Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Word problems for the new economy

Today, my daughter's summer homework worksheet contained word problems about fractions. Most were fairly typical, but when we came to this one:
BMW is lying off 8000 employees worldwide. Of the 8000 employees from BMW’s layoffs, 5/8 of the employees received applications for some form of unemployment benefits. However only 3/4 of the laid off employees receiving applications completed and returned their applications to the unemployment offices. How many of the 8000 laid off employees actually applied for unemployment benefits?
Is this what we're coming to now? Word problems about layoffs? Will we be figuring out foreclosure losses on the next one, or calculating food-stamp savings? As if math wasn't already depressing enough.

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