Economics? Hell! What about basic math?
I read recently with a certain amount of wonder that slightly less than 50% of US high school seniors scored well on a new test designed to assess economic literacy. "Economic literacy?" thought I, "We didn't even have an economics course when I attended high school." And though the questions don't seem to be particularly tough--it doesn't seem like rocket science to answer correctly that "...lower tax revenue and higher spending increase the national debt"--perhaps we shouldn't be too quick to congratulate ourselves. Read on...
Last weekend I was in Peet's Coffee, a Bay Area roaster that gives you a tiny discount on your beans if you recycle one of their bags. So in I come with my empty 12 oz bag, a "pre-pack" that is sold in grocery stores. The girl behind the counter looks at it and remarks, "That's not a full pound, is it?"
"Nope," I responded, "...it's 3/4 of a pound."
"So...how much goes in there?"
At this point I got distracted by something the Frogette said, and the frustrated cashier called over the manager who took charge of the situation. "Just fill the bag. Then when you ring him up charge the lb price and multiply it...by...uh, .8 ...I guess."
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, the cashier looked at me and with a bit of embarrassment said, "At least someone can do math."
I submit to you that teaching economics is great, but this society's got a much bigger problem.
I am sorry but I about spewed coffee all over my desk and also nearly choked to death in the process, but, damn, that was a good laugh.
Sad, though, in reality. What is our nation coming to? It's no wonder we're in a mess. Idiots outnumber us 300 to 1!
She asked her mates to no avail until another person came by and showed them.
It is an eye-opener isn't it? Just a simple thing like converting fractions to decimals...[sigh].
Cognitorex... 6/10th's? Isn't that 3/5th's? ;-)
To be fair though, I spent so much time in Calculus, Physics, and P Chem that there have been times when not having to use a long equation with lots of symbols and letters has confused me
As a coffee person I would be suspicious of any outlet where the staff wee not totally tuned into their product.
Could say I'm a 'counter-terrorist' when it comes to service.
National policies like school vouchers and NCLB serve the interests of the fundies, who would rather people not have well developed cognitive skills. For the country as a whole, especially in the arena of world economic competitiveness..mmmm...not so much.
"The study, called TIMSS (Trends in Mathematics and Science Study) Advanced 2008, measures how high-school seniors are doing in algebra, geometry, calculus and physics with students taking similar subjects around the globe. In the past, the American results have been shockingly poor. In the last survey, taken in 1995, students from only two countries—Cyprus and South Africa—scored lower than U.S. school kids."
Maybe the US could start a study comparing other countries' rapture-readiness.
Cartledge... To be fair to the Peet's people, their "pre-packs" are sold by franchises, and there is no real reason why the company stores would know anything about them. But on the other hand, when I specifically say "it's 3/4 of a lb" that should be the clue for an accurate calculation. ;-)
CultureGhost... I'm amazed that you could get through even elementary school without a basic knowledge of fractions and conversion to decimals.
If your total purchase comes to , say $99.97, and you give then a hundred dollar bill and they type in an extra zero by accident, you can count on your line coming to a halt until a manager (over 35) comes by and tries to figure it out. That's high math.
(put any numbers in there)
One in a million. :)
I guess you don't need fractions for buying stuff and watching American Idol.
BTW, I know that I'm one of the 300, and it takes a lot o' work to constantly overcome it. The fact that it's a psych/emotional thing doesn't excuse me or help in the least. Just means I've gotta try harder and be open to criticism and/or assistance at any given time.
Michael... You know I thought it was something like that. Maybe he should have just revoked the $.25 discount I was supposed to get for the recycled bag?
This is not good.
Who Hijacked Our Country