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My kid's third grade math is much tougher than I remember math being at that age!
Selection bias. The students were in remedial math to begin with. Of COURSE they'd be weak in the basics. 
I love that this example is wrong: 'In one example, a student was asked whether is was possible to check whether 462+253 = 715. While the student correctly answered that one could subtract 253 from 462, when the researchers ask him whether one could also do 715 – 462 (to yield 253), the student “did not think so.”'. Delicious irony.
David H
How do you get into college and end up in remedial math?
They must have asked a bunch of Liberal Arts majors.
Arguably, the question which is greater of a/5 and a/8 depends on the sign of a.
I do hope that 462+253 kid is the only and worst example the researchers have on hand. The ability to perform basic arithmetic is essential for everyday living, regardless of one's background.
David H
I work with someone who thinks that 4+14=7. A college graduate no less.
David H
Sort of an inside joke; this person runs reports each morning but doesn't verify the results and when you point them out has to think about it for several minutes before seeing the problem.
When I was a sixth grader, one of my daycare workers saw my math homework and asked for copies so she could review her basics. Cool chick.
In my state we have a program called "no child gets left behind".  Sadly, many graduate without the basic math and reading/writing skills that they need even if they are not going to college - it's sad.
Actually, +Elias Mårtenson, a/5 will always be greater than a/8, so long as "a > 0". This is because "a" will be the same number in either case. If "a = 1", then 1/5 is greater than 1/8.

As said, this was "remedial" math, meaning that these people may have entered college without sufficient math knowledge and took math again as a refresher.

I find most people don't have any intuition when it comes to numbers. They get caught up in right and wrong and pay no attention to the process. I guess numbers all the time, because it helps me check if a number is right or wrong. If I guess a number to be much larger or much smaller than it ends up being, then I know that a big mistake was made either in my initial guess, or in the process of arriving at the exact number.
+Davis Centis read what I wrote again. The sign of a affects whether or not one is larger than the other.

No where in the question was it stated that a is positive. 
+Elias Mårtenson, true. I was thinking of writing that... but once you get into negative numbers, "greater" can mean some different things. If I ask "Which loss is greater? -$1,500 or -$7,985", you would be right to answer the latter, as it's greater by virtue of how far away it is from 0.
Horrible reporting job. Did you actually read the paper? They don't say anything about "roughly 50% of community college students." It is a study about students in one community college. Furthermore, the findings are a critique of the way in which math is taught because it doesn't help students draw meaningful connections that would allow them to solve "problems only slightly different than ones they've encountered," as the author points out. 
Finally... do you know what selection bias is? You should probably look it up before you misrepresent research in such a blatant manner.
Carl, are you serious? That was a stupid thing to say. If you look at their values, a Republican should value education more due to the lack of entitlement. We would have to be more responsible for ourselves. Either way, party affiliation has nothing to do with intelligence. 
Just Google "Verizon math". Explains a lot.
+Carl Grover , as mentioned above what is the point of your baseless "facts" other than spewing party rhetoric and inciting arguments, not discussion. If you are going to troll a post, please at least do it with intelligence and flare. If you want us to attempt to buy into your brand of insanity you might want to find another reputable source of information besides "zombietime" as well.

Secondly, arguing against points that no one has made looks sad and pathetic. It just paints the poster as a blind zealot. Speaking (posting) without thinking is not encouraged.

Lucky for you though there is the edit option. Try it out, maybe your trolling will get one of us to bite and not spit the hook this time.
Thinking critically had nothing to do with it. I am very capable of critical thinking, but I believe in personal liberty and small government. In not a Republican, but I'm certainly not a Democrat. But from experience the Republicans I know are smart. Anyway you will have idiots in any party. It's like saying men are stupid or women are stupid. It had very little to do with intelligence. 
Those "had"s should be "has". Cellphones man...
He just wanted to get a reaction. He's gone now, no worries.
+Carl Grover
*sigh* An example of the study continues on with their baseless assertions.

It's not an intelligent or articulate statement that added substance to the discussion that you first made, it was an insult+Carl Grover .

I understand that you're upset, it's evident the education system personally failed you. The science projects in fourth grade were an attempt for educators to introduce us to basic research and provide us with the knowledge of what makes some sources of information more accurate, reputable, and reliable than others. I'll be scanning in the lesson plans as well as providing you with the name of the textbook used so that you are able to come back and join the conversation with us. Hopefully we can all benefit from the conclusive research you provide back to us then.

Don't think of this as a "bite", proving a troll wrong on all accounts is hardly that.

Good day to you, enjoy your weekend. If you drive anywhere make sure to buckle up!
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