Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What is Missing from Math Standards ??

HERE is National Math Advisory Panelist William Schmidt's view.

What's Missing from Math Standards?

Focus, Rigor, and Coherence

By William H. Schmidt

Why do some countries, like Singapore, Korea, and the Czech Republic, do so much better than the United States in math? I've heard all sorts of reasons; diversity and poverty top the list. But after some 15 years conducting international research, I am convinced that it's the diversity and poverty of U.S. math standards—not the diversity and poverty of U.S. students—that are to blame.

The single most important result of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is that we now know that student performance is directly related to the nature of the curricular expectations. I do not mean the instructional practices. I mean the nature of what it is that children are to learn within schools. (In the U.S., the curricular expectations are usually referred to as standards; in other countries they are known by various names.) After all, what is more central to schooling than those things we, as a society, have chosen to pass on to our children?

The TIMSS research has revealed that there are three aspects of math expectations, or standards, that are really important: focus, rigor, and coherence. Let's take a brief look at each.

More follows HERE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The proof is in the results. Adopt meaninful coherent meaninful standards. Adopt Singapore standards and use the curriculum. Your committee will never get standards right unless you agree on one curriculum.

What I see time and again are socalled 'experts' frustrating the process by adding jargon into the 'standards' to align with the curriculum that their grants are funding. It is particularly disappointing to see these 'experts' using draft copies of the achieve standard, a standard that has yet to be proven or adopted or taken seriously by any organization other than Achieve, Inc or Partnership for Learning. Even Bellevue (the district that helped initiate the Achieve Standard) has rejected it.