With the new implementation of common core education standards, which focus on comprehension and theory rather than rote learning and memorization, one of the oldest questions is arising more and more: Why are Americans often lacking in mathematical capabilities?

Attempting to shift the way mathematics is taught in the United States isn’t a new endevour, reports Business Insider.

For many year, memorization of formulas and tables has been the norm for teaching students about mathematics, but often times the capabilities of the teacher have reflected onto the students with this method. If a teacher does not understand the root of the teachings, then the student rarely does, either.

Common Core Education is being scrutinized because it is a much different method, says Sociologist Dan Lortie. The old way of learning math is often ingrained in Americans’ minds, especially teachers’ minds, who often learn to teach by recalling how they were originally taught themselves.

The New York Times reports that Americans rank in the bottom five in numeracy among 16-to-65-year-olds in a 2012 study. Although mathematics have changed throughout the years, researchers are still hopeful that future endeavours will provide new methods and help the overall population understand logistics and mathematics better in the future.