Re: "Is Algebra Necessary?" →
The problem isn’t that complex math is hard; the problem is teachers have absolutely zero flexibility in teaching it in a way that real children can actually learn.
I get that not everyone needs to be a mathematician. But without a fundamental understanding of the basics — and really, algebra *is* basics — you’ll be forever excluded from any conversation that expect you to understand algebraic metaphor. Without an appreciation of history, you can’t be expected to make solid voting choices. Without an appreciation of music, the arts as a whole languish — you have to be exposed to things you aren’t already used to. The point of school isn’t to make everyone amazing at everything — and it CERTAINLY isn’t to make everyone get the highest score in an arbitrary testing system. The point of schooling is to expose everyone to the basics of the full breadth of human knowledge, such that everyone can make the choice of what they want to know, and who they want to be.
When the response to “it’s hard” becomes “so don’t do it,” we end up completely unable to handle life. You want kids to not have to do algebra because it’s hard? Because they give up? Fuck that. Teach children better. Teach kids to not give up. Because lemme tell you — real life gets much harder than balancing equations.