There is widespread alarm in the United States about the state of our math education, wrote Sol Garfunkel and David Mumford in an op-ed in The New York Times last month. It led me to remember the opening salvo in a pitch for re-thinking math education � that of Dan Meyer's TED Talk last year: Math class needs a makeover": "I sell a product to a market that doesn't want it but is forced by law to buy it. Students' attitudes are, indeed, alarming, particularly when we use students' performance in math to gauge (to praise, to lambast) the success of American education.
But according to Garfunkel and Mumford, our concerns over math education are misplaced. Instead of worrying about it in terms of whether or not test scores show American students are keeping pace with their peers globally, we should be focused on rethinking what math education actually looks like.
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