Math Standards Redux

Thanks to everyone who has sent in math quiz problems so far. Keep em coming! I'll probably post the first one a week from Friday, since this is a holiday weekend and I hope we are all going to be spending less time on the computer! Thanks, too, for the programming suggestions for writing fractions and exponents and more beautiful math problems on the blog.

Washington Post reporter Michael Birnbaum wrote in today's paper about Virginia's process of updating its math standards. A driving goal of the revision, of course, is to get more students ready for algebra by middle school.

For example:

Kindergartners would be expected to be able to count to 100, not just to 30. Perimeter and area would be introduced and explored in third grade, instead of in second grade.

If you want to delve into the details of the proposed revisions, a working document is available here.

If anyone is aware of any dramatic changes under consideration, let me know.

By Michael Alison Chandler  |  November 24, 2008; 10:34 AM ET  | Category:  Math Education Reform
Previous: Friday Quiz, Take I | Next: My Teacher Won An Award


The real question is whether the state has any intention of actually enforcing the standards. You can write all of the standards you want, but if they're not enforced, they don't mean much.

Posted by: BradJolly | November 26, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I feel like probably something more radical is needed of a systemic nature at some link in the chain (teachers, students, parents etc) but I wish them every success with this approach.

One problem I read about is that the US is inefficient in terms of educational attainment per student per dollar spent compared to other developed countries.

One suggestion of why this might be so is that there is a lot of redundancy because of a lack of universal national standards. This decreases the homogeneity of incoming students and leads to lots of repetition.

Posted by: mathlete | November 26, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Mathlete is right about our lack of national standards for math. Unfortunately, we will never have them because the good school districts would not want to accept the low standards that the lousy districts would insist upon, and the lousy districts could never meet standards of a decently high level.

Posted by: BradJolly | November 26, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company