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One Math Teacher’s Journey from Frustration to Appreciation of the Common Core | National Network of State Teachers of the Year
Mary Pinkston, a Delaware teacher with 24 years of experience, writes that when her school first began implementing Common Core State Standards she was concerned by the challenge. But through her own research she found that the Common Core is not a curriculum, the Common Core is not a test, and the standards provide clear goals for student learning. The math standards help provide a path for students to develop a conceptual understanding of the material, Pinkston says. “I am happy to know that the content I am teaching is aligned to standards that detail what students should know and be able to do.”

Ed Makeover More Familiar Ride, But Driving Change Still Goal | Modesto Bee
After a bumpy early ride, California’s implementation of the Common Core has gotten past the “how?” and turned to “how well?” writes education columnist Nan Austin. High-quality assessments have created a new baseline for student achievement, which schools will likely improve on as they acclimate to the new standards. Conversely, the piece notes, setting the bar low would reinforce a “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Districts should focus on getting the proper professional development and support to teachers and continue to ensure all students are held to rigorous expectations. Other statessuccesses with the Common Core reinforce that California is on the right track. “Parents should resist the siren song of those who want to use this moment of truth to attack the Common Core or associated tests,” Mike Petrilli cautioned last fall.


Correcting the Record:

Common Core Math Is a Waste of Time | Salt Lake Tribune
Common Core “is the most ridiculous thing ever invented—by some person insulated from the real world… It is a system of time-wasting,” argues Gordon Johnston, a Utah grandfather. Math questions that require students to explain their reasoning are “not even sensible,” the letter suggests. “I can think of no program that will cause our children to fall behind other countries in math proficiency faster than Common Core.” While the Common Core may be unfamiliar to those like Johnston who grew up under old models of instruction, the standards foster a deeper understanding of numbers and functions in students—which better prepares them for success at high levels of learning. Here is where Johnston gets it wrong:


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Several High School Math Textbooks Not Aligned with Common Core, Ratings Group Finds | The 74 Million
An analysis of five high school math textbook series conducted by EdReports, a non-profit that produces “consumer reports” of instructional materials, found that three of the publishers (College Board, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Pearson) failed to meet criteria to be considered aligned to Common Core State Standards. A program by Carnegie Learning partially met the expectations for focus and rigor. Only one program, created by CPM Educational Program, was found to be fully aligned to the Common Core in all areas. Four of the five publishers took issue with the report, citing alleged problems with the methodology. EdReports plans to release findings about nine other high school math textbook series over the coming months.