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Community Comment

Thu., Aug. 13, 2009, 10:51 a.m.

Math in Middle School???

Good morning, Netizens...

Here, from the Spokane District School System is the list of recommended school supplies for kids entering or enrolled in Middle Schools this year:

  • Three ring binder

  • White college-ruled notebook paper, no colored paper

  • 2-#2 pencils

  • 2-pens, blue or black

  • Ruler

  • Pencil bag to fit three ring binder

  • Eraser

  • Index tab dividers for binder

  • Book to read

  • Graph paper for math and science

  • Calculator

  • Composition book (black/white)

  • Padlock (combination type) 

  • Other supplies as directed by teachers

  • Colored pencils (optional)

  • Glue stick (optional)


A calculator? Do we reasonably expect our kids to learn how to do math by forcing them to buy a calculator to attend school? My grandchildren do not know how to perform the multiplication tables, something I had to learn by memory when I was in sixth grade. As a result of my education, and the knowledge I obtained about math in my middle school years, I can still do math in my head that daunts most kids today.

Is this the “dumbing down” of America taking place, where our kids cannot do math in their heads, but are largely-dependent upon calculators?

Could the reason the WASL tests are being cancelled after this year be because the kids cannot do math without a calculator? This gives me the chills. How about you?



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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.