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Jann in TX

Musings about the Common Core and high school Math (longish)

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Saxon will be coming out with a new edition that is Common Core compliant ( they will have to add additional topics).  I see them going back to the full integration and doing away with the separate Geometry.

 

I know (internationally speaking) that there are other curriculm providers that have integrated materials that are not taught using the 'Saxon method'... we just do not have many US choices at the current time--give it 5-10 years and there will be MANY to choose from.  Most publishers are rushing to create Common Core supplements and are rearranging their chapters buying time until they can rework the progression.

 

Common Core actually reduces or moves "topics' to earlier courses such as Pre-Algebra.  The current Saxon editions (Algebra I and Geometry) which my DS uses at his charter school cover lots of topics.  I doubt that have to add any.  Algebra I 4th edition covers probability etc.

 

If they go back to Integrated approach then they will have upgrade the Geometry part.  I have only seen the Saxon Algebra I 3rd edition (orange cover) so maybe the proofs were covered later.

 

What I can't stand is that dice became "number cubes"  in the 4th edition and other made up stuff like that.

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1)

The biggest change I see is in 6th-8th grade math.  Much of a ‘traditional’ Algebra 1 course is now being moved to the middle grades.  The Common Core standards for grades 1-7 supposedly ‘prepare’ students for Algebra 1 in 8th grade with states having the option of students taking Algebra 1 in 9th grade.  It sounds fine-- nothing seems out of ordinary until you look at the standards and see that a great portion of a traditional Algebra 1 course is now taught in grades 6-8 with the Common Core 8th grade math being quite Algebra heavy.   The Common core allows for the traditional sequence of ‘Algebra 1,  Geometry and Algebra 2’ but those courses will only exist in name as the content will have to shift to include the new standards.

 

2)

Basically, the Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 traditional courses will now need to include probability, statistics and trigonometry (outside of right triangle Trig that is part of most current Geometry or Algebra 2 texts). So we now have 4 years of traditional US math crammed into 3... unless you count 8th grade math as the 4th year...  

 

1)  I wish they had not used the terms 6th, 7th 8th grade math etc. They should have just used Middle School Math 1,  2 and 3 and then HS Algebra I, HS Geometry, HS Algebra 2 -  so students would be placed where they belong based on capability and current attained knowledge.  Reinforcing the grade level stuff implies one size fits all.

 

2)  If your state hadn't started to integrate probability and stats a while back then they were quite behind on that curve anyway.

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Currently about 34% of US 8th graders are enrolled in a traditional Algebra 1 course.  The Common Core will now dictate that 100% of students take Algebra 1 in 7th or 8th grade-- but instead of calling the course 'Algebra 1' it will now be called Math 8. 

 

 

 

Not true only some of the "old" HS Algebra I topics were moved to so-called CC 8th grade math.

 

The CC disaster is having all students take college prep Algebra 2/Trig when the less math savvy could be learning something more useful like understanding how loans work.

 

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Does anyone have a link for a site with a succinct version of the Common Core math standards?  The last time I tried to read through the standards, I had a hard time wading through them.

 

I don't mind reading a detailed version. But despite having a Master's Degree in Ed, I have limited tolerance for documents written in ed speak. And most of that reserve is tagged for writing my AP syllabus plans.

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I think the concerns about "integrated math" are warranted.  Things like transferring schools, and schools that dumb down curriculum, only get worse with an integrated program, in my experience.  Our local district is VERY poor and used an integrated math when oldest went there.  I seriously think our district tried it because they thought it would be easier.  They claimed it was more "applied" but my son and I both felt the "widgets for sale" types of problems were lame and cluttering up the teaching of concepts.  And basically, it allowed them and the textbooks to muddy the waters enough to get nowhere fast.

 

My oldest also suffered from the transfer issue.  He took Algebra I & II in 8th grade through a special university program in our state (UMPTYMP) and then decided to rejoin his high school in 9th.  In order to learn any geometry, he had to join the integrated math for the rest of his years there, going back to very basic algebra.  Fortunately, after one year, a teacher pulled him to do independent study in precalculus (which is technically illegal since he wasn't being instructed). 

 

Even if he'd transferred from another similarly integrated school district into this one, I think there's a strong possibility he could have had 4 years on one topic and no years on other topics.

 

I guess I think of education in a more "classical sequence" way, similar to history and English lit being best understood in an orderly procession.  If my student is to understand the US constitution well, then it is best to focus on that for a while, exploring different aspects, rather than reading it in between random topics in a jumble of time periods or world locations, at least the first time or two through.  From my perspective, math is best understood in the same way.  We used Singapore Primary US edition, and it had quite a limited set of topics, and we saw great success that transferred even to other topics not covered (I brought out a simplistic high school probability workbook since we hadn't covered that, and he said, Really, Mom?!).  We also did algebra alone, and geometry.  Some of math does automatically integrate across fields, but only in precalc (dual enrolled) did my youngest start seeing topics coming from all different directions, being combined in different ways, and need to keep his head above water.  I think if he'd started doing that earlier, he may have not been strong in anything, as he needs to be more of a mathematical thinker than my oldest mathy son (who is more of a rule follower).

 

Just another opinion based on my experience with an integrated program in the public schools in the early 2000s (I think it was called Core Plus).

Julie

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Does anyone have a link for a site with a succinct version of the Common Core math standards?  The last time I tried to read through the standards, I had a hard time wading through them.

 

I don't mind reading a detailed version. But despite having a Master's Degree in Ed, I have limited tolerance for documents written in ed speak. And most of that reserve is tagged for writing my AP syllabus plans.

 

You are probably better off to find a mapping from a text book or two to the standard. That's what I am doing.

 

I already skim read the whole CC math standard - yuk.

 

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Not true only some of the "old" HS Algebra I topics were moved to so-called CC 8th grade math.

 

The CC disaster is having all students take college prep Algebra 2/Trig when the less math savvy could be learning something more useful like understanding how loans work.

 

 

Actually, if you listen to the linked talk by mjbucks1, the position being advocated is that the vast majority of students should not be taking alg 2 up ( I can't remember, but I think he said something like 5% should.)

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You are probably better off to find a mapping from a text book or two to the standard. That's what I am doing.

 

I already skim read the whole CC math standard - yuk.

 

The only issue I see with that is that it is just as likely to be a text that is largely the same, with justifications for content tied to the CCSS.

 

It is so difficult to discuss the proposed standards without knowing how they will actually be put into practice. That means what the textbooks look like, what classes look like, how students are placed into courses, and what the exams look like (be they end of course exams, or college entrance exams).

 

Just as an example, I was on an email list for AP English lit teachers (until it moved from email to forum only). A couple long time members of the list expressed their frustration that their districts had set down requirements that all high school English courses needed to contain 80% non-fiction informative texts. This was because a section of the CCSS said that there should be an emphasis on informative texts and laid out an 80% standard - across all subjects.  Nothing any of the English teachers in the district said could convince the powers that be that there wasn't a limit of 20% of time in English classes on fictional literature (including poetry).

 

I earned my MS Ed about the time Virginia adopted the state Standards of Learning.  It was very tough to determine what most of the standards expected in terms of depth and detail.  Not long after I earned my degree, NCLB was passed.  It was a bipartisan bill with Sen Ted Kennedy as one of the main architects. It was intended to (and expected to) improve test scores in some very challenged districts.

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Actually, if you listen to the linked talk by mjbucks1, the position being advocated is that the vast majority of students should not be taking alg 2 up ( I can't remember, but I think he said something like 5% should.)

 

Rather than looking for the CCS position on the Algebra 2 from a video of mjbusks1 I recommend a review of the standard itself which shows a very different picture of things.  Algebra 2 is clearly recommended for High School students.  More specifically take a look at:  Appendix A: Designing High School Mathematics courses Based on the common core state standards.

 

It addresses many of the questions in this thread including multiple Pathways which include Calculus in High School.  All pathways have an Algebra II component from what I read in the standard, even the most basic traditional pathway as follows:

 

"Traditional Pathway: Algebra II (Page 36) 
Building on their work with linear, quadratic, and exponential functions, students extend their repertoire of functions to include polynomial, rational, and radical functions.2 Students work closely with the expressions that define the functions, and continue to expand and hone their abilities to model situations and to solve equations, including solving quadratic equations over the set of complex numbers and solving exponential equations using the properties of logarithms. The Mathematical Practice Standards apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, prescribe that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. The critical areas for this course, organized into four units, are as follows:
 
Critical Area 1: This unit develops the structural similarities between the system of polynomials and the system of integers. Students draw on analogies between polynomial arithmetic and base-ten computation, focusing on properties of operations, particularly the distributive property. Students connect multiplication of polynomials with multiplication of multi-digit integers, and division of polynomials with long division of integers. Students identify zeros of polynomials, including complex zeros of quadratic polynomials, and make connections between zeros of polynomials and solutions of polynomial equations. The unit culminates with the fundamental theorem of algebra. A central theme of this unit is that the arithmetic of rational expressions is governed by the same rules as the arithmetic of rational numbers.
 
Critical Area 2: Building on their previous work with functions, and on their work with trigonometric ratios and circles in Geometry, students now use the coordinate plane to extend trigonometry to model periodic phenomena. 
 
Critical Area 3: In this unit students synthesize and generalize what they have learned about a variety of function families. They extend their work with exponential functions to include solving exponential equations with logarithms. They explore the effects of transformations on graphs of diverse functions, including functions arising in an application, in order to abstract the general principle that transformations on a graph always have the same effect regardless of the type of the underlying function. They identify appropriate types of functions to model a situation, they adjust parameters to improve the model, and they compare models by analyzing appropriateness of fit and making judgments about the domain over which a model is a good fit. The description of modeling as “the process of choosing and using mathematics and statistics to analyze empirical situations, to understand them better, and to make decisions†is at the heart of this unit. The narrative discussion and diagram of the modeling cycle should be considered when knowledge of functions, statistics, and geometry is applied in a modeling context.
 
Critical Area 4: In this unit, students see how the visual displays and summary statistics they learned in earlier grades relate to different types of data and to probability distributions. They identify different ways of collecting data—including sample surveys, experiments, and simulations—and the role that randomness and careful design play in the conclusions that can be drawn."
 
More significantly than Algebra II take a look at the section on High school mathematics in middle school (page 80).  This is especially relevant for those here who have accelerated students.

 

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Derek, I really recommend reading the link she posted http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2000/01/ZimbaMilgramStotskyFinal.pdf

 

I posted what I consider the most important impact in your thread on the logic board. The link is written by two members of the CC validating committee. The CC standards are written to a community college/non-selective university level. But, the impact goes beyond high schools which is what I believe Regentrude's point of concern was in reference to.

 

After all the reading I have done late last night and quite a bit of today, CC math standards do not seem a move in the right direction, especially for future STEM majors. (Goodness, I wouldn't let any of my kids take math at a local CC. We have paid for all of our advanced kids to dual enroll at 4 yr universities precisely bc Community College standards don't meet our standards. I certainly wouldn't want to use them as a target goal.)

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Derek, I really recommend reading the link she posted http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2000/01/ZimbaMilgramStotskyFinal.pdf

 

I posted what I consider the most important impact in your thread on the logic board. The link is written by two members of the CC validating committee. The CC standards are written to a community college/non-selective university level. But, the impact goes beyond high schools which is what I believe Regentrude's point of concern was in reference to.

 

After all the reading I have done late last night and quite a bit of today, CC math standards do not seem a move in the right direction, especially for future STEM majors. (Goodness, I wouldn't let any of my kids take math at a local CC. We have paid for all of our advanced kids to dual enroll at 4 yr universities precisely bc Community College standards don't meet our standards. I certainly wouldn't want to use them as a target goal.)

 

8Fill, I did read that link. I found it focused primarily on what was already stated above regarding a comment which was made by Zimba.  In all honesty I prefer to focus on the Standard itself vs. someone's critique of the standard or its authors.  The reason for this is that there are boat loads of critiques and rebuttals of the CCS right now.  These are all over the internet and TV including talkshows, etc...  That is why I find it much more productive and informative to refer to the standard in these matters.  Things get lost in translation when taken out of context or slanted in such a way as to make it look like the standard is mandating something which its not.  In addition it helps to keep the thread from going 'off the rails' as I've seen in other general discussions of the CCS here.  I think that would not be in line with Jann's original post or request.

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Derek, I really recommend reading the link she posted http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2000/01/ZimbaMilgramStotskyFinal.pdf

 

I posted what I consider the most important impact in your thread on the logic board. The link is written by two members of the CC validating committee. The CC standards are written to a community college/non-selective university level. But, the impact goes beyond high schools which is what I believe Regentrude's point of concern was in reference to.

 

After all the reading I have done late last night and quite a bit of today, CC math standards do not seem a move in the right direction, especially for future STEM majors. (Goodness, I wouldn't let any of my kids take math at a local CC. We have paid for all of our advanced kids to dual enroll at 4 yr universities precisely bc Community College standards don't meet our standards. I certainly wouldn't want to use them as a target goal.)

 

And to think we did.   :D

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So in its most simplistic, the CC is pushing for even more developmentally inappropriate topics down little one's throats? CRAZY! Whatever happened to giving a solid arithmatic foundation first? If they cannot add/subtract, etc. quickly both from a formula and application/word problem point of view, the rest is a waste of time. Understanding abstract concepts takes a level of brain maturity that usually doesn't kick in until high school age. Then again I am admittedly fully against the push for Algebra 1 in 8th grade as the standard. Many, many kids are going to fail.

 

I highly respect all of you and what you have said. Perhaps I do not see the point and am way off base. Forgive me if this is the case.

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So in its most simplistic, the CC is pushing for even more developmentally inappropriate topics down little one's throats? CRAZY! Whatever happened to giving a solid arithmatic foundation first? If they cannot add/subtract, etc. quickly both from a formula and application/word problem point of view, the rest is a waste of time. Understanding abstract concepts takes a level of brain maturity that usually doesn't kick in until high school age. Then again I am admittedly fully against the push for Algebra 1 in 8th grade as the standard. Many, many kids are going to fail.

 

I highly respect all of you and what you have said. Perhaps I do not see the point and am way off base. Forgive me if this is the case.

 

Hi Paradox,

 

Not all kids will be forced into Algebra 1 in 8th grade.  What is being described instead is a different way of spreading out some of the topics so that Pre-Algebra has more of an introduction to algebraic reasoning.  But Algebra 1 itself will not be taken until 9th grade unless the student is on an accelerated track.  I posted this in the Logic & Middle School forum.  However it applies to your questions here as well.  Here are the normal pathways the standard describes for High School students:

 

"Pathways in Mathematics based on the Common Core State Standards:
 
1. An approach typically seen in the U.S. (Traditional) that consists of two algebra courses and a geometry course, with some data, probability and statistics included in each course;
2. An approach typically seen internationally (Integrated) that consists of a sequence of three courses, each of which includes number, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics;
3. A “compacted†version of the Traditional pathway where no content is omitted, in which students would complete the content of 7th grade, 8th grade, and the High School Algebra I course in grades 7 (Compacted 7th Grade) and 8 (8th Grade Algebra I), which will enable them to reach Calculus or other college level courses by their senior year. While the K-7 CCSS effectively prepare students for algebra in 8th grade, some standards from 8th grade have been placed in theAccelerated 7th Grade course to make the 8th Grade Algebra I course more manageable;
4. A “compacted†version of the Integrated pathway where no content is omitted, in which students would complete the content of 7th grade, 8th grade, and the Mathematics I course in grades 7 (Compacted 7th Grade) and 8 (8th Grade Mathematics I), which will enable them to reach Calculus or other college level courses by their senior year. While the K-7 CCSS effectively prepare students for algebra in 8th grade, some standards from 8th grade have been placed in the Accelerated7th Grade course to make the 8th Grade Mathematics I course more manageable;
...
The pathways and courses are models, not mandates. They illustrate possible approaches to organizing the content of the CCSS into coherent and rigorous courses that lead to college and career readiness. States and districts are not expected to adopt these courses as is; rather, they are encouraged to use these pathways and courses as a starting point for developing their own."  -- http://www.corestand..._Appendix_A.pdf
 
As you can see the school districts are given much more freedom than is being conveyed.  How they decide to implement the standard will determine their own success or failure.

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.  In all honesty I prefer to focus on the Standard itself vs. someone's critique of the standard or its authors. 

 

That is not just someone's critique of the standards or authors.   The authors are 2 of the original members of the CC Validating Committee that refused to sign the CC standards b/c of the way college readiness was defined.

 

And to think we did.   :D

 

No offense intended.   But, setting the high school graduation standard as not needing remedial level math as defined as being at a precalculus or trig level at CC's or non-selective universities is not an academic goal for our family.   I make no apology that for having higher standards than that.  ;)

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That is not just someone's critique of the standards or authors.   The authors are 2 of the original members of the CC Validating Committee that refused to sign the CC standards b/c of the way college readiness was defined.

 

Have you considered that Appendix A of the Standard referenced above addresses the issues in this paper?  Specifically it outlines how a student might advance through Calculus while in High School through taking one of two accelerated tracks.  Secondly, it describes in detail how Algebra II (including Trig) should be taken.  The lack or de-emphasis of these areas are primary complaints of the paper as well many other posts in both sub forums.

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Have you considered that Appendix A of the Standard referenced above addresses the issues in this paper?  Specifically it outlines how a student might advance through Calculus while in High School through taking one of two accelerated tracks.  Secondly, it describes in detail how Algebra II (including Trig) should be taken.  The lack or de-emphasis of these areas are primary complaints of the paper as well many other posts in both sub forums.

 

It doesn't change the fact that college readiness is defined as alg 2.   What might or might not happen doesn't change the fact that the part I quoted on the other thread does beg the question as to whether or not colleges are going to have to start counting trig/pre-cal as non-remedial/for credit courses due to the way everything is tied to Race to the Top.   Their argument is worth paying attention to.  And, simply b/c schools have an option to offer something does not equate to them actually doing so.

 

I am completely clueless (and as I stated on both of these threads, I really don't care) about the actual grade level objectives.   However, the implications to higher ed as argued in that paper are disturbing and I do want to understand the impact on universities. 

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Huh. I managed early acceptance at William and Mary with nothing more than alg 2. My other choices were northwestern and swarthmore. My parents must not have had high enough standards. Luckily my near perfect verbal SAT made up for my inability to process math.

 

 

Anyway I find this very interesting and thanks Jann for te explanation and thoughts. We are using Lial alg with our 8th grader. The local school uses springboard.

 

It is unlikely that you would be accepted by today's standards.   From W&M's website:  http://www.wm.edu/admission/undergraduateadmission/faqs/academics/index.php

 

Are there any required courses to apply to W&M?

 

There are no required courses to apply to W&M. We recommend that students take four math courses culminating in Calculus, regardless of prospective major. Calculus is preferred over Statistics. We recommend taking four science courses (regardless of prospective major) culminating in Physics, and four years of single foreign language as ways of demonstrating a challenging, well-rounded curriculum. However, these classes are not required, nor are they the only way to demonstrate a challenging curriculum.

 

This is not a minor issue.

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Huh. I managed early acceptance at William and Mary with nothing more than alg 2. My other choices were northwestern and swarthmore. My parents must not have had high enough standards. Luckily my near perfect verbal SAT made up for my inability to process math.

 

 

Anyway I find this very interesting and thanks Jann for te explanation and thoughts. We are using Lial alg with our 8th grader. The local school uses springboard.

 

Hi Calandalsmom,

 

Can you tell what your impressions are of Springboard so far?  Do you find the curriculum understandable, fairly well written?  Do your kids like it/hate it, find it so/so?  Just curious.

 

Thanks,

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It doesn't change the fact that college readiness is defined as alg 2...  

 

8Fill, please provide a reference from the CCS which defines college readiness as only one thing.  
 
By contrast I do not find that sole definition for 'all students' in the standard. Rather I find a multitude of pathways recommended which reflect different students' goals and abilities.  From the Standard Appendix A - Designing High School Mathematics (Page 3):
 
"A variety of courses should be available to students reflecting a range of possible interests; possible options are listed in the following chart. Based on a variety of inputs and factors, some students may decide at an early age that they want to take Calculus or other college level courses in high school. These students would need to begin the study of high school content in the middle school, which would lead to Precalculus or Advanced Statistics as a junior and Calculus, Advanced Statistics or other college level options as a senior."  
 
This does not say Algebra II should be their limit at all for college readiness.  If it were the case there would be no point in offering them these classes.

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And to think we did.   :D

 

Many, many students here are dual enrolled in our local CC and are accepted to good colleges. Our good friend just had his dd accepted to Cornell and she was dual enrolled in our local CC. My dh was dual enrolled in his local CC and went to Berkeley. I really don't get the problem in dual enrolling in a local CC during high school. In many cases it isn't accepted as college credit, but I also don't know of anyone saying it is looked down upon.

 

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8Fill, please provide a reference from the CCS which defines college readiness as only one thing.  
 

I haven't read through the standards and don't plan to.  Nor did I say it was defined as only "one thing."   Zimba, lead author of the CC math standards, defines college readiness as alg 2 and then goes on to clarify that he sees college readiness as distinct from STEM readiness and that high schools don't have to stop offering maths beyond alg 2.  But, it is his definition.

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I haven't read through the standards and don't plan to.  Nor did I say it was defined as only "one thing."   Zimba, lead author of the CC math standards, defines college readiness as alg 2 and then goes on to clarify that he sees college readiness as distinct from STEM readiness and that high schools don't have to stop offering maths beyond alg 2.  But, it is his definition.W

 

Well, fortunately that 'limited' or narrow definition is either left out or de-emphasized in the Standard from what I have read.  That is why standards development requires reviewing, editing and multiple revisions prior to release rather than relying on one person's limited perspective or opinion.  A broader definition is specified in Designing High School Mathematics Courses based on students' academic goals and needs.

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That is not just someone's critique of the standards or authors.   The authors are 2 of the original members of the CC Validating Committee that refused to sign the CC standards b/c of the way college readiness was defined.

 

 

No offense intended.   But, setting the high school graduation standard as not needing remedial level math as defined as being at a precalculus or trig level at CC's or non-selective universities is not an academic goal for our family.   I make no apology that for having higher standards than that.  ;)

 

 

As your son didn't take remedial math courses at the 4-year university, I'm not reading that this is the context in your last post.  But no matter as I can't imagine anyone referring to a high school student taking classes at a community college as an insult, I couldn't possibly take offense.  :001_smile:  Homeschoolers, and those at "regular" schools. all take different paths and we are fortunate as homeschoolers to be able to make the best choices for our own students.  NCLB was a disaster, and hopefully CC will be better.  JMO.  Time will tell.

 

If CC is truly lowering standards, then why would anyone be concerned with how it will impact standardized tests?  As those with students who will be taking the ACT and SAT in the future are looking to make sure they cover the "new" content, then I would assume that more is expected of the student, and not less.  The intent is to help make our students more competitive globally as clearly there is room for improvement.  

 

I'm certain that not all those who graduated from high school when I was there years ago took Algebra II.  For some students this requirement would mean they'd leave school without a high school diploma.   The lack of a diploma has so many repercussions for the student and society as a whole.   On the flip side, I can't find anywhere in the standards stating that schools which are more advanced would not be allowed to continue offering advanced courses.  This isn't NCLB.  

 

Happy New Year 8 and all!

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... On the flip side, I can't find anywhere in the standards stating that schools which are more advanced would not be allowed to continue offering advanced courses.  This isn't NCLB.  

 

Happy New Year 8 and all!

 

Yes, in reading the standard more I find this to be true.  Not only is it not disallowing schools to continue more advanced courses, it provides for it in giving states latitude in designing their own programs:

 

The standards themselves do not dictate curriculum, pedagogy, or delivery of content. In particular, states may handle the transition to high school in different ways. For example, many students in the U.S. today take Algebra I in the 8th grade, and in some states this is a requirement. The K-7 standards contain the prerequisites to prepare students for Algebra I by 8th grade, and the standards are designed to permit states to continue existing policies concerning Algebra I in 8th grade.  

 

-- http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/note-on-courses-transitions/courses-transitions

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As your son didn't take remedial math courses at the 4-year university, I'm not reading that this is the context in your last post.  But no matter as I can't imagine anyone referring to a high school student taking classes at a community college as an insult, I couldn't possibly take offense.  :001_smile:  Homeschoolers, and those at "regular" schools. all take different paths and we are fortunate as homeschoolers to be able to make the best choices for our own students.  NCLB was a disaster, and hopefully CC will be better.  JMO.  Time will tell.

 

If CC is truly lowering standards, then why would anyone be concerned with how it will impact standardized tests?  As those with students who will be taking the ACT and SAT in the future are looking to make sure they cover the "new" content, then I would assume that more is expected of the student, and not less.  The intent is to help make our students more competitive globally as clearly there is room for improvement.  

 

I'm certain that not all those who graduated from high school when I was there years ago took Algebra II.  For some students this requirement would mean they'd leave school without a high school diploma.   The lack of a diploma has so many repercussions for the student and society as a whole.   On the flip side, I can't find anywhere in the standards stating that schools which are more advanced would not be allowed to continue offering advanced courses.  This isn't NCLB.  

 

Happy New Year 8 and all!

 

Happy New Year to you as well. :)

 

I think you misunderstood  my posts b/c they are in reference to the link posted by mjbucks1 and the 2 CC Validating Committee members that refused to sign the CC standards due to how college readiness was defined and how defining it as alg 2 means that RttT affects universities.   It has absolutely nothing to do with dual enrollment and everything to do with how CC standards may well impact how universities define remedial vs. for credit.

 

Here is a copy of the post I was referencing in my post to Derek.

 

Of everything I have read, this article is the most disturbing. I believe this is what Regentrude was alluding to about the CC impacting what s taught in higher ed. Ultimately, it sounds like CC standards are going to lower math standards in this country, not increase them. Below are the key pts made in the linked article:

http://www.uaedrefor...totskyFinal.pdf

 

 

 

However, the details in the March draft did not go beyond a relatively weak algebra II course, with both logarithms and the standard algebraic analysis of conic sections missing.14

Since the calculus stubs were not in the final version, and a small number of the advanced (+) standards in trigonometry remain as the only indication of anything between an algebra II course and a calculus course, Common Core’s standards clearly cannot help to prepare students for STEM areas.15 ...... This situation requires something other (and much more) than the weak Common Core’s standards to correct.

......

Although the IHEs clearly have a role in designing the assessments, the two consortia in

charge of the tests—Partnership for Assessment of Readiness in College and Career (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)—cannot address the mathematics requirements of selective public or private colleges or universities because, as we have already noted, major topics in trigonometry and precalculus are not in Common Core’s standards and the tests cannot address topics that are not in the standards. Nevertheless, the language in the RttT agreement indicates that states must place new students admitted by their major public colleges and universities into credit-bearing mathematics (and English) courses if these students have passed a Common Core-based “college readiness†test.

One might criticize the generality of the statement above by pointing out that these students don’t have to be admitted or that colleges can admit students who haven’t passed such a test. However, in many states including California the top 30 percent of students graduating from high school are guaranteed admission to an IHE or IHE system. Moreover, only the chief administrative officer of an IHE has to sign on to this policy, not the relevant faculty. For the most part, this faculty knows nothing about the changes that Common Core will bring.

We find these requirements for Common Core states astounding because they apply to all public institutions of higher education, not just to those for which Common Core’s mathematics standards were intended, according to the lead mathematics standards writer, Jason Zimba. And even if these requirements are intended only for non-selective postsecondary institutions, they are problematic because non-selective schools have often had to place newly admitted students into intermediate algebra (a course lower than “college algebraâ€) that was remedial at these institutions. To make matters worse, the first for-credit courses at non-selective institutions

are often regarded as remedial at other colleges and universities, yet “articulation agreements†between two- and four-year public colleges seem to require that transfer credit be given. All

that the PARCC and SBAC tests can verify is whether freshmen have to start with intermediate algebra if they do not pass, or could start with “pre-calculus trigonometry†or “pre-calculus algebra,†as the first two for-credit courses at a community college are usually described.

VIII. Educational Significance of Common Core’s College Readiness Standards in Mathematics

Two major academic consequences loom in these federal conditions for a RttT award. First, they will likely lower the level of introductory mathematics courses at selective public colleges and universities. How so? Students who are otherwise eligible for a selective institution (i.e., there

is no other placement requirement) and are admitted subject to fulfilling the missing admission requirements would, under this agreement, be able to take a credit-bearing mathematics course

if they had passed the PARCC or SBAC Algebra II test. Because such students would probably fail a regular precalculus course (never mind a calculus course), public colleges and universities would likely feel compelled to provide lower-level (but credit-bearing) introductory mathematics courses for them in order to avoid too high a failure rate.

Second, the federal conditions for a RttT award in effect give a state board and a state department of elementary and secondary education control of the content of entry courses in all Common Core state colleges and universities.

 

For those that are interested, here is Zimba's (Jason Zimba was a lead author of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics) rebuttal to the above.  http://www.edexcelle...snt-add-up.html

 

 

 

Milgram, Wurman, and Stotsky want the term “college ready†to mean something beyond Algebra II. They want to call students college ready only if they go beyond Algebra II to take trigonometry, precalculus, or calculus. At the risk of giving more oxygen to what strikes me as being fundamentally a dispute about language, what Milgram, Wurman, and Stotsky think of as “college ready†is what I might call “STEM ready.†I think it makes sense to most people that college readiness and STEM readiness are two different things. The mathematical demands that students face in college will vary dramatically depending on whether they are pursuing a STEM major or not.

 

Students in high school should take as many rigorous mathematics courses as they can. Students who intend to pursue STEM majors in college should know what is required. All of that was true before the Common Core, and it remains true today.

 

The Common Core has every promise of increasing the number of students in our country who actually attain advanced levels of performance. Nothing is being “dumbed down†here. Just because the Common Core State Standards end with Algebra II doesn’t mean the high school curriculum is supposed to end there. California had calculus standards before adopting the Common Core, and the state still has them now, as it should. The difference in California today is that better standards can help more of California’s students gain the strong foundations they need to succeed in calculus.

 

States still can and still should provide a pathway to calculus for all students who are prepared to succeed on that pathway—not only because it is at the heart of many STEM fields but also because calculus is one of the greatest intellectual developments in human history.

 

But the real problem, not only in California but everywhere, is that so many students who take calculus today aren’t ready for it. The most common score on the AP Calculus exam is 1 out of 5. This striking level of failure is just one of the reasons we need the stronger foundation of the Common Core State Standards to propel students into advanced mathematics.

 

FWIW, I am clueless as to the elementary/middle school/alg-alg 2 content details (and could seriously careless) but the bar of alg 2 as college ready is his position.   He simply addresses it by stating a distinction between college ready and what he "might call 'STEM ready.'"  He says most people see them as 2 different things.   I am one of those who doesn't.   All of my kids take math beyond alg 2, even the ones that are not STEM oriented.   I personally don't see the alg 2 bar as improving math education in this country.

 

My posts here were in terms of the above.   My POV is that the authors of the first quote have a valid pt b/c of impact that defining alg 2 as college readiness combined with RttT is a concern.

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Those programs are still lacking in Statistics and advanced probablity.

 

The whole Common Core movement is based on resetting the foundation of Mathmatics in the US.  Our current curriculum-- including FOERSTER/Dolciani/Lia--l do not contain the same concepts (number theory/probablity/statistics) at the same level as other countries.  AOPS has more modeling, application, and probability-- if their Counting and Probility text is used-- but is still lacking in the area of statistics.

Jann,

 

Thanks for the explanation of these additional areas of required study.  Are there any current texts beyond AoPS C&P which you are aware of that contain these areas?  While there are quite a few who like AoPS their texts aren't for everyone.  In addition as you've mentioned there is need for more in area of statistics.

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After all the reading I have done late last night and quite a bit of today, CC math standards do not seem a move in the right direction, especially for future STEM majors. (Goodness, I wouldn't let any of my kids take math at a local CC. We have paid for all of our advanced kids to dual enroll at 4 yr universities precisely bc Community College standards don't meet our standards. I certainly wouldn't want to use them as a target goal.)

 

Is my reading comprehension really at fault? 

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Sorry for going off-topic but not sure which year's data Jason Zimba look at but the most common score is not 1 out of 5 for all calculus papers. In fact the most common score is a 5 for Calc BC (I'm not trying to start an argument, I just like looking at data and its not that tragic. An exam where the majority fail would be tragic. Maybe Jason Zimba should have stated that he was referring only to Calc AB, even than more score a 4 or 5 than a 1)

 

For California:

Calc BC - 51.3% score a 5, 11.8% score a 1

Calc AB - 24.9% score a 5, 30.7% score a 1 and 16.6% score a 4 (so more score 4 or 5 than a 1, even though numerically 1 was the most common score)

 

For the US:

Calc BC - 48.1% score a 5, 12.7% score a 1

Calc AB - 22.4% score a 5, 32.6% score a 1, 16.8% score a 4 (again more score a 4 or 5 than a 1)

 

Numbers all taken from The 9th Annual Report to the Nation and are 2012 data. (http://apreport.collegeboard.org/download-press-center)

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For Calculus AB, from what you've listed, more do score a 1 than score a 5 - both in California and nationally.  Calculus BC would be taken by the strongest math students, so the scores are higher.

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Is my reading comprehension really at fault? 

 

I’m not sure.    I have been multitasking while posting, so it depends on how you interpret my poorly written posts.  ;)   If you are comfortable with high school graduation standards being such that the goal of being college ready is community college/non-selective university trig as the bar, then we disagree.   My reference to community college was having trig/pre-cal there be normal post high school goal.   I think that that is a low standard.   While, yes, not all students are capable of surpassing alg 2, I think more college bound students are capable of moving on to trig in high school than not.   Alg 2 is just not the bar I would have thought when attempting to move American math standards higher.   And the consequences toward higher ed are what actually do interest me.   (in all reality, I am just not that interested in ps standards…..but I am definitely interested in how the CC standards could ultimately influence universities and how they are forced to give credits.)

 

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Sorry for going off-topic but not sure which year's data Jason Zimba look at but the most common score is not 1 out of 5 for all calculus papers. In fact the most common score is a 5 for Calc BC (I'm not trying to start an argument, I just like looking at data and its not that tragic. An exam where the majority fail would be tragic. Maybe Jason Zimba should have stated that he was referring only to Calc AB, even than more score a 4 or 5 than a 1)

 

For California:

Calc BC - 51.3% score a 5, 11.8% score a 1

Calc AB - 24.9% score a 5, 30.7% score a 1 and 16.6% score a 4 (so more score 4 or 5 than a 1, even though numerically 1 was the most common score)

 

For the US:

Calc BC - 48.1% score a 5, 12.7% score a 1

Calc AB - 22.4% score a 5, 32.6% score a 1, 16.8% score a 4 (again more score a 4 or 5 than a 1)

 

Numbers all taken from The 9th Annual Report to the Nation and are 2012 data. (http://apreport.collegeboard.org/download-press-center)

 

I wondered that myself.   I have spent quite a bit of time looking at AP score spreads and I didn't remember seeing a higher failure rate than passing (and based on CA's university thresholds, 3 up is passing for any AP)

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"For those that are interested, here is Zimba's (Jason Zimba was a lead author of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics) rebuttal to the above.  http://www.edexcelle...snt-add-up.html

 

Milgram, Wurman, and Stotsky want the term “college ready†to mean something beyond Algebra II. They want to call students college ready only if they go beyond Algebra II to take trigonometry, precalculus, or calculus. At the risk of giving more oxygen to what strikes me as being fundamentally a dispute about language, what Milgram, Wurman, and Stotsky think of as “college ready†is what I might call “STEM ready.†I think it makes sense to most people that college readiness and STEM readiness are two different things. The mathematical demands that students face in college will vary dramatically depending on whether they are pursuing a STEM major or not.

 

Students in high school should take as many rigorous mathematics courses as they can. Students who intend to pursue STEM majors in college should know what is required. All of that was true before the Common Core, and it remains true today.

 

The Common Core has every promise of increasing the number of students in our country who actually attain advanced levels of performance. Nothing is being “dumbed down†here. Just because the Common Core State Standards end with Algebra II doesn’t mean the high school curriculum is supposed to end there. California had calculus standards before adopting the Common Core, and the state still has them now, as it should. The difference in California today is that better standards can help more of California’s students gain the strong foundations they need to succeed in calculus.

 

States still can and still should provide a pathway to calculus for all students who are prepared to succeed on that pathway—not only because it is at the heart of many STEM fields but also because calculus is one of the greatest intellectual developments in human history.

 

But the real problem, not only in California but everywhere, is that so many students who take calculus today aren’t ready for it. The most common score on the AP Calculus exam is 1 out of 5. This striking level of failure is just one of the reasons we need the stronger foundation of the Common Core State Standards to propel students into advanced mathematics."

 

FWIW, I am clueless as to the elementary/middle school/alg-alg 2 content details (and could seriously careless) but the bar of alg 2 as college ready is his position.   He simply addresses it by stating a distinction between college ready and what he "might call 'STEM ready.'"  He says most people see them as 2 different things.   I am one of those who doesn't.   All of my kids take math beyond alg 2, even the ones that are not STEM oriented.   I personally don't see the alg 2 bar as improving math education in this country.

 

My posts here were in terms of the above.   My POV is that the authors of the first quote have a valid pt b/c of impact that defining alg 2 as college readiness combined with RttT is a concern.

 

Happy New Year!  I'm responding while watching a cartoon (The Croods) with the kids!   :tongue_smilie:

 

Thanks for providing his rebuttal.  I think it leaves room for a variety of students on *different* paths to college, trade schools, careers, etc...  For those who want to pursue Calculus in HS he commends it.  Would it be better if 'all' students were required to take Calculus before college?  Possibly.  But what has been emphasized by many educators is that having a solid algebraic skills is key to success when in college and many current incoming freshman lack that.  Either way I don't find his "two pathway" definition inherently limiting if students want to go further than Algebra II.  I guess that's where we differ and that's ok.  Even if I plan for all our kids to take Calculus I don't expect all HS kids to do that.  Maybe waiting until the first year of college would be better for some after building a more solid understanding of math fundamentals.

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Happy New Year!  I'm responding while watching a cartoon (The Croods) with the kids!   :tongue_smilie:

 

Thanks for providing his rebuttal.  I think it leaves room for a variety of students on *different* paths to college, trade schools, careers, etc...  For those who want to pursue Calculus in HS he commends it.  Would it be better if 'all' students were required to take Calculus before college?  Possibly.  But what has been emphasized by many educators is that having a solid algebraic skills is key to success when in college and many current incoming freshman lack that.  Either way I don't find his "two pathway" definition inherently limiting if students want to go further than Algebra II.  I guess that's where we differ and that's ok.  

 

It is this part that is my main concern:  Second, the federal conditions for a RttT award in effect give a state board and a state department of elementary and secondary education control of the content of entry courses in all Common Core state colleges and universities.

 

Well, we have brought in the New Year and exhausted our gamers, so I'm off to bed.  ;)  

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But what has been emphasized by many educators is that having a solid algebraic skills is key to success when in college and many current incoming freshman lack that.  Either way I don't find his "two pathway" definition inherently limiting if students want to go further than Algebra II.  I guess that's where we differ and that's ok.  Even if I plan for all our kids to take Calculus I don't expect all HS kids to do that.  Maybe waiting until the first year of college would be better for some after building a more solid understanding of math fundamentals.

 

Isn't the issue not as much about who takes calc in high school - calc will always be only for advanced students - but whether college-bound kids headed for non-STEM majors (as if they all know what their college major will be while they're in high school) should have precalc (and trig!) prior to college?  If they don't, then they'll have to take that in college, either as remedial or for-credit.  So either their college education would be more expensive/less flexible (for having to pay, and take the time, for a remedial class) or it would be dumbed-down (fulfilling a core math credit requirement with precalc).  What did I miss?  Precalc isn't typically a college-credit class at a 4-year university, is it?

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I'm pretty sure pre-calc is a college credit class at most universities, it is not considered remedial.  My daughter took pre-calc, and it was a regular college credit class.  It didn't count towards her math requirement for biology, because she still had to take calc. and stats.  But it counts as a general elective.  And if she had a non-science major it would have counted for her math general ed. requirement.

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I'm pretty sure pre-calc is a college credit class at most universities, it is not considered remedial.  My daughter took pre-calc, and it was a regular college credit class.  It didn't count towards her math requirement for biology, because she still had to take calc. and stats.  But it counts as a general elective.  And if she had a non-science major it would have counted for her math general ed. requirement.

 

Ok then.  I wasn't aware that precalc could be for credit as I thought it was relatively standard 12th-grade math.  Note that your dd paid for that class - there is an opportunity cost.

 

 

What about trig?  That is not relatively standard 11th-grade math?

 

FWIW, on the non-STEM-major angle, I was a non-STEM major (economics) and calculus was a prerequisite both for Honors Statistics and Econometrics.

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Ok then.  I wasn't aware that precalc could be for credit as I thought it was relatively standard 12th-grade math.  Note that your dd paid for that class - there is an opportunity cost.

 

What about trig?  That is not relatively standard 11th-grade math?

 

FWIW, on the non-STEM-major angle, I was a non-STEM major (economics) and calculus was a prerequisite both for Honors Statistics and Econometrics.

 

Wapiti,

 

I know your looking at the same area of the specification that I am based on the other thread in the Logic and Middle Grade forum.  In the acceleration section it describes multiple ways students in HS can go beyond Algebra II for the non-STEM track.  In fact it strongly encourages it.  Page 81:

 

 

A menu of challenging options should be available for students after their third year of mathematics—and 'all students' should be strongly encouraged to take mathematics in all years of high school. Traditionally, students taking high school mathematics in the eighth grade are expected to take Precalculus in their junior years and then Calculus in their senior years. This is a good and worthy goal, but it should not be the only option for students. Advanced courses could also include Statistics, Discrete Mathematics, or Mathematical Decision Making. An array of challenging options will keep mathematics relevant for students, and give them a new set of tools for their futures in college and career.

 

Other ways to Accelerate Students:

Just as care should be taken not to rush the decision to accelerate students, care should also be taken to provide more than one opportunity for acceleration. Some students may not have the preparation to enter a “Compacted Pathway†but may still develop an interest in taking advanced mathematics, such as AP Calculus or AP Statistics in their senior year...

 

With these recommendations in mind I think there is provision for more than the two simpler scenarios being discussed: STEM (with Calculus) vs. non-STEM (with 'only' Algebra II).  Even for the non-STEM students there are a number of options to take more advanced courses which they should as emphasized here.

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I'm pretty sure pre-calc is a college credit class at most universities, it is not considered remedial.

 

At our university, at least for 95% of our majors, precalc/trig is considered remedial and will not give credit for any degree program in science and engineering, not even as an elective.

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Happy New Year all!

 

8, colleges, community and state, are common core???  As you know, the common core is to be applied to elementary through high school only.  As for college readiness pertaining to community college readiness as opposed to a highly selective university, I'm fine with that, so yes we do disagree.  High school graduation requirements are not about what the top students need to get into ivies and such, but what the minimum for graduation should be.  The common core seems to be consistent with that, while also allowing for the more advanced students to advance.   What's so radical about this?  I don't get it.  

 

As for how pre-calculus is regarded, I think it depends upon the college or university and I'm sure depends upon the major as well.  In a school which is only about science and engineering, as mentioned by Regentrude, then clearly pre-calc would be considered remedial.   Engineering and such has such a full courseload of upper level math and science that the students need to begin with calculus at the least.  Even our community college doesn't give credit for both algebra based physics and calculus based physics; it's one or the other.  Non-STEM majors would likely go with the regular physics and STEM students with the calculus based.  A student who was STEM but didn't feel ready for calculus based physics would not receive credit of any kind for the other physics class.

 

As for William and Mary, I'm know they have students who are "math challenged".   If you read the blurb quoted, which I can no longer find for some reason, they say that those are only some ways to show academic rigor or something like that.  Students have different gifts and talents and they know enough to know that it's not math for everyone.  Brilliant writers, historians, etc. are not turned away for lack of math.

 

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Happy New Year all!

 

8, colleges, community and state, are common core???  As you know, the common core is to be applied to elementary through high school only. 

I don't think you have read the linked/posted documents b/c that is precisely what my posts have been talking about---so yes, you have been misreading my posts.  Common Core is tied to RttT funding.   For states accepting RttT funding, if students pass tests testing CC material, they are guaranteed to be placed in non-remedial/for credit courses at the public universities they are accepted into.  It was one fo the reasons that the 2 Validating Committee members refused to sign CC standards.   Here are the pertinent blurbs:

 

Nevertheless, the language in the RttT agreement indicates that states must place new students admitted by their major public colleges and universities into credit-bearing mathematics (and English) courses if these students have passed a Common Core-based “college readiness†test.

 

All that the PARCC and SBAC tests can verify is whether freshmen have to start with intermediate algebra if they do not pass, or could start with “pre-calculus trigonometry†or “pre-calculus algebra,†as the first two for-credit courses at a community college are usually described.

VIII. Educational Significance of Common Core’s College Readiness Standards in Mathematics

Two major academic consequences loom in these federal conditions for a RttT award. First, they will likely lower the level of introductory mathematics courses at selective public colleges and universities. How so? Students who are otherwise eligible for a selective institution (i.e., there

is no other placement requirement) and are admitted subject to fulfilling the missing admission requirements would, under this agreement, be able to take a credit-bearing mathematics course

if they had passed the PARCC or SBAC Algebra II test

 

 

Here are W&M's admission stats:

Applications: 14,047

Acceptance Rate: 33%

Class Size: 1,480

 

With competitive admissions, based on what they said they wanted to see (calculus over stats), it is a serious crap shoot to suggest that they don't care if a student only has through alg 2.

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Right now our community college starts with basic math.  No it won't count for credit towards graduation, but college algebra does.  I don't see the change or reason for concern.  This applies only to public colleges.  A student like you son would not be required to start with pre-calc.   Even if they did change to allowing credit for a math class which doesn't currently earn credit, I don't see how would it affect the student population you're concerned with.

 

You seemed to have misinterpreted my comments about William and Mary.  

 

I shall agree to disagree.

 

Edited:  I found your post quoting W & M's suggestions.   The final line which you quoted:  "However, these classes are not required, nor are they the only way to demonstrate a challenging curriculum."

 

 

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Right now our community college starts with basic math.  No it won't count for credit towards graduation, but college algebra does.  I don't see the change or reason for concern.  This applies only to public colleges.  A student like you son would not be required to start with pre-calc.   Even if they did change to allowing credit for a math class which doesn't currently earn credit, how would it affect the student population you're concerned with.

 

You seemed to have misinterpreted my comments about William and Mary.  

 

I shall agree to disagree.

 

As Regentrude posted, her university does not give credit for math below calculus.   If her state adopts CC and accepts RttT funding, CC will now be dictating what her university HAS to give credit for.   Yep, I have a problem with that.  

 

FWIW, I was never suggesting that they would make a student start a lower level.   It is the control over university policy that bothers me.

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At our university, at least for 95% of our majors, precalc/trig is considered remedial and will not give credit for any degree program in science and engineering, not even as an elective.

But there are many students who aren't pursuing STEM degrees.

 

As much as I expect my kids to want to get college degrees, I think there needs to be a distinction between what preps a student for a science or engineering degree, what preps them for other college degrees and what suffices for graduating high school.

 

I would love to see math abilities improve in the US but I think it needs to be reworked much earlier than algebra.

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At our university, at least for 95% of our majors, precalc/trig is considered remedial and will not give credit for any degree program in science and engineering, not even as an elective.

 

Heck, even for non-STEM majors you are not going to gain acceptance to many state universities without something higher than Algebra II. That was true 15 years ago and it is even more true today.

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But there are many students who aren't pursuing STEM degrees.

As much as I expect my kids to want to get college degrees, I think there needs to be a distinction between what preps a student for a science or engineering degree, what preps them for other college degrees and what suffices for graduating high school.

 

 

Sure, absolutely - but even my A/C guy said he needs trigonometry in his job.

 

 

 

I would love to see math abilities improve in the US but I think it needs to be reworked much earlier than algebra.

 

I completely agree. But instead of expecting wonders from new standards, it would be more helpful to have qualified mathematics teachers who actually understand the math and can teach it. That would go a long way to wards improvement.

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Sure, absolutely - but even my A/C guy said he needs trigonometry in his job.

 

 

I completely agree. But instead of expecting wonders from new standards, it would be more helpful to have qualified mathematics teachers who actually understand the math and can teach it. That would go a long way to wards improvement.

 

And I sure hope my carpenter has had some trig!

 

Thinking about this in terms of Jann's OP, your latter comment is actually most relevant.   If the level of difficulty of elementary/middle school math is going to increase and American elementary and middle school teachers can't even teach concepts now, how are they going to effectively teach the new standards? 

 

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Thinking about this in terms of Jann's OP, your latter comment is actually most relevant.   If the level of difficulty of elementary/middle school math is going to increase and American elementary and middle school teachers can't even teach concepts now, how are they going to effectively teach the new standards?

 

They aren't.

Which is why the entire debate is so bizarre: having new standards but incompetent teachers is not going to achieve anything.

 

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They aren't.

Which is why the entire debate is so bizarre: having new standards but incompetent teachers is not going to achieve anything.

 

Another example of a post I'd like to "like" about a hundred times.

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