I agree. I was one of those kids that was lousy at math. I worked my ass off and eventually made it through basic calculus in college, but I was never good at math. I think we spend too much time in school focusing on abstract math concepts rather than real-world applications.
There's no excuse for a high-school graduate not to be able to make change from a dollar, determine the acreage of a plot of real estate, calculate payments and interest on a loan, etc, but we see it all the time.
Maybe we should put more emphasis on "consumer math." What good does it do you to know the quadratic formula if you can't balance your dang checkbook?
It ain't the folks who CAN balance the checkbook I want designing elevators or bridges....I want a LOT better than that....for our own safety/good/protection.
Which also, I think, explains why Lou Dobbs (brawn) middle class of the past is being replaced by machines and the Brains are now making the bucks..No more $50/70 an hour employees at GM driving those completed cars down to the parking lot.