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Why American education’s emphasis on math is misplaced

by AirTalk®

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Professor emeritus of Political Science Andrew Hacker's new book, "The Math Myth," takes direct aim at what he calls the STEM delusion. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

In this era where student higher-level math skills are touted as never before, a contrarian voice has risen from Queen's College New York.

Professor emeritus of Political Science Andrew Hacker's new book, "The Math Myth," takes direct aim at what he calls the STEM delusion. Students are told repeatedly that to succeed in the economy of the future, a mastery of math and other STEM topics is absolutely necessary.

In his new book, Hacker argues that this emphasis on learning advanced mathematical skills -- algebra, geometry and calculus -- is missing the point. Computer coders don’t need that kind of math to do their job. Something more basic would do, he contends, like statistics and analytic thinking.

Given that one out of five students fails to graduate high school because they fail math, isn’t it time we rethink the country’s educational priorities?

Guest:

Andrew Hacker, a professor emeritus of political science at Queens College in New York, and author of the new book, “The Math Myth and Other STEM Delusions” (The New Press, 2016)

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