"There is no one way"

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Responses to my Common Core analysis

I have received excellent feedback about my analysis of the Common Core State Standards for high school math.

E-mailed and spoken responses from my main hoped-for audience (high school math teachers) have almost without exception included a mention of having shared the paper with colleagues. For example:
"I read your article about the Common Core on your blog, and loved it. I even handed to the one other math teacher in my building and she loved it too."

"On your Common Core paper: it is a good start for my colleagues. Thanks for putting it out there."

"I liked very much your critique of the Common Core;  I plan to recommend it to some math people in the local school system."
...and so on. The post that links to the analysis ranks among the most visited on this blog.

One thing I found interesting was that in addition to the great teacher feedback, I heard back from four highly respected national leaders in math education, who each sent me strongly supportive comments. I have not asked for their permission to quote them, so they will remain anonymous here, but I'll share some of what they said in response to my article.
"I read your analysis of the CCSS and its context. I agree with most of it, including the recommendations."

"I thank you for the balanced, helpful and insightful summary of the 9-12 Common Core."

"You've written a nice piece. I hope it has some effect."

"Henri, this is a terrific piece—thank you for so stating a well thought out position so articulately. I really like the tone, and I think your suggestions are on the mark. I’d love to help you circulate it." 

"Henri’s thoughtful piece is the best critique I’ve read. It makes an important contribution to the dialog over Common Core’s future."
For all these reasons, I feel good about writing the piece.

Unfortunately, there's another side to this: it has been difficult to publicize the article. Venues that routinely include links to pro and con op eds on the Common Core have failed to mention it, with no reason given, even after repeated requests. Perhaps my position is too complicated to neatly fall into a pro or con bucket?

Praise for the piece from both rank and file teachers and big shots in math education is wonderful, but how can I get this to a broader audience? Please let me know if you have suggestions! And of course, if you liked the piece, spread the link among the math educators you know. Here it is again:


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