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