Remembering Mr Dietz, 7th grade math teacher at Mount Rainer JHS in 1960/61, when Alan Shepherd (sp?) was shot to the edge of space. "You can be part of the space program", said Mr Dietz, and that's why we troubled with all that weird stuff like algebra. I still remember him, short goatee, glasses, chalk dust flying, white sleeves rolled up as he made magic on the blackboard.
Maybe the biggest problem today is that people can take their math and science genius and make tons of money anyplace except in teaching. My 9th grade science teachers wore lab coats, talked about the Van Allen Belt and scientific method, and were getting PhD's at U of Maryland. My daughter was taught science by a woman who had quit nursing to be home with her kids, and who liked reaching int the township high school because she could keep the same hours as her sons. Gave extra credit to the students who went to the football games (rah rah!).
Odd, but I suspect that my generation was the last to benefit from the difficulty women have had getting good jobs in private industry.