But if your kids are taught math according to the principles of renowned University of Pennsylvania math professor Dennis DeTurck, they won't be able to do these things without an electronic gizmo to think for them. DeTurck, also dean of the college of arts and sciences at Penn, wants to get rid of fractions. He also wants to banish division, square roots, and multiplication.
That's right, say good-bye to real math. It's a liberal's outcome-based education wet dream. And it's gaining acceptance as Profesor DeTurck gets ready to release a new book attacking traditional math taught in schools. Just as our students are failing even more versus the rest of the world in math and the inextricably-linked science, we need to make them more dumb and ignorant in those disciplines? Yes, if Dr. DeTurck gets his way. They can do it on a calculator on their cellphone, apparently.
Why teach PE in schools, while we're at it? Machines can do any labor we need done. Why teach grammar or spelling when there are grammar and spelling checks in our word processors?
We can be like those disembodied brains in that Star Trek episode, betting quataloos on what the next stupid idea from an academic will be.
Update, 1/27/08: University of Rochester math professor Ralph Raimi had this to say in an email, and has given me permission to post it here:
How can fractions be as obsolete as Roman numerals, and important for high-level mathematics too? Isn't Dean DeTurck losing it? It's said that old deans never die; they just lose their faculties.