I have decided to take a vociferous anti-pre-algebra stance.

Either it *IS* algebra, or it isn’t algebra. I’ve always said that, or at least I’ve sometimes said that, especially when it came to criticizing pre-algebra.

I’m an English kinda guy, and we deal in a lot of definitions. pre-English isn’t a legitimate educational genre, and neither is pre-science. Prescience might be, but they didn’t teach us that in public high school. So if pre-english, and pre-science are not actual subjects, why is pre-algebra? I’d like to point out that it was never made clear to me what, exactly, pre-algebra was, except that it included elementary parenthetical equations and maybe some introductory FOIL (First Outside Inside Last) arguments here and there. But I still think that was algebra, not “pre” algebra.

But what made it pre-algebra instead of regular algebra? I don’t know. I just know that it was harder than the stuff I learned in 6th grade and got me into considerable trouble on report-card day and parent/teacher night. I therefore rebuke pre-algebra and any attempt to teach a skilled writer, or me, any mathematical concepts.

[c] 2009 Russ of America