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Common Core Math: What is it? Why should we care?

The Common Core initiative was directed toward public K-12 students in the US.  In spite of public opinion, it was sponsored by the National Govenors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  The objective was to identify what students should know at the end of each grade level. It’s further designed to achieve two specific goals.

  • Prepare for credit-bearing courses at two- and four-year college programs.
  • Prepare for entering the 21st Century workforce.

Sounds good in theory.  So what’s the problem?  Let’s start with math.

In high school (grades 9 to 12), the standards do not specify which content is to be taught.  There are, however, 6 conceptual “categories” of content to be covered at the high school level.

  • Number and quantity
  • Algebra
  • Functions
  • Modeling
  • Geometry
  • Statistics and probability

So what does it mean?  States and local school boards dictate what happens in many high schools.  Yelling and complaining will not change things.

Collaboration will.

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