Educators have been worrying about American students’ math performance for decades. 1939 saw the introduction of innovative teaching techniques to some New York City math classrooms: Rather than learning “to compute for the sake of computation,” students learned arithmetic by applying it to baseball statistics, electrical bills, and other real-life situations, “informal, human and vital.”
At the time, some claimed students’ failure in high school math classes could be attributed to Regents exams:
On the high school level, where algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are still rigid, formalized subjects, a 25 percent failure record still exists. Officials have blamed the Regents examinations, in part, for this condition.
The rest of the article is after the jump.