Math Hatred: A Systemic Problem

If you put a kid who’s teaching himself to read so he can play his favorite games, who can do simple sums, and who can count well past 200, in full-day Kindergarten, and he comes home saying he hates math and reading, you’ve done something tragically wrong.

If you take a kid who’s been proficient in math since before Kindergarten, and whose favorite subject was math until this year, and now he says he hates it, you’ve done something tragically wrong.

If you take a kid who loves math as much as she loves reading, who tells you she can’t wait for 4th grade so she can learn division, and who now thinks she’s bad at math, even though she scores high on tests, you’ve done something tragically wrong.

If you take a kid who loved math and science as much as she loves reading, but who left 4th grade thinking that she’s bad at math and science and is about to enter high school still thinking that — even though she’s grasping concepts faster than every one else in her class and is pulling up the school averages on standardized tests — then you’re still doing something horribly, tragically wrong.

Footprint per Capita

The newspaper had a map of each country’s carbon footprint per person. Something like this one from Wikipedia.

carbon dioxide emissions per capita per country

This is one of those graphics that misleads with statistics. The U.S. seems top of the charts here, but one has to recall that the ranking is per person. Compare, for example, China or India, which have many more people than the U.S. In the ranking of emissions per capita, the United States comes in 10th, behind Qatar and other well-known polluters such as Aruba. China is 91st, while India is 133rd. However, considering emissions alone, without dividing by the population, we’re #1, followed closely by China, with Russia and India lagging behind in 3rd and 4th place, respectively.

carbon dioxide emissions by country