Thursday, April 1, 2010

Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (University of Chicago) Response to the Common Core Standards Initiative

Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (University of Chicago) Response to the Common Core Standards Initiative.

On March 10, 2010 the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, Achieve, and other organizations issued draft Common Core Standards (CCS) for K-12 mathematics and reading. We at CEMSE have examined the mathematics standards for Grades K-6 and have found them to be seriously flawed.  If we are to have national standards, then those standards should be designed to prepare students for life in the 21st century. We believe that the proposed CCS standards for mathematics in Grades K-6 would promote a back-to-basics curriculum that ignores the profound changes that have taken place in the last 50 years. CCS’s largely paper-and-pencil approach to mathematics in K-6 is obsolete.  See the full report here.
We believe CCS’s K-6 mathematics standards have seven serious shortcomings:
  1. An overemphasis on paper-and-pencil arithmetic.
  2. Inadequate exposure to concepts of data and probability.
  3. A disregard of existing and emerging technology.
  4. An outmoded approach to geometry.
  5. A neglect of applications of mathematics.
  6. An interpretation of “focus” that ignores how people learn.
  7. An overemphasis on teaching by telling.

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