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Stop pushing me, I know the divide key

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By John Pawlak

OK, a quick test ... what’s 44 percent of 25? Most adults know how to do this, but might have some trouble doing it in their head. 

Now suppose you ask them to find 25 percent of 44. Ah, that’s a horse of a different math! 

Virtually every adult knows that 25 percent is 1/4th and so 25 percent of 44 is 11. But percentage is simply a multiplicative factor. It means that you divide by 100.

So 44 percent of 25 is the same thing as 25 percent of 44, right? Explain this to most adults and with little thinking, they’ll readily see that this is true.

Ask the same question to a student in middle school, or high school, or even college.  It’s a good bet that they won’t know the answer and the only way they can figure it out is to pull out a calculator and start punching numbers. 

And if you did try explaining that they could simply take 25 percent of 44, it’s likely that they would push those buttons to figure that one out too. A large number of American students can’t determine 25 percent of a number!

Our children are carrying these portable black holes that are literally sucking intelligence out of their skulls. I’m beginning to think that it’s a conspiracy, a plot to dumb down our entire world! 


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