DeTurck is stirring the pot again, this time in a book scheduled to be published this year. Not only does he favor the teaching of decimals over fractions to elementary school students, he's also taking on long division, the calculation of square roots and by-hand multiplication of long numbers.
Basically, the only conclusion I can reach from this is he is saying that, instead of teaching the students to work out problems by hand, he wants, instead, them to be taught how to do it by calculators. Afterall, what other reason is there to remove square roots and long division by hand?
I see this as an insanity. America's education system is already a joke compared to the rest of the world. The idea that you can't let anybody feel inferior, or let anyone have less knowledge, seems to have led American educators to the conclusion that everything should be dumbed down.
And don't get me started on the reliance on calculators. This laziness has been growing over the past decade, so that people in my math classes can't even seem to work out the most basic algebraic equations unassisted by a calculator. I feel shame that we are losing the building blocks of mathematics for this. We are rotting our brains with convenience and malaise, with disuse.
Does anybody see this as I do? Does anybody else shudder to think of the next generation of American engineer's? Or am I the lone voice in the wilderness on this issue?