Going Deep on the

– Problem & Solution –

The Math Education Crisis

Algebra Mountain:
Three things make learning algebra hard.

The triple whammy

Algebra rests upon arithmetic. But when students graduate from arithmetic to algebra, they get hit with a “triple whammy.”

The first whammy is a quantum-leap increase in the quantity of intellectual material they must learn. In arithmetic, students must learn approximately 200 concepts, facts and skills. But in algebra, they must learn approximately 3,000 concepts, facts and skills.

The second whammy is a drastic increase in the speed at which they must learn all this material. The 200 concepts, facts and skills of Arithmetic are typically taught over a period of about six years (roughly 30 per year). In striking contrast, the 3,000 concepts, facts and skills of first year algebra are taught in just one year! That requires nearly a hundred-fold acceleration in learning speed!

The third whammy is abstraction. Arithmetic is entirely concrete—there are no letters in arithmetic. In algebra, letters appear in the problems, and the letters are abstract. A great many people never really understand what “x” means in an algebra problem (it’s not the times sign). And if you don’t get what the letters actually mean, you don’t get algebra at all!

This triple whammy is what Mark calls Algebra Mountain. To learn algebra, students MUST surmount Algebra Mountain.

Algebra Mountain doesn’t care if you learn algebra!

Like the multiplication table, Algebra Mountain has no compassion. It doesn’t care if students suffer. It gives no slack to those who are having difficulty. It yields only when students actually learn the algebra. AlgebraVictory!‘s learning trail up Algebra Mountain empowers students in the Middle 80% to reach the top. They must work hard, but their work will pay off: they will definitely learn the algebra.

Algebra Mountain is not new. It’s ancient! It just stands there, unmovable. Over the past 100 years, approximately 80% of the millions of people who have taken algebra have only learned one permanent lesson—that they are incompetent at algebra. In striking contrast, AlgebraVictory! students will follow a beautiful trail up Algebra Mountain—they will learn the algebra and as they learn, they will develop knowledge, skills and life-long self-confidence.

Nor does Algebra Mountain discriminate on the basis of age. It defeats children, teens and adults alike. Indeed, people who never took algebra in school, and who in their 40s take an algebra class at a community college, encounter the very same Algebra Mountain that millions of teens face in middle school and high school. AlgebraVictory! students of all ages who can pass the Prerequisite Quiz will hike the trail up Algebra Mountain to success.

Nor does Algebra Mountain discriminate on the basis race, ethnicity, gender, economic class or anything else. It simply demands actually learning the algebra.

Explore the other “Go Deep” pages…






Algebra Mountain

You  Are  Here



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Establishment Resistance



Common Core

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