Washington State Coalition for World Class Math
We must do better.
The first and simplest step is to ensure that mathematics education for Washington students will be informed by world-class mathematics standards that provide teachers, parents, and other stakeholders with unambiguous guidelines for what their students should know and be able to do at each grade level.
How Does Washington Rate?
In 2005, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation published The State of State Math Standards 2005, which rated WA math standards "F" (same “F” rating previously given in 1998 and 2000). WA has since revised their math standards. While the revision is a definite improvement, it is questionable as to whether they are world class math standards. The Timeline of Mathematics Education Developments in WA State, 1989 – Present provides links to the current math standards as well as documents related to their development. Additional information may be found at Where’s the Math?
How Math Standards Impact Your Child's Education
Mathematics content standards have a profound impact on classroom instruction. Many local districts refer directly to the standards when designing programs, selecting textbooks, and creating assessments to measure student progress. Additionally, our state test – the WASL – must, by law, be aligned with the WA math standards. Accountability rules ensure that classroom teachers stress the standards’ "eligible content." Improving math standards is a key step in improving math instruction in Washington State.
It's time to get involved! Join the Coalition and have a voice in the math education of our children.
A Little Math Humor
Coalition Presents “Design Principles for K-12 Mathematics Standards”
Mathematics education in the United States is at a pivotal moment. The participation of 49 states and territories in the Cohttp://waworldclassmath.webs.com/images-1.jpegmmon Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI)1 is based on hope that the outcome will improve mathematics and English-language education in our public schools. However, we fear that this initiative may actually make the situation worse; if the math standards that result from the Common Core Initiative are mediocre - or worse - it will reignite the math wars and create a national crisis in mathematics education. This possibility cannot be ignored. The WA Coalition for World Class Math worked in conjunction with affiliate coalitions to create the World Class Math Design Principles for K-12 Mathematics Standards. The Design Principles are intended to address the major deficiencies and defects that plague far too many of our states' current mathematics standards - including Washington state's. Our Coalition will use these Principles in evaluating the work of the CCSSI; accordingly, we offer them for consideration to help inform those who represent us, our children, and our public schools at this critical time.
1 "The Common Core State Standards Initiative is being undertaken by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to "develop a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12."
Is the decline in math preparation and increase in remedial math courses a problem?
Even top students show signs of decline in mathematics preparation
A Johns Hopkins mathematics professor reports that the mathematical prowess of JHU freshman in his Calculus I class has declined dramatically since 1989. What Do College Students Know? By this professor’s calculations,math skills have plummeted
Remedial Math Courses for College Freshmen
According to the report Diploma To Nowhere, a conservative analysis of the data on college students in 2004 showed that:
Nationwide, 63% of students taking remedial math do not earn degrees.-NJDOE Commission on Higher Education and Achieve, Inc.
This adds up to a huge financial expense for families and lower graduation rates for students