Preach it, Steve. This edition of the Freakonomics podcast featured guest host Steven Levitt. He dedicated his episode to providing evidence for an overhaul of America's K-12 math curriculum. He argues that our kids need more information on data fluency.
I'm not one to swoon over a podcast dedicated to math curriculums, but this one is about the history of how we teach math, the realities of the pressures our teachers face, and solutions. It is fascinating.
You need to sit and listen to the whole thing, but here are some highlights:
Our math curriculum was designed to help America fight the Space Race (yes, the one back in the 1960s). For a world without calculators. And not much has changed.
Quick idea for teaching regression/correlation14:20: Economist Dr. Sally Sadoff had students perform regression by going out into the world and collecting two data points the students were interested in. She describes how one under-performer measured the relationship between hair spray use and hair damage, which was of interest to a make-up obsessed student.
Psychometrics lesson in the creation and revising of the SATs
23:30: HOLY SMOKES. Information on why the SATs were created and how they were totally biased in favor of the affluence. I think this would be an interesting case study in RM, good intentions, and the road to hell.
Another old SAT question includes this gem:
Arguments and information to share with your students as they wonder whether or not they will ever use stats:
Other interesting data about the current job environment:
7:40: 90% of the data ever created by humanity was created in the last two years. 7 of the 10 largest growing job titles are data related.
36:40: They discuss a survey that asked participants what math they wish they had learned in high school. Participants wished they had more lessons in statistical literacy. Specifically, they wanted they knew how to analyze data to gain insights (65% of participants) and how to make data visualizations and use data to make an argument(60% of participants.).
Freakanomics also has a resource guide for math teachers: http://freakonomics.com/math/