Low math, science scores blamed on boring curriculum

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  • Mexican Ute mexico, 00
    Dec. 16, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    At this rate, my new country is going to overtake the Americans on education.

    You guys should see what the Asians are doing, as well as the Europeans.

    Mexico has been faltering because they have been falling for a failing system.

    That is the American system, once the best in the world, now floundering in mediocrity.

  • iceskatercjudd Coalville, UT
    Dec. 15, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    I would just have to say that I went to a school without a block schedule and one with one and I don't agree. While those are good points my school without a block schedule meant that each class was 45 minutes long leaving little time to get through all of the lesson and to get the class under control. The classes were less productive and each night you had to do all your homework for tomorrow rather than like a block schedule you can get two days if something like sports comes up.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 13, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Citizens need to visit a third, or fourth grade classroom, and observe how basic math is being taught. It's very confusing, and difficult for most people to understand. Much different, than how it was taught a few decades ago.

    Also, students are bored of test preparations. Standardized tests do little for enhancing education. Students are in school to learn,--not being accountable to test scores.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 8:01 p.m.

    Personally, I think if secondary schools got rid of the block schedule, this would help many subjects including math. Teaching math every other day is difficult. When students miss class they are missing two classes and teachers might only see students twice a week. Plus 90 minutes is long and let's face it math for most kids isn't that stimulating.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:42 p.m.

    Brave Sir Robin,

    You ask what makes the editors at the New York Times experts on math and science curriculum? The same thing that makes our state legislators experts, power. The editors have the power of the press, and lawmakers have the power to make hundreds of new laws related to education each year.

    DN Subscriber 2,

    Math and Science may be the same all over the world, but most of the countries that are "ahead" of us don't bother to teach it to all their students. Only the most gifted students are still in a high school like the ones we place all students in. The other students have been placed into vocational programs and are not tested. It should be no surprise that other countries outperform the US, the surprise should be that we are even close, to other countries since we test ALL students.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:29 p.m.

    To get kids interested in math, you need inspiring teaching, positive reinforcement and parents and educators who teach children to work hard (e.g. for more than 5-10 minutes on a problem before giving up and "just asking the teacher the next day").

    Education takes diligence and hard work. We expect too little from our schools and from our children. We also are not willing to pay for a good education. We are o.k. with mediocrity (Utah schools are below mediocre when adjusted for our demographic advantages).

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 7:26 p.m.

    Is this just one more example of the Great American Entertainment Addiction?

    Maybe we should teach math with loud flashing screens and hyperactive teachers.
    Maybe we need to have a few explosions every little while in science classes.

    Or perhaps we could do it all by sending lessons to apps on the kids' cell phones.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    Heaven forbid we expect students and parents be responsible for students learning.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    Math and science are the same all over the world.

    I guess that the Chinese, and just about every country in the world, most of whom score far better than U.S. students have either figured out a way to make the curriculum
    not boring" or have convinced their kids that they need to study boring stuff to succeed in life, not just watch MTV and know all the latest Miley Cyrus gossip.

    But, if you don't want to be bored by all that math and science stuff, no problem. Your wants and needs will be met by government handouts as long as you remain a low information voter happily living on the liberal welfare plantation. At least as long as all those who DID study math and science and work hard to earn a good income continue to pay their taxes to support you.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 11, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    I remember all through school that the kids that offered the excuse of doing poorly because it's 'boring' were almost invariably 'lazy' or simply unmotivated. They were the class troublemakers. The worst thing was when someone bought that excuse. That just empowered the excuse. Math or Science or Physics or whatever is boring and something we don't want to be involved with at all because we see no value in it. Smart people are stereotyped with disdain in our culture.Our kids are growing up in homes where bookshelves are full of weepy eyed porcelain figurines, not books. I think there's a danger in teaching to the lowest common denominator because that figure just keeps getting lower.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Dec. 11, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    So the New York Times editorial board wrote an opinion piece on math & science education and somehow this is news? What makes the New York Times editorial board an expert on math & science education? In other words, what makes a bunch of people with journalism degrees who haven't seen the inside of a math classroom since 11th grade the subject matter experts on math?

    Seriously, if we want to place credence on the opinions of those who have zero qualifications to judge the matter, let's just ask a bunch of Hollywood celebrities who we should vote for.