This is a frightening video that goes a long way toward explaining why American children are so poor at math:
I understand the desire to find new and more efficient ways to do things; it is part of who we are as Americans, part of our entrepreneurial spirit. In the private sector, though, if a new idea does not really work no one will make use of it. In the realm of public education there are no market forces that can be brought to bear on bad ideas to keep them from being implemented. Which, of course, is why curricula like these find their way into our schools, and why Johnny and Janey cannot multiply 26 by 31.