Finally, educators waking up to importance of teaching 3 Rs

Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2004

One evening 25 years ago, I sat with my daughter and her homework. Struggling with what had become known as modern math and sight spelling, I suffered through a few comments such as "I just don't get it."

Well, I had gotten it enough to get through all the upper division engineering school math such as differential equations and advanced calculus and here I was up against a high school teacher pushing beginning algebra in an approach that would not have any value in real life recall or utilization (I felt).

Toward the end of that evening's session, I remember saying something like "Someday our educated educators will realize there really isn't any substitute for plain old teaching of the 3 Rs." And now in Monday's headline article a local high school's principal has been quoted as "We're looking for different ways of doing business, how to be efficient and provide services in a different way." What a novel idea the possibility that our schools may soon "... focus exclusively on core subjects including math, science, English and history. ..."

Could it really be? Could we really begin to turn out students who could add without a calculator, spell simple words without spell-check and actually pass an exit exam without special legislative support?

It might just turn around in my lifetime as I promised my daughter it would.

Barrie B. Lowe, P.E.


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