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Just Sayin': Better math instruction will save U.S.

A student writes out a math problem on

A student writes out a math problem on a chalkboard. Credit: iStock

If a world power makes poor and illogical decisions, how much longer can it be a world power? The skills to integrate logical reasoning with decision-making, writing and reading should come from math classes in all schools.

America ranks 36th in the world for math education. If our mathematical reasoning ability says anything about our decision-making ability, America will not be able to sustain a thriving economy or its political position on the world stage.

Students are often taught to relinquish reasoning and curiosity for the strict rules of math class in primary and secondary school. I have yet to encounter a math class that encourages its students to ask the questions they are really interested in, or that does away with formulas in favor of natural problem-solving.

Integrating real-world problems and logic into our math curriculum can combat the stigma against math, get students interested, and make them better decision makers. If we start today, politicians and decision makers of the next generation could be some of the most level-headed and logical we’ve seen, a seemingly infinite improvement from what we have now.

Eric Riesel, Oceanside

Editor’s note: The writer is a chemical physics major at Columbia University.