I was looking something up and I ran across a opinion piece in the NY times called “Is Algebra Necessary?” I was shocked to read the nonsense babbled by the author that we don’t need Algebra as a subject in our schools as a requirement. Really, Are you listening to yourself Mr. Hacker? That is an appropriate name for this gentleman because it really is a poor point of view on his part. This is especially true because Mr. Hacker is a Professor of Political Science which is the one Science that you don’t have to be right because you make it up as you go in politics. Maybe if you cared more about the skills that Algebra teaches the Political Sciences would be more reasonable and you would see more conflicts settled with common sense problem solving skills. Today’s politicians do no problem solving, they just take sides and place their feet in cement.
I have only one point to make about teaching Algebra as a required course in High School and College. It teaches problem solving skills that are useful in every part of life. It makes you think, it makes you take the time to try to figure something out. There are many studies that show taking more math actually helps in other subjects. One of which I wrote about some years ago “The secret to being good at Science: Take more Math classes”. It says it all. Anyone that thinks you can get by with just basic math in life needs to go back to school, sit in any class and tell me that you don’t see Algebra and its problem solving skills being used.