Start-Up Teaches Math to Americans, Indian-Style

Claire Cain Miller
The New York Times recently reported on a study that found, once again, that the United States is failing to develop the math skills of its students, particularly girls, especially compared to other countries where math education is more highly valued.
Indian Math Online is a start-up that aims to take on that disparity by teaching math to American kids using techniques from Indian schools.
Bob Compton, an Indianapolis-based venture capitalist and entrepreneur who co-founded Indian Math Online, hatched the idea when he was producing Two Million Minutes, a documentary comparing high school education in India, China and the United States. He realized that Indian teenagers who were the same age as his daughters were three years ahead of them in math.
“If you don’t get mathematics to the highest level you possibly can in high school, your career options shrink dramatically in the 21st century,” Mr. Compton said. “Our society basically tells girls they’re not good at math. I was determined that was not going to happen to my daughters.”

One thought on “Start-Up Teaches Math to Americans, Indian-Style”

  1. Years ago in an elementary school SIP meeting the leader told the school staff that ‘we don’t know how to teach math’. As the parent rep I was aghast. I should have known then that she was not kidding.
    We had a MMSD teacher who was taking a class entitled ‘Multicultural Math’ as part of his continuing education requirements. It sounds like something out of the Onion to me to suggest that math is different in different parts of the world.
    Surely it is the value we as parents do or don’t place on math and academics in general that handicaps some of our kids. I think we could immediately improve math performance if we required that math teachers be math majors and not education generalists. Could the gym teacher teach strings? Of course not!
    We also need to communicate to our kids that math, like most valuable things in life requires tenacity and simple hard work to master.

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