NPR Ed: What about the need for more people with STEM skills?
Well, we certainly need people who know how to do coding. When it comes to engineers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we're producing all the engineers we need. The skills shortage is a myth. The chief shortage is getting people who will work for low wages. That's why companies in California want to bring people in on H-1B visas who will live eight in a room and do coding for a small amount above minimum wage.Couldn't have said it better myself. His book is called "The Math Myth: And Other STEM Delusions."; curious if readers agree that we should be teaching "numeracy, not mathematics":
NPR Ed: How do you define numeracy?
Andrew Hacker: Being agile with numbers. Regarding numbers as a second language. Reading a corporate report or a federal budget. This is not rocket science—it's easy to do. Kids become numerate up through 5th or 6th grade.
And what is the difference between numeracy and mathematics?
There's a firm line between arithmetic and mathematics. When we talk of quantitative skills, 97 percent of that is arithmetic. Mathematics is what starts in middle school or high school, with geometry, algebra, trigonometry, precalculus and calculus.I, for one, hope my children become proficient at both, but I recognize there's an argument for teaching broad things that most people (not just a few) can get.