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Why Do the Math Wars Rage On?

Are the “Math Wars” back like a bad movie sequel? Why does the debate continue, sometimes vehemently, even when most people agree that quality math education must focus on both skills and conceptual understanding?

A lot of the comments on the original New York Times piece make the argument seem pretty black-and-white: it's either all algorithms, or complete innumeracy. On one hand, ignoring algorithms completely is certainly not the…