An Initiative of American Principles Project

Lead Writer Jason Zimba Admits Common Core Math Standards Weakness

By on September 3, 2013 in Why Fight? with 10 Comments

The Advocate featured some criticism of the Common Core Math Standards by Ze’ev Wurman, but the most interesting aspect to this story was an admission made by the lead writer of the Common Core Math Standards:

“If you do algebra in grade eight, then you … can reach calculus by grade 12,” said Ze’ev Wurman, a former Department of Education official under George W. Bush who participated in the creation of California’s highly-regarded math standards. Calculus is “not mandatory for being accepted to colleges, but selective colleges expect it,” Wurman added.

Jason Zimba, a professor of physics and math at Bennington College in Vermont and lead writer of the math standards, says they include “an awful lot of algebra before eighth grade,” even though the first full course doesn’t come until high school.

But Zimba also acknowledges that ending with the Common Core in high school could preclude students from attending elite colleges. In many cases, the Core is not aligned with the expectations at the collegiate level. “If you want to take calculus your freshman year in college, you will need to take more mathematics than is in the Common Core,” Zimba said.


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  • Bruce Price

    Yesterday, I finally got around to putting down what I think are the major problems with Common Core. The title is “Common Core Conspiracy Unraveling? (AN UPDATE)”

    It’s a big sweeping piece with some good links, for people who haven’t been paying much attention to this issue.

    • Melissa Hosten

      I truly wish I could get back the minutes I wasted reading your “major problems with the Common Core”! Have you read the standards-all of them? I have read all of math k-12. Have you read the progressions-all of them? I have.
      Have you scoured SBAC and PARCC websites and digested the information in order to analyze them in a thoughtful and educated way with true critique cited with evidence? By the way–the assessment is NOT the common core but rather the assessment of the Common Core–be sure you are critquing the correct objects (yours seem to move in and out of assessment, standards, policy, etc.)
      I wonder of you have read further than the introduction? I challenge you to point to a standard that supports even one of your assertions. Then your posts may be worth reading.
      How many times must we repeat the past? READ that which you are claiming is wrong before doing so! Education begins with the individual–choose to educate your self!

      • Bruce Price

        On the other hand, another commenter, perhaps older and wiser, told me the following:

        “…Common Core is the super organized version of values clarification indoctrination dressed up in a three piece suit. It also has the support of the NEA and the CDC.

        “I was discussing this subject with a retired teacher. She told me that her last job she was given before retiring was in explaining Common Core to the teachers at her school. She said that every single teacher in the room was upset at having to teach Common Core. She had a feeling it was bad, but she didn’t know why. She was not in a position to change it. So, many teachers are clueless and the thing is it was specifically designed so that no one would know while it was being taught. People are transformed by what they learn, but have no idea that a transformation has taken place. Kids don’t know, parents don’t know, teachers don’t know, and society as a whole has absolutely no idea.

        “The purpose of Common Core is to finish the task originally framed by John Dewey. Bill Ayers knows about it and he crows about its success. All the school shooters are the proof that such a design is in place. That look in their eyes says it all – a puzzled, confused blank stare. And the media goes into overdrive blaming parents, guns, computer games, and drugs without ever touching on the heart of the matter and that is the psychopathic education of our youth.”

        ——–end –

        • Melissa Hosten

          I’m confused. Have you read them or are you relying on older wiser commenters to inform you? Isn’t it your responsibility to read that which you claim to know about and critique? Again, your arguments are confused among the standards, the assessments, and policy. Educating yourself might help you shore up your arguments.

  • Bill McCallum

    The picture of Jason Zimba tells you everything you need to know about the accuracy of this post.

    • Darren

      It was sweet justice to find your brief comment already here waiting for me. So much better to come from your pen than mine.

    • Shane Vander Hart

      Ah, well the source is the The Advocate. This was just an excerpt. I should have double checked the link I got the picture from.

      My bad.

    • Shane Vander Hart

      Anyway, taking down the picture was a quick fix. I wish I could say the same about the Common Core Math Standards.

  • Bruce Price

    New piece on American Thinker analyzes Close Reading, a component of Common Core. Article explains why it’s a scam.

    People left many comments, one of which is still reverberating. There is an aspect of Close Reading which requires that a class discuss a passage until everyone reaches “consensus.” I thought this was just silly. But a comment led me to understand that it’s really a kind of indoctrination, perfect for teaching children to accept collectivism.