TIME MAGAZINE: REVIEW BY SARAH BEGLEY
Ask experts how to fix American education and you’ll hear the same answer again and again: more courses in STEM–or science, technology, engineering and math. In his new book, Andrew Hacker takes issue with that idea–specifically, mandating geometry, calculus and trigonometry. These subjects are not only unnecessary for most careers, he argues, but so difficult that they can turn people off education entirely. Research shows that struggling with math requirements is the No. 1 academic reason students don’t finish high school or college–even if they’re pursuing degrees in art or cosmetology. Of course, this doesn’t mean U.S. schools shouldn’t improve math programs; it’s important for students to master arithmetic and basic algebra (think: solve for x). But overly tough expectations have created “intractable barriers for students whose aptitudes lie outside of mathematics,” Hacker writes. And that’s a problem, he concludes, not a solution. – Sarah Begley@SCBegley
This appears in the March 21, 2016 issue of TIME.
REVIEW BY NATIONAL BOOK REVIEW
“Hacker… …raised the question “Is Algebra Necessary?” in a controversial op-ed piece published in the New York Times in 2012. (Short answer: no.) He has expanded the argument in his latest book, The Math Myth, which is a worthwhile read, even if you are among the educators who become apoplectic at the suggestion that students shouldn’t have to grapple with polynomial functions.”
REVIEW BY KIRKUS
"In this book, Hacker (Emeritus, Political Science/Queens Coll.; Mismatch: The Growing Gulf Between Women and Men, 2003, etc.) expands on his piece, “Is Algebra Necessary?” which appeared in the New York Times in 2012. The author is dismayed that students are required to pass mandated mathematics courses, pointing out that it is the principal academic reason for the high dropout rate in American high schools and colleges. He shows how the requirement filters out talented liberal arts students, that math in the workplace bears little relationship to math in the classroom, and that the claim that studying math instills desirable modes of thought is built on unverified premises..."
REVIEW BY PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
"Expanding on a furor-raising 2012 New York Times op-ed that questioned Common Core math requirements, Hacker (Mismatch: The Growing Gulf Between Women and Men), who teaches political science and mathematics at Queens College, takes an in-depth look at the issue..." Click Here