I wager that Ted Dintersmith and Tony Wagner struggled immensely with algebra their entire school careers. Why else would they declare it was tragic when failure to grasp the venerable math subject prevented students from earning a degree that would improve their chances of securing edifying and lucrative employment. Of course, liberal minded people would rather attack a math class that has withstood the test of time, even suggesting they have the wisdom required to recommend its removal from curriculums nation wide. They ignorantly declare most adults don’t use algebra in their daily lives which is further evidence of their specious reasoning process.
It is a sign of declining journalistic standards when the likes of Dintersmith and Wagner get foisted off on the general public as educational experts. Algebra nurtures divide and conquer thinking in its various factoring techniques alone! Breaking down any difficult problem(not just a math problem) into smaller more comprehensible components is an ideal to be striven for in any problem solving context. Dintersmith and Wagner refer to foundational math as low-level procedures without being cognizant of the reality that if one is not bright or patient enough to understand low-level procedures, then they will also struggle with vocational tasks such as disassembling fuse boxes or assisting a master electrician who is wiring a house.
The two bumbling Market Watch writers go on to attack the whole of English grammar as useless and a waste of time. Neither of them grasp the meaning of a liberal arts education. Guys, not everybody is born with the intellectual ability to lead the good life and earn a high income. One of the functions of college is to filter out the substandard achievers. Perhaps, you should write an article on identifying these types and getting them on a vocational fast track around age 16. Oh yeah, if you still don’t understand Ohm’s Law, there are plenty of resources at Khan Academy or YouTube.