Common Core Math Writer’s Admission

4 out of 3 struggle

Back in 2013 I wrote about David Coleman’s Stunning Admission, the money quote:

One is we’re composed of that collection of unqualified people who were involved in developing the common standards.

As a reminder, David Coleman was the chief architect of the Common Core English-Language Arts and is now President and Chief Executive Officer of the College Board.

Now, we learn from educator Mercedes Schneider, the Common Core high school math standards were rushed. This is no surprise to those of us who have been raising awareness about the problems of CC but a public admission is worth sharing with readers, Common Core Math Writer: “Too Busy with K-8″ to Adequately Develop High School Math Standards:

Ujifusa writes about the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) high school math scores from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State. He notes that the results for high school math were below predictions– which were already lower than predictions for other SBAC tests– “suggesting that officials knew that high school math could prove particularly difficult for students.”

Now, here is the clincher: Ujifusa refers to another EdWeek piece written in February by Liana Heitin, entitled, “Common Core Seen Falling Short in High School Math.”

In Heitin’s February post, Common Core math work group member, University of California at Berkeley professor emeritus Hung-Hsi Wu– described by Heitin as “an adamant supporter of the standards”– told Heitin, “The amount of time given to the high school standards was definitely inadequate. We were so busy with K-8.”

Schneider goes on to state:

Anyone familiar with Common Core development knows that the anchor standards that were supposed to precede the full CC math– and provide the framework for full CC math– do not exist.

Recall the North Carolina connection to the validation committee. Prof. Jere Confrey of The William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation (Friday Institute), North Carolina State University’s College of Education served on the Common Core State Standards Initiative Validation Committee. Confrey has been attending the Academic Standards Review Commission meetings and took issue with Dr. James Milgram’s presentation to the ASRC. Milgram also served on the validation committee and refused to sign off on the final standards.

If you are in a rush:

In addition, the “sequence of topics and performances” that is outlined in a body of math standards must respect what is already known about how students learn. As Confrey (2007) points out, developing “sequenced obstacles and challenges for students…absent the insights about meaning that derive from careful study of learning, would be unfortunate and unwise.” Therefore, the development of the standards began with research-based learning progressions detailing what is known today about how students’ mathematical knowledge, skill, and understanding develop over time. The knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for mathematics in college, career, and life are woven throughout the mathematics standards. They do not include separate Anchor Standards like those used in the ELA/literacy standards. [Emphasis added.]

Missing CC math anchors taken care of. Just tell the public that math anchors aren’t needed. However, the two bolded sentences do not make sense as an excuse for missing CC math anchors. What they imply is that the knowledge and skills students need to be prepared for ELA in college, career, and life are not woven into the CC ELA standards, so that is why CC ELA has anchor standards.


Those two bolded statements represent nothing more than an after-the-fact, publicity-patchwork scheme– but perhaps not enough of a scheme to overcome the bad publicity of a CC math developer admitting that CC high school math was a rush job.

The ARSC meets again on Monday. Apparently, CC supporters will be speaking.  Attend if you can, continue providing them with your feedback. While a lot of attention has bee given to the problems in K-8 math standards, more focus is needed to highlight problems with CC high school math standards.


Laugh or Cry: Validation Cmte Member’s 4 Sentence Defense of Common Core

VIDEO: NC Common Core March #ASRC Meeting (Updated)

See Part 3 – Dr. James Milgram – NC ASRC Hearing
Dr. James Milgram was one of the original participants in the design of Common Core standards but resigned in disagreement over the final product which was neither rigorous nor tested sufficiently to determine their real value in the classroom. He speaks primarily about the Math standards in use across the globe and why some succeed where others fail.


This article was posted in Blog by NC Citizen on July 16, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

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