I often hear from math educators that the common-core standards seem to cry out for moving away from the traditional Algebra 1-geometry-Algebra 2 sequence toward a more integrated approach to the discipline. North Carolina is now moving toward replacing those courses with a state policy of requiring an integrated mathematics sequence, I recently learned, joining Utah and West Virginia…
…In explaining the state’s action, Pitre-Martin said it just makes sense to blend content across math topics into one course.
“We have taught algebra and geometry in isolation of each other, and we don’t apply math that way,” she said. “You don’t isolate your math skills that way.”
This also diminishes local control, but hey North Carolina is going to allow school districts to offer more advanced versions of integrated math courses if they wish.
How kind of them.
We have mentioned before that the standards were not well organized at the high school level and that some topics are insufficiently covered. We also noted that the standards are not divided into defined courses.
So how is it again that the standards won’t drive curriculum? They’re driving course sequence. Instead of adjusting the standards to fit the current sequence (which would be a lot easier) North Carolina is going to change up all their math courses along with textbooks I assume to make them fit the standards. It sounds like this will be mandated by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction without consulting the state legislature as well.
That is completely nonsensical, and it illustrates once again that bureaucrats hold way too much power over education policy.