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Utah Educators Crafting E-Textbooks for Math Common Core

We've heard a lot of complaints from educators and experts who see a lack of instructional materials that are closely and thoughtfully aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Well, a small group of Utah educators, with support from the state office of education, has decided to do something about it, by creating a set of free e-textbooks for high school math.

The five coauthors—two math teachers, two district-level academic officials, and a professor from Brigham Young University—are in the early stages of developing the material, as I describe in a new EdWeek story. They are bringing what they call a "task-based" approach to the project that concentrates both on the core math content and the Standards for Mathematical Practice that are detailed in the new standards.

A special challenge in Utah is that the state has formally adopted a policy instructing all districts to use the "integrated" approach to common-core math. That means the traditional pathway of Algebra 1-geometry-Algebra 2 is being replaced with a set of courses that merge content across algebra, geometry, and other math topics, like statistics and probability. (An appendix added to the common math standards identifies four model pathways for high school courses, including the integrated approach.)

You can check out a portion of the first e-textbook at the website for the Utah initiative, dubbed the Mathematics Vision Project.

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