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Academic Standards Review Commission
North Carolina
Minority Report
Math Workgroup

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- CCTPA - Academic Standards Review Commission January 16, 2015
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**Math Work Group
**

John T. Scheick

Joseph Cima

Julie Schilawski

Jan Stewart

Judy Quick

Kathy Young

2

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Introduction

I. K-8 Analysis

Quantitative Analysis

Qualitative Analysis and other problems

Comparison of NC, MN, VA K-8 math standards

K-8 Recommendations

1

4

5

8

12

13

**II. High school analysis
**

Analysis, Discussion, Recommendations

14

III. Focus Groups of teachers

18

**IV. Other Comments
**

Links of interest

Appendix

20

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

1

Executive Summary

Methodology

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

included.

2

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

mastered.

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

K-8

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.

3

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

calculation).

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

standards.

Examples:

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

logarithms.

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

trigonometry.

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."

Remark

Details and complete discussions behind the findings and recommendations are to be found

the rest of this document.

4

Introduction

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

reasonable.

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:

http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/mathpanel/report/final-report.pdf

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.

5

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

recommendation.

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.

I K-8 ANALYSIS

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

noted.

6

Items

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

K

yes

no

**Table 1 Grades with troublesome standards
**

G1

G2

G3

G4

G5

G6

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

no

no

no

no

no

no

yes

yes

yes

yes

G7

yes

yes

no

G8

yes

yes

no

no

yes

yes

yes

yes

no

**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

Kindergarten

KCC4

KOA1

KOA3

KNBT1

KMD2

KG4

KG6

1

1, 2

1, 2

1, 2

1

1

1

Grade 3

3OA3 1

3OA5 2

30A8 1, 2

3MD2 1

3MD3 1

3MD5 1

3MD7 1, 2

3MD8 1

Grade 1

1OA1

10A3

10A6

10A8

1NBT4

1MD2

1G1

1G2

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

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

5G1

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

8F4

1

8F5

1

8G4

1

8SP1 1

8SP2 1

8SP3 1

8SP4 1

6RP3

6NS1

6EE2

6EE9

6G2

6G4

6SP3

2

1, 2

1

1, 2

1

1

2

6SP5

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.

7

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".

Issues 1- 7:

1. needs editing

2. not clear to parents

3. not age appropriate

identified

standard

KCC4

KOA1

KOA3

KNBT1

KMD2

KG4

KG6

1OA1

1OA3

1OA6

10A8

1NBT4

1MD2

1G1

1G2

2NBT7

2MD5

4. no teacher flexibility

5. elaborate or complicated

6. models overemphasized

7. no efficient conversion to instruction

Table 3

Issues of problematic standards

identified

issues

identified

issues

standard

standard

1,2

3OA3

1,5,7

5OA2

1,2,5

1,2,5,7

3OA5

1,2,3,5,7

5NBT6

1,2,4,5,6,7

1,2

3OA8

1,2,3

5NBT7

1,2,4,5

1,2

3MD2

1,2,3,4,5

5NF1

1,2,5,6,7

1,2

3MD3

1,2,5

5NF4

1,2,3,4,5,6,7

1,3,5

3MD5

1,2,5

5NF5

1,2,3,5,6

1,2,3,6

3MD7

1,2,3,5,6,7 5NF6

1,6

3MD8

1,2

5NF7

1,2,5

1,2,3,5

5MD4

1,2,3,5

1,2,3,5

4OA2

1,2,5

5G1

1,2,4,5,7

1,2,3,5

40A3

1,2,5

3

4NBT5

1,2,5,6

6RP3

1,2,5

1,2,5

4NBT6

1,2,3,5,6,7 6NS1

1,2,5,6

1,2,5

4NF3

1,2,5,7

6EE2

1,2,5

1,2,3,5

4NF4

1,2,5,7

6EE9

1,2,3,5,6

1,2,3,4,5,6,7

4NF5

1,2,4,5

6G2

1,2,3,5

4MD1

1,2,5

6G4

1,2,3,5

1,2,3,4,5,67

4MD2

1,2,5,7

6SP3

1,2,3,5

1,2,5,6

4MD4

1,2,5

6SP5

1,2,3,5,6

4MD5

1,2,3,5,6

4MD7

1,2,3

issues

**The frequency distribution is:
**

1

2

5

72

70

60

3

35

6

17

identified

standard

7RP2

7NS1

7NS2

7EE4

7SP3

7SP4

7SP5

7SP6

7SP7

7SP8

1,2,3,5,6

1,2,3,4,5

1,2,5

1,2,3,5

1,2,3,5

1,2,5

2

1,2

1,2,5

1,2,5

8NS2

8EE8

8F4

8F5

8G4

8SP1

8SP2

8SP3

8SP4

1,2,5

1,2,3,5

1,2,3,5

1,2,3,5

1,2,5

1,2,3,5

1,2,3

1,2,3,5

1,2,3,5

7

14

issues

4

9

**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).

8

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

survey.

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)

2G1

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.)

3G2

U unit fraction

4OA3 U remainder

5OA3 U coordinate plane

5NBT7 U written method (also in later standards)

9

5NF4b

6RP1

6RP2

6RP3

6NS4

6EE2

6EE6

6EE9

6G2

M

U

U

U

U

T

U

T

M

T

6G4

U

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

variable

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

nets

(1/2)/(1/4) is not a complex number a + bi. (this is in several others too)

opposite and equal charge

simulated sample

simulate

sample space

scientific notation

similar triangle

π2

**Topics that are poorly constructed
**

Fractions.

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.

10

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

appropriate.

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

comprehension.

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

11

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.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/marina-ratner-making-math-education-even-worse1407283282?cb=logged0.04078493297700847

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.

12

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

materials.

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.

13

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

report.

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

standards.

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.

14

II HIGH SCHOOL ANALYSIS

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

Group

Math I standard

number

NRN

12

NQ

123

ASSE

123

AAPR 1

ACED

1234

AREI

1 3 5 6 10 11 12

FIF

123456789

FBF

123

FLE

1235

GCO

1

GGPE 4 5 6 7

GGMD 1 3

SID

12356789

GSRT

GMG

SIC

SCP

GC

SMD

NCN

FTF

Math II standard

number

2

123

123

15

1234

1 2 4 7 10 11

245789

13

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 13

16

4

1 6 7 8 9 11

123

26

123456789

**Math III standard
**

number

3

123

1234

12346

1234

1 2 4 10 11

245789

1234

34

1 9 10 11 12

12

4

2345

3

13456

1235

67

1279

1258

Sums

I, II

1

3

3

1

4

3

5

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

23

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

Table 5

Number and

Algebra

Functions

Geometry

Operation

10

24

22

40

Overlap

I, III II, III

0

3

2

1

4

3

6

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

24

0

3

3

2

4

5

6

2

0

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

29

Statistics and

Probability

24

**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

15

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.

16

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.

17

**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.

Recommendation

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.

18

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.

III

**FOCUS GROUPS OF TEACHERS
**

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.

19

The high school comments match very well with the MWG's observations.

RCHS

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.

**IV OTHER COMMENTS
**

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.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/01/how-to-hide-the-flaws-in-common-core/

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

standards.

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

test.

14:00-14:40

How the whole team are unqualified

15:01-16:00

"Removed" a lot of mathematics curriculum that doesn't need to be taught

(judged by "unqualified" people who are not mathematicians!)

http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/david-coleman-2-years-agowe-were-a-collection-of-unqualified-people/

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJZY4mh2rt8

3. Cuomo says "Common Core is not working" and will appoint a task force to review it.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/04/new-york-gov-cuomo-common-core-notworking/

20

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.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NewYorkCommonCoreTask

ForceFinalReport_Update.pdf

21

APPENDIX

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.

Grade:

Statement

Need substantial improvement pedagogically.

Score

**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?

22

**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

numbers.

2. By the end of grade 5, students should be proficient with multiplication and division of whole

numbers.

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

23

Functions

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.

24

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.

25

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, 3.1.2.3 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

introduction.

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.

Minnesota 5.4.1.1, 5.4.1.2

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

26

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 5.1.3.1, 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.

6.1.3.1, 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.

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