Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New law dumbs down Calif. math performance | CalWatchDog

This is horrible. What it boils down to is this: not only has the adoption of the Common Core slowed down California's math curriculum by a year (algebra in 9th instead of 8th,)  it destroys the possibility of a calculus-track for top math students.
New law dumbs down Calif. math performance | CalWatchDog
Furthermore, SB1200 is so poorly drafted that it doesn’t just roll back the expectation of Algebra 1 in grade eight. It does more than that by requiring “one set” of standards “at each grade level,” and precluding typical mathematics course options for students in high school.

California high schools have always offered different math classes to students in the same grade who have different levels of preparation. Accordingly, California historically has adopted course-level math standards for high school — preserving local control at the district and school level to decide when it would be best to offer rigorous courses to each student based on the student’s ability. But SB 1200 would outlaw that practice by mandating only one set of mathematics curriculum- content standards, textbooks and training and teacher materials for all students in each K-12 grade.

Officials of Brown’s administration have offered rhetoric about how they will not have to implement the plain language of the law. But they do not have the statutory authority or capacity to violate the law’s provisions. Efforts to get around the wording of the law will lead to confusion about policy on curriculum, textbooks and testing — and hence invite lawsuits and re-ignite the math wars.

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