I applaud the efforts of Rep. Mike Dudgeon in his defense of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, or CCSSM, on Aug. 17, at the Republican meeting. He has a very strong understanding of the purpose of the standards and why they were written in the first place.
As an associate professor of mathematics education at Kennesaw State University, I have had many occasions to work with colleagues to determine the scope of the standards and what they might do for our students’ mathematical learning and life skills. lt is very clear that the standards are closely aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards, or GPS, based on study and analysis I have done with my colleagues.
The CCSSM goes a little further than the GPS in what is required of our students by looking more in depth at some concepts and by moving some concepts to earlier ages so our children can go further in their studies of mathematics. This difference is to be celebrated not ostracized.
The purpose of the CCSSM is to help our students be more competitive in a global society, which means we want to make them smarter and wiser as they move from primary and secondary education into college and careers. Providing a pathway for smarter students is giving them freedom, not taking it away, as some groups opposed to Mr. Obama would have us believe. The CCSSM was developed long before Mr. Obama took office in 2009; he has simply gotten on the band wagon for CCSSM.
lf parents and teachers alike allow the Common Core to work as it is designed, our children will become critical thinkers who can be successful in both the business and academic arenas. Let’s not hold our children back by continuing to do the same things we’ve always done.
Teresa G. Banker