OK, I’m taking a little poetic license to make a point. But in the United States, a ‘Rithmetic Revolution is Required (the new 3-R’s). We are in danger of having our entire way of life undermined by our poor performance in Science and Math Education.
America, and especially California is the home of innovation, of high-technology, and of world leading entrepreneurship. Silicon Valley is our “poster child” for technical and innovation excellence. But, without a Revolution in Math and Science Education, we are in trouble.
US Students recently finished 25th in math and 17th in science in the ranking of 31 countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. 25 years ago, the US led the world in high school and college graduation rates. Now we rank 20th and 16th respectively. These statistics are sobering. But are they important?
You bet they are. Studies project that 60% of the new jobs in the 21st century will require skills possessed by only 20% of the current workforce. Two thirds of these new jobs will require a strong knowledge of math and science.
We are lucky here in the Santa Clarita Valley. Our public schools are good, and our parents push their children to excel It is a good combination. But we cannot lose sight of the fact that solid math and science skills are going to be essential for our children to succeed. This means more than just getting good grades, it means mastering these math and science skills so they are second nature.
As I’ve written before, Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry are building block skills that must be totally fluent for the 21st century worker. Too many of our students grasp the skills only long enough to get a good grade and then struggle in more advanced classes when they are expected to know these mathematical basics backwards and forwards.
If your child struggles with math, or just isn’t fast enough and comfortable enough to do their math quickly, now is the time to cement these skills. Only this will build a foundation strong enough to support the higher level math and science knowledge they will need to succeed in higher education and in the workforce.
Mary Beth Inchalik is the President of Santa Clarita In Home Tutoring. She has over 20 years of combined regular and special education teaching experience from elementary school through high school. Contact her at (661) 977-1629 or firstname.lastname@example.org.