As a researcher, I would survey a random sample of 100 students at MIT (or Caltech) and determine what their preparation in mathematics actually was. This would include the schools they went to, the classes they attended, the textbooks that were used and the exams that were taken. I would also retest this sample of students in arithmetic, It is pretty obvious at this point that mathematics has become superficial in most U.S. schools, not just in high school, but all the way back to elementary school. Real and developmentally appropriate skills like adding and multiplying are being replaced by pretend skills, like estimating and solving. All in the name of algebra. Yet the performance by students (as a whole) in algebra is virtually unmeasurable. Too low to distinguish from noise. The performance in arithmetic is at least measurable, but very low.
On Oct 22, 2012, at 8:18 PM, Haim <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> He said, at that time, that Caltech recently had to re-organize their calculus curriculum. He strenuously insisted that the incoming freshmen were as bright as ever, but their mathematical preparation had degraded significantly.