I’ve had several friends struggle with the math teachers at Sinclair Community College. Hell, I struggled with some of the professors at Wright State, and- we’re now creating high school curriculum called STEM- Science Technology, Engineering and Math- because Americans are falling behind.
We also spend billions on jet fighters for the Air Force, that have zero competition- and can be shot down with a much cheaper smart missile. So apparently, those in Congress like “Hawk” Mike Turner didn’t do well in math either.
Here’s a solution- and it’s free: Kahn Academy. They teach math from 1+1=2 all the way up to string theory (don’t ask me what that is- I stopped with Business Calc). Note, this isn’t a government program, and the guy who started it- is a first generation American just like me (for you knuckleheads that forget where your roots came from).
The only problem- is to learn, students need a computer and an internet connection. If we truly are going to be a superpower for much longer based on anything but atom bombs, we need to develop our social capital (that’s you- we the people).
We have an organization in this country making laptops available to third world countries- One Laptop Per Child– but, that’s not a reality for most of the kids in parts of OH-3 and it’s not something Mike Turner gives a hoot about. We’re more interested in creating a business model for textbook manufacturers in this country- who have a new edition of “Finite Math” every other year to prevent a secondary market in something finite. (note I have a copy of the 111th edition of “Finite Mathematics, for Business, Economics, Life Sciences and Social Sciences” from Pearson, Prentice Hall in mint condition for someone- the new one goes for $150, or $115 on Amazon)
We are dramatically behind in wiring our country. Our internet access and speeds (wired and unwired) trail countries like Finland and South Korea- and if you can show me a commercial cell phone made in this country in the last 5 years- I’d be shocked.
For less than $10B we could outfit every k-5 kid with an OLPC and every 6-12 grader with a MacBook. The wires- well, we built and subsidized the national highway system for National Defense, I think this is just as important. We can start by enacting a national sales tax on internet purchases- all of which goes to data highways and digital infrastructure. It’s time to put bricks and mortar retailers in out communities back on a level playing field. We’d also end the stupidity of delivering education materials best communicated in Bits- by converting them to Atoms- that’s digital files instead of oil based ink on dead trees).
I’ve talked about this before on this site- I didn’t just pop up with this yesterday (like Guy Fogle or Joe Roberts)- and, if elected, I plan to move these ideas through Congress (since I won’t take money from the text book lobby, or AT&T’s lobby- or the School Teachers Lobby etc… I may actually represent your wishes- and I’m sure you agree with me, because I think you’re smart).
And, if you need help on how to figure all this out- http://khanexercises.appspot.com/video?v=XFhntPxow0U