Some educators are concerned that the new math curriculum may ask more of some students than they are able to deliver.
The Common Core State Standards generally are being met with praise by math teachers, though some are concerned that the new curriculum may ask more of some students than they are able to deliver, education reporter Erik Robelen writes in this blog post. His observations are based on conversations with educators who attended the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics recently held in Denver.
I was in the company of some 7,500 math educators last week, during the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Denver. Along the way, I had the chance to hear from a lot of people about the Common Core State Standards: what they think of them, their early experience with the standards, and what about the common core perhaps keeps them up at night.
The big take-aways in this very unscientific sample—gleaned from conference presentations as well as hallway conversations I had with teachers at the Denver Convention Center—were mostly high regard for the standards, mixed with some nervousness about implementation, including the tests to come.
The NCTM gathering came at a time when pushback against the standards appears to be mounting, including with a recent vote by the Republican National Committee to oppose the common core, calling it an “inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children.” In addition, a Senate committee in Alabama voted this month to require the state to abandon the common core. (However, we just learned that Senate leaders in Alabama have decided not to bring the bill up for debate in the full chamber, meaning it’s effectively dead for now. Read all about it over at the State EdWatch blog.)
“The common core is at a very critical juncture,” said Philip Uri Treisman, a professor of math and public affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, and the director of the university’s Charles A. Dana Center. “Last week, the Republican National Committee took a vote of no confidence [in the standards], and many people have raised concerns about the [two common-core testing consortia].”
“We as the math teaching profession need to assert our beliefs and theories about what children should learn and how they should learn it,” Treisman said during his address at NCTM’s April 17-20 conference. “There is a lot of beautiful stuff in the common core. The practice standards are exquisite. … So as we go out and think about our role, let’s start with the common core, make it work, refine it, and assert our role [in the next generation of it]. … But if the common-core collapses, it’s going to be a bad thing.”