America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add Up (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 42)

Listen now:

A special episode: Steve reports on a passion of his. Most high-school math classes are still preparing students for the Sputnik era. Steve wants to get rid of the “geometry sandwich” and instead have kids learn what they really need in the modern era: data fluency. Originally broadcast on Freakonomics Radio, this episode includes an update from Steve about a project he launched to revamp the education system.

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Relevant Research & References

Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:


  • Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education at Stanford University.
  • Sally Sadoff, economist at the University of California-San Diego.
  • David Coleman, president and C.E.O. of the College Board.
  • Daphne Martschenko, research analyst at the University of Chicago.
  • Suyen Machado, program director for the Introduction to Data Science Project.