Parents Need To Know Something about Math and the WV Legislature

Charleston Gazette-Mail

Time is running short for the West Virginia legislature in their debate to “prohibit” the use of Common Core State Standards (which the state doesn’t even use, but we digress). With only a few days left in the session, it’s imperative that they listen to those who know West Virginia’s students best: teachers. Cindy Evarts is a middle school teacher in Martinsburg and was a President’s Award Winner for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2014. She recently penned a piece in the Charleston Gazette-Mail informing readers about the key differences between standards and curriculum, and why lawmakers should keep West Virginia’s current high standards. “Standards spell out what students should know and be able to do at the end of each school year. Curriculum is written to provide ways to meet the standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative provided only standards – not curriculum. Curriculum has always been left up to local school districts to choose and adopt. So what’s all the fuss about?” Evarts questioned. More importantly, she stressed how the standards are helping students; “Don’t we want our students to be able to develop understanding rather than just memorization? Don’t we want our students to have the mathematics skills they need to compete with students from other states and with the rest of the world? Do we really want politicians ‘prohibiting’ teachers from using standards that are research based and designed to produce students who can think critically?” The answer to Evart’s last question – is a resounding “no.”

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