Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More US states consider revamping math standards

The New York Times has an interesting story today that follows up on a decision by the National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM) to release a set of new curricular guidelines for educators.

What's the fuss? “There’s increasing understanding that the math situation in the United States is a complete disaster,” according to R. James Milgram, a math professor at Stanford University. "The whole country has been in denial about mathematics, and now we’re sort of at a second Sputnik moment,” adds Washington state’s superintendent of public instruction, Terry Bergeson.

And states aren't just standing around wringing their hands while watching their students pour into Kumon classes. They're taking a look at states with strong math standards -- and expanding their search for ideas to countries like Singapore and South Korea.

UPDATE: "Donald and Antonia Chacon-Taylor, ages 10 and 9, may not be representative children for a story about math in public schools. Mom has a Ph.D. in physics. Dad has a Ph.D. in chemistry...." -- and neither believes their kids' school's Connected Math curriculum includes enough actual math. Read about what they're doing about it here (via the great education blog, Edspresso.com).


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