The State of Math Standards

July 25, 2007

Amid the nationwide call to raise math achievement among American students, several states have begun revamping academic standards—the guidelines for what students are expected to know—in that subject. Tom Loveless joined others in an Education Week chat to answer questions about the state of math standards around the country.

Question from Ryan Grant, 1st Grade Teacher, Medical Lake School District:
My concern with strengthening math standards is that we risk leaving many behind in the rush to get ahead. Is there a way to balance our societal need for more thorough math instruction with the reality that many kids struggle with mathematics?

Tom Loveless:
I understand the concern. It does take some kids a longer time to learn math than others. We would truly be leaving these children behind, however, if we didn’t make sure that they learn the mathematics that they need to know.

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