Common Core math standard is a step back

Tim Goral's picture
Monday, January 13, 2014

When states adopted Common Core's mathematics standards, they were told (among other things) that these standards would make all high school students "college- and career-ready" and strengthen the critical pipeline for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

However, with the exception of a few standards in trigonometry, the math standards end after Algebra II, as James Milgram, professor of mathematics emeritus at Stanford University, observed in "Lowering the Bar: How Common Core Math Fails to Prepare High School Students for STEM," a report that we co-authored for the Pioneer Institute.

Who was responsible for telling Massachusetts employers when these standards were adopted in 2010 that Common Core includes no standards for precalculus or for getting to precalculus from a weak Algebra II? Who should be telling the Bay State's high-tech executives and college presidents today that high school graduates taught only to Common Core's mathematics standards won't be able to pursue a four-year degree in STEM? We're not talking about high school graduation requirements. The discarded Massachusetts mathematics curriculum framework had a full set of precalculus standards to remind school committees and superintendents that high school math didn't end with a weak Algebra II.

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