Saturday, April 1, 2017

Time for a Common Core Math reality check using NAEP data

First of all, I find the large emphasis by many on alignment with Common Core Math Standards to be seriously misguided.  NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) testing is done every two years. NAEP results showed a statistically significant decline in Math for the first time ever (from 2013 to 2015).  This decline came amid lots of spending on CCSS-M aligned instructional materials.

I examined four regions:
#1 Hillsborough County FL (Tampa), which received massive funding from the   Gates Foundation to implement the Common Core SS-M.     In 8th grade Math 2015  the percent of students "below standard" increased by 9%.

That 9% increase in students  "below standard" may be the direct result of a focus on aligned materials rather than known effective and efficient instructional materials and practices.

#2 Kentucky was likely the earliest adopter and implementer of CCSS-M.  Melinda Gates proudly announced a large increase in graduation rates of African American students.  In eighth grade math "below standard" increased by  3%.

#3 USA Nation in eighth grade math "below standard" increased  by 3%

#4 In my Washington State, NAEP eighth grade math "below standard" increased by 5% and grade 4 math had an increase in "below standard" students of 3%.


Currently there is some credence placed on EdReports.  I do not have much faith in their evaluation tool or its results.

Materials Under Review

In the "Materials Under Review" paragraph click on k-8 mathematics.

Then go to bottom of page 2, top of page 3.

About this tool....

The tool builds on the experience of educators, curriculum experts and leading rubric developers and organizations such as - Achieve, Inc., the Council of Great City Schools, the Dana Center, Illustrative Mathematics Project, The NCTM, and Student Achievement Partners among others. 

This is pretty much the same folks who liked the materials of the last two decades, those ineffective math materials.
Supposedly  the ineffective materials just needed further fine tuning.  After all they must be good, given how many NSF dollars were spent to in-service teachers,  develop, implement,  and push the nonsense.  Aren't you supposed to get what you pay for?  So how good is EdReport's designed Tool?

How about using proven, known, effective, efficient instructional materials, instead?

A product of over ten years careful development in Canada =>
JUMP Math CCSS-M as recommended by the Arizona Science Center

This program is based on (1st) procedural fluency  (2nd) problem solving
and last conceptual understanding....   because conceptual understanding grows out of procedural fluency.

Check what the NY Times has to say about JUMP Math:

Check out comments #5 and #6 here =>

To be a successful STEM college student, one needs to know how to read and use a math textbook.  Unfortunately some of recommended math series have no books.  How many of the really high performing countries do not use books in secondary school? Zero.  ....  Once again there are USA math educators that believe in the latest no book idea.  Unfortunately many of these no books secondary school math programs will be inflicted upon students.  Prospective STEM scientists will not be ready for more math than what is contained in "Library Science" no computer science engineering for them.  {Although highly rated by Ed Reports k-5 and widespread, "EngageNY" has no books k-12}


Betty Peters said...

Thank you many times over. This is what I have needed for a very long time. In my role as a state state school board representative, I must make decisions about math standards, pedagogy and assessments and have felt quite inadequate. Your article today will be very helpful to me and many, many others including parents, teachers, principals, school boards and superintendents. Unfortunately much of the information we have been receiving has not been based on solid research but has instead been tainted by vendor input. Betty Peters, Dothan, AL

dan dempsey said...

Speaking of early Common Core adoption:

Kentucky adopted CC in 2010 BEFORE the final standards were even written.

dan dempsey said...

As published at OSPI ... some history with a little sales hype.

In July 2009, Washington joined the Common Core Standards Initiative, a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers to develop common, rigorous learning expectations.

In July 2010, the Washington State Legislature authorized Superintendent Dorn to provisionally adopt the Common Core State Standards. As part of Washington’s process to consider adoption, in addition to review and input on the standards, was to conduct significant statewide outreach that culminated in two reports to the state Legislature in December 2010 and December 2011. In July 2011, Superintendent Dorn formally adopted the Common Core State Standards.

2013 - 2015 NAEP Math decline by the numbers for WA State 8th graders

...... below standard, basic, proficient, advanced

details of the decline =>

dan dempsey said...

2013 - 2015 NAEP Math decline by the numbers for WA State 8th graders

...... below basic, basic, proficient, advanced
2015 .. 26 :: 35 :: 28 :: 11
2013 .. 21 :: 37 :: 30 :: 12

details of the decline =>

Students scoring at Below Basic increases by 5% .... the Basic group shrank by 2% as students scored Below Basic.

The Proficient (-2%) and
The Advanced (-1%) groups fell in size.

Full Spreadsheet linked here =>

rick nelson said...

you may be interested in a comparison of the common core math standards to the recommendations of cognitive scientists at www.ChemReview.Net/CCMS.pdf

TCliff said...

Procedural fluency over conceptual understanding leads to high math drop out rates, like what happened in "the good old days"

dan dempsey said...

Dear TCliff,

Thanks for your thought ... But I suggest you look at JUMP Math results. I am not interested in a return to the old days either but certainly find allowing schools to produce poorly prepared students unacceptable. Check USA for 2015 PISA - 470, 2015 NAEP down, TIMSS math cohort from 2011 4th grade to 2015 8th grade down 23 points.

JUMP Stresses Procedural Fluency and works on the idea that Conceptual Understanding arises through procedural fluency. --- Show me data for something better than JUMP Math .... not the cherry picked stuff from Beyond Textbooks.

I do suggest you actually examine JUMP Math materials, it is hardly a return to the old days. I also suggest you look at results from current reform math practices.

JUMP Math US Edition Materials can be viewed online. In fact you can download the entire teacher's manual for each grade. JUMP is highly scripted and moves at an appropriate pace.

-- Dan

PS... the NSF funded a professional development for Seattle teachers for several years at Cleveland, West Seattle, and Garfield high schools complete with a project at Garfield and Cleveland high schools. It consisted of reform math practices and materials. (So WSHS decided on no project) The WASL math scores at Cleveland for 2007. 2008, 2009 were abysmal.

Anonymous said...

Rick Nelson,

Thank you so much for your paper. I've now included it as a new posting on this blog. I hope that TCliff reads it. Everyone with an interest in math education should be read it. Very well done.

-- Dan