Purveyors of the inquiry-based and student-centered math agenda, which has persisted for more than 20 years, argue traditionally taught math has never worked for the vast majority of the nation’s student population, and they say mental math is the key to “understanding,” as opposed to what they consider to be rote procedures.
The mantras of “students shall understand” and “explain” appear in the Common Core standards and are, according to Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution, “dog whistles” that serve as a signal to proponents of the inquiry-based and student-centered math agenda to see Common Core’s math standards as requiring those approaches.
It is ironic how inquiry-based math approaches seem to spend more time showing students strategies they might discover on their own than on teaching the standard algorithms they almost certainly won’t learn on their own.
The analytic, problem-solving, and critical-thinking capabilities inquiry-based math proponents tout as the stated...
The following are three examples of calculation strategies students might discover on their own if they were taught standard algorithms first and allowed to master them before moving on.
Common Core reverses the process by spending more time on these strategies than on standard math processes (see article on page 10).
Subtraction by ‘Counting Up’
The subtraction method known as “counting up” is suggested in the 2nd grade Common Core math standards: “Fluently add and subtract within 100 using...
As students returned to college this semester, they found their tuition is higher than ever.
Between the 2013–14 and 2014–15 school years, average tuition and fees for local, full-time students attending public four-year colleges and universities increased nearly 3 percent, according to the College Board’s “Trends in Higher Education” webpage.
Nationally, the average going rate for a year of college was more than $9,000 in 2014–15. If costs related to room and board and other mandatory fees are...