demanded greater focus on key skills ranging from preschool to middle school, the Washington Post reports. The National Mathematics Advisory Panel responded to concerns that Americans are growing less competitive in the realm, and pointed the way to better teaching, better textbooks—and even reducing “math anxiety.”

Test scores have shown American math students trailing those from 23 other countries. The panel laid out benchmarks aimed at helping children understand math basics, and said a balance between traditional drilling and newer, conceptual math was ideal. “If we pay attention to the recommendations … we're going to see some very successful results,” said an education official.