May 26, 2016

THANKS, JEB!:

Texas' Math Standards Look Suspiciously Familiar (Sarah Garland, 5/26/16, Slate)

The Texas standards aren't the same as the Common Core State Standards Initiative, adopted by more than 40 states. It's actually illegal to teach Common Core in Texas.

But even in a state that said an emphatic "No!" to Common Core, the new math standards here are pretty similar to the standards the state rejected, experts say. Across the Lone Star State, as in the rest of the nation, number lines are replacing pizzas in lessons about fractions and lectures are losing out to rambunctious lessons in which kids seem to run the show.

And more teachers here are overhauling math class so that it's not just about getting answers right or wrong; it's about the joy and challenge of hunting for a solution, whether or not students find it on the first try.

"Really that's what I was going for. Not that they would get it. That if this is too heavy, I need to find something lighter," Demore said later about the lesson. "The idea of looking, of inquiring, of trying. The idea of the journey. It may or may not lead to a right answer, but it will certainly lead to better thinking and reasoning. And that's one of the things they need to get to."

That idea reflects a consensus across the U.S. and is the reason math classes everywhere are starting to look more alike, even in schools untouched by the Common Core.

"There is a much greater research base about how children learn ... mathematical functions than existed 20, 30 years ago," said Mark Ellis, a professor of math education at California State University-Fullerton. "The overall picture of what mathematics looks like is converging on this idea that it's not the teacher standing there for 30 minutes, then giving you 20 problems to replicate the algorithm."

They can call it whatever they want as long as they impose it universally.

Posted by at May 26, 2016 6:47 PM

  

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