College & Workforce Readiness

One Math Professor’s Take on the Common Standards

By Catherine Gewertz — April 08, 2010 1 min read

To carry on in the spirit of a couple recent blog posts (here and here), where I’ve linked to reactions from a variety of folks to the common standards, here are some thoughts from Bert Fristedt, a math professor at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and former member of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel.

Fristedt did not submit these thoughts to the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers during their public-comment period on the common standards. But he is circulating them by e-mail to interested colleagues and others (with a copy to U.S. Ed. Sec. Arne Duncan, I might add). He told me that he didn’t submit his comments to the Common Core State Standards Initiative because, in his judgment, “the public draft is of such quality that it cannot be turned into a satisfactory document in one step.” He was referring to the fact that the draft is in its last stage of being reworked before becoming final.

And a note about one of those earlier blog posts. In this one, I described the group of folks responding to the common standards as “mathematicians.” A mathematician wrote to me to take issue with my description, noting that quite a few of the people on that list were math educators, not mathematicians. I dare not duke it out with either math educators or mathematicians on such distinctions. It is, uh, what it is.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.