Sir Simon Jenkins:
Like much of the public realm, British maths is “in crisis”. The country is languishing alongside America way down every league table. Evidence of this was cited in a new poll from YouGov, measuring the public’s knowledge of maths, science and English. In maths, roughly a third of those surveyed had no idea how to calculate a mode, a median, a “line of best fit” or the area of a circle.
I seriously doubt this poll, since it implies that two-thirds did know the answers. All on whom I tested it failed, including myself.
If you don’t know your mode from your median then you’re not going to get very far with the statistics about public policy, are you?
Which might explain the newspapers in this country: not only is a journalist admitting he doesn’t know he’s proud of it too.