"Numbers are the highest degree of knowledge. It is knowledge itself." - Plato
We live in a mathematical world. Whenever we decide on a purchase, choose an insurance or health plan, or use a spreadsheet, we rely on mathematical understanding.
The World Wide Web, CD-ROMs, and other media disseminate vast quantities of quantitative information. The level of mathematical thinking and problem solving needed in the workplace has increased dramatically. In such a world, those who understand and can do mathematics will have opportunities that others do not. Mathematical competence opens doors to productive futures. A lack of mathematical competence closes those doors.
Students have different abilities, needs, and interests. Yet everyone needs to be able to use mathematics in his or her personal life, in the workplace, and in further study. All students deserve an opportunity to understand the power and beauty of mathematics. Students need to learn a new set of mathematics basics that enable them to compute fluently and to solve problems creatively and resourcefully.
From Overview of Principles and Standards for School Mathematics:
The Mathematics Department of Amos Alonzo Stagg High School offers a college preparatory sequence of courses in Algebra, Geometry and Advanced Algebra. The math sequence culminates with courses in Statistics, College Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus. The courses and course sequences have been designed to assist students in meeting the Illinois State Board of Education Learning Standards, in preparation for the Prairie State Assessment Examination.