The adoption of Common Core standards across schools is a topic that has a lot of people jumping to one side of the fence or another. It’s difficult to find a balanced view of this controversial topic, but this recent article from LifeHacker hit both sides of the debate and is definitely worth a read if you’re wondering what all the fuss is about… The Parent’s Guide to Common Core The math component of Common Core has drawn more perhaps more criticism than others, and Marina Ratner in the Wall Street Journal definitely wasn’t shy about pointing out some of the larger concerns… Making Math Education Even Worse Dad’s perspective? There’s definite value in assessing how well individual schools are doing with their math curriculum, and standardized testing is probably the most effective way to make these comparisons. And a renewed focus on true problem solving (not just the mechanics of symbol manipulation) is a positive step in teaching math concepts. But will Common Core be the final word on this? Probably not. The larger problem in my mind remains one of inspiration, not creating the one sanctified list of what to teach and how (of which there’s certainly no single “correct” way), or even assessment (which is necessary, but will always imperfect, no matter how many tax dollars we throw at it). Rather, if we approached math the way that we did many other topics, like art, music or literature, where there was a a great story or beauty to be unfolded, I suspect much of the gap in STEM competency that everybody worries about would melt away. This inspiration is only going to come at the hands of talented teachers and engaged parents, like Seven Strogatz… Teaching Math to People Who Think They Hate It What are your thoughts? Has your school fully embraced Common Core math and how is that working out for your kids?