Um, Can We Use a Calculator?

Earlier this week we posted our latest story for "A Minute of Your Time," which outlined how--and why--the Chinese are winning the race for green energy technology. And today, the ability of the U.S. to compete in global innovation got called into question again. According to a new study by Michigan State University, prospective U.S. elementary and middle-school math teachers are not as prepared as those from other countries. That, and there's already a weak U.S. math curriculum, all of which means that the U.S. is not laying the groundwork to compete internationally.

The Teacher Education Study in Mathematics surveyed over 3,300 future teachers in the United States (in over 80 public and private universities in 39 states) and 23,244 future teachers across 16 countries. Researchers found that "some of the U.S. teacher preparation institutions on average produced future teachers at a level commensurate with the level of performance of developing countries such as Botswana."

Among the nations with a better performance than the U.S.: Thailand.

On the other hand, there are some groups working to boost core knowledge in other ways. Today, the American Chemical Society revealed a new mobile app for its "Molecule of the Week."