I heard somewhere that Nate Silver is thinking of analyzing teacher assessment at some point. It’s a big problem, there’s no definitive answer, and there’s lots of data (though since most of it is standardized test scores, I find much of it questionable). Sounds like a place he can have fun.
That’s not what this article is about.
This article is about having math superstars being rolemodels for kids, to answer their questions of, “when am I ever going to use this?” I feel this is treating the symptoms rather than the disease. If math was taught as a way to solve problems and explore the world around us — as opposed to drilling computations — students’ curiosity will be a natural source of motivation. “I want to understand” is a better driver than “I want to be a celebrity.”
The article’s secondary point, that the current curriculum sorely lacking in some departments (like statistics and finance), is something I agree with.