This article, http://www.macleans.ca/society/life/have-you-finished-your-homework-mom/
from MacLean’s magazine, two and a half years ago, is targeting parents whose
kids are not achieving in math. That is,
they don’t have the basic skills to undertake high school math and parents are
now asking why?

For me as a high school math teacher, it speaks to why
kids come into grade 9 math without basic computations skills. Why are we having such low math scores? It is not just Ontario, but across Canada.

The article explains how these gaps have developed
over the last ten years or so. I particularly liked the reference to the Tower
of Babel – building that tower to heaven (heaven being Math in our case) and
then finding one day that no one was speaking the same language while everyone
was working toward the same outcome – get these kids to Math Utopia. The endless ways of learning numeracy skills
is confusing everyone – especially K – 8 math students. Asking them which way works best for them when
they are presented with a myriad of basic computation lessons is puzzling for
the developing learner. There certainly
is a case for “over kill” in the computation department.

The downside of this article is that parents can, yet
again, place blame on schools. It is
best that all stakeholders work together to solve the gap conundrum in
computation skills.

I enjoyed the article. I feel for the author and the other parents because I have heard similar concerns from the parents of my elementary aged children. I am saddened to read the last few sentences that suggest people who don't understand math can't be engineers, doctors,etc.... But can become teachers. Frankly, I'm a little surprised by this statement. I do share some of the same frustration as the parents in the article, but I'm not willing to give up on our students. I think we all need to do everything we can to try and improve our students understanding of math.

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