Under the Dome

NC Commission’s math recommendations draw divergent reactions

Jenna Darby uses her number line to share her views on a math problem in Dana Snapp's class at Fuquay-Varina Elementary School. Students there have been using Common Core Math for the past four years. School administrators say it is working for both the students and teachers, while some parents are looking to get rid of it. Rene Herrick, teacher leadership specialist in mathematics at the school, not seen, says the system is important to keep in place.
Jenna Darby uses her number line to share her views on a math problem in Dana Snapp's class at Fuquay-Varina Elementary School. Students there have been using Common Core Math for the past four years. School administrators say it is working for both the students and teachers, while some parents are looking to get rid of it. Rene Herrick, teacher leadership specialist in mathematics at the school, not seen, says the system is important to keep in place. clowenst@newsobserver.com

A state commission’s decision to not support specific recommendations for replacing the Common Core math standards is drawing praise from a business-backed group and anger from conservatives.

The Academic Standards Review Commission voted Friday to support a rewrite of the math standards, but rejected a recommendation to replace them in the lower grades with the standards used in Minnesota. The commission also didn’t recommend reverting back to the discrete geometry and algebra courses used in high schools before Common Core led to the switch to integrated math courses.

Instead, the commission expanded the language arts recommendations to say any new math standards for North Carolina’s public schools should focus on:

▪ established theories of childhood learning and development;

▪ content-specific learning tasks;

▪ attention to scope and sequence;

▪ precisely-worded statements containing a minimum of learning tasks;

▪ grade-level, rather than "banded," standards;

▪ age-appropriate rigor; and

▪ defined levels of student mastery.

In the Wake Education Partnership’s WakeEdge newsletter on Monday, the group said it’s “pleased with the ASRC final recommendations.”

“We believe the recommendations will preserve rigorous academic standards for students, provide stability and professional development for North Carolina's educators, and help educators and those who support them best align assessments,” WakeEd said.

Before last week’s vote, the Wake Ed Partnership had been urging people to lobby the commission to not recommend switching to Minnesota’s standards. WakeEd is heavily involved in supporting the Wake County school system.

In contrast to WakeEd’s praise of the commission’s actions, Andrea Dillon wrote Monday for the conservative Civitas Institute that the General Assembly should not accept the recommendations.

“The commission had just taken a dive and caved to pressure from outside groups and education officials,” Dillon wrote. “To be frank, it really appeared that those voting down the math standards had ignored the research done by the math group and had chosen to stand by Common Core instead of North Carolina’s children.”

  Comments