This article summary is from the Wall Street Journal online edition on June 10, 2013:
SoftBank said it had agreed with Sprint Nextel to raise its offer for the U.S. wireless carrier by $1.5 billion to $21.6 billion from $20.1 billion.
What does the summary say about the state of mathematical literacy in the United States when a publication like the Wall Street Journal that deals with high finance is compelled to include all three numbers of the simple equation C = A – B? Perhaps this reminds you of the joke about the evolution of teaching math since the 1950s:
1. Teaching Math In 1950s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?
2. Teaching Math In 1960s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?
3. Teaching Math In 1970s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?
4. Teaching Math In 1980s
A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.
5. Teaching Math In 1990s
A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers, and if you feel like crying, it’s ok).
6. Teaching Math In 2000s
Un hachero vende una carretada de maderapara $100. El costo de la producciones es $80. Cuanto dinero ha hecho?
7. Teaching Math In 2010s
ANSWER: His profit was $375,000 because his logging business is just a front for his marijuana grow.