On Jun 19, 2013, at 7:44 AM, Robert Hansen <email@example.com> wrote:
> I have always chalked it up to the simple fact that numbers (mostly multi digit numbers) are every where and they tell stories and without some fluency in their construction and use, you would be unable to read those stories. These algorithms are still the most effective means with which to develop that fluency and I have seen no evidence that a worthy alternative exists.
A further thought on this is that the invention of spreadsheets made this fluency (with multi digit arithmetic) even more important for professionals in all careers just due to the volume of output. I am not saying that we must compete with the computational power of Excel, but we must pour over the results. The other big driver, again, affecting all professions, is finance. Why that isn't one of the three R's I don't know. If it was, I would think many of these students would have handled the financing of their tuition better than they did.