Last week, I was listening to Charlie Sykes\’ radio show, and he mentioned that his book (The 50 Things Kids Won\’t Learn in School) had cracked the top 30 education-related books on I went to the site and checked it out, and indeed it had – in part due to his appearances on national talk shows.

As I perused the top education books, I got a good chuckle. The #3 education book in the country was written by Winnie Cooper of \”Wonder Years\” fame. (Actually, it\’s some actress that goes by the name of Danica McKellar, but who\’s keeping track?) Any males in their mid-30s will be able to speak of the special relationship they had with Winnie Cooper in high school. She taught many of us the wonders of the nascent, blossoming female form. And now Winnie writes math books.

The name of the book is called \”Math Doesn\’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail.\” I think books like these are questionable for the following reasons:

1. Math does, in fact, suck. It\’s certainly nice to try to get students more involved in their schoolwork, but I never liked the whole idea of pitching homework as being exciting (Reading is FUNdamental!). Most of schoolwork is an attempt to teach students that in order to achieve the things they want (college, money, one day having a blog, etc.) they have to do things they actually detest doing. The road to a good career isn\’t paved by chores that are fun.

2. From middle school on, I never really responded to stuff that was geared towards my age demographic. I always wanted to be into stuff that was more adult. Anything that purported to make things \”dumb enough for a middle schooler,\” I wanted no part of. Just seemed too condescending. If someone tried to convince me any part of schoolwork was fun, I\’d roll my eyes and say \”dude, just give it to me straight.\”

Anyway, good for Winnie – at least she seems to have made a nice transition into adulthood. Next up: \”The Rise and Fall of the Scythian Empire\” by Tootie.