Math problems on chalk board

Those Mathematical Societies That Supposedly Endorsed Common Core’s Standards Didn’t

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Stanford University mathematics professor R. James Milgram included an informative e-mail in his packet of information for state legislators when he testified at a hearing on Common Core in Milledgeville, Georgia on September 24, 2014. The e-mail explains why presidents of many of the major mathematical organizations in the country endorsed Common Core’s standards in July 2013. The author of the e-mail seems to believe that the societies themselves would be unlikely to endorse Common Core’s standards, but that readers (i.e., the public) might be misled into thinking they had if they saw that the presidents had endorsed the standards. Consequently, the e-mail wants just the presidents’ signatures because they would “likely” be just as “effective.” The underlying assumption is that the members of these organizations would not be apt to learn what their presidents had done, much less know anything about the contents of Common Core’s mathematics standards.

Appendix A shows the letter that Ron Rosier, Director of the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (CBMS), sent to all society presidents on June 28, 2013. (Telephone numbers and personal e-mail addresses have been deleted.) Appendix B shows the “support statement” posted on July 24, 2013 by Professor William McCallum, a “lead” Common Core mathematics standards writer. It contains the signatures of all those who were willing to respond to Rosier’s request.

The appendices make it clear that the support statement was to be signed by the presidents of CBMS member societies as a personal expression of support, not on behalf of their organizations. But it is also clear that the presidents were to be identified by means of their organization, not academic affiliation. Nor were they asked to review the Common Core standards but, rather, to provide a promotional statement for the Common Core. The support statement was posted on CBMS stationery less than a month after the initial request for signatures was sent out.

It is worth noting that the somewhat hostile legislators at the Georgia hearing never asked Professor Milgram: “What about these endorsements?”

7 replies
  1. Carson Lauffer
    Carson Lauffer says:

    The article seems to try to prove something from silence and hence is only a hypothesis. It is not proof. Is it possible to get proof that the Society members do not approve of the CC standards?

  2. Rosemary Martin
    Rosemary Martin says:

    ” Nor were they asked to review the Common Core standards but, rather, to provide a promotional statement for the Common Core. The support statement was posted on CBMS stationery less than a month after the initial request for signatures was sent out.”…. “Promotional statement” not asked to review common core standards. In other words send us some propaganda on how much you love common core, and don’t bother actually “reviewing” them. The people sending their support of for common core should be sued for the damage to our children.

  3. Rosemary Martin
    Rosemary Martin says:

    The proof is in our children, the proof is the insane math marked common core curriculum coming home from our schools. The decomposing of numbers instead of teaching the basic math facts we have used for decades. Children becoming ill from stress, harming themselves, stories of children being put on medication just to force them to go to school. I am so sick of common core and those who promote it, in the name of God I pray for this mess to be exposed and those pushing this junk on our children held accountable for child abuse.

  4. OkieTee
    OkieTee says:

    Rosemary Martin is absolutely right! And not only the stress on the children but also us aunts who try to help their beloved nephews? I’m far from stupid but not quite a rocket scientist and I whizzed past the 4th grade like it wasn’t even there but I was so frustrated with 4th grade math! Give me a break! I am retired now but I have created spreadsheets which calculated the amount of gas each well could produce in a particular gas pool – parts included square roots of bottom hole pressure tests, logarithms, etc.; budget spreadsheets, etc., you get the idea, I’m not stupid. So look what we’re doing to the kids!

  5. Carson Lauffer
    Carson Lauffer says:

    I’m also sick of Common Core but the article contends that Math Society members may not approve of the Math section even though their leaders did. I’d like to see CC ended but are the society members opposed to or supportive of the Math section?

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