‘Core-aligned’ math books are a ‘sham’

It’s a “sham” to say new math textbooks are “aligned to Common Core standards, says William Schmidt, co-director of Michigan State’s Education Policy Center. After analyzing more than 40 textbooks being used by 60 to 70 percent of students, Schmidt found 800-page behemoths  stuffed with material that isn’t in the standards.

“Core-aligned” math books “do not look that different from the previous versions,” said Morgan Polikoff, an associate education professor at USC. Polikoff analyzed three “Common-Core aligned” fourth-grade math textbooks adopted in Florida and one commonly used textbook that is not aligned to any particular standards.

He found that 15 to 20 percent of textbooks cover topics outside the Common Core standards, while 10 to 15 percent of the standards are not reflected in the texts.

What is missing? Questions and problems that get to the higher levels of cognitive demand, he said.

Teachers will need to beware, said Polikoff. “If they follow the book they will not be teaching the Common Core.”

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