A couple years later I was managing a lumber yard. One evening I wrote a guy up for 160 feet of baseboard molding, and set him to the kid in back to get loaded up.. and went back to what I was doing.. A couple minutes later the came to and asked how many pieces he should give the customer. The kid was eighteen and had graduated from High School less than a month before..
I looked at him and said ” You’ve got sixteen footers back there, the stuff’s in ten piece bundles, the customer has a racks on his truck, so sixteens are fine.
The pride of the local school system just stood there for a full minute looking at me, then he said “Yeah, but how many pieces do I give him?”
I had to explain to this kid, who had just Graduated High School that ten times sixteen equaled 160-
Over the years I’ve heard people complain about the lack of very basic skills kids have when they finish High School. Educators have demanded and gotten more money, smaller class sizes and the latest and greatest in modern educational tools. The result is a lower quality finished product than we had fifty years and hundreds of billions of ago. Now we’ve gotten to the point that everyone is blaming everyone, the parents blame the schools and the teachers, In turn the schools and the teachers blame the parents.
Every year the experts come up with a new solution, but it will cost money. Somehow the experts don’t get blamed– they just get more money out of the deal.. Before we go any farther, take a look at the video..
I’m not so sure if I’d have been able to solve a simple multiplication problem if I’d been taught bu any of those methods. However that’s what the experts say works.. at least while they’re selling the school districts new curriculum models, and very expensive books to go with them.
I sat my almost eleven year old grandson down and we watched the video together, he’s been taught everyone of the algorithms except the lattice method.. Then he laughed a little..
He told me last year as Florida’s FCAT Testing Season was approaching his teacher was having a really hard time getting her students to understand the clusters, thingamajigs and whatever’s the new math calls for.. She was getting desperate. Finally she said “Screw this”, and started erasing everything on the black board.
Then she said.. “You don’t have to show your work on the FCAT, let me show you how to do this stuff right. It didn’t take long for the class to figure it out, when it was taught the way it had been for generations.. before the experts made it better.