Random Comment: New Math

I don’t know if the term “new math” is still relevant but I’ve always wondered what was wrong with the old math. After all, it got Columbus across the ocean and Neil Armstrong to the moon. This comment came out of a Twitter post by a friend of mine. She posted about an anonymous girl being faced with purchasing a 2-liter bottle of soft drink or two 20 oz. bottles. The price for each option was the same and the girl chose the two 20 oz. bottles because, “You get more.”

That took me back to a time when some elementary students were buying large numbers of copper slugs (used in enameling) for a nickel each because they had found a penny gum machine in town that would accept them.

I’m pretty certain kids need a strong basis in old fashion arithmetic before being exposed to the new math. After all, I’m 71 years old, dropped out of freshman algebra in favor of general arithmetic, and made it through life knowing how to figure cost per unit, make change, and tell when someone was trying to give me the shaft. If I need anything more I have a math geek as a good friend.

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