**What I’m Reading. ** Some interesting thoughts on American education (or the decline and fall of same) by blogger Bob Kronish [link]

This opening anecdote/joke on the evolution of teaching math since 1950 will give you a sense of his point of view:

Here is how it progresses: Teaching math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5th of the price. What is his profit? Teaching math in 1960: a logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. What is his profit? Teaching math in 1970: a logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit? Teaching math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment-underline the number 20. Teaching math in 1990: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation or our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question-how did the birds and animals feel as the logger cut down their homes? There are no wrong answers. Teaching math in 2006: Un ranchero vende una carretera de Madera por $100. El cuesto do la produccion era $80. Cuantos tortillas se puede compar?”

Link to the full entry, and read on ….