Last night at the Wasatch School Board meeting, they handed out a flier that explained the district’s Secondary Math Sequence.
First of all, let me just say that I like and appreciate all the teachers and principals in this little town. They are caring, hard-working, wonderful people and I can’t thank them enough for all they do.
But the Common Core has been pushed on us as if it were a mandate from on high. Local teachers and school boards have felt they had no choice but to accept it and love it. –Or, in the case of the secondary math sequence– work around it.
The way our district is planning to work around the dumbing down of the Common Core math system is to offer college classes as concurrent enrollment and AP classes, for seniors. Common Core doesn’t offer a fourth year of high school math. There is no calculus until college anymore.
Why? Ask Dr. James Milgram, who refused to sign off on the math standards when he served on the Common Core Validation Committee. http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2011/04/james-milgram-on-the-new-core-curriculum-standards-in-math/
Or Ask Ze’ev Wurman, a great mathematician whose career included working for the Dept. of Education. http://educationnext.org/the-battle-over-common-core-math-standards-will-a-larger-federal-role-help-or-hinder-curriculum-improvement/
How can anyone continue to call these standards high and rigorous? I’ll answer that question as Stanford professor Michael Kirst did: they have redefined the word “college readiness.” http://collegepuzzle.stanford.edu/?p=466 They’ve simply dumbed it down. Professor Kirst said, “the standards for college and career readiness are essentially the same. This implies the answer is yes to the question of whether the same standards are appropriate for 4 year universities, 2 year colleges, and technical colleges.”
And don’t get me started on the English! How can you mandate the limitation of time allowed to be spent on classic literature in an English class –and call it improving standards?! It is a form of book burning, the mandate that under Common Core we HAVE TO teach informational texts in English and cannot choose for ourselves whether we want to or not! And this will all be on the nationalized test in 2014. So teachers will be threatened with losing their livelihoods if they don’t teach to the Common Core test and have students do well on it.