Math crisis in Washington state

At ZeroDash1, educational background in mathematics, statistics and/or economics are highly valued. As a web analytics company, the ability to analyze information and find patterns in human behavior is crucial. Most of the companies that drive the local economy are looking for the same type of a person.

Today, the state of Washington public education system is failing in effectively teaching math and science. The unacceptable math WASL scores in our state is a harbinger of very difficult times ahead.

The local economy is becoming more and more powered by technology. Over time, this area will attract those with good educational backgrounds in mathematics and sciences. These people will have high earning power driving the cost of living up. At the same time, a statistically significant portion of the local children will be unable to fill these types of jobs as adults. Eventually, local children will grow up and only be able to work in the service sector for these more educated workers, or will have to move away from the area. The gap between the “have’s and the have not’s” in the Puget Sound area will become more pronounced, causing unfortunate social conflicts, including increased crime.

We need to change our attitude about math in schools. We worry about literacy rates, but not enough about our ability to teach math and sciences. It must start with parents. There is no such thing as a “math gene”. We all have the capacity to learn and enjoy math. Washington state public schools must fix its very poor math scores — otherwise, the repercussions to the society will be wide and deep. There are some grass root organizations devoted to improving the situation, one of which is “Exploration in Math”. There are others. Get involved.