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Old 11-11-2019, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
10,841 posts, read 9,656,051 times
Reputation: 18235

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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
That can be solved with 8th grade math.
You realize that algebra is just 8th grade math with letters, right? Replace any of the numbers I put in my question with an X and you have an algebraic equation that will help you calculate profitability as the variables change.

You can make the equation more complicated by adding in multiple products lines, seasonal sales volumes, labor and rent costs, and the actual mathematical calculations are all simple multiplication and division. The power of algebra is allowing you to use those simply calculations for increasingly complex variables.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:45 PM
 
30 posts, read 15,552 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by turf3 View Post
ok, let's run that pop fly out.


Your projected manufacturing cost is $225. Your organization requires a 45% minimum gross margin. What, then, will be the minimum sales price for this product to achieve the required minimum gross margin?


Don't run to a book and look up a formula. Tell us, right now, how you calculate the sales price. I defy you to do so without using algebra - i.e., the substitution of a place holder letter or symbol for a number that you wish to calculate.
$409.09.

I wish schools used this example in their math problems and relate math to the career world.

Last edited by katie1215; 11-11-2019 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:45 PM
Status: "Uncomfortably numb" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
64,674 posts, read 60,996,773 times
Reputation: 78749
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
Some kids will never grasp it.
I was one of those kids. Now I am 61 and retired, and I've considered trying to take one more shot at it just because it bothers me that I never could grasp it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:29 PM
 
3,355 posts, read 3,294,125 times
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When I was in school Abstract Algebra was a third-year college course only taken by math majors. I think you must mean Elementary Algebra or perhaps Algebra II, both of which are commonly required for a high school diploma. Our state also requires that students pass a state Algebra I test in order to earn a diploma.

I agree that the "college for all" obsession has devalued the vocational fields and the trades. The changes to the curriculum occurred years ago, beginning with No Child Left Behind. The state departments of education determine the criteria for the different types of diplomas that schools may issue. I fear that the unintended consequence is on the verge of making itself apparent when the current tradesmen begin retiring en masse with few left to take their places. One benefit of the trades is that things like plumbing and electrical wiring don't lend themselves to outsourcing the way that coding and now radiology reading may.

Check with your state ed department to find out if schools in your area can offer other types of diplomas. Our district has several options, but the teachers are restricted from talking about them to students because the district wants everyone to have the college prep diploma unless there is no hope of the student graduating otherwise. Even then, I have been disciplined for informing students of what is in their student handbook regarding alternate diploma tracks. (Ooh, I just said the bad word.)
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
10,841 posts, read 9,656,051 times
Reputation: 18235
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
$409.09.

I wish schools used this example in their math problems and relate math to the career world.
They do. As you note this is trivial 8th grade arithmetic. What schools do over the next 4 years is build upon that simple manipulation of numbers to enable students to do more, and apply that arithmetic in a number of more powerful ways.
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Texas
13,480 posts, read 5,528,375 times
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I've read that students who lack self-confidence tend to do more poorly in algebra, because problem-solving abilities are tied in with self confidence.

If a student doesn't grasp algebra perhaps he/she needs to learn first to develop more self confidence or perhaps school counselors could help him work on self esteem issues.

It's not as simple as just saying he's "dumb" because he's not grasping it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:41 PM
 
758 posts, read 404,106 times
Reputation: 2283
School is about more than "What am I learning today that will help me on my job?" People have the option to vote. Can they discern hogwash from a politician? Can they figure out which ballot initiatives are horrible and which are not. Its easier to do those things if you have some skills that maybe the employer doesn't care about but the task in question requires. And, lots of stuff today turns on science--climate change, pollution, vaccinations, stem cell therapies. Almost none of us use that information in our work. But basic science knowledge would big dividends in our society's ability to make important decisions collectively.

In short, you have not proven that whatever level of algebra you are talking about is irrelevant to the workplace. But even if you did, that's not a sufficient argument to get rid of it. We are not just workers--we are decision-makers, citizens, and human beings responsible for handing a viable ecology to the next generation. Just learning enough to do a job--any job--is woefully insufficient for the more important tasks we need to accomplish.
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:50 PM
 
1,133 posts, read 659,196 times
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Alternate solution: employers shouldn't require a high school diploma if their employees don't actually need one.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:01 PM
 
8,641 posts, read 3,997,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
$409.09.

I wish schools used this example in their math problems and relate math to the career world.
Show your work.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:12 PM
 
Location: The North Star State
2,892 posts, read 888,573 times
Reputation: 12263
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
This is why we should have tracking for kids who want to go to college and who want to take a different path. I personally hate how school push the “everyone should go to college” or “you need to go to college to be successful” mentality. Not everyone should go to college. My high school had a “college office” where it was all about college but they never mentioned vocational schools, apprenticeships, vocational rehabilitation and other job training. It should be the “college and career office” and provide actual career and vocational information.
They do.

College-bound students take an entirely different suite of courses. AP this and AP that. A mathematics course every semester. Multiple years of a foreign language. A hard science course every semester.

For those not going to college, there are vocational courses. They don't have to take a math or hard science course every semester. They can skip AP courses entirely and, in most schools, foreign language courses. And there are always a few English courses that are notoriously easy for those who just want to 'get through'.

Algebra at the 9th- or 10th-grade level shouldn't be too onerous for someone who wants a high school diploma. That diploma should actually mean something.
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