RALEIGH, N.C. — A commission that spent more than a year reviewing the Common Core standards for North Carolina’s public school students is ready to recommend scrapping the way math is taught.
The Academic Standards Review Commission was scheduled to vote Friday on recommendations to adopt school guidelines now used in Minnesota for teaching math in kindergarten through eighth grade. High school math should return to the old sequence of algebra, followed by geometry and more algebra, the commission said in its report.
That could mean retraining teachers.
North Carolina has spent more than $65 million to train teachers on the Common Core standards, which are supposed to focus on key concepts and help students understand how to apply them in real-life situations.
But the Common Core math teaching techniques make “computations with models into monstrously complex exercises that parents and children cannot understand,” the report said. That frustrates families by making “it difficult or impossible for parents to help their children with their homework.”
Forty-four states including North Carolina adopted the Common Core standards developed by school officers from around the country and the National Governors Association. Several states subsequently decided to re-write the standards in favor of their own academic outlines.
In September 2014, the commission began reviewing what students should learn between kindergarten and high school graduation after complaints surfaced about the Common Core, which started to show up in classrooms three years ago. Nine of the commission’s 11 members were appointed by lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory, while the two others are members of the State Board of Education.
The report also found that parents and teachers alike are complaining about the lack of textbooks in schools.
“This deficiency has forced teachers to search for lesson plan material on the Internet, which can be time consuming, and often teachers do not have the resources to share the materials they find,” said the panel. “This finding defeats the promise that all North Carolina students have equal opportunity to receive a quality education.”
State spending on textbooks has dropped from $68 per student before the recession in 2008-09 to about $15 per student in 2014-15, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. Lawmakers have sought to move away from printed textbooks to digital learning methods. This summer, they nearly doubled spending on textbooks and digital resources by allocating an additional $53 million over two years.
Follow Emery P. Dalesio at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/emery-p-dalesio
,A commission that spent more than a year reviewing the Common Core standards for North Carolina’s public school students is ready to recommend scrapping the way math is taught.
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