State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces New Guidance for High School Common Core Math Materials

School administrators have a new tool to help them gauge how well high school math materials align to the Common Core, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today as he unveiled the new Standards Maps for Higher Mathematics.
“The new Standards Maps guide educators on how to evaluate whether math materials meet the needs of their communities and help give their students the practical skills they need for college and careers,” Torlakson said. “Tools like this help give local leaders the information they need to guide their schools.”
Instructional materials include printed and electronic textbooks and technology-based materials. They are used by students and teachers as learning tools. The state adopts instructional materials for kindergarten through grade eight, but high school materials are adopted by local educational agency governing boards.
There are a variety of high school instructional materials from which districts may choose, which can present challenges. The new Standards Maps help districts focus their evaluations and adoptions on the mathematical content of the instructional materials. For example, the guidance offers a roadmap to determine whether the instructional materials link mathematics to everyday life, work, and decision-making. It also helps evaluators determine whether the instruction makes sense and follows a logical progression as students and teachers go through the material.
Use of the Standards Maps is voluntary. Districts can complete the Standards Maps forms with their own findings regarding the alignment of the instructional materials to the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). Districts can also request that the producer of the instructional materials use the Standards Maps to provide evidence of alignment to the CCSSM.
The State Board of Education in 2010 adopted the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and mathematics, which provide a practical way to equip students with the real-world skills they need for college and careers. The Board also adopted modifications to the CCSSM in 2013, which provided options to districts for accelerating to higher mathematics in middle school.
The Standards Maps offer guidance for six higher mathematics courses, including Mathematics I, II, and III; Algebra I; Geometry; Algebra II; Statistics and Probability; and Precalculus. For more information regarding higher mathematics courses, visit the California Department of Education’s Curriculum Frameworks Web page.

July 17, 2014

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