Develop Math Standards, without Mathematicians?

Is it Time for National Math Standards?

That’s the question asked by Walter Isaacson in this article published in the April 15th edition of Time.

Mr Isaacson concludes that the time has come for National Math and English standards and notes that President Obama has indicated that he agrees with this sentiment.

Secretary Duncan has indicated that he will use the carrots and sticks in the stimulus bill to support voluntary efforts to write national standards and to prod states to adopt them. This process should involve advisory boards that represent employers, college admissions officers, military recruiters, teachers, education scholars and parents. It should also be ongoing, because the standards will have to evolve as the needs of the workplace and global economy do.

I notice that what’s missing from his list of people who should be involved in the process of developing the national mathematics standards are Mathematicians – the people who actually understand and do mathematics every day. If Mr Isaacson wants to advocate for the development of national mathematics standards that are foisted upon schools with hooks to federal funding, then perhaps he ought to at least consider involving those who know the subject best.


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