In the three decades, then, that my own children have been counting, multiplying, averaging, graphing, and finding "x" (which the Papa claims should have been accomplished long ago, since they were already looking for it when he was in school), I have developed a keen interest in the fads and foibles of math educrats. In the past few years we've seen some of the same dumbing down in popular homeschool curricula, where an excessive reliance on manipulatives and "process thinking" has rendered 8th graders unable to multiply 8 x 7 without toothpicks or jelly beans.
Sometimes I'm tempted to think that no amount of dissent will change the trend. And then I look at how many school districts and bureaucrats and reading specialists have dumped sight reading, "whole language" and other excuses to keep children from reading (many times paying lip service to "phonetics") and replaced them with pure phonics and an emphasis on the basics that have been proven to produce readers and dramatically reduce reading failure. Maybe there is a road back.
So perhaps Michelle Malkin's decision to give the math topic a high profile will not be useless. Perhaps the drumbeat for re-reform will reach some kind of critical mass and we'll see a return to common sense math instruction.
But I'm not holding my breath.
Fuzzy math: A nationwide epidemic