Why Do Americans Stink at Math? is a terrific piece penned by Elizabeth Green. Here's a great summary of the article from a Facebook friend of mine:
Phenomenal article. Japanese math skills moving ahead of our own, due in large part to teaching methods developed in America, but which we have failed to implement. Allowing teachers to observe one another, open discussion of teaching techniques. Bringing parents up to speed along with students. Teaching the "why" instead of just how to get the answer. A great read!
Elizabeth Green has a book, Building a Better Teacher, that will be published on August 4th. The article is an excerpt from the book.