Some of us find this horrifying:

“What’s most exciting about the new standards is the ‘nationalness’ of this work—we are all in it together, talking the same language and working toward the same goal, …

That in response to the unveiling of new centrally planned math standards for our inmates K12 students.

Here are some other national/state standards.

“Despite Focus on Data, Standards for Diploma May Still Lack Rigor – NYTimes.com” ( http://nyti.ms/zthU9o )

“… as part of this nationwide move to help students succeed in a global economy and society. ”

Assuming that I want me and mine to succeed in the global economy and society, why do I want more successful competitors? Is it best for my children to excel at whatever they do against the local or global competition or is it better for them to simply be members of a successful group? In baseball terms, should they be .225 hitters on a pennant winner or .350 hitters on the second place team?

Funny that you would find this today; a prompt on a GRE practice test I took this morning asked to analyze the merits of a nationalized curriculum.

‘“These are national standards and they are here to stay,” adds Fonzi, “and we have a chance to do it right.”‘ I sure hope they get it right, or at least better than it was before, if this is what they are going to force upon all of the students. It is a shame those in charge don’t often consider the merit of allowing schools to develop their own curriculum. If our education is so important, wouldn’t they want to try out as many different methods of instruction as possible so that we can actually then begin to find what may be the best curriculum?

As an undergraduate engineer I took courses in music and art appreciation. I enjoyed them, but didn’t learn to compose or sculpt, or to teach either subject. Neither will these “math appreciation” workshops enable participants to do or teach mathematics.

The core operations of the Calculus are differentiation and integration. When I read the following I was torn between laughter and horror:

“What Middle and High School Mathematics Supports the Development of the Concepts of Calculus?”

“So what is Calculus? … Participants will deepen their own understandings of the mathematics behind Calculus and what Calculus actually is. (You don’t need to know what derivatives or integrals are, nor how to find these to participate in this workshop!!)”

The last sentence in quotes pushed my reaction to horror. How in the world are those who take these “workshops” going to understand “the mathematics behind Calculus” if they are ignorant of its basic operations?

From your link: “Traditional math instruction built around memorization and repetition—still a norm in many of the nation’s schools—will get a makeover under the new Common Core Math Standards”

My kids suffered through what is in fact virtual ABANDONMENT of memorization and repetition. (They called it “Mathland”, and it turned off one of my kids, (who was rather precocious with numbers) from pursuing math. Kids can actually enjoy rote work, you don’t have to be brilliant to memorize the multiplication table in the third grade, just determined, and it provides the confidence to want to learn more. Kids can then take on the difficulty of learning fractions assuming a patient and hard working teacher is there to help them take this on. Kids get that, I don’t need studies or an education degree to see kids glow with a sense of accomplishment.

I went to a one-room school for first and second grades, and then we one-room-schoolers joined the kids in the “consolidated” multi-room Red Hill School. While we were learning basic arithmetic and reading at our backward one-room school, the big school kids were experiencing Progressive Education, an educational fad that de-emphasized rote learning and worried about such things as whether we could sing on pitch. We also shifted to letter grades that were designed not to harm our self-esteem: ‘U’ for “unsatisfactory, ‘S’ for ‘Satisfactory and ‘E’ for ‘excellent.”

So imagine my parents’ horror when a bunch of E’s showed up on my first report card, which, the card said, was a measure of one’s child’s “Pogress” [sic], as opposed to Progress, capitalized to indicate it was a specialized term. “What the hell is ‘Satisfactory?” I remember my father asking. He had a point. In math, satisfactory performance meant that we had only gotten to the three times table by the first marking period, and that in the third grade it would do to learn only up to the nine times tables, the ten, eleven and twelve times tables being unnecessary and a potential harmful thing to my psyche. My parents then made it their mission to get my brother and me to learn the times tables to twelve regardless of the educational research that showed that kids didn’t have to learn that.

Progressive education also dumbed down grammar in grammar school. Instead of the standard parts of speech, we learned all about proper and common “names” and “action words” instead of verbs. Also, the non-one-room-school kids couldn’t read very well after being subjected to “sight reading” in their first two years. They spent hours in remedial reading, which took time from math and grammar and not from singing and dancing. (Our third grade teacher was a music major!)

So when we reached ninth grade, my brother and I went to private school and got a pretty good education, especially in math. We had the same teacher for our last three years and were the pioneers in taking a full year of Calculus (a novel thing back in 1962). Our teacher did not follow national guidelines but instead just piled the work onto us until we could take no more. We also did considerable study in matrix algebra and in the foundations of mathematics. It’s just amazing what you can do if you are challenged.