Will changing Texas math standards be subtraction by addition?
As the Texas Board of Education weighs revisions to the state's math standards this week, it must also consider strong criticism from the business community and the media over the proposed changes. Fordham's new review of the draft math standards, by W. Stephen Wilson, adds another reason for the board to think twice before approving the changes. As Wilson writes,
The new standards are an improvement. Some content that was previously missing from the [existing] standards has been included, the standards remain clear and well organized, and the high school content remains strong.
Unfortunately, Texas has overcorrected its minimalist problem by adding too many standards—many of which descend inappropriately into pedagogy—and including a lot of unnecessary repetition. Worse, the new draft standards overemphasize process, and arithmetic is not given suitable priority.
While the proposed changes are an improvement on the status quo in the Lone Star State, they’re far from stellar—and pale in comparison with the CCSS alternative. By going it alone, Texas had hoped to do better than the Common Core. Unfortunately, it missed the mark. Now it’s high time for its Board of Education to recognize that going from lousy to ok just isn’t good enough.
A slightly different version of this analysis was originally published as a post on the Common Core Watch blog.