Algebra is the new caste barrier.
Arithmetic is easy every child gets it. Algebra is abstract and hard. Those kids who fail to surmount the mountain that is algebra will be left behind and end up doing what most of us now perceive as 'menial' jobs. (They are menial because they pay less and don't require higher order thinking skills)
So, all the math teachers of students in 7th grade and above, push your kids to work hard and practise practise practise until they get algebra right - integer operations, distributive property, exponents, division and factorization.
BECAUSE IF THESE KIDS ARE LEFT AT THE BASE OF MOUNT ALGEBRA, THEY WILL FLUNK IN 10TH AND END UP DOING MENIAL JOBS AND NEVER REALIZE THEIR POTENTIAL.
TAKE IT PERSONALLY. RIGHT.NOW.