Minority Report

Math Work Group
John T. Scheick
Joseph Cima
Julie Schilawski
Jan Stewart
Judy Quick
Kathy Young

Table of Contents
Executive Summary
I. K-8 Analysis
Quantitative Analysis
Qualitative Analysis and other problems
Comparison of NC, MN, VA K-8 math standards
K-8 Recommendations


II. High school analysis
Analysis, Discussion, Recommendations


III. Focus Groups of teachers


IV. Other Comments
Links of interest
Questionnaire for K-8
NMAP benchmarks for K-8
NMAP major topics of algebra grades 9-11
Math Work Group members: qualifications and experience
Examples of K-8 math standards from NC and MN

Executive Summary
The math work group (MWG) developed criteria on which to rate the NC K-8 standards.
These were prompted by SB812 and thoughts expressed in the ASRC and MWG. The main
issues used by the MWG to evaluate the current NC standards are:
1 Need substantial editing (too wordy, typos, math errors, etc.)
2 Are not clear to parents.
3 Are not age appropriate in skills and content.
4 The teacher has little flexibility in choice of teaching methods
5 Are too elaborate or complicated.
6 "Models" are over emphasized at the expense of standard algorithms.
7 Allow efficient conversion to instruction.
The MWG studied the NC standards and the standards of all other non-common Core states.
In addition the MWG examined the pre-common core standards of Massachusetts, and the
standards of Finland and Singapore.
The MWG also considered the results of the ASRC teacher surveys, focus groups of teachers,
individual testimony from parents and the experience of working with common core by three
members of the work group.
Also used for rating NC's standards were the NMAP K-8 benchmarks and topics list for high
school. The NMAP was formed to evaluate what is required to make the U.S. competitive in K12 mathematics and issued its report in 2008.
The K-8 and high school standards were studied separately due to their distinctive nature.
Findings for K-8
After reading and discussing every standard, the MWG found the following issues from the
preceding list. These issues were confirmed by the teacher survey and independent feedback
from teachers and parents.
1 Need substantial editing (too wordy, typos, math errors, etc.)
2 Are not clear to parents.
3 Are not age appropriate in skills and content.
5 Are too elaborate or complicated.
Additionally, the MWG found issue 6 (above) to be of concern, but the teachers did not
include it as a concern.
In addition, the MWG found the following problems in the standards that further indicate the
need for a change.
1 Many typographical errors, undefined terms and a few mathematically incorrect statements.
2 A list of omitted topics and topics which needed more class time.
3 Fractions, probability and statistics, congruence and similarity are poorly treated.
4 Lack of texts and instructional material create nontrivial problems for teachers and parents.
5 The NC standard do not meet the NMAP guidelines.
Aside from the above problems and issues, the MWG determined that
6 The Minnesota K-8 standards are exemplary.
The MWG reached a consensus, concluding that none of the aforementioned issues and
problems are found in the Minnesota Standards.
Recommendations for K-8
The MWG recommends that either the Minnesota K-8 standards be adopted or that they be
modified to meet the needs of North Carolina while insuring the NMAP benchmarks are

The Minnesota standards are public domain so there is no cost. If modification is done, then
the committee doing so should be independent and not have ties to common core. Tweaking
Minnesota's standards will be considerably more cost effective than modifying the current NC
standards due to the large number of problems mentioned above.
Findings for high school
1 There is a huge number of identical standards repeated through all three years.
As a result, individual LEA's and schools interpret what to teach which destroys the idea of a
unified set of standard across the state.
2 There are many gaps in the standards. These are topics which are not specified by the
standards but must be covered by the teacher as prerequisites.
3 The flow of topics is fragmented and not truly integrated.
4 There are many missing topics previously taught in Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II..
5 Not all the topics recommended by NMAP are included in the NC standards..
6 There are no benchmarks that provide specific times when specific topics and skills are to be
7 There are no texts which creates problems and frustrations for teachers and parents.
Recommendation for high school
The MWG recommends that the high school standards should return to a sequence of Algebra
I, Geometry, Algebra II. It is possible to integrate material in these courses.
The MWG also recommends that more training for teachers in the specific topics of the high
school curriculum as well as how to implement critical thinking into instruction. Critical thinking
is an instructional tool that should be included regardless of the prescribed curriculum.
Executive Summary Discussion
Clarity and conciseness are missing
Many standards are not clear to parents or teachers
Many standards contain too much material
Many standards are excessively verbose
Many standards have age inappropriate material
Many teachers do not have time to cover all the standards
Poorly done topics
Fractions: Common Core stresses "modeling" and standard algebraic laws for adding,
subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions are not listed as being taught.
Statistics is made overcomplicated by difficult calculations without getting at essential points.
See the full report for examples.
Congruence by Rigid Motions: Common Core omits standard methods and requires too
many teaching days to cover all the sub-topics
Visual models of math and alternate methods of calculation
Overused and made excessively complex.
Skill development should not stop with these methods.
Parents, our partners in education, don't understand and cannot help their children.
Many teachers refuse to let students use what their parents taught them.
These methods are useful in teaching comprehension, but they are virtually for efficient
calculation useless in later math in high school and college.
Some teachers tell parents they know best, destroying parent teacher cooperation.


Lack of texts
Parents do not know what their children are studying
Parents are not informed about the new teaching methods ("models and alternate methods of
Some parents cannot afford an internet connection and cannot search the web.
Teachers must surf the web for material.
Teachers do not have the resources to disseminate what they found on the web to other
teachers or parents.
High School
1 Repeated standards:
In Math I and II, there are 8 repeated categories of standards which contain 23 common
standards. In Math I and III there are 8 repeated categories which contain 24 common standards.
In Math II and III there are 10 repeated categories which contain 29 common standards. The
common standards are identical except for about 3-5 which have different subsections A table of
these is given in the math work group's minority report. This repetition of standards creates
confusion as to what is taught when as well as inconsistencies in curriculum across NC which is
counter-productive to the goal of "All students are taught the same material."
2 Gaps in the standards:
Several topics are listed in the standards which need prerequisite material, but there is no
mention of that material. The teacher either skips this material, making the standards "an inch
deep and a mile wide" or the teacher fills in the material and then cannot cover all of the
1. Logarithms are plotted in Math I, but their properties are not taught.
2. The laws of exponents are not taught, but are necessary for grasping the properties of
3. Missing or slighted topics previously found in the high school standards:
Properties and algebra of radicals is missing, causing an absence of prerequisite skills for
Logic, deductive reasoning, formal proof and indirect proof beyond glossing are missing.
This is a serious shortfall for those going to college.
Factoring is slighted. Little emphasis is given to basic factoring patterns. Overemphasis of
models creates students who cannot multiply polynomials or factor them without drawing boxes.
The box drawing is a time consuming method taught as an algorithm of prescribed steps.
Probability is poorly done. Set theory is only briefly mentioned with no time for study.
Counting principles, essential for basic probability are missing. Compound events are slighted.
4. The NMAP list of desirable high school topics are not fully included.
5 The standard are a collection of pet topics pasted together.
In Education Week 2/15/15 Prof. William G. McCallum, a math professor and one of the lead
writers of Common Core, said of the writing of the high school math standards: "Everybody had
their pet topic. But all those topics, they're all good things to learn. High school was hard. The
whole exercise was trying to bring people together to agree on things." In the same article, math
professor Hung-Hsi Wu, who served on the development team, said "The amount of time given to
the high school standards was definitely inadequate. We were so busy with K-8."
Details and complete discussions behind the findings and recommendations are to be found
the rest of this document.

There are several important goals in math teaching. One is that the student understands and
masters the material. Another is that the students learn to enjoy solving problems. This means
teachers and tests must build on success, not failure and frustration. A third central goal of math
teaching is for students to master and understand the standard algorithms and rules of algebra
since they are foundational. A fourth is the ability to make quick calculations and numerical
estimates without pencil and paper. Students should gain a "number sense" to see if answers are
What are math standards? What should they be?
They should specify the topics (content), the knowledge and the skills to be mastered. These
cannot be separated in math since mathematics is extremely diversified the topics it treats. They
should specify benchmarks which are grade level specific for the various skills, knowledge and
topics that are to be mastered. Standards should allow teacher flexibility and discretion in the
choice of teaching methods since the standards are not pedagogy. Distinction must exist between
curriculum, standards and instructional strategies. In addition, they should be clear to the general
public and teachers as a matter of transparency. Without clear standards, there is little hope for
guaranteeing that all children, regardless of their situation, receive the mathematics necessary to
succeed in future studies as well as in future careers.
It is very difficult to measure "understanding"; consequently the MWG focused on the need
for standards that reflect the skills and topics that can be mastered and measured.
The National Mathematics Advisory Panel (NMAP) was created in April 2006 and published
their final report in March 2008. The panel was composed of 17 highly credentialed experts from
many fields and 5 ex officio members. The panel studied all aspects of teaching, learning and
testing. They say: "The need for action is clear. To gain an edge in the 21st century global
economy, America's high school graduates need solid math skills, whether proceeding to college
or going into the workforce. The rest of the world is "gathering strength" and forcing us to catch
up." Their work carries significant weight in our recommendations.
The NMAP final report contains K-8 benchmarks as well as a listing of the major topics
recommended for high school. These benchmarks and the high school topics are essential for
world competitive mathematics instruction. The report can be found here:
The experience and qualifications of the mathematics MWG are given in the appendix.
Senate Bill 812 charges the ASRC to propose modifications to the state mathematics standards
that will
a) Increase students' levels of achievement
b) Meet and reflect North Carolina's priorities
c) Are age level and developmentally appropriate
d) Are understandable to parents and teachers
e) Are among the highest in the nation.
In addition, the ASRC would like to make standards that
f) allow for greater teacher flexibility.
Due to numerous parental complaints, the MWG investigated whether
g) "models" are emphasized at the expense of standard (computational) algorithms.
In the DPI survey of K-8 teachers, there were numerous complaints of "too many standards"
or "too much material to cover properly in the time allowed" so this was added to the list of
concerns for examination. Due to numerous typos, overly complicated standards, errors and
undefined terms, the MWG included this concern in its examination.


The MWG has had no input on item b) and will not study it. It will be assumed that item e)
means that the North Carolina math standards meets the NMAP guidelines for the mastery of K-8
mathematics skills mastery. Common Core does not meet these guidelines so if North Carolina
does meet them, it will be a leader, a goal set by SB 812. The only state whose standards meets
the NMAP guidelines for K-8 is Minnesota which is a strong reason for the MWG's
The MWG decided to analyze the K-8 and high school standards separately due to the vast
differences in the nature of the respective standards., which will be evident in this review. First
K-8 will be analyzed. Next the MWG compares CCSS (NC) with two non-CCSS states,
Minnesota and Virginia. Finally, the MWG will discuss the high school standards.
A Quantitative analysis
The MWG made a rating instrument for evaluating the above issues for K-8 which is located
in the appendix titled "questionnaire." Each person filled out this questionnaire. Then the MWG
did three tasks:
1. Examine which grades seemed to have problematic standards,
2. In all grades, determine which standards were the most problematic,
3. Determine the nature of the problems with these problematic standards.
The results for the first task are as follows.
Summary of grade by grade study for K-8 (See Table 1).
Items to be scored:
1, Need substantial improvement pedagogically.
2. Need substantial editing (too wordy, typos, math errors, etc.)
3. Are clear to parents.
4. Are age appropriate in skills and content.
5. The teacher has flexibility in choice of teaching methods
6. There is too much material to study in one term (too many standards).
7. Are too elaborate or complicated.
8. "Models" are over emphasized at the expense of standard algorithms.
9. Allow efficient conversion to instruction.
Scores used: 1= strongly disagree, 2= disagree, 3=neutral,, 4=agree, 5= strongly agree.
Results: There are 6 members in the MWG. The scores were added and the largest score possible
is 30 while the smallest is 6. If the result was at least 22 Many strongly agree/agree), there is a
"yes" below. If the result was 14 or less (many strongly disagree/disagree) there is a "no." Due
to the wording of the items, a yes or a no means that problem with standards in that grade was




Table 1 Grades with troublesome standards









Thus, items 3 and 2 seem to be the most troublesome, with 1 and 8 next.
Proceeding to the 2nd task, determining which standards are problematic, the MWG
proceeded as follows: From the results of the questionnaire and the DPI survey of teachers, the
MWG selected the individual standards that seemed the most problematic. They are listed here.
Table 2

1, 2
1, 2
1, 2

Grade 3
3OA3 1
3OA5 2
30A8 1, 2
3MD2 1
3MD3 1
3MD5 1
3MD7 1, 2
3MD8 1

Grade 1


Grade 2
2NBT7 1, 2
2MD5 1

Grade 4
4OA2 1
4OA3 1, 2
4NBT5 1, 2
4NBT6 1
4NF3 2
4NF4 2
4NF5 1
4MD1 1, 2
4MD2 2
4MD4 2
4MD5 1
4MD7 1

Problematic standards
Grade 5
50A2 1
5NBT6 2
5NBT7 1, 2
5NF1 1
5NF4 1
5NF5 1, 2
5NF6 1
5NF7 2
5MD4 1

Grade 7
7RP2 1, 2
7NS1 1, 2
7NS2 1
7EE4 1
7SP3 1, 2
7SP4 1
7SP5 1
7SP6 1
7SP7 1
7SP8 1

Grade 6

Grade 8
8NS2 2
8EE8 2
8SP1 1
8SP2 1
8SP3 1
8SP4 1


1, 2
1, 2


1, 2

Criteria 1, 2 mean the following:
1. At least 4 people on the MWG had some problem with the standard.
2. The teacher ratings in the DPI survey were 1 sigma above the mean and
at least 2 people on the MWG had some problem with the standard.

Finally, the 4 people with considerable experience in teaching K-12 were asked to identify
what the problems were for each of the problematic standards. A new list of issues (problems)
was constructed by the subgroup which is similar to the items in the questionnaire but where a
"yes" meant that the issue was seen as a problem. This was done to simplify the grading.
A summary of the results is in the next table: Table 3: "Problematic standards and their
Issues 1- 7:
1. needs editing
2. not clear to parents
3. not age appropriate


4. no teacher flexibility
5. elaborate or complicated
6. models overemphasized

7. no efficient conversion to instruction

Table 3
Issues of problematic standards
1,2,3,5,6,7 5NF6
1,2,3,5,6,7 6NS1

The frequency distribution is:










It is clear that issues 1, 2 and 5 presented the most problems and issue 3 was at an
intermediate level of importance.
Comparison with ASRC survey for k-8 teachers
There were 554 responses to the ASRC questionnaire, a small fraction of NC teachers in K-8.
For the questions in Table 1, three items stand out as most frequently cited as problems by the
MWG. These are items 3) clear to parents, 2) needs substantial editing and to a lesser extent 1)
needs improvement pedagogically. In the survey, 46.3% said there was lack of clarity, which
corresponds to 3) and 2) and perhaps 1). The items 4, 5, 8 and 9 were not seen as significant
problems by the teachers. The MWG agreed on 4, 5, 9 but saw some trouble with 8 (models
overemphasized at the expense of standard algorithms).

For the questions in Table 3, 4 items had significantly higher incidence, namely 1) Needs
editing, 2) unclear to parents, 5) elaborate or complicated and to a lesser degree 3) not age
appropriate. In the survey, 46.3% said there was a lack of clarity which corresponds to 1), 2).
58.7% of teachers indicated there were multiple tasks in one standard, which correspond roughly
to 5). 56.5% said developmental appropriateness was a problem, which is more emphatic than
the opinion of the MWG. The other items in Table 3 were seen as non issues by the respondents
and MWG.
It is important to note that there is significant agreement between the MWG and the teacher
B. Qualitative analysis and other problems
In the examination of the NC standards, the MWG found a variety of other problems. The
MWG also accumulated a list of topics omitted by CCSS (math) but which the MWG believes
should be integrated into the standards. Details for this and additional topics for addition are
available upon request. the MWG has also listed topics that require more instructional time in the
classroom in order for the prerequisites to be mastered.
K-8 Topics omitted by Common Core
tally marks
Roman numerals
calendar, days of the week, months, seasons
ordinal numbers
pie charts
prime factorization
perfect squares
geometric sequences.
Venn diagrams, basic set operations
Odds (in probability)
understanding of calculator output in the grade in which they are first allowed.
More work should be included on the following K-8 topics
money counting and making change
measurements and conversions in U.S. standard units.
elapsed time
reading and writing numbers in words
multiplication and division of larger numbers
patterns and sets
Typos (T), Undefined Terms (U) and Math Errors (M)
U angle
3NF3d M (see also 4NF2,4NF7, 5NF2) "Recognize that comparisons are valid only when the
two fractions refer to same whole" Fractions are rational numbers which are derived form Peano
Axioms, no "whole" is involved. The authors confuse "a fraction a/b of the whole (= x)", which
is (a/b)*x with the fraction a/b. Thus the sentence is mathematically incorrect. It is especially
ironic since 3NF2a makes a point of saying that a fraction is a number. Use mathematically
correct terminology.
3MD2 U standard units (the metric system is not standard in the U.S.)
U unit fraction
4OA3 U remainder
5OA3 U coordinate plane
5NBT7 U written method (also in later standards)


7RF1 M
7NS1a M
7SP2 U
7SP8 U
7SP8 U
8EE4 U
8EE6 U
8NS2 T

unit squares don't have fractional side lengths
ratio; the notation is also omitted
unit rate
equivalent ratios
rational number
V = s3, A = 6s2
d = 65t What is the speed? What are the units?
unit cubes don't have fractional side lengths
V=b, h on next line, not V=bh
(1/2)/(1/4) is not a complex number a + bi. (this is in several others too)
opposite and equal charge
simulated sample
sample space
scientific notation
similar triangle

Topics that are poorly constructed
The basic algebraic laws for adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions are not
taught. Rather "visual models" are used throughout for computations. Only after the answer has
been obtained by a visual model is an equation written. The brightest students who discover the
rules are theoretically allowed to use them on a test, but many teachers do not adhere to this DPI
recommendation. There is no good pedagogically sound reason not to teach all students the rules
for computing with fractions. The ultimate goal should be that all expedient calculations with
fractions should be done using accurate and efficient methods. Models can certainly enhance
student understanding, but they should not be the only means to the end. Additionally, stopping
to create a model to perform basic operations on fractions does not prepare students for high
school or college. In high school students will need to manipulate fractions quickly, for example
to put 3/x + 4/y over a common denominator. It also appears that some of the visual models for
fractions are complicated and not obvious, specifically those involving multiplication and
division. Prior to the end of elementary school, students should easily perform basic operations
with fractions with recourse to models or a calculator.
Functions in 8th grade:
Students are asked to understand functions on a very technical level. This should be moved
to high school when students are more developmentally able to handle abstractions and
technicalities. In 8th grade it is enough to teach kids the idea of independent and dependent
variables and substitution in an expression. If the idea of a function is to be kept, it should be
simplified to "each input leads to one output" and the advanced examples omitted. That is all that
is needed at this point without all the technical terms and busy work.
Probability and Statistics are poorly done in grades 6-8.
The Common Core Standards make the work too complicated, technical and obscure. It is
often hard to see what the students are supposed to learn, and the standards gloss over many
nuances and important ideas. The work done in grades 6-8 should be kept simple, and
comprehensible and the more detailed work moved to high school.

A large problem is that statistics and probability contain many subtleties, many possible
situations, and many ramifications. It is not clear how much students can absorb at such an early
age. It is worthwhile for K-8 students to learn some ideas, but the presentation must be kept
simple, accurate and age appropriate. Additionally, the time allotted for probability and statistics
can be better spent in moving students toward mastery of basic operations with fractions and
decimals as well as applications.
This means the topics " Mean Average Deviation" (MAD), Interquartile Range (IQR) and
Box plots should be omitted. "Mean Average Deviation" is hard to calculate and is not used in
outside of CCSS. (It has no statistical meaning whereas the standard deviation does). IQR
requires students to memorize four cases for computing it and box plots depend on IQR so it is
too complicated and advanced for K-8. As a measure of the "variation" of the data, min and max
(range) and plots such as dot plots, pie charts or histograms tell the story well and are more age
Sampling a large population to get an idea of its statistical or probabilistic features is often
required in grade 7. There no discussion at all on the number of samples needed. Perhaps the
authors intended that the students find this out by experiment, but if so, the experiments used are
very inadequate. The authors don't seem to realize that it usually takes a large number of sample
points and confidence intervals are needed to make a precise statement.
"Simulation" is often mentioned, and it is never described as it should be. Usually it is done
on a computer, and it is obscure what the authors have in mind.
7.SP.8 appears to be useless. There is no work with probabilities for compound data which
require conditional probabilities. The authors don't know that simple counting techniques can fail
to give the right answer for the number of outcomes in a sample space of a compound event. At
this level, there is no need for more than tree diagrams to represent compound events. Part c) is
unrelated to parts a), b). Discard this standard.
The statistics in grade 8 are much simpler and are not at the same level of difficulty as those
done in grade 7.
Congruence and similarity
These should be done using the standard Euclidean methods of former geometry courses, and
not exclusively taught through rigid motions (translations, rotations, reflections) and dilations.
While amusing and instructive, this approach is college level work, and cannot be used for proof
at this level. The MWG does not doubt that students can learn something; our concern lies in the
amount of time required to teach rigid motions and dilations at the rigor it can be taught. The
average student is too young for the abstractions of these topics. Anything beyond a puzzle
approach of sliding, rotating and flipping figures would be beyond the typical student's
Equivalence of expressions
The definition used in CCSSM (6EE4) is "when the two expressions name the same number
regardless of which value is substituted into them." The authors are essentially defining equality
of functions. The definition should be "two expressions are equivalent when one can be derived
from the other by valid mathematical operations." This is a true equivalence relation, and it
immediately follows that the expressions must yield the same values when numbers are plugged
in for variables.
Use of "models" and "alternative calculations" are overdone.
Models are visual representation of math. Alternative calculations use regrouping to
accomplish a calculation.
The focus of K-8 instruction should be to develop the basic math skills and understanding
needed for high school, technical schools and college. It is good to understand concepts, but the

goal should be rapid and accurate computation not only of working with arithmetic, fractions and
exponents, but in manipulating expressions and equations properly without dependence on a
calculator. Math proceeds by stages, and one cannot do a later stage without a firm grasp of the
earlier stages.
Visual models are an excellent way of explaining concepts and can be effective in teaching
the standard rules of arithmetic as long as they are simple and to the point. They are also
sometimes useful for easy mental calculations. Alternative calculations are most useful for
simple problems and making estimates. Learning should not stop with these techniques.
Requiring a student to know numerous models or to master difficult models can be frustrating
to the student, especially in the early grades. Memorizing recipes for modeling is not superior to
memorizing standard algorithms. Both of approaches have been around a long time, and nothing
prevents a good teacher from using them for instruction. The MWG thinks that teachers should
have flexibility to use these methods as needed and to use them judiciously. Singapore, a global
leader in math education, makes extensive use of models, however, there are three striking
differences with CCSSM. One is that some of the models used in Singapore are "hands on"
manipulatives that make the models more personal. Another difference is that the number of
"models" is limited, avoiding student overload. The last important difference is that the "models"
are used to get to the standard algorithms quickly.These three differences are significant.
Excessive use of models or overly complicated alternate methods of calculation are
detrimental to the attainment of speed and accuracy in standard calculations since they are
inherently inefficient for more complicated problems,. It appears from numerous published
examples and complaints from parents that some teachers are making the computations with
models and alternative methods into monstrously complex exercises. One parent even called the
homework sent home as "arcane." In addition, these teachers require a student to master them in
opposition to the DPI policy of letting the child use any method he or she knows.
Educators emphasize the importance of the home and school partnership. Parents should be
able to help their children, especially in the early grades. Such a child is fortunate and will do
well in school. Difficult or arcane models or methods thwart this partnership.
The Wall Street Journal published an article which provides an excellent exeellent example of
the disconnect between the school and home. In it a Ph.D. mathematician of good repute
attempted to help her grandson with math.
Maria Ratner, "Making Math Education Even Worse", WSJ 8/5/14.
Further, some of these "models" are complicated and not intuitively obvious. For example,
the pictures showing how to divide fractions are especially obscure. Requiring a child to master
them, perhaps by memorization, does not seem to be an advantage over mastery of the standard
algorithms or arithmetic rules. In addition, some children can be overwhelmed by having to learn
several of these. The time required for a student to use a complicated model will be prohibitive in
later grades, life and college.
No test should require the use of specific visual artifacts or alternate methods of calculation
since the most important goal is mastery of the standard algorithms and arithmetic rules. The DPI
assures us that a child may use any method to solve problems, but reports of teachers insisting on
mastery of the "models" are not uncommon. Mastering (memorizing?) a difficult model is no
easier for the student than memorizing a simple rule. Modeling should be used as an instructional
tool that leads to better understanding of conventional methods. It mus never be taught to the
exclusion of standard computational algorithms that are inherently more efficient and which are
necessary for future mathematics.


Lack of textbooks
There are no textbooks for the Common Core standards K-12. This presents two problems.
First, teachers must create their own lesson plans from scratch or scramble to get ideas for them
from a variety of other sources. Each LEA has produced lesson plans, often differing in
interpretations of the standards as well as the level of difficulty. This is counter to the state's goal
of providing an equal educations for all children. The need to create 180 new math lessons has
been an onerous burden for teachers when CCSSM was suddenly implemented. Additionally,
"unpackng documents" became necessary for teachers to understand the standards. Parents wiho
have no access to the unpacking documents will struggle when trying to help their children or
understand the standards. Standards should not require an unpacking document as they should be
clear, a point of emphasis in SB812
The second problem evolves from the CCSSM pedagogy which overemphasizes models. Of
additional importance is the considerable infringement of CCSSM into the area of instruction
rather than focusing on standards. New teaching methods are important, however those
conscientious parents who would like to help their child learn cannot understand these new
methods since there is no text book to explain them and all the parents see is some arcane
worksheets sent home with their children. Even some parents and grandparents with a Ph.D in
mathematics can find it difficult to sort out the new instructional goals and methodology. This
dismays and infuriates responsible parents as they attempt to help their children who did not
understand the explanations given in class.
In the ASRC survey of teachers, 60.4% complained about the lack of texts or instructional
C. Comparison of North Carolina, Minnesota and Virginia K-8 Math standards
The MWG looked at math standards from all states not currently using CCSSM: Virginia,
Minnesota, Texas, and Nebraska. The MWG also looked at standards from Massachusetts (pre
CCSS), Singapore and Finland, all of which had exceptionally good reputations for math
education. The MWG selected Virginia (copyright 2/2/2009) because it was specifically written
to allow teacher flexibility in teaching and Minnesota (2007 no copyright) because it met the
NMAP guidelines for mastery of basic topics. Both were preferable to the Nebraska and Texas
standards. The old Massachusetts standards grouped two grades at a time, and so does Finland's
so they was not directly comparable. Singapore has different tracks of students of different
abilities which is not possible in the U.S.
There are common attributes to Minnesota's and Virginia's sets of standards which contrast
sharply with CCSSM and include some of the MWG's concerns. These are:
1. They are concise and to the point,
2. Patterns are more consistently taught through all the grades,
3. Statistics and probability are done in an age appropriate way,
4. Prime factorization is included.
5. There is emphasis on number facts and measurable (testable) mastery as opposed to
CCSSM's "know" or "understand."
6. Both allow the teacher considerable flexibility in teaching.
Yet there are differences. The Minnesota standards are clear and provide examples of what is
to be taught and so require no "Curriculum Frameworks" (a.k.a "unpacking") Virginia's
standards are stated in a more general way and so Virginia provides lengthy "Curriculum
Frameworks" for each grade K-8. These clarify what is to be done in the classroom, give
examples and provide definitions for teachers.

Minnesota meets the NMAP guidelines while CCSSM does not. Because Virginia's
standards are so general and vague, it is not possible at this time to determine whether or not
Virginia meets the NMAP guidelines
The vagueness of the Virginia standards and lack of examples also means that parents do not
have knowledge of exactly what happens in the classroom. Parents are prohibited from looking
at the Curriculum Frameworks which explain what is happening in the classroom.
Minnesota uses fewer "models" (visual representations of math) than CCSSM and identifies
them. Large numbers of complicated :models" are not encouraged in Minnesota's standards while
emphasis on the use of these models is a common complaint regarding CCSSM.
Minnesota's standards are clear, concise and fine grained, whereas CCSSM (North Carolina
version), contains many typos, undefined terms, confusing terms, some verbose and elaborately
worded standards and some poorly done complicated standards. See the initial analysis and
discussion of the statistics standards. A few examples of Minnesota's and CCSSM standards are
in the appendix.
Virginia recommends certain textbooks for K-8 while Minnesota allows each LEA to choose
the textbooks for its region.

D K-8 Recommendations
The common core standards have many problems as demonstrated in the first part of this
In order for North Carolina to be "best in the nation and world class", its standards must
satisfy the NMAP guidelines as well as correcting the deficiencies of common core.
The MWG recommends that NC adopt or revise the Minnesota K-8 math standards to meet
the needs of NC while insuring that the NMAP benchmarks are incorporated.
The Minnesota standards meet the NMAP benchmarks as well as having many other virtues
which have previously been described. Minnesota allows each LEA to choose its own text books.
Of significant note, Minnesota students perform well on national tests. On the 2013 National
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests, Minnesota ranked first in 4th grade and 3rd in
8th grade scores. In 2015, Minnesota placed a very close second in these tests. NAEP tests a
sample of students nationwide in 4th and 8th grades every two years to find out how well the
students in each state perform in math and other subjects. All states participate, creating a
national norm so that one can compare educational outcomes.
Adopting the Minnesota standards is free since they are in the public domain. Adapting
Minnesota's standards would be less expensive and less time consuming than revising the current
If the Minnesota standards are revised, the MWG recommends that the group doing the
revision include a developmental child psychologist, one or two university mathematics faculty
who regularly teach undergraduates, and a number of experienced teachers from North Carolina
schools It should be open and transparent. The group should be selected to be independent of
bias in favor of Common Core and there should be no one in the group who could gain
financially from the continuation of common core. It is important to have college faculty due to
the high number of college students who need remedial math.

As the high school standards were researched, the MWG concluded they are seriously
deficient and flawed. For example, the same standards appear multiple times in Math I, II and III.
In Math I and II, there are 8 repeated categories of standards which contain 23 common
standards. In Math I an III there are 8 repeated categories which contain 24 common standards.
In Math II and III there are 10 repeated categories which contain 29 common standards. The
common standards are identical, except for about 3-5 which have different subsections The
results are in Table 4.
Table 4
High School standards by category and number by grade and overlap

Math I standard
1 3 5 6 10 11 12
GGPE 4 5 6 7
GGMD 1 3

Math II standard
1 2 4 7 10 11
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 13
1 6 7 8 9 11

Math III standard
1 2 4 10 11
1 9 10 11 12


There are five strands, and here is the number of distinct standards in each:
Table 5
Number and



Statistics and

This repetition of standards creates confusion about specific content and in the level of
difficulty from course to course. This confusion applies equally to parents and teachers.
Teachers can no longer know what to teach in the earlier courses nor what has been taught in the
preceding courses. Equally concerning is the differing interpretations among LEA's.
Contributing to the difficulty for a teacher in making a lesson plan and for parents to
understand the standards, the high school standards are often general and vague. A glaring defect

is the extremely few examples in the high school standards to guide the teacher as to the level and
nature of the instruction. There are virtually no "real world" examples in the high school
standards while there are numerous examples including "real world" problems in the K-8
standards. The writing style is starkly different than that used in K-8. Those standards are often
long or verbose, often apparently prescriptive.
A good bit of information about why the high school standards have such problems is found
in Education Week 2/25/15. In this article Prof. William G. McCallum, a math professor and one
of the lead writers of Common Core said of the writing of the high school math standards:
"Everybody had their pet topic. But all those topics, they're all good things to learn. High school
was hard. The whole exercise was trying to bring people together to agree on things." In the
same article, math professor Hung-Hsi Wu, who served on the development team said "The
amount of time given to the high school standards was definitely inadequate. We were so busy
with K-8."
These statements about Math I, II, III support the conjecture that the standards were written
in some kind of outline form and then chopped up into pieces to fill out three courses. It is not
clear from the standards that they are integrated in the usual sense of the word, which means to
combine and unify. The synergy between the topics is hard to detect. In fact, the standards are
taught in the order given in Table 5 which does not seem to indicate "integration" of the course
material. It is hard to see how the high school Common Core standards are actually workable
standards s classroom instruction jumps from "pet topic" to "pet topic". Teachers, parents and
students notice this. Some parents complain that their child has not mastered a topic before the
topic changes. Some teachers say that they have to devote extra time to a review of a topic when
they come back to it, which is a waste of time in an already crowded schedule. Others express
frustration in being unable to connect ideas from one unit to the next, for example as they
complete a section on geometry and jump to probability. The building of concepts is difficult
with a curriculum composed of disjoint topics.
From Table 5, it is not clear how the few distinct standards in high school common core can
be arranged to make a three course sequence competitive with the old Algebra 1, Geometry and
Algebra 2 sequences. In these courses, teachers had already been integrating topics.
Gaps in the Standards
Topics are often left for the teacher to fill in. For example, students are asked to plot
logarithms and trig functions in Math I, evidently a pet topic. Trig functions are not defined
completely until Math III, and logarithms are never defined nor are their properties discussed in
Math I-III.
In order to develop the rules for logarithms, the laws of exponents must be taught, and they
are not. Consequently the connection between exponents and logarithms is lost. As a result,
some teachers will feel obligated to spend time on the laws of exponents and log and trig
functions so that plotting is not mere calculator button pushing. Others will try to cover all or
most of the standards and tolerate the button pushing. Calculator button pushing is not
mathematics and does not contribute to a good understanding of math. Another example is the
omission of the study of sets, in particular the notions of union, intersection and complement
which are foundational for the rules of probability. A conscientious teacher will feel obliged to
take time out to discuss those ideas; for most students, however, this gap in background
knowledge will occur. Another example of an arbitrary pet topic is the normal distribution curve.
It is not motivated nor is the Law of Large Numbers mentioned. An honest teacher will have to
explain these things which takes uses valuable instruction time. These examples illustrate that
topics are included among the standards without the prerequisite foundation. The ripple effect is
that teachers often cannot cover all the standards since they have to teach the missing material.

Once again, there is no unique set of NC standards since each teacher and each LEA interprets the
level of difficulty and topics to be taught. Thus the high school standards can be construed as "a
mile wide and an inch deep" unless missing topics are filled in by the teacher.
Topics omitted, slighted or poorly constructed
Of additional concern is the slighting of geometry. Much of geometry in CC has been
reduced to algebraic formulae for geometric theorems involving missing sides or missing angles.
Logic, deductive reasoning, formal proof and indirect proof have been eliminated except for a
few simple exercises in triangle congruence. Rigor has been omitted, creating a gap in learning
that students will need for higher level courses and college level mathematics. Additionally,
many standardized tests such as the OAT, LSAT and MedCats have large sections on deductive
reasoning. Of equal importance is the many applications of deductive and indirect reasoning that
adults apply daily. With the national emphasis on critical thinking, it is difficult to discern why
CC has slighted logic and formal proof in geometry. Furthermore, exact solutions for the trig
functions for the standard 30-60-90 and 45-45-90 triangles are omitted.
Factoring is slighted. Little emphasis is given to basic multiplication and factoring patterns.
The obsession with modeling continues as students are taught to multiply polynomials and to
factor by drawing boxes. The typical patterns in factoring are not taught. One college instructor
reports Trig students stopping to draw boxes in order to multiply two binomials as well as to
factor a simple polynomial the denominator of a fraction. Factoring basic polynomials should not
require the time needed to construct a box. While models can certainly enhance a high school
student’s understanding, the learning should not stop with the model: otherwise students will not
be prepared for college level work. As a further consequence, rational expressions are given little
attention as factoring skills are needed to add and subtract rational expressions as well as to
reduce those expressions. Basic factoring patterns and strategies should be mastered so that
students are not dependent on drawing boxes.
Another concern is the complete absence of matrices anywhere in the curriculum. Matrices
are widely regarded for their use in application problems as well as ties to science curricula,
particularly genetics.
Additionally, radicals are widely omitted. Students lack skills in manipulating and
simplifying radical expressions, another skill that will be needed for success at the college level.
The MWG learned of some high schools in the same LEA including a unit on radicals while
others did not. This is further evidence that the standards are incomplete and inconsistent.
Probability is poorly done. There is no explicit instruction for counting principles for
sampling with and without replacement and the related calculations, which are crucial at the
beginning level. The authors of common core do not know that counting principles will not
always give the right probability for compound events.
Standards S-CP.1 to S-CP.9 in Math II are all theoretical but one. It is not clear what kinds of
problems students are expected to master or whether they are expected to memorize the
probability rules. Set theory is slighted, and Venn diagrams are not taught. One cannot study the
general laws of probability satisfactorily without these. Conditional probability is difficult while
Bayes Theorem, a very important part of conditional probability in its application, is not taught.
The authors don't realize that the probability rules are not restricted to uniform probability
models. These standards will take up a huge amount of teaching time since the teacher has to
augment and clarify the material and implying that other standards may not be discussed.
No texts
A lack of textbooks for high school CCSS compounds the problem. It leads to confusion as
to what is expected from students as well as a tremendous variance in what teachers are teaching.
Parents complain to teachers and administrators about this because they cannot help their children
at home and because they don't know what topics are in a course.


NMAP topics not all covered
The Common Core math high school standards omit topics suggested by the NMAP report,
whereas the old Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II do not. According to NMAP's opinion,
graduates will not be world competitive. A copy of the NMAP requirements for high school is in
the appendix.
The DPI made a voluntary anonymous survey of the teachers in North Carolina. About 5%
of them responded. The responders are not a random sample carefully selected across experience
groups, but the MWG thinks the results should not be ignored. They show a strikingly high
number of high school teachers who think many of the high school standards should be revised.
The MWG recommends that NC return to the old sequence of study Algebra I, Geometry and
Algebra II in high school for the following reasons.
After careful examination and discussion of the high school standards, the MWG finds truth
in Prof. McCallum and Prof. Wu’s statements and concerns of an inadequate set of standards.
These individual courses are a smorgasbord poorly integrated of "pet topics."
The vague repetition of standards allows too much room for interpretation. This, the gaps in
the standards and omitted topics causes confusion in what the standards really mean. If different
schools must add topics or adjust the content across the nation as they do in NC, it is clear that
these neither state-wide or national standards exist.
There are simply too many unidentified prerequisite skills to be covered in the allotted class
time. The disjoint combination of topics cost students the sense of continuity and in the beauty of
how mathematics builds. Often review is needed after jumping from topic to topic. The obvious
ripple effect is less critical thinking and a weaker command of the basic skills needed to succeed.
While some teachers state that they are using more critical thinking with CC, critical thinking is
instructional and suggests that those teachers needed someone else to write the questions for
them. Strong teachers ask higher level questions and encourage students to develop conjectures
regardless of the curriculum. Critical thinking is not an outcome of curriculum; rather, it is an
outcome of strong instruction.
In addition, the high school standards do not fit the MWG's perception of what standards
should be as described in the introduction. There is no curriculum, no benchmarks and their
vagueness promotes a tremendous variance in what is taught and what is expected to be learned.
Finally, Jason Zimba, one of the lead writers of CCSS has admitted publicly on several
occasions that CCSS doe not prepare students for good colleges or a STEM major. A link to a
video of one of these admissions is given below. The MWG's aforementioned weaknesses of CC
are supported by his remarks.
Algebra I should be a course in which students master algebraic skills that they can apply in
later courses and use that vessel of knowledge to think critically. The MWG believes that you
have to know something in order to think critically about it. Geometry should return with an
emphasis on traditional Euclidean geometry and proof; however, all of the common core
algebraic applications should be included. Students should solve geometry problems applying
systems of equations, quadratic equations, graphing strategies that were learned in Algebra I.
Algebra II should build on Algebra I and Geometry, including critical thinking, algebraic proof,
applications of skills acquired in the two previous courses, conic sections, and more in-depth
study of factoring, graphing, matrices, radicals, functions and logarithms. North Carolina's
students deserve a strong curriculum that builds on skills to develop the knowledge to think
critically about mathematics and to graduate and be ready for the workforce.

The MWG has no bias against integrated math courses. Minnesota allows each ELA to
decide what to offer. Professor Milgram testified that, with skilled teachers, integrated math high
school courses could be better. Perhaps North Carolina could develop a satisfactory integrated
math sequence for high school some time in the future. It should include the important omissions
the MWG has documented above. After this is done, each ELA should be free to offer both
sequences or one or the other, depending on the size of their district and the availability of skilled
teachers. Integration of topics should be encouraged through the structure of the curriculum and
the NC testing program even in the Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II sequence.
Note that three well respected private schools in Raleigh: Cary Academy, St/ David's and
Ravenscroft, are still teaching the traditional sequence. The MWG feels that this is a
confirmation of its analysis. The Cary academy was established by SAS whic, interestingly
enough, is a supporter of common core.
Comparison with ASRC survey questions for high school teachers
773 teachers of high school math responded to the survey. This is about 16 % of all teachers
licensed to teach high school in NC. Of these, 69.0% said they would like to go back to the old
Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 sequence. The MWG takes this as solid affirmation of the
recommendation above.

In October, the ASRC held 6 focus groups to get input from teachers about their experiences
with Common Core and to get suggestions for the improvement of the NC ELA and math
standards. Jocelyn Herrera has made synopses of these meetings, and the MWG will use them to
condense and paraphrase the main comments.
Lack of textbooks
For both K-8 and high school, one of the most frequent problems mentioned was the lack of
textbooks. Parents are not able to help their children, teachers must spend much time searching
the web for material. No vehicle for sharing internet resources exists for teachers. Not all parents
are able to afford an internet connection and are thus disadvantaged.
K-8 teacher comments
Clarity was a problem for parents and students. There are too many big words for
youngsters. Teachers spend much time interpreting and simplifying the standards.
Standards are too broad, have too many concepts, cannot do "slower and deeper" Less that
10% of the teachers at one meeting had enough time to cover all standards.
Parents prefer the algorithmic approach to the "models" approach.
Some changes need to be made to correct the problems with gaps and flow.
"Please adopt another state’s curriculum and let us make that better" said one teacher.
These comments support the findings of the MWG.
High school teacher comments
The standards are too broad and too many.
Integrated math sequencing is a major problem: there are too many gaps, they are "too
choppy", they are very repetitive, the sequencing is out of order, illogically "thrown together", the
courses do not "flow together".
Too much material to cover for the average student.
Very technical complicated standards, hard to understand, for students especially. Written at
the college level.
Geometry is weak in the standards.

The high school comments match very well with the MWG's observations.
At a meeting with the 8 math faculty members of Raleigh Charter High School, it was learned
that they favored CCSSM. They had used an annotated set of standards obtained from the DPI
that told them which topics to teach and which ones to suppress. They collaborated and found
teaching materials in books and on the web to an extent that satisfied them. They said that their
students had a creative approach to problem solving which was refreshing, and they attributed
that to the use of CCSSM in the last four years.
As the MWG has stated, higher level questioning and critical thinking are not dependent on
curriculum, but rather on the teacher. Collaboration among math teachers within a school creates
stronger vertical planning as well as new approaches to problem solving.

National Tests
ACT keys to CCSS in their new test ASPIRE and drops two impartial tests EXPLORE and
PLAN. SAT is being made easier. Thus it is hard to compare new test results with previous ones
in order to compare CCSS with previous methods and standards.
Since most states use CCSS, one should look at the National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) state by state scores. This is the only test the MWG know of that is independent of
Afterthoughts - Links of interest
The initial team for developing CCSS was David Coleman, Jason Zimba, Phil Daro, Susan
Pinentel and William McCallum. Here is some information about two of them.
1. David Coleman admitting his lack of credentials - video
Watch the introduction by the Lauren Resnik who notes Coleman's lack of credentials and
then the segments below In which Coleman admits it.
9:15 - 9:40
He has no qualifications in education
11:00 - 11:50 The importance of the Tests and that "no force on earth can prevent teachers
from teaching to the test." That is exactly what he considers good education --- teaching to a
How the whole team are unqualified
"Removed" a lot of mathematics curriculum that doesn't need to be taught
(judged by "unqualified" people who are not mathematicians!)
2. Jason Zimba admits that CCSS does not make students ready for STEM or good colleges.
(with Stotsky) in a short video. Zimba has admitted this publicly numerous times.
3. Cuomo says "Common Core is not working" and will appoint a task force to review it.

New York's task force completed its work on 12/10/15 and recommends that the standards of
New York state (Common Core) standards be revised to fit the needs of New York, as well as its
testing policies.


Questionnaire for K-8.
Questions regarding CCSS.
MWG directions: These questions relate to the requirements of SB812 and other issues.
Give a score for the whole grade in general. We will examine each grade.
Score as follows: 1=strongly disagree, 2=disagree, 3=neutral, 4=agree, 5=strongly agree.
In the space below the question, list the standards by number that are problematical.
Need substantial improvement pedagogically.


List the ones that need improvement.
Need substantial editing (too wordy, typos, math errors, etc.)
List the ones needing editing.
Are clear to parents.
List the ones that need clarification.
Are age appropriate in skills and content.
List the ones which are not.
The teacher has flexibility in choice of teaching methods
List the ones that constrain the teacher too much.
There is too much material to study in one term (too many standards).
List the standards which could be deleted or downplayed.
Are too elaborate or complicated.
List those that are.
"Models" are over emphasized at the expense of standard algorithms.
List the standards that do this.
Allow efficient conversion to instruction.
List the ones that do not.
List other problems you have with the standards as written. What improvements can be made?


NMAP benchmarks for K-8
(page 20 of their final report)
Fluency with whole numbers
1. By the end of grade 3, students should be proficient with addition and subtraction of whole
2. By the end of grade 5, students should be proficient with multiplication and division of whole
Fluency with fractions
1. By the end of grade 4, students should be able to identify and represent fractions and
decimals, and compare them on a number line or with other common representations of
fractions and decimals.
2. by the end of grade 5, students should be proficient with comparing fractions, decimals and
common percent, and with the addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals.
3. By the end of grade 6, students should be proficient with multiplication and division of
fractions and decimals.
4. By the end of grade 6, students should be proficient with multiplication and division of
fractions and decimals.
5. By the end of grade 7, students should be proficient with all operations involving positive and
negative fractions.
6. By the end of grade 7, students should be able to solve problems involving percent, ratio and
rate and extend this work to proportionality.
Geometry and Measurement
1. by the end of grade 5, students should be able to solve problems involving perimeter and area
of triangles and all quadrilaterals having at least one pair of parallel sides (i.e. trapezoids).
2. By the end of grade 6, students should be able to analyze the properties of two dimensional
shapes and solve problems involving perimeter and area, and analyze properties of three
dimensional shapes, and solve problems involving surface area and volume.
3. By the end of grade 7, students should be familiar with the relationships between similar
triangles and the concept of the slope of a line.
NMAP: The major topics of school algebra (to be completed by grade 11)
Symbols and Expression
Polynomial expressions
Rational expressions
Arithmetic and finite geometric series
Linear Equations
Real numbers as points on the number line
Linear equations and their graphs
Solving problems with linear equations
Linear inequalities and their graphs
Graphing and solving systems of simultaneous linear equations
Quadratic Equations
Factors and factoring of quadratic polynomials with integer coefficients
Completing the square in quadratic expressions
Quadratic formula and factoring of general quadratic polynomials
Using the quadratic formula to solve equations

Linear functions
Quadratic functions - word problems involving quadratic functions
Graphs of quadratic functions and completing the square
Polynomial functions (including graphs of basic functions)
Rational exponents, radical expressions and exponential functions
Logarithmic functions
Trigonometric functions
Fitting simple mathematical models to data
Algebra of Polynomials
Roots and factorization of polynomials
Complex numbers and operations
Fundamental theorem of algebra
Binomial coefficients (Pascal's Triangle)
Mathematical induction and the binomial theorem
Combinatorics and Finite Probability
Combinations, permutations, as applications of the binomial theorem and Pascal's Triangle.
There are no comments about what should be in high school geometry.

Math work group members: qualifications and experience
John T. Scheick
Retired university professor. Taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Ohio State, Duke
and UNC-CH universities for 48 years. Consultant to GM 7 years. Published a linear algebra
book and numerous reports to GM. Specialized in teaching engineering students. Served on over
100 engineering general exams and Ph.D committees.
Joseph A Cima
Retired university professor. Taught undergraduates and graduate courses for 50 years at
several universities. Joined the UNC-CH faculty in 1963. Fulbright scholar at Trinity College,
Dublin. Numerous awards, publications and 2 books. Secretary of the American Mathematical
Society 1988-1993. Has run several international conferences at UNC. An international
conference was held in honor or Prof. Cima's work. Supervised 5 PhD and 4 masters students.
Julie Schilawski
Masters degree in Mathematics Education. High school math teacher in Wake county for 38
years, 30 of those full time until retirement, 20 as math department chair. Extensive work in
curriculum writing. 4 years of adjunct work at NCSU and Meredith College and currently
supervising HS and MS student teachers. Facilitator to implement common core in K-5 school.
Numerous awards for excellence in teaching of mathematics including the Presidential Award for
Excellence. Now a math instructor at Meredith.
Jan Stewart
Masters degree in Education, BA in Math. High school math teacher in Wake county since
1988 to present, 3 years of teaching middle school math in Wilmington. Mentor for beginning
teachers since 1998. Lead teacher for Algebra I and II, Trigonometry, Advanced Functions and
modeling 1997-2012. Taught Math 1 and 2. Obtained National Board Certification 2002 and
renewal in 2011. Currently teaches at St. Davids.
Judy Quick
BS. in Math Education. Taught at Cary High School for 28 years, Broughton High School
for 3. Retired and now teaches at St. David's Preparatory School. Has supervised and mentored
numerous teachers. National Board Certified teacher.
Kathy Young
BA in English with mathematics minor. M. Ed in Math Education. Has taught middle
school, high school and some K, 3, 5 for 21 years. Wrote several math text books, one of which
received a national award. Featured speaker at NCTM conference in Texas in 1972 and other
professional conferences. Developed several experimental programs and whole school curricula
and wrote math standards in another state.

Examples of K-8 math standards from NC (common core) and Minnesota
The Minnesota standards are organized differently than the NC standards. The NC standards
are listed, for example, as 8.SP.4. 8 is the grade, SP is the strand and 4 is the 4th standard in the
strand. Minnesota uses the notation, for example, which means the 3rd grade, the first
strand, the second standard and the 3rd "benchmark" or substandard. Also, the order of
presentation of topics is not quite the same. Thus it is hard to find a one to one correspondence
between the standards for direct comparison. However, a few examples will be given. Note that
Minnesota's use of "benchmark" is different than NMAP and the MWG's definition in the
Example 1.
NC 6.SP.5
Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by:
a. Reporting the number of observations.
b. Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was
measured and its units of measurement.
c. Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability
(interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any
striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.
d. Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the
context in which the data were gathered.

Standard: 1
Display and interpret data; determine mean, median and range.

Benchmark: 1
Know and use the definitions of the mean, median and range of a set of data. Know how to use a spreadsheet to find
the mean, median and range of a data set. Understand that the mean is a "leveling out" of data.
For example: The set of numbers 1, 1, 4, 6 has mean 3. It can be leveled by taking one unit from the 4 and three units from the
6 and adding them to the 1s, making four 3s.

Benchmark 2
Create and analyze double-bar graphs and line graphs by applying understanding of whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Know
how to create spreadsheet tables and graphs to display data.

Note: is typical for Minnesota to defer difficult topics to high school, and to keep topics simple
in lower grades. Also note that the benchmarks break up the standards into simpler pieces.
Example 2. We give examples of how the arithmetic of fractions are treated.
NC 5.NF.4
Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole
number by a fraction.
a. Interpret the product (a/b) × q as a parts of a partition of q into b equal parts; equivalently, as
the result of a sequence of operations a × q ÷ b. For example, use a visual fraction model to
show (2/3) × 4 = 8/3, and create a story contextfor this equation. Do the same with (2/3) × (4/5)
= 8/15. (In general, (a/b) × (c/d) = ac/bd.)
b. Find the area of a rectangle with fractional side lengths by tiling it with unit squares of the
appropriate unit fraction side lengths, and show that the area is the same as would be found by
multiplying the side lengths. Multiply fractional side lengths to find areas of rectangles, and
represent fraction products as rectangular areas.

NC 5.NF.7
Apply and extend previous understandings of division to divide unit fractions by whole numbers
and whole numbers by unit fractions. (Note: Students able to multiply fractions in general can

develop strategies to divide fractions in general, by reasoning about the relationship between
multiplication and division. But division of a fraction by a fraction is not a requirement at this grade.)
a. Interpret division of a unit fraction by a non-zero whole number, and compute such quotients. For
example, create a story context for (1/3) ÷ 4, and use a visual fraction model to show the quotient. Use the
relationship between multiplication and division to explain that (1/3) ÷ 4 = 1/12 because (1/12) × 4 = 1/3.
b. Interpret division of a whole number by a unit fraction, and compute such quotients.
For example, create a story context for 4 ÷ (1/5), and use a visual fraction model to show the quotient. Use
the relationship between multiplication and division to explain that 4 ÷(1/5) = 20 because 20 × (1/5) = 4.
c. Solve real world problems involving division of unit fractions by non-zero whole numbers and division
of whole numbers by unit fractions, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the
problem. For example, how much chocolate will each person get if 3 people share 1/2 lb of chocolate
equally? How many 1/3-cup servings are in 2 cups of raisins?

Minnesota, 2, 3, 4
Standard: 3
Add and subtract fractions, mixed numbers and decimals to solve real-world and mathematical problems

Benchmark 1
Add and subtract decimals and fractions, using efficient and generalizable procedures, including standard algorithms.

Benchmark 2
Model addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals using a variety of representations.
For example: Represent 2/3 + 1/4 and 2/3 + 1/4 by drawing a rectangle divided into 4 columns and 3 rows and shading the
appropriate parts or by using fraction circles or bars.

Benchmark 3
Estimate sums and differences of decimals and fractions to assess the reasonableness of results.
For example: Recognize that 122/5 – 33/4 is between 8 and 9 (since 2/5 < 3/4).

Benchmark 4
Solve real-world and mathematical problems requiring addition and subtraction of decimals, fractions and mixed
numbers, including those involving measurement, geometry and data.
For example: Calculate the perimeter of the soccer field when the length is 109.7 meters and the width is 73.1 meters., 2, 3, 4
Standard 3
Multiply and divide decimals, fractions and mixed numbers; solve real-world and mathematical problems using
arithmetic with positive rational numbers.

Benchmark 1
Multiply and divide decimals and fractions, using efficient and generalizable procedures, including standard algorithms.

Benchmark 2
Use the meanings of fractions, multiplication, division and the inverse relationship between multiplication and
division to make sense of procedures for multiplying and dividing fractions.
For example: Just as 12/4 = 3 means 12 = 3 × 4, 2/3 ÷ 4/5 = 5/6 means
5/6 × 4/5 = 2/3.

Benchmark 3
Calculate the percent of a number and determine what percent one number is of another number to solve problems in
various contexts.
For example: If John has $45 and spends $15, what percent of his money did he keep?

Benchmark 4
Solve real-world and mathematical problems requiring arithmetic with decimals, fractions and mixed numbers.

Benchmark 5
Estimate solutions to problems with whole numbers, fractions and decimals and use the estimates to assess the
reasonableness of results in the context of the problem.
For example: The sum 1/3 + 0.25 can be estimated to be between 1/2 and 1, and this estimate can be used to check the
result of a more detailed calculation.