A recent study showed that American children’s math literacy has declined to the level of the 1990s. This means that many of them cannot solve the simple math problems that children were solving 30 years ago.
According to the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, 25 percent of high school graduates do not reach a basic level of proficiency in math. This means they cannot solve problems involving simple arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
The problem of mathematical literacy is not new. In 1983, the National Commission on Education in the United States put forward the idea of “Education for All,” which called for an increase in the level of education in the country. However, as recent research shows, this process has dragged on for decades.
There are many reasons why math literacy has declined. One major reason is an insufficient number of qualified teachers in schools. In addition, many children do not get enough support and help at home.
As Timothy D. Hebert, professor of education at the University of Chicago, said, “We must recognize that our country is not investing enough in education. We need to invest in education so that our children can succeed in the future.”
Some experts also believe that modern technology and social media can distract children from learning and doing math. However, as Dr. Joshua White of the University of Pennsylvania points out, “Technology is not the cause of the drop in math literacy. Rather, it’s a problem of learning culture and a lack of qualified teachers.”
While the math literacy situation for children in the U.S. remains difficult, there are programs and initiatives that are helping to address the problem. For example, Mathnasium offers individualized math instruction for children of all ages. There are also many online courses and apps to help children improve their math skills.