New boss = old boss, Dept.

According to the promo, Florida has jettisoned the Common Core standards and replaced them with a new set of standards called BEST. I haven’t done a thorough review, but I quickly looked through the math standards for mention of “the standard algorithm for multidigit addition and subtraction”.
The CC standards have that standard in Grade 4. Mention of multdigit addition and subtraction in the BEST standards appears in Grade 3 (not much better), but includes this rather slippery wording:
“Add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers including using a standard algorithm with procedural fluency” (Emphasis added)
It doesn’t refer to “the” standard algorithm but “a” standard algorithm. This choice of indefinite rather than definite article relies on the dubious reasoning that any strategy for adding two multidigit numbers that relies on place value can be considered a “standard algorithm”. So drawing pictures, using convoluted methods can all count. Which leaves open the typical reformer-based math interpretation that parents and others have protested against.
This same wording was proposed in one of the early drafts of the National Math Advisory Panel’s report on math education back in 2007. There was a big debate among the members regarding whether they should refer to “the” standard algorithm for addition/subtraction or “a” standard algorithm. “The” won out, but it was a bitter fight. Interestingly, Sybilla Beckmann, a math professor at U GA is of the view that many algorithms can be considered “standard”. She wrote a paper with Karen Fuson on this subject.   Bill McCallum, one of the lead authors of the Common Core math standards has the same view.
Stay tuned.

One thought on “New boss = old boss, Dept.

  1. Pingback: NCED Updates: New Hanover Predators, Istation, Common Core, Leandro, NCAE & Elections | LL1885

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