According to a report by TWC News, Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools (CMS) have altered the way they teach high school math. The TWC news report is actually very confusing — a lot like Common Core math itself.
Read this excerpt below and ask yourself, is the math now integrated or separated? Both?
Clark says teachers are getting ready to use a more integrated approach with new standards set by the state in June.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for our students this year,” said Rob Leichner, secondary math specialist for CMS.
Leichner is one of about two dozen educators across the state who helped create the new curriculum, and most of it, he says comes from feedback from students and teachers.
“We looked at every single one of those survey responses, about 800 survey responses, and incorporated those into the new standards that were written,” said Leichner.
So basically, students used to learn math in separate topics like Algebra I or Geometry.
But a few years ago, North Carolina adopted Common Core standards, which integrated the subjects over three levels: Math 1, 2 and 3.
Teachers say it’s been confusing because there was never a starting or stopping point for teaching certain concepts which overlapped each course.
So now, the new standards give them clear concepts and functions to teach at each level.
The article makes it sound like CMS came up with this on their own, but if you watch the video that accompanies the TWC article the video shows a flash of the General Assembly and says these are “new standards set by the state”.
That’s not really true.
These are not ‘new standards set by the state’. These are the same Common Core standards we adopted in 2010, only re-worded by the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) this past Spring.
Neither the report nor the video makes reference to the fact the legislature indeed tried to make a real change to high school math this past Spring. Senator Tillman was not fooled by DPI’s re-write attempts.
Various non-profits like Hope Street Group, DPI and Pro-Core teachers threw a fit when the legislature attempted to allow both Common Core math and Traditional math to be offered in high school via HB 657. The NC Chamber of Commerce also got in on the act.
As of the end of the short session at the legislature, this HB 657 stuck in committee, however it is doubtful that it will stay there this Fall.
Senator Jerry Tillman was the main author of SB 1061 which created a commission to review Common Core. The commission took 15 months to completed their work and in the end, scuttled their findings.
Back in February of this year, Tillman said he figured DPI was just going to make cosmetic changes, that it would still be Common Core in the end.
“I think they will make some changes for the sake of saying they did something,” Tillman said, referring to the Board of Education.
“If it’s just a revamp, if we don’t get away from Common Core – the legislation I wrote says we’re out of Common Core. If they don’t, we’re simply going to go back [and] get a bill done,” the senator said. He suggested it might be “a simpler, standalone bill that says we’ll do our own standards or you will adopt what the [Commission] draft report has said. We’re going to change the scene, especially in math.”
– Legislators Demand Action on Common Core 02/23/16
It appears Senator Tillman was right. Let’s hope he resumes the fight this Fall and extends the bill to elementary and middle school as well.
The TWC video includes a clip of a teacher Rob Leichner. The video doesn’t say much about him, but it’s worth nothing that Leichner is an active Teach for America alum and the Math Teacher and Department Chair at CMS.
In addition to that role, Mr. Leichner is very much a fan of Common Core. He authored an article at USNews.com titled, Common Core: Honoring the Societal Contract of Success through Education.
Related Reading from Stop Common Core NC :
- NC Parents: We Have A Bill To Offer Traditional Math. It’s Your Turn To Act.
- NC DPI Proceeds With First Coat of Lipstick On The Common Core Pig
- #NCGA Unfooled By Lipstick On The Common Core Pig [Updated]
- NC Parents: Have You Given Your Feedback On DPI’s Alleged Common Core Changes?
- NC DPI Conducting A Common Core Rebrand
Related Reading From A.P. Dillon / Lady Liberty 1885: