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Old 11-11-2019, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Venice, FL
9,604 posts, read 2,698,852 times
Reputation: 5855

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I had so many Algebra classes I could vomit. I graduated High School early, went to to average Colleges where I got a BBA and MBA, worked in Corporate America for way too long, then left to become a top 2%'er.

How did I succeed? I started my own business. I tell every young person I talk to to do the same.

Do NOT work for corp America for more than 1 year. Do your own thing. Start a business, but not a restaurant. Not a retail operation, but a business to business enterprise.

20 years from now, I'll see you on a private charter jet, the Orient Express, or a Seabourn cruise liner...I'm the old guy sitting in the front row. You're welcome Grasshopper.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:40 PM
 
30 posts, read 15,552 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by SocSciProf View Post
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.
There is a good argument of getting rid of abstract algebra as a requirement. Many students don’t understand it, struggle with it and it is a barrier to graduation. Many jobs require a diploma but don’t require abstract algebra. Also, you don’t need algebra to think critically.

My sister scored in the 93 percentile on the PSATs in math in our state and I scored 30 percentile. I think more critically than her. For example I have pointed out to her that the current school curriculum is racist, and she never realized it and I can come up with solutions to problems better than her, and I can discern hogwash from politicians better than her.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:42 PM
 
30 posts, read 15,552 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
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.
Maybe these students can’t grasp algebra so they do poorly and that leads to low self confidence.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:46 PM
 
30 posts, read 15,552 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
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.
There are vocational courses. I don’t know where you live but I live in NY and the options my high school counselors told me about was college and trade school. They heavily pushed college, saying its the only way to achieve financial success. We had a “college office” but not a “continuing education and career” office. There was so much advice on applying to college, which isn’t bad but they looked over career schools, apprenticeships, vocational rehabilitation, etc.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:49 PM
 
30 posts, read 15,552 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by history nerd View Post
Alternate solution: employers shouldn't require a high school diploma if their employees don't actually need one.
I agree. I wrote to my local library system about this. Taxes fund the libraries, and I’m not paying taxes so they don’t employ qualified people.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:52 PM
 
30 posts, read 15,552 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by katharsis View Post
I think that kids should be evaluated in the ninth grade as far as where their talents and interests are, and education after that point should be geared to the kind of job/field they want -- and only those kids who are "college material" should be required to take advanced courses.

I have had various positions in various fields (publishing, education, retail, and office administration), and there was nothing I learned in high school that had anything to do with filling the duties of any of my positions. All the English and math I needed I knew by the end of eighth grade (at the latest), and I never put anything I learned in my history, advanced math, or science courses to any practical use, although I did enjoy history (and still do).

I think that in many cases -- but certainly not all! --the only real value to having a high school diploma is proving to future employers that you were probably not a lazy, troubled or unmotivated kid.

P.S. I was a sales/merchandise manager for a local department store responsible for buying 1.4 million in merchandise in 1979 dollars (and I had a staff of 14), but I did not put any algebra to use -- just math I had learned in earlier grades along with a training course of six weeks, if I remember correctly, that did cover some retail math, but nothing that was very difficult.
I agree. But I think kids may not be certain at this age what they want to do. I think high school should be about trying out different careers so students can see what suits them. Have them work in an office classroom. Help them decide what they want to do.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:44 PM
 
12,332 posts, read 9,907,809 times
Reputation: 31950
Quote:
Originally Posted by katie1215 View Post
That can be solved with 8th grade math.
Provide an example of what you consider to be abstract algebra.

Of all the math disciplines, algebra is one of the least abstract.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:09 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 PriscillaVanilla View Post
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.
Very interesting. I had zero self-confidence in high school. As a matter of fact, my 10th-grade geometry teacher openly made fun of me in front of the class for being too tall. Now of course I realize he was a short man with a complex who took out his own lack of self-esteem on an easy target.

Ha, no wonder I sucked at math.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:28 PM
 
2,097 posts, read 773,512 times
Reputation: 6649
Poetry is totally unnecessary for any job one might get out of high school.. or college for that matter.
I worked 39 years in the NYCMA and not one job was enhanced by learning history .. of any sort.
Come to think of it my French classes were never necessary for any work I've ever done either.
And phys. ed. was glorified recess .. with a grade.
Art and music.. real time wasters, don't ya think?
Ditto for English and American literature.

I think the only practical stuff I learned was.. algebra!
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:57 AM
 
57 posts, read 14,084 times
Reputation: 69
I was not educated in the US. How abstract is the algebra in American high schools? Can someone shed some light?
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