It’s weird how the justification for so much pointless math in school really always boils down to, “You’ll need it when you take another math class!”
My partner today said as we were discussing a similar topic, “I used to like physics before I took physics classes.” Her objection to all her math and physics courses was that they had absolutely no connection to the real world, and she never once learned at all how some disconnected equation had anything to do with anything. Luckily, she has some talent at math and actually has a minor in it, but she still despised just about all of her math instruction.
A survey of math is all that 95% of students need — knowing what tool to reach for is far more important than knowing how to use every single tool on the shelf, which is our frankly idiotic approach now.
Every student should be taught the basics. That is, math right up to algebra. Even algebra is useless for the vast, vast majority, so stopping there is the logical place.
Then, a few semesters of “Math Survey” and that’s it.
What a waste of time teaching so much math.