Why Core Challenge is Needed:

Sobering Statistics: Student Performance is in Decline

  • From 1995 to 2008 the United States went from 2nd to 13th in graduation rates.  - Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  • In 2009 the United States ranked 25th out of 34 countries in Mathematics taking the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment)
  • Students from Shanghai, China outscored US students in Math by an average of 113 points (600 points versus 487).
  • Approximately 40% of new college students must take remedial math courses.


 “This is an absolute wake-up call for America.” - US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Dispelling the ‘Math Gene’

  • Every student is capable of learning.
  • There is a commonly held myth in the US that students must win the genetic lottery and have the “math gene” to succeed.
  • How do we move from “every student can learn” to “every student will learn” in our education system?
  • Studies have shown that great teachers make all of the difference.


“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” - Albert Einstein

Our antiquated system handles change poorly.

  • There is a large gap between the vision at the state/national level and actual execution at the student level.

  • New ideas can take a decade or more to fully implement – time the United States does not have.

  • Politics should not get in the way.  This is not a Democratic or a Republican problem – It is an American problem.

  • Each of the 14,000 school districts develop nearly identical sets of curriculum resources and student supports.

  • Traditional barriers help fuel the achievement gap.

“A child miseducated is a child lost.” - John F. Kennedy

Setting Priorities: Transitioning to Core Standards in Math

  • 46 States have signed on adopt a new curriculum for Mathematics and/or English/Language Arts.
  • Common standards are a great start, but are not a magic bullet. They tell us the “what” but not the “how.”
  • Using common standards makes the pool of potential content contributors much larger – a potential that can increase speed of development while simultaneously boosting the quality of instruction and available tools.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama


Bad Assumptions:  We assume that teachers are ready…

This represents the biggest reform in the history of American public education for mathematics.

The new standards require a balance in conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge.

Districts will have to prioritize when developing the curriculum resources needed to help teachers meet National and State expectations.  They lack capacity to produce necessary resources in time.  (SY 2014-2015)

Professional Development to support this type of reform will be extensive and expensive . . . and traditionally has not support new initiatives until well past initial implementation. 

“If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, there would be little hope of advance.” - Orville Wright