Article by Frank Quinn of Virginia Tech on Common Core

Excellent article by Frank Quinn, a math professor at Virginia Tech University, on the reform curriculum in general, and the Common Core Standards in particular, in being bad for math education. The article is called “The Reform Curriculum is Counterproductive for High-Tech Careers”.

He gives a quick but accurate description of what reform math is focused on:

I use `reform’ loosely, to refer to approaches that emphasize `understanding’, `knowing’, calculator pro ciency, and even `acting mathematically’ over testable cognitive skills. To be more precise, my concerns are with how `understanding’ etc. have been interpreted in practice, not with the abstract ideas.

Mathematicians value `understanding’ very highly, but they think it means `insight that makes skills more flexible and effective’. The reform interpretation is more like `evidence of exposure accepted as aĀ substittue for good skills’– almost diametrically oppositeĀ and counterproductive in practice.

The new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) is heavily enough inuenced by reform thinking that this conclusion applies to it.

That’s just for starters.