« Study: Common Standards Will Not Affect Student Achievement | Main | Obama Proposes NAEP Cut; Seeks State Pilot for Global Testing »

Journal Hosts Debate on Merits of Common Math Standards

Although most states have adopted the common-core math standards, the debate over their value is by no means over. Today, the journal Education Next published a forum that brought together two experts to take up the matter.

In one corner, W. Stephen Wilson, a math professor at Johns Hopkins University who served on the "feedback group" for the math standards. In the other, Ze'ev Wurman, a Silicon Valley executive and former education official under President George W. Bush who served on a California commission that evaluated the suitability of the common standards for that state.

Here's a quick taste of what they had to say.

Are the standards "fewer, higher, and clearer?"

Wurman: "Common-core standards may in fact be clearer and more demanding than many, though not all, of the state standards they replaced. ... If one compares them to the better state mathematics standards like those of Minnesota or California, they are more numerous. ... They may be higher than some state standards, but they are certainly lower than the best of them. ... They may be clearer than many state mathematics standards, but they still tend to be wordy and hard to read."

Wilson: "There is much to criticize about [the math standards], and there are several sets of standards, including those in California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, and Washington, that are clearly better. Yet common core is vastly superior—not just a little bit better, but vastly superior—to the standards in more than 30 states."

Wurman and Wilson fielded a number of other questions from the editors at Education Next, including whether the common standards will put an end to the "math wars" and how the standards compare with those of the world's top-performing nations. You can read it all here.

Of course, you can also read the math standards for yourself right here, and draw your own conclusions.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • Linda: My problem with homework is they give too much and read more
  • Seo Article Writer: Hello I just see your site when I am searching read more
  • Car Insurance Guy: Ah!!! at last I found what I was looking for. read more
  • cyptoreopully: Hey there everyone i was just introduceing myself here im read more
  • Connie Wms: Good grief. We have gone round and round forever with read more