I think I just had a confrontation with new math. My daughter was asked to show two ways of solving the problem 4 + 5. Naturally, she put 4 + 5 = 9 5 + 4 = 9 To me, this demonstrates commutativity of addition, which is fundamental to arithmetic. Beside that, she is at the point where adding such small number is automatic. Well, she got the question wrong because she didn't draw circles in squares in one instance and sticks in another instance. Is this why America lags behind the rest of the world mathematically? I've always thought of myself as a liberal. Is this liberalism gone off a cliff?