Agreed that there should be an option to use the traditional model. The thing
the lawmakers didn't tell you is that there is no scientific evidence that
the integrated model is any better. It's a huge experiment, and it should
have started with a pilot program in one or two schools before becoming a state
policy. When I went through high school, I opted to skip prealgebra and start
algebra a year early. That gave me time to take both AP Calculus in my junior
year and AP Statistics in my senior year. Those two AP classes were most
beneficial in my college readiness, giving me an advantage over other students
entering an engineering major. Under the integrated model it is impossible for
students to skip pre-algebra and take an accelerated course. This means that
much fewer students will take one or both AP math courses and it severely
impacts the chances that a student will be able to take calculus before or
during their physics class (and calculus is crucial to the application of
physics). The way I see it, it limits the options students have to prepare them
for college, and especially the STEM majors.
An integrated approach to mathematics education is the most common approach
throughout the world. It is the approach used in most countries that excel in
mathematics exams as compared to the United States.
I agree Average Joe. When I hit high school, I had struggled with algebra in
junior high and realized the only way I would be able to take calculus in high
school was to double up on math and take geometry and algebra 2 simultaneously.
You can't do that and accelerate your math coursework under Common Core and
the integrated method. Steve, yes many nations in the world use an
integrated approach, but they also have stronger standards than Common Core. Dr.
Jim Milgram was the only professional mathematician on the Common Core math
validation committee and he refused to sign off on the standards because they
leave the U.S. two years behind international peers by 8th grade. I would much
prefer to have Utah just adopt Singapore's standards and use the Singapore
Primary math series which put those kids at the top of the world in math since
about 1998 I think when they took the TIMSS exam showing them with enormous
success in that program. However, I ultimately prefer local control and support
letting local districts decide on standards and curriculum. Hopefully some would
try Singapore's approach and demonstrate that it is very successful.
Thanks to Jefferson Moss, a thoughtful state school board member, who clearly
cares more about allowing reasonable choices and high quality math than he feels
the need to show loyalty to the Common Core. I hope the rest of the state
school board may follow his lead.
I pointed out at a meeting JSD had with the State board, this integrated
approach doesn't allow kids to get to AP and Concurrent classes by their Jr
year. The math teachers present at the meeting from Bingham High said they had a
couple of Jrs in Concurrent Math 1010 this year, but upon further questioning of
them after the meeting, they admitted that these students had been in secondary
math 1 and 2 honors, AND they have not felt the FULL THROTTLE effect that having
NO math books, and teaching Common Core integrative math in 7th and 8th grade
have made on this next generation of students. NEXT year 2014-2015, will give
those Bingham High Math teachers' their first dose of how BEHIND these kids
that have been subjected to the integrative math model since 7th grade will be!
My son entering 10th grade will now have to take 4 years of math to get to the
same place his older siblings were in 3. Fordham gave CC integrated math an A
rating, but it also gave Utah's Math standards an A rating, pre-Common Core
It is interesting that some people argue that when a student transfers they
might be behind. Doesn't this imply that such people would prefer that we
are all behind?