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[Susan notes: Great letter. Even though the article was about kids who love math (and good for them), it feeds into the current hysteria over math. The letter reminds people what kinds of math most of us need.]

Submitted to New York Times but not published
07/30/2003

To the editor



After checking out "Please, Pile on the Problems?

This Has to Be Math Camp" (Education, July 30) I'm

reminded that 97 percent of all the math used in the real world is covered by addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, rates, decimals, and percentages --all easily taught either at home or in the average school -- not to mention the fact that the National Science Foundation once recommended that all

mathematics teaching at the elementary school

level be done with a pack of cards and a few

board games.



The fancy stuff -- a.k.a algebra, geometry, trig.

and calculus etc. etc. -- can be learned properly on those high-level jobs if and when we get there -- just like happens right now!



Robert E. Kay, M. D.


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