Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceOther - Education · 1 decade ago

Why are American school kids failing at math?

Any intelligent comment on this issue would be nice.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are a number of reasons, but I'll go over a few that I have discussed in education classes. One reason is we don't have a national standard. Each city, school district, or state sets its own curriculum. Most other countries have a national curriculum, and standards are expected to be met by a certain age. Another reason is our textbooks cover more topics per year than other countries. We cover 15 or more math topics in our texts, where other countries cover from 4 to about 9 areas per year. Therefore they are able to cover and develop skills in depth. We approach math, especially in the lower grades with the attitude that if a student doesn't get it this year, then it will be covered next year. Whereas in other countires the attitude is you must get it this year. Also, we gear our later math programs to the students who understand the math concepts. We don't seem to have an approach that most students should be able to learn math. Another difference is that in many countries there isn't the self-contained classroom in elementary schools, with one teacher teaching all core subjects. Math is taught only by those who have specialized in math. Another difference is that in many countries the teachers meet and discuss their students and the lesson plans they teach. They work together to help get and refine the information for the student. Another is the time devoted to class. In many countries several days are designated math days. And in other countries, several hours per day are devoted to math. Also, the students also must come to the environment with an attitude of wanting to learn. I saw a film of math classrooms in several countries. The teacher in the U.S. probably spent a full 20 minutes of a 45 minute class begging the middle school students to behave.

  • 1 decade ago

    All American school children are not failing at math. Some American students do quite well, some so-so, and some do fail. Why some fail is a complex answer. There are many factors that contribute to failure. Low socio-economic status has been linked to failure as have race and ethnicity. There is no simple answer. Some student simply refuse to learn. The notion that American students are failing is based on comparisons with other nations. This is usually done on the basis of the TIMS, or Third International Math and Science Study. This camparison does not indicate failure, but many would say that it does. What it indicates is that some other nations have students that do better on a particular test. It may also indicate that some nations test only the brightest students.

    Some students, in all nations, do poorly in math. Some people will tell you that they are not very good at math, or even that they hate math.

  • 1 decade ago

    There is more than one reason why some American kids fail at math, among other subjects.

    Some kids simply do not try to comprehend the subject in question. They would rather goof off all day during class and when they get home, they go and play their Xbox, PS2/3, or whatever game console their parents bought for them. Also, there is the issue of partying and drugs that some find more important than school.

    Then you have kids that try very hard to comprehend, but just don't quite understand it. The teacher, too many times, is not concerned with the actual comprehension level but rather with the percentage of students that he/she passes on to the next grade. So, you get high school graduates that cannot read at an 8th grade level and cannot make change without the use of a calculator.

  • 1 decade ago

    Hey, not all of us are! But I know what you mean. It seems as though a lot of kids have issues with math, and a lot don't know simple things. I think it's partly the kids' and teachers' fault. Some kids don't try hard enough or are just lazy, and some teachers don't explain things or just try to get us ready for tests. Don't really know if that's true or not though.

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  • 1 decade ago

    3 words- no child left behind.

    the federal government forced states to come up with a standardized test to make sure all students were being taught important things. unfortunately, the states had to PAY for the development and administration of these tests. that took all the money out of there budgets and now there's only enough money to test with none left over to teach.

  • 1 decade ago

    Not all American students are failing math. It is not how much you know, it is how much you try. Persistent would bring a better result to their grades. Teachers need to give them warm-up word problem, so they can struggle with it. Afterward, you ask them to correct their own paper to figure out their own mistakes.REMEMBER: PERSISTENT IS THE KEY TO VICTORY

  • 1 decade ago

    every year, they make math more and more harder earlier in the grades. for example, i didn't learn long division until 4th grade, but my friend's little sister is starting to learn it in second grade. they're just trying to shove knowledge down our throats, not knowing we will never use it and are failing at it, and trying be the best school.

    i bet im gonna get a million thumbs down for this

  • Sam
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I don't think it's just in th U.S.A. In the U.K., school children are a bit slow at maths. I don't think they are taught arithmetic properly.

    like the times tables, etc. My seven year old granddaughter is good using the calculator and my computer, but not too good with her arithmetic.

  • D.C
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I think its because the schools are trying to teach kids they will NEVER USE in the future. Who cares if AxY=Zto the 2nd?

    Hell, teach them the basics of what they will use.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because our public schools are not getting proper funding?

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