by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
I am pleased that the NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and NC State Board of Education (SBE) are considering changes to the high school math standards. Although far from ideal, the proposed changes to sequencing and addition of clarifying language would align with the work of the Academic Standards Review Commission, which was created in 2014 by the NC General Assembly to examine the state’s K-12 math and reading standards.
My worry is that state education officials say that high schools may be required to implement these revised standards by the fall.
NC DPI will accept public comment about the changes from now to May 20. If the NC SBE approves the changes at their June meeting, it would give high schools less than three months to disseminate information to parents, change academic schedules, and hire/assign/reassign staff and faculty. Most importantly, some math teachers may have insufficient time to modify their curricula before the start of the 2016-17 school year.
Changes to the high school math standards are a good place to start, but there is much more work that needs to be done. I fear that only disastrous test scores will compel the state to make large-scale structural changes to our existing Common Core-based math and reading standards.