The Decline Of Math In US Schools

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) did a recent study that proved that there is a decline in math education in America. Out of the 30 countries that ranked on top based on Science and Reading scores, US has the highest discrepancy. The gap between math and the other two subjects factored by PISA was immense. This disparity is not new. Over the 16-year course of PISA performing the test, math has declines slowly and steadily while the scores of science and reading have remained stagnant.
One reason for this may the emphasis on project-based learning and group activities. The time when textbooks were the main source of learning been replaced by these new strategies. Because textbooks are seen as algorithmic, math is now being taught using projects. But creating a good project that actually trains a child in math is extremely hard. Furthermore, it required dedicated time on part of the teacher. Something that few instructors have. This has led toyoung children not grasping the concepts of math. While project-based learning is great in principle, more needs to be done if the decline of math is to be stopped in American schools.

Comparing US School Math With Other Countries

Given that USA is the leader in science and tech on the planet, the basic tools provided to future innovators are bleakly incompetent. As of present, a high school student of America can select the level of math they want to learn. This choice is made on the aptitude and interest the student has in math. The very basic level one can pick is algebra and geometry. At a more advanced level a child can choose AP statistics and AP calculus BC. In rare cases, some schools offer multi-variable calculus too.
But even the advanced program classes are not very tough when compared to the curriculum of other countries. No abstract proofs are required and solving a problem is pretty straightforward like working out an integral. Since math is the tool to understanding other, higher sciences and engineering it is imperative that the coursework for it be changes. How does a student integrate in the Maxwell Equation in AP physics, if the basic math is not strong? Real world applications become only of value when the foundation of concepts is robust and unmoveable. American education needs to bring a paradigm shift to their curriculum if they want to catch up with other countries.