Students in kindergarten through eighth grade will be held to more concrete standards when it comes to math, thanks to a revision of standards approved by the State Board of Education on Monday.
The Legislature approved the revised standards earlier this year. The standards were drafted because student underachievement in math was causing alarm among educators and lawmakers.
Now the revised standards are clearer, emphasize basic math facts and introduce some mathematical concepts in earlier grades.
Although the Board of Education touts the new standards as something other states will aspire to match, the plan recently met with criticism. Some education activists thought the program wasn't rigorous enough and that school districts might suffer a loss of autonomy when it comes to teaching methods.
A plan for high school math standards is still being devised. In February, a consultant hired to review the state's proposed standards said there were "serious problems" with the high school curriculum. A revised plan will be presented to the board later this spring or summer, according to a statement from the Office of Superintendent of Public InstructionFor a complete description of the revisions, visit http://www.utdanacenter.org/wamathrevision/history.php.
I would encourage all Washington teachers to have a look at the new standards---even if you don't teach math. The format and wording is far superior to that found for other content areas. Science is next up for revision, but I would love to see Reading and Writing revised to reflect the "friendly" format math now has.