Science

Parents’ Group Wants to Shape Math Standards

By Sean Cavanagh — June 30, 2009 1 min read

Count a parents’ coalition as one of the interest groups asking for a say in the ongoing, multi-state effort to draft common standards, which is being led by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The organization, which calls itself the United States Coalition for World Class Math, is a group of parents, mathematicians, and other interested parties from across the country. You can read more about their principles on their Web site. Generally speaking, they believe mathematicians should have a strong role in shaping math standards; that the math standards of states like Massachusetts should serve as a model for the new, multi-state effort; and that the principles of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel should guide the Common Core.

The National Math Panel, which released its final report last year, won praise from many quarters, but also criticism from those who said it advocated too narrow an approach to teaching that subject. In general, many of the coalition’s guiding principles present what some might consider a “back to basics” position, as staked out in the various math wars: the limited use of calculators in elementary school, an emphasis on standard algorithms, and so on. Yet many of the coalition’s views, if you read through their positions, are not so easy to pigeonhole. The coalition’s press release comes a few weeks after the influential National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, among other organizations, asked for a greater role in Common Core.

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