Rishi Sunak, the U.K. Prime Minister, recently denounced the "anti-math" culture in the United Kingdom while announcing plans to remedy this situation. Of course, the PM was referring to his own country, but according to international rankings published before the Covid-19 pandemic, this problem is even more worrying in the U.S.

The "I'm not good at math" or "I'm not a math person" mindset was widespread for generations of Americans who sailed through the U.S. school system. In a recent interview, Bill Gates himself said that for children especially, "it's very easy to check out from math and it's very easy to think, okay, I'm not going to be a scientist, so I don't need it."

Gates added that a better grasp of math is essentially about a better understanding of the world. Data and trends show that the most compelling fields of study are driven by mathematics. Jessie Woolley-Wilson, the C.E.O. of Dreambox Learning, who has made it her mission to improve math instruction, synthesized Gates's solutions about it on three "Cs": Confidence, Curiosity, and Constant feedback.

Fully agreeing to this, Jim Cowen, executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success in Alexandria, Virginia, endeavors to add three complementary "Cs" to those mentioned above:

Commitment to reverse math apathy.

Curriculum for improving the school experience and provide students and teachers with materials and methods that show them how math impacts their lives every day.

Champions to show students and teachers the great value of mathematics, in particular from people they tend to respect such as teachers, leaders, celebrities, and... champions - of all genders and in all fields.

Because the process of becoming good or bad at math starts very early, but has very long-lasting effects.

Picture: SUMUP Tournament (Arcanys Early Learning Foundation)