We've got a lot to learn about teaching math.
Virginia Commonwealth University math professor William E. Haver, who is involved in the partnership, said elementary teachers need to know far more than the standard curriculum. With a depth of knowledge, teachers can help children understand relationships between numbers and solve problems in different ways. Without it, teachers often rely on memorization and aren't well-equipped to help struggling students.
"Elementary math isn't elementary," Haver said. "There are a lot of deep ideas there. Usually, if a child doesn't get the right answer, there's a fair amount of good thinking along the way, but it got astray at some point. If you can pinpoint that problem, you're better off."
I think this is a bigger problem than just our schools. Our society has math phobia issues. It's acceptable to be bad at math and to hate math. Saying the same thing about reading is taboo. It seems unlikely that we'll manage major change in education without similar change in society.