School board member putting high school math in the crosshairs

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  • gridlockisbetter Toosmalltosay, UT
    June 12, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    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?

  • Experienced Mom West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    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 integrated math!

  • Mamma C HEBER CITY, UT
    June 11, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Oak Highland, UT
    June 11, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    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.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    June 10, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    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.

  • average_joe Proovo, UT
    June 9, 2014 7:09 p.m.

    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.