Even though my sons were never educated in the Laguna Beach school district, as a scientist I do want to raise my voice in protest to the elimination of essential mathematical content in the proposed new L.B. school curricula.
Instruction in geometry is much more than a study of shapes; it teaches the student to prove geometric principles by the application of geometric laws in a logical manner. This manner of logical reasoning is applicable to many technologies outside of mathematics.
Likewise, trigonometry is not even mentioned in the new curriculum. But an understanding of trigonometry is essential to many areas of physics and engineering; even the elementary concept of a sine wave is not clearly understood without a knowledge of trigonometric functions. Logarithms, which are normally taught in the trigonometry curriculum, are still important to many areas of science even in the computer age; in chemistry and biology, Avogadro’s number is not truly meaningful without an understanding of log functions.
The LB school district should request the advice of the many chemists, engineers, biologists, and medical scientists living in Laguna before implementing these proposed radical changes.
Manfred E. Wolff, Ph.D., Laguna Beach