Common Core Math Encompasses the Old and the New

A recent video published by Business Insider tries to explain how math has changed over the years, and while they aren’t wrong, the devil is in the details.  The video explains “old math” subtraction techniques vs. “new math” vs. the “new-new math” of the Common Core. The video confuses the fact that Common Core encourages students to learn multiple strategies with the fact that these strategies have been around for years. The video states:

“When new math came along, it was supposed to help student understand what they are doing. This is exactly what Common Core is trying to do now. New math was mocked for being more concerned about kids understanding the steps, and this is exactly what people are complaining in about with the Common Core. Change is scary, especially when it involves math.”

They are right. Change is scary and usually met with opposition at first. But the term “new math” is a misnomer; the math strategies suggested under Common Core have been employed in high-performing schools across the country for decades. Although some Common Core math strategies may be unfamiliar to some individuals, CCSS introduce students to more creative, problem-solving techniques to help develop a conceptual understanding of numbers and how they work. By building that strong base understanding of the “why” and “how,” the Standards help ensure more students are able to reach and succeed at higher levels of learning.