STANFORD, Calif. – Professor James Milgram was the only mathematician on the Common Core Standards group and member of the validation committee.
He was one of a group that refused to sign off on the standards. Recently, he gave a detailed discussion on why the math standards will set Common Core students behind in the field of mathematics on the international playing field.
He is comments are specific to the standards and these comments are aimed specifically at the middle school standards.
Milgram’s credentials in the matter are beyond reproach. He wrote the original California Mathematical Framework. He was involved in the Fordham Institute’s evaluation of the mathematical framework for standards. He is one of the main authors of the new Georgia and Michigan Standards. He is a past Gauss Professor at the University of Goettingen, Regents Professor at the University of New Mexico. He has published over 100 papers in the area of Math education, along with many books and journals.
1) Solving ratios and rates are the crux of higher order mathematics. The failure to introduce ratio and rates and to give them the treatment they deserve hampers a student’s ability to perform higher order mathematics. It is a serious problem for American mathematical competitiveness.
2) The standards at grade 8 have the students “spinning wheels.” There is nothing of significance covered that is essential to long run mathematical competence. That was supposed to be the year that Algebra was covered, but for political reasons, that was not put into the standards. As a result math education stalls at Grade 8 in the Common Core
3) It is in high school that the standards fall completely apart. Most students won’t be able to make it past Algebra II at that point. This is important because the research shows that a student who has only made it to Algebra II has a 1 in 3 chance of getting a four-year degree. A one in three chance of completing a four-year degree is NOT college ready.
This weakness in the Common Core will shatter the dream of many potential students to achieve success in technical fields.