Survey: Teachers have mixed feelings on Common Core math

Dive Brief:

  • Survey results from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute show teachers have mixed feelings about Common Core math, though 85% agree at least somewhat that “reinforcement of math learning at home is declining because parents don’t understand the way math is being taught,” according to reporting from Education Week.
  • Other survey findings include that 53% of teachers believe the expectations in the standards are unrealistic, 42% say more students have math anxiety now than under the previous standards, and 42% say course materials available to them are not aligned with the standards.
  • On the upside, more than half believe the standards are better preparing students for college and career, and more than 75% of K-2 teachers say students are developing stronger number sense and an ability to apply math in real-world situations — and the same is true for more than half of teachers in grades 3-8.

Dive Insight:

In terms of how teachers are changing instruction, the survey found 40% of teachers have fewer students memorizing basic math formulas or tables, more than half say they’re teaching multiple problem-solving methods, and less than half of third through fifth grade teachers say they’re using number lines more, according to the Education Week analysis. The survey questions presented statements to teachers and asked if they agreed and then, in terms of changes to their instruction, asked teachers whether they did something more, about the same, or less.

One key criticism about common core math is that the methods for problem-solving are too different from the math prior generations learned. Districts might consider hosting additional math curriculum nights to help parents sort out the new methods or send more explanatory materials home.

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Filed Under: K12 Policy & Regulation