Long-time math teacher Gary Rubinstein confesses that he would “gleefully chop at least 40 percent of the [math] topics that are currently taught from K to 12”:
Two hundred years ago, students who finished high school learned about as much mathematical content as modern fifth graders learn today. And over the past 200 years, topics were gradually added to the curriculum until the textbooks have become giant bloated monstrosities. And though the modern high schooler ‘learns’ algebra, geometry, algebra II and trigonometry, statistics, and maybe even precalculus and calculus, the average adult still only remembers about as much as the adults from 200 ago did, or about what the average fifth grader is supposed to have learned.
His modest proposal: Make all math instruction optional after 8th grade.