The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that close to 56 percent of Americans don’t want Arabic numerals, the standard numbers in Western alphabets, to be taught in schools, according to a poll conducted by Pittsburgh-based market research firm Civic Science.
According to the study, which included more than 3,200 Americans, more than half of the respondents said standard number notation should not be taught in school. An additional 29 percent said they should be part of the curriculum, while 16 percent offered no opinion.
According to CivicScience CEO John Dick, the poll suggests a latent bias -- unconscious attitudes or stereotypes -- among respondents.
“Ladies and Gentlemen: The saddest and funniest testament to American bigotry we've ever seen in our data,” the executive said on Twitter with regard to the poll.
South Dakota media outlet Brookings Register conducted a similar study this week. Close to 57 percent of that poll’s 4000 respondents said they would not want the numerals to be taught, while 29 percent said they would.