This article in The Windsor Times (which serves Windsor, California) explores the changes in math education going on in that school district. There is a discussion of how the “integrated math” option of Common Core is superior to the “old ways” of doing things:
“Part of the issue is the substantive changes to the curriculum itself, which everyone agrees is better in the long run and significantly more rigorous that previous versions but is also significantly different. Gone are the old paradigms of Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry, followed by AP Calculus for the elite few. In its place now exists Integrated Math 1, which incorporates early concepts of both Algebra and Geometry, with slightly more emphasis on Algebra, Integrated Math 2, which introduces more advanced concepts of Algebra and Geometry, with slightly more focus on Geometry, and Integrated Math 3, which takes both sets to the next level and along with some Trigonometry.”
Excuse me, did you say “everyone agrees” the new curriculum is better? Everyone, you say? Sorry. Go on.
” “The belief is that students who have grown up in the integrated model will be much better equipped and have a much more extensive math education that those without. However, students at all levels are struggling with the staggered roll out from the old model to the new.
” “We are no longer asking them just to compute,” Director of Educational Services Lisa Saxon said. “They have to think about numbers in a different way, explain, defend and justify their answers, and undertake a completely different level of rigor.”
Excuse me again. I teach algebra and believe me, I don’t just ask students to “compute”. Where are you getting that? As for defending and justifying their answers, and this completely different level of rigor: I’m aware some people think there are such things as “math zombies” who operate from a “rote” level of executing procedures. I would suggest that there is also what I call a “rote” level of understanding in which students mouth the explanations the teachers want to hear. Is that what you meant?