## US Versus the World – One Reason We’re Falling Behind

Here are two sample math problems given to students in different countries:

Problem 1:

Mrs. C made some tarts for sale at her bakery. She sold 3/5 of them in the morning and 1/4 of the remainder in the afternoon.  If she sold 200 more tarts in the morning than in the afternoon, how many tarts did she make?

Problem 2:

There were 90 employees in a company last year. This year the number of employees increased by 10 percent. How many employees are in the company this year?

A) 9
B) 81
C) 91
D) 99
E) 100

Problem 1 is given to 5th grade students in Singapore.  Problem 2 is given to 8th grade students in the US, only 1/3 of whom were able to correctly answer the question.

Part of the reason our kids are failing to keep up with rest of the world is because we’ve accepted that only 1/3 of 8th graders will be able to correctly solve Problem 2, even when given  calculators.

### One Response to “US Versus the World – One Reason We’re Falling Behind”

1. pwceducationreform Says:

We’ve gotten a few requests for this, so here are the solutions to the problems presented above:

PROBLEM 1:
AM Sales = 3/5 a
Remainder = 2/5 a
PM Sales = 1/4 * 2/5 a = 1/10 a
AM Sales = PM Sales + 200
Substituting variables for words give us the equation:
3/5 a = 1/10 a + 200
10/1 * (3/5 a) = 10/1 (1/10 a + 200)
6a = a + 2000
5a = 2000
a = 400