The Kentucky Senate’s Education Committee heard testimony on mathematics instruction this morning and then voted out Senate Joint Resolution 19, which calls for the Kentucky Department of Education to revise the state’s mathematics standards and testing programs. The resolution is a reaction to continued poor mathematics performance in the commonwealth.
SJR 19 recommendations are based on three key documents:
• The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ “Principles and Standards for School Mathematics”
• The NCTM “Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8”
Issued about two years ago to deal with interpretation problems with the “Principals and Standards.” And,
• The final report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel
This was a presidential panel convened to deal with the nation-wide deficiencies in math instruction.
Collectively, these three documents call for instruction to mastery of what many term “the basics.” The documents also indicate that algebra, rather than other, more esoteric subjects, needs to be the next focus as students progress. Esoteric math subjects should be dropped in the lower grades until these basic needs are met, first.