Putting a Price on Elementary Math

October 12, 2017

Take a close look at the following chart. It conveys some bad, but not surprising, news about math education in elementary schools.

Students who aspire to elementary teaching face low scores & salaries

Students who are most likely to succeed in college math are most likely to plan majors in fields like engineering, computer science, or medicine, which lead to high-paying STEM jobs. No surprise there. Those who aspire to elementary teaching, by contrast, are among the lowest-paid professionals on the list, and most have a shaky foundation in math.

That spells trouble for elementary school children, whose grasp of math is unlikely to exceed that of their teachers. Elementary math skills are after all among the most important predictors of success in high school.

If our elementary teachers remain near the bottom of the salary and math achievement scales, can we expect our students to be first in the world?

Tags: math, teachers