Everyone would agree that learning math facts is important. The ability to automatically retrieve math facts helps free up memory resources to give more attention to complex and more advanced mathematics.
Research evidence confirms that rote memorization and timed flash cards are not the best way for students to learn math facts. It is more essential to develop a strong understanding of number sense and the relationship between numbers. For example how are numbers 4 and 8 related and interconnected? Here is a short video clip that will explain a little more and provide some suggestions to develop number relationships and math facts.
For more information about rote memorization please see the article by Stanford University Professor of Mathematics Jo Boaler called “Fluency Without Fear”