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Dr. Larry Gray, Mathematics Professor at the University of Minnesota has been so kind as to provide the Oklahoma State Department of Education with guiding reviews of the new Oklahoma Academic Standards for Mathematics. This is his review of the final standards as they were provided to the Oklahoma State Legislature by the OSDE as required by the Common Core repeal bill HB3399.

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**by Lawrence Gray (University of Minnesota)
**

Introduction. To prepare this report, I worked with two colleagues who have

extensive experience in teaching math at many levels, K-12 administration and teacher

education. They each have nearly two decades of experience with developing state math

standards. Together we worked through the Oklahoma math standards item by item and

shared our impressions. Then we selected several representative items to include in this

report, in order to illustrate specific concerns. We also identified some larger issues that

need attention and chose a few of those to discuss in some detail in this report.

Our overall impression is that extensive rewriting is required for these standards to

effectively guide classroom instruction, provide a suitable foundation for assessment, and

to adequately support students’ preparation for post-secondary work (“college readiness”).

We feel that they are inferior in several ways to the standards of the best states. On the

positive side, I found that this draft is a significant improvement over the PASS standards,

and that all of the usual college readiness in math topics are covered. But coverage isn’t

the same as effective delivery, and that is why we feel many improvements are needed.

We have identified well over one hundred items that need to be fixed. Many of them

can be made acceptable by a small amount of rewriting or by being eliminated altogether.

But there are quite a few important issues in the document that cannot be repaired with

simple rewrites, because they involve many connected items. These connections run

both horizontally (within a grade level) and vertically (from one grade level to the next).

It impossible to suitably fix the document with supplementary material or errata sheets.

We want to emphasize that our work involved only one complete pass through the

Oklahoma document. Experience tells us that multiples passes would uncover other

concerns. Similarly, one thorough rewriting will not be enough to produce something

you can be proud of. Multiple cycles of rewriting and review will be needed.

The rest of this report is in three parts:

1.

2.

3.

**A list of items that we have selected in order to illustrate various problems with
**

individual standards and objectives. A brief explanation is provided for each.

Detailed discussion of two larger issues that impact on many individual items.

A long list of further standards and objectives that we think need attention. In the

interest of keeping this report manageable, this list is given without further comment,

and it only covers three separate grade levels and two high school courses, even

though all grade levels require similar attention.

**Among the three of us, we have spent a total of approximately 100 hours in preparing this
**

report. Standards are very complex, making them very difficult to review But the

difficulty of reviewing them is nothing compared to the difficulty of writing them. We

appreciate the time and effort that has gone into writing the Oklahoma draft document.

It is hoped that our feedback will be helpful in making decisions about your next steps.

**A sampling of flawed items, with explanatory comments
**

These examples show that there are many different kinds of flaws in the Oklahoma items.

I was told at one point that there will be support materials and errata sheets to fix them.

But there are so many items that require fixing or explaining that the errata would fill

dozens of pages. If that approach is taken, it will be nearly impossible for teachers to

effectively use these standards. It will also make the job of providing support materials

for teachers much more difficult.

In each of our examples, we first provide the full statement of one or more objectives or

standards and then we comment on the issue or issues that need attention. The bold-face

number indicates the grade level, the “strand”, the standard, and the objective. For

example 2.GM.1.3 stands for the 2nd grade level, the Geometry & Measurement strand,

the first standard within that strand, and the third objective within that standard. The

grade levels are K = Kindergarten, 1 through 7 = 1st through 7th grade, PA = Pre-Algebra,

A1 = Algebra 1, G = High School Geometry, A2 = Algebra 2. The strands are N =

Number & Operations, A = Algebraic Reasoning & Algebra, GM = Geometry &

Measurement, D = Probability & Data. Here we go:

1) K.N.1.4 Recognize without counting (subitize) the quantity of a small group of

objects in organized and random arrangements up to 10. and 1.N.1.1 Recognize

numbers to 20 without counting (subitize) the quantity of structured arrangements.

Note: “Subitize” means to “instantly know how many, without using other

mathematical processes.

Comment: Very few people can subitize more than 5 objects in random

arrangements, so the expectation that Kindergarteners subitize up to 10 is wrong.

In the 1st grade requirement, structured arrangements are considered, and it is true

that some structured arrangements (e.g. those found on the faces of a pair of dice)

allow people to instantly recognize larger numbers, but requiring students in 1st

grade to subitize up to 20 assumes that they can compose and decompose up to 20 or

that they know their basic facts up to 20, and neither of those expectations appear in

the document at this level. We recommend eliminating these items. Subitizing

can be a very effective classroom activity for helping students understand the

important concepts of composing and decomposing, but subitizing does not belong

in the standards. Note that composing and decomposing are included

(appropriately) in the Kindergarten standards in the Oklahoma document, but

unfortunately not in the 1st grade standards.

2) 1.GM.1.1 Identify trapezoids and hexagons by pointing to the shape when given the

name. and 2.GM.1.1 Recognize trapezoids and hexagons.

Comment: It’s hard to see any real difference between these two objectives, one in

1st grade and the other in 2nd grade. It is also hard to understand why these two

particular shapes are so special that they require their own objectives Furthermore,

**“pointing to the shape” is strictly a classroom activity and doesn’t really belong in a
**

standard or objective.

3) 2.A.2.3 Apply commutative and identity properties and number sense to find values

for unknowns that make number sentences involving addition and subtraction true or

false and 3.A.2.2 Recognize, represent and apply the number properties

(commutative, identity, and associative properties of addition and multiplication)

using models and manipulatives to solve problems.

Comment: Mentioning the commutative, identity and associative properties so

prominently at the 2nd and 3rd grade levels gives an inappropriate emphasis. Rather,

the focus at this level should be on number sense skills like composing,

decomposing and compensating. It is true that in a technical sense, compensating

involves identity properties, but that property is certainly not an appropriate focus

for these students. Note: In the 7th grade standard 7.A.3 and in the 7th grade

objective 7.A.4.1, the opposite mistake is made. In those items, properties like the

commutative and identity properties are necessary and should be emphasized. But

instead, they are either not mentioned at all, or in the case of 7.A.4.1, restricted

incorrectly to exclude the identity and inverse properties.

4) 2.A.2.2 Generate real-world situations to represent number sentences and vice versa.

Comment: This is one example of many where an important idea is obscured. In

this case, the phrase “vice versa” does disservice to the very significant expectation

that students will learn to use number sentences to represent real world situations.

Since using mathematics to represent the real world is one of the fundamental

reasons for studying mathematics, it is wrong to diminish its importance by saying

“vice versa”..

5) 3.N.1 Compare and represent whole numbers up to 10,000 with an emphasis on place

value and equality and 3.N.1.2 Use place value to describe whole numbers

between 1,000 and 10,000 in terms of ten thousands, thousands, hundreds, tens and

ones, including expanded form and 3.N.2.4 Recognize when to round numbers

and apply understanding to round numbers to the nearest ten thousand, thousand,

hundred, and ten and use compatible numbers to estimate sums and differences.

Comment: The standard 3.N.1 restricts the expectation in 3rd grade to whole

numbers up to 10,000, but several of the objectives within that standard seem to

require working with numbers up to 100,000 (as we do in Minnesota). For

example, the phrase “ten thousands” is used in 3.N.1.2 and rounding to the “nearest

ten thousand” is expected in 3.N.2.4. Neither of these seem appropriate if the

overall restriction is to numbers up to 10,000.

6) 3.N.2.3 Use strategies and algorithms based on knowledge of place value and

equality to fluently add and subtract multi-digit numbers.

**Comment: A phrase like “including the standard algorithm(s)” should be included
**

in this and other similar items where fluency with arithmetic is expected.. But it is

unfortunately missing in a few such places in the Oklahoma document (and it

appears in one place where it shouldn’t -- see 6.GM.1.1). Care should be taken to

make these items consistent regarding the standard algorithms

7) 3.N.3.3 Recognize unit fractions and use them to compose and decompose fractions

related to the same whole. Use the numerator to describe the number of parts and the

denominator to describe the number of partitions.

Comment: The word “partitions” is incorrect, since there is only one partition in

this setting. The “whole” is partitioned into a certain number of equal parts that all

belong to the same partition, and it is the total number of parts within the partition

that equals the denominator. Furthermore, the phrase “related to the same whole”

is superfluous and can cause confusion, because composing and decomposing only

make sense in the context of a single “whole”.

8) 4.N.1.3 Multiply 3-digit by 1-digit or a 2-digit by 2-digit whole numbers, using

efficient and generalizable procedures and strategies, based on knowledge of place

value, including but not limited to standard algorithms.

Comment: The limitation to 3-digit by 1-digit and 2-digit by 2-digit numbers is

inappropriate and it weakens the objective. If students master proper procedures of

multiplication, as required by this item, then they should be able to use them to

multiply whole numbers without limitations on the number of digits. There are no

such restrictions in the corresponding Minnesota item. The place for including

restrictions of this sort is the test specs. For comparison, see Oklahoma’s 3.N.2.3

above, where there is no such digit restriction for addition and subtraction.

9) 4.N.1.7 Determine the unknown addend or factor in equivalent and non-equivalent

expressions. (e.g., 5 + 6 = 4 + ? , 3 x 8 < 3 x ?).

Comment: There are many unknown factors in an inequality like 3 x 8 < 3 x ?, so

using the singular “factor” is incorrect. Furthermore, it is unusual to refer to

different expressions as being “equivalent” or “non-equivalent”. It is more normal

to say “equation” instead of “equivalent expressions” and “inequality” instead of

“non-equivalent expressions”.

10) 5.GM.2 Understand how the volume of rectangular prisms and surface area of shapes

with polygonal faces are determined by the dimensions of the object and that shapes

with varying dimensions can have equivalent values of surface area or volume.

Comment: This 5th grade objective doesn’t really require students to do anything

and is more suitable as a recommendation for possible classroom discussion.

Furthermore, it is stated in such a general way that it goes beyond the understanding

**of most 5th graders. The intention for this objective seems to be to prepare students
**

for more specific facts about volume and surface area in later grades. But the fact

that the surface area of a general 3-dimensional shape with polygonal faces is

determined in some way by all of its dimensions has little meaning to students at this

level, except possibly for the simplest shapes.

11) 6.N.1.2 Compare and order positive rational numbers, represented in various forms,

or integers using the symbols <, >, and =.

Comment: This 6th grade objective should be expanded to include negative rational

numbers, to make it consistent with the previous objective, 6.N.1.1, where students

are expected to plot both negative and positive rational numbers on a number line.

Being able to plot negative and positive rational numbers on a number line certainly

encompasses the ability to compare all rational numbers to each other, not just

positive ones.

12) 6.GM.2.1 Solve problems using the relationships between the angles (vertical,

complementary, and supplementary) formed by intersecting lines.

Comment: Including complementary angles in his 6th grade objective seems

incorrect. The other two types of angles (vertical and supplementary) are always

formed when two lines intersect. In order to form complementary angles, at least

three lines are needed, and two of them must intersect in a right angle, as in a right

triangle or when a line intersects the origin in a coordinate system with two

perpendicular axes. If those situations were intended to be part of the context of

this objective, then this expectation needs clarification. In the Minnesota standards,

complementary angles do not appear until High School Geometry, and that is the

first place they appear in the Oklahoma standards after this 6th grade objective.

13) 6.GM.4.3 Use distances between two points that are either vertical or horizontal to

each other (not requiring the distance formula) to solve real-world and mathematical

problems about congruent two-dimensional figures.

Comment: This 6th grade objective only makes sense in the context of a coordinate

system, because the words “vertical” and “horizontal” are not relevant otherwise.

But this context is not consistent with the corresponding standard 6.GM.4 or with

the other objectives within this standard, because those items are not intended to

involve coordinate systems at this grade level. Aside from that issue, the

expectation in this objective seems weak and not worth the trouble at this grade level,

because it restricts attention to figures formed from segments that are all at right

angles to each other.

14) 6.D.2.1 Represent possible outcomes using a probability continuum from impossible

to certain.

Comment: This 6th grade objective contains incorrect wording.

It is the likelihood

**of possible outcomes that is represented by a “probability continuum”. The
**

possible outcomes themselves are not represented by such a continuum, but rather

by the elements of a sample space.

15) PA.GM.1.1 Informally justify the Pythagorean Theorem using measurements,

diagrams, or dynamic software and use the Pythagorean Theorem to solve problems

in two and three dimensions involving right triangles.

Comment: Asking students at this level to apply the Pythagorean Theorem in three

dimensions is inappropriate at the 8th grade level. Any such problem requires two

successive applications of the Pythagorean Theorem and is more appropriate for a

Pre-Calculus course, in which there is an opportunity to work extensively with

three-dimensional coordinate systems.

16) PA.D.2.2 Determine how samples are chosen (random, limited, biased) to draw and

support conclusions about generalizing a sample to a population.

Comment: The wording in this 8th grade objective is humorous and conveys a

meaning that surely must be unintended. It appears that the students are expected

to choose between three types of sampling to support conclusions about a population,

and the objective says that those choices include “limited” samples and “biased”

samples. Presumably we do not want to teach students that they should use biased

sampling to support conclusions. An appropriate version of this objective can be

found in the Oklahoma document in Algebra 2 (A2.D.2.1 and A2.D.2.2). In our

opinion, that’s fairly late. Those Algebra 2 objectives could be moved to

Pre-algebra or Algebra 1 and this objective should be eliminated.

17) PA.D.2.3 Compare and contrast dependent and independent events.

Comment: This is very weak as an item in a set of math standards, especially at

the 8th grade level. It may be acceptable to discuss the differences between

independence and dependence in a classroom, but “compare and contrast” does not

work as an expectation for student mastery in mathematics. To make matters worse,

there is no other mention of independence or dependence anywhere in these

standards, and in particular, it is never expected that students learn the mathematical

definitions of these terms. In the Minnesota standards, independence appears in a

solid way at the high school level.

18) A1.A.1.1 Use knowledge of solving equations with rational values to represent and

solve mathematical and real-world problems (e.g., angle measures, geometric

formulas, science, or statistics) and interpret the solutions in the original context.

Comment: The restriction to equations with rational values is inconsistent with the

rest of this objective. For example, geometric formulas for circles and for right

triangles (the Pythagorean Theorem) require irrational numbers, and such formulas

are being used by the students at this level, not only in geometry but also in science

**and in other real world settings.
**

19) G.2D.1.7 Apply the properties of congruent or similar polygons to solve real-world

and mathematical problems using algebraic and logical reasoning.

Comment: In this and several other objectives from High School Geometry, we see

the phrase “algebraic and logical reasoning”. This phrase is misleading, because

the implication is that algebraic reasoning is not logical, or at least that it is

somehow separate from logical reasoning. But algebraic reasoning is logical

reasoning, just as other types of mathematical reasoning are logical. Perhaps the

intention was to use the phrase “logical reasoning” to refer to geometric reasoning,

and if so, then that needs to be made clear. But even if “algebraic and logical

reasoning” is replaced by a phrase like “algebraic reasoning and geometric

reasoning” in the Oklahoma standards, there is still a problem. For many of the

objectives that contain this phrase (and the similar phrase “algebraic reasoning and

proofs”) algebraic reasoning plays only a minor role, and it is misleading to place it

on an equal footing with geometric reasoning. This is certainly true for the

objective we have chosen here, which is a natural context for geometric reasoning

but typically requires very little, if any, algebraic reasoning.

20) A2.D.1.1 Use the mean and standard deviation of a data set to fit it to a normal

distribution (bell-shaped curve).

Comment: This Algebra 2 objective was taken from the Minnesota standards, but

the last part of the Minnesota version was deleted, effectively removing any

motivation for doing it and also eliminating the expectation that students know when

it is appropriate Here is some of what is missing: “. . . to estimate population

percentages. Recognize that there are data sets for which such a procedure is not

appropriate.” By eliminating this part, especially the part about estimating

percentages, any reason for fitting a data set to a bell-shaped curve is lost, and the

expectation becomes that students perform a mechanical exercise without knowing

why it is important.

As indicated earlier, these examples are only a relatively small sampling of many similar

ones. We provide a more complete list of standards and objectives that need attention at

the end of this document.

**Focus and alignment issues
**

In addition to looking at the quality of individual items, we also considered more global

features like focus and alignment, which are necessary for coherence. A critical part of

making a set of standards successful is for the state to provide extensive support materials

to help teachers implement the standards in the classroom. When standards are not

coherent, it is extremely difficult to create support materials that are effective and it is

frustrating for teachers to see standards as much more than a checklist containing many

unrelated topics.

Focus concerns the way topics support one another within a grade level and whether

there are too many different topics at a grade level. When there is a lack of focus, it is

impossible for most students to master the most important topics in a way that provides a

strong foundation for higher grade levels, and it can be difficult for teachers to decide

what should be mastered. To use a familiar phrase, the curriculum becomes “a mile

wide and an inch deep”. In order to help us achieve focus in Minnesota we carefully

followed most of the guidelines in the NCTM Curriculum Focal Points, where all of the

important concepts for K-8 are efficiently and effectively arranged into the various grade

levels so that it is clear each year what students need to master and so that the number of

mastery topics each year is just right. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the

Oklahoma draft adhered very closely to such principles. We provide examples below to

illustrate this point.

Alignment concerns the way a given topic or strand progresses from one grade level to

the next. Standards should be written in a way that makes these progressions clear.

Ideally, student expectations for a given topic will increase smoothly from year to year

over a suitable time span. It is clear that some attention was paid to alignment in the

Oklahoma document. For example, it contains a “Vertical Alignment” chart, where it is

possible to follow various topics from one grade level to the next. (There are some

unfortunate features in the chart, such as inconsistent numbering, but those are not fatal.)

Even though alignment is important, it may be the case that too much emphasis on

alignment can degrade focus. For example, several topics may naturally span across a

number of grade levels, but in order to achieve good focus, it may not be desirable for all

of them to appear explicitly in the standards every year, and it is often necessary to first

address a particular topic in the standards at a grade level that is higher than the first place

that topic might be discussed in the classroom. Well focused standards are primarily

concerned with those parts of topics that are to be mastered at each grade level, rather

than with everything that might be done in a classroom each year. In Minnesota, we

included a particular concept at a grade level only if we felt that mastery was to be

achieved. We noticed several instances in the Oklahoma document where expectations

were essentially repeated at multiple grade levels, presumably in an attempt to maintain

alignment across grade levels, but focus was lost in the process. A few examples will be

provided here.

**A sampling of examples concerning focus and alignment
**

1) Money, grades K through 4. Here is a list of all of the objectives in the Money topic,

as found in the Vertical Alignment chart in the Oklahoma document:

K.N.4.1 Identify pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters by name.

1.N.4.1 Identifying pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters by name and value.

1.N.4.2 Write a number with the cent symbol to describe the value of a coin.

1.N.4.3 Determine the value of a collection of pennies, nickels, or dimes up to one dollar counting by

ones, fives, or tens.

**2.N.4.1 Determine the value of a collection(s) of coins up to one dollar using the cent symbol.
**

2.N.4.2 Use a combination of coins to represent a given amount of money up to one dollar.

3.N.4.1 Use addition to determine the value of a collection of coins up to one dollar using the cent

symbol and a collection of bills up to twenty dollars.

3.N.4.2 Select the fewest number of coins for a given amount of money up to one dollar.

4.N.3.1 Given a total cost (whole dollars up to $20 or coins) and amount paid (whole dollars up to

$20 or coins), find the change required in a variety of ways. Limited to whole dollars up to $20 or

sets of coins.

**Comment: There are 9 objectives spread over 5 grade levels for this topic. It is
**

easy to see that progress from one grade level to the next is very slow, and the

endpoint at grade 4 is weak. We want students to be able to work with actual

money amounts, such as $1.43 or $47. But these are unnecessarily excluded in the

Oklahoma money objectives, where the expectations are restricted to whole dollar

amounts up to $20 or to coins without bills. In Minnesota, there are only three

objectives devoted specifically to money, spanning grades 1 through 3. Already in

grade 3, students are expected to find amounts of change up to $1, which includes

being able to make change for an amount like $1.43 from $2, and there is no

restriction to whole dollar amounts or numbers of dollars when bills are involved.

We leave it to the teachers and test-makers to use good judgment when choosing

amounts for students to work with at this level. After grade 3 in Minnesota,

problems involving money are assumed to be contained in “real world situations”

involving arithmetic with decimals and calculations with percents. This is how we

maintain focus while thoroughly covering the topic. Note that the grade levels

where we have separate money objectives are those in which an emphasis on

working with money supports other priorities in those grades, such as counting with

1s, 5s and 10s and addition and subtraction.

2) Volume and Capacity, Kindergarten through Algebra 2. Naturally teachers will

talk about volume and capacity at all grade levels. But for standards that are

supposed to focus on expectations of mastery, this topic should not be a priority

before 5th grade, according to the NCTM Curriculum Focal Points. One can

quibble about this choice, but in any case, Kindergarten is much too early for any

type of mastery in this topic. Here are the objectives from the Oklahoma document

that address volume and capacity in grades K through 7:

K.GM.2.4 Compare the number of objects needed to fill two different containers.

1.GM.2.5 Use standard and nonstandard tools to identify volume/capacity. Compare and sort

containers that hold more, less, or the same amount.

2.GM.2.3 Explore how varying shapes and styles of containers can have the same capacity.

3.GM.2.7 Count cubes systematically to identify the number of cubes needed to pack the whole or

half of a three-dimensional structure.

4.GM.2.3 Using a variety of tools and strategies, develop the concept that the volume of rectangular

prisms with whole-number edge lengths can be found by counting the total number of same-sized unit

cubes that fill a shape without gaps or overlaps. Use appropriate measurements such as cm3.

4.GM.2.5 Solve problems that deal with measurements of length, when to use liquid volumes, when

to use mass, temperatures above zero and money using addition, subtraction, multiplication, or

division as appropriate (customary and metric).

5.GM.2.1 Recognize that the volume of rectangular prisms can be determined by the number of

cubes (n) and by the product of the dimensions of the prism (a x b x c = n). Know that rectangular

**prisms of different dimensions (p, q and r) can have the same volume if a x b x c = p x q x r = n.
**

6.GM.3.2 Solve problems in various real world and mathematical contexts that require the

conversion of weights, capacities, geometric measurements, and time within the same measurement

systems using appropriate units.

7.GM.1.2 Using a variety of tools and strategies, develop the concept that the volume of rectangular

prisms with rational-valued edge lengths can be found by counting the total number of same-sized

unit cubes that fill a shape without gaps or overlaps. Use appropriate measurements such as cm3.

**Comment: There are 9 objectives in these grades that address volume and
**

capacity. A careful reading of them shows a very slow progression from one grade

to the next, with lots of overlap, similar to what we’ve seen with the money topic.

For example, the volume of rectangular prisms (boxes) is addressed in very similar

language in grades 4, 5 and 7, and it is not until the next grade level (Pre-Algebra)

that it is completed. Here is the Pre-Algebra objective for the volume of

rectangular prisms:

PA.GM.2.3 Develop and use the formulas V = lwh and V = Bh to determine the volume of

rectangular prisms. Justify why base area (B) and height (h) are multiplied to find the volume of a

rectangular prism. Use appropriate measurements such as cm3.

Note that this objective has a lot of overlap with the previous ones, and that in any

case, finding the volume of rectangular prisms is a relatively easy part of the

Geometry strand past 5th or 6th grade. In Minnesota, this Pre-Algebra objective

appears much earlier, in 5th grade, and it is extended to non-rectangular prisms in 6th

grade. In Oklahoma, non-rectangular prisms are not addressed until high school

Geometry. There is a similar problem with the development of area in the Oklahoma

document: lack of focus and slow progression.

3) Data and Probability. In the Oklahoma document, the Data topic begins in

Pre-Kindergarten and continues at a slow pace through the high school Algebra

courses. In the early grades, students should be involved in classroom activities

related to Data, to supplement their work with arithmetic and whole numbers, but the

focus should not be on mastering Data objectives. The Minnesota standards first

include Data objectives in 3rd grade, consistent with the recommendations in the

NCTM Curriculum Focal Points. Yet in spite of our later starting point, a much

higher level is achieved in Data & Probability in the Minnesota standards than in the

Oklahoma document. This illustrates an important point. Reducing the number of

places where a particular topic appears can make room for higher expectations

overall. When students are exposed to too many requirements for mastery at earlier

grades, their readiness for later material can be diminished.

Wherever Data topics appear in the Minnesota standards, we tried hard in Minnesota

to connect the Data objectives to the objectives in Number at the same grade level.

Similarly, we tried to ensure that objectives in Algebra, Geometry and Measurement

are connected to objectives in Number, and in many places to objectives in Data &

Probability. This effort provided a focus that is not apparent in much of the

Oklahoma document.

**4) Fractions. Another example of lack of focus is in the development of Fractions. In
**

the Oklahoma document, the topic begins in Kindergarten, which is much too early

for mastery. As with other topics, it is appropriate in the classroom to do activities

like fair sharing that prepare students for Fractions, but these activities destroy focus

if they are included in the standards.

5) An example of bad alignment. Compare the following 5th and 6th grade objectives

from the Oklahoma document:

5.D.1.1 Find the measures of central tendency (mean, median, or mode) and range of a set of data.

Understand that the mean is a “leveling out” or central balance point of the data.

6.D.1.1 Calculate the mean, median, and mode for a set of real-world data.

**It appears to us that the 5th grade objective asks more of the student concerning mean,
**

median and mode than the 6th grade objective. To be fair, the Oklahoma document

includes a second objective (6.D.1.2) at the 6th grade level concerning the mean,

median and mode, but that objective does not really alleviate the poor alignment

between 5.D.1.1 and the corresponding objective at the next grade level, 6.D.1.1,

which should be eliminated..

We also note that 6.D.1.2 is flawed. It asks students to determine which of the

quantities mean, median and mode gives the “most descriptive information for a

given set of data.”. But there is no one answer to such a question. It depends very

much on the purpose of the descriptive information, and in many cases, both the

median and the mean will be required for an adequate description. This can be true

even for data sets that contain extreme outliers, in spite of the fact that many people

mistakenly believe that the median always provides better information than the mean

in such cases.

**A longer list of flawed items in Grades 1, 4, 7, High School Geometry
**

and Algebra 2

We end this report with a list of items that we feel need attention at selected grade levels,

either because they contain flaws similar to the ones in the examples that we discussed

previously in this document, or because they negatively impact focus or alignment.

Similar lists can be provided for the other grade levels and high school courses.

We provide this list to try to make it clear that a lot of work will be needed if the decision

is made to try to produce a high quality set of standards that does not require errata sheets

and supplementary explanations of flawed statements. As indicated earlier, it is likely that

many other items could be included. Questions regarding individual items in this list

can be directed to me at gray@math.umn.edu.

1st Grade: 1.N.1.1, 1.N.1.7, 1.N.2.2, 1.N.3, 1.N.3.1, 1.N.4.1, 1.N.4.2, 1.N.4.3, 1.GM.1.2,

1.GM.1.3, 1.GM.2.1, 1.GM.2.2, 1.GM.2.3, 1.GM.2.4, 1.GM.2.5, 1.D.1.1, 1.D.1.2

4th Grade: 4.N.1.2, 4.N.1.6, 4.N.1.7, 4.N.2.3, 4.N.3.1, 4.A.1.2, 4.GM.1, 4.GM.2.4,

4.GM.2.5, 4.D.1.1, 4.D.1.2

7th Grade: 7.N.2.2, 7.N.2.4, 7.A.1.2, 7.A.2.1, 7.A.3, 7.A.4.1, 7.GM.1.1, 7.GM.1.2,

7.D.1.1

High School Geometry: G.RL.1.2, G.RT.1.3, G.2D,1 and all nine of the objectives

within this standard, for several reasons, only one of which was discussed earlier, G.C.1.1,

G.C.1.3, G.3D.1.1

Algebra 2: A2.N.1.1, A2.N.1.3, A2.N.1.4, A2.A.1, A2.A.1.1, A2.A.1.3, A2.A.1.5,

A2.A.1.7, A2.A.1.9, A2.A.2.2, A2.A.2.3, A2.F.1.4, A2.F.1.5, A2.F.1.6. A2.F.1.7, A2.F.2.1,

A2.F.2.4, A2.D.1, A2.D.1.2

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