Report: unhappy kids better at math

To all the parents out there: your kids are supposed to hate math! Math success and enjoyment are inversely related, according to USA Today, which reports on a Brookings Institute study on math satisfaction and proficiency slated for release today.

The 10 'happiest' nations all performed below the internationalaverage. The 10 'unhappiest' all scored above average, including Sweden, England, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and the Netherlands.

The study is based on a US Department of Eduction 2003 study Trends in International Mathematics and Science, which looked at fourth- and eighth-graders worldwide.

Greg Toppo, who wrote the USA Today piece, suggests an old fashion reason for the scores: math success takes practice - and a willingness to suffer the tedium to reach proficiency. Toppo says the study author, Tom Loveless, "is renowned for taking a contrarian point of view and backing it up with data."

The Brookings education page is here. There was no sign of the Loveless study as of this morning.