Will the “calculator issue” ever be resolved?

Banning the use of calculators in maths Sats tests in England this year is a “backward step”, say maths experts from three leading UK universities. (via BBC News – Calculator test ban ‘backward step’, claim academics.)

I had to roll my eyes when I saw the headline, “Calculator test ban ‘backward step’, claim academics.”  That’s not because I don’t agree with them.  It’s because it’s so frustrating that we are still debating this either-or issue when it isn’t an either-or.

I remember this same debate in our district when I was an elementary school principal in the 80s.  The fact that the issue is not yet settled suggests to me that there is really little point in doing all the educational research that has been done on this topic.  Either the research is no good or, if it is, the policy makers are ignoring it.  As Charlie Brown would say, “Good grief!”


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