The vitality of any modern society depends on the mathematical literacy of its citizens. No longer necessary for just a few key decision makers, mathematics is the most important skill that we can pass on to the future generation. Mathematics, the language of science, economics, engineering, and computer science, must be a skill of the people. In the 21st century, the covenant of public education mandates that colleges and universities be responsible for developing this skill.2 Unfortunately, the challenges within contemporary mathematics education are acute. The under-performance of American elementary, middle, and high school students on international standardized mathematics examinations has become a consistent element of the American educational landscape (Gonzales et al., 2008; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD], 2010). This deficiency can be seen at the collegiate level in the decreased mathematical readiness of incoming freshmen. In 2010, only 43% of all ACT-tested high school graduates met the Mathematics Readiness Benchmark (American College Testing Program, 2010). Lack of preparation in new college students translates into an increased need for remedial mathematics. At our institution, 28.2% of the incoming freshman class in 2010 required remedial placement for math skills. This percentage was up from 17.6% in 2009. These numbers are representative of an upward trend in remedially placed mathematics students at our institution (Forrest, et al., 2012).
Forrest, Bradley; Kosick, Pamela; Vogel, Judith; and Wu, Chia-Lin
"Mathematical Achievement of High School Students through Community Partnership,"
Teacher-Scholar: The Journal of the State Comprehensive University: Vol. 4:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholars.fhsu.edu/ts/vol4/iss1/4