Lack of Assessment and Reporting.
Fact fluency is not directly measured in end-of-year testing. Schools tease at assessment with worksheets and games, but they never get in and find out which facts students can recall automatically and which ones they can’t.
Principals and teachers aren’t eager to promote failing students, but because the depth of failure is not clearly reported in black and white, the problem is easily swept under the rug.
If schools published a letter grade for the math fluency of each class, we would see an instant and dramatic improvement. Few educators would be willing to tolerate an average grade of “F” for their classes, but with fact fluency they do tolerate across-the-board failure because they never really know that’s how bad their students are doing.
Math fact fluency is easily the most un-diagnosed cause of overall math failure later in life, and could be quickly remedied if it were simply assessed and reported.