From Nakonia Hayes: Texas Math Standards

Feb 22, 2015 by

Nakonia (Niki) Hayes

“From Nakonia Hayes: Texas Math Standards”

Member of Math TEKS Writing Committee

2.22.15

 

I have searched my memory bank trying to remember how the “Introduction” with its focus on “process” was developed for the 2012 Math TEKS. I do remember that a subcommittee was formed to write it in the waning hours of our last meeting days. I can remember thinking it used popular verbage of the feel-good crowd, but my focus was on arguing for inclusion of non-use of calculators in the “Introduction.” And, there actually was no time to fight over its other substance because we had literally run out of time.

 

 

The truth is, I thought the subsequent energy of teachers and parents would be spent on the specific standards and not on the “Introduction.” It never dawned on me that proponents of Common Core would use that “Introduction” to sneak Common Core standards and activities into Texas schools since that would violate state law.

 

So rather than allow them to drive us to maddening distractions, let’s remember some vital points, some of which include legalities: 

 

(1) Texas HB 462 makes it illegal to use “any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum. (See the bottom of my message for the law’s wording.) Common Core  supporters insist that “curriculum” is much more than “standards” as they try to downplay the impact of the standards on the actual teaching program. “Curriculum,” they say, means all the resources and activities that go into teaching a discipline–standards, materials, activities, teacher training, assessments, etc. All of these factors, then, are considered “any aspect” of a common core standards curriculum.”

 

As I keep saying, that means schools and others using “Common Core-anything” are breaking the law. The response is not to argue with them. It is to repeat over and over, “You are breaking the law.” If the state is not going to step in and rectify this violation, then perhaps parents need to seek legal counsel in a class action suit against school districts. (I know. It is said such suits are likely to lose. Maybe. Maybe not.)

 

(2)  If teachers white-out Common Core information and copy the papers for distribution, they are violating copyright laws (and Common Core is copyrighted). This violation should be reported to the district’s school board and then to the Texas Education Agency.

 

(3)  If teachers are hiding Common Core’s authorship and using materials without attribution, they are also plagiarizing material. That is unethical. It should be reported to the school board and the TEA.

 

(4)  Letters, phone calls, and visits to legislators are needed. Tell them the violations of the law(s) and the confusion that is running rampant among parents, educators, and children. This is creating a hostile learning environment for children. That is child abuse and professional negligence. Does Texas want that image?

 

(5) Children who are confused and scared about not understanding the lessons should be told (repeatedly) there is nothing wrong with them as students with regards to those programs. Help them learn that sometimes programs are wrong, but do not bad-mouth the teachers. That puts the children between the parents and the teachers. That’s a no-win situation for the kids. Some of the teachers are trying to keep their jobs. Others are too tired to fight. Others are brainwashed.

 

Parents can determine whether or not to have their children work the lessons. They may have to teach the children basic foundational knowledge while all of this is going on. God help any school that fails a child in this situation. (Keep documentation of conversations, e-mails, meetings, etc.)

 

(6)  Let the children see that adults are willing to band together and NOT ARGUE with those in charge when all that has to be said is, “You are breaking the law.” That’s the clarity of the issue. The mere words “Common Core” have no place being spoken when any educator discusses standards, lessons, or assessments in Texas public or charter schools. When they are, stop the conversation and say, “Common Core is a violation of state law.”

 

(7)  Even if districts can choose 50% of their material, it cannot be connected to Common Core. There are other materials to use that can meet the 2012 TEKS.

 

(8)  If educators say the SAT and ACT are aligned with Common Core standards, so what? If students are taught basic, strong, foundational knowledge and skills, they can pass those tests. Ability to read, discern, analyze, compute, remember, synthesize, and evaluate are major learning and performance abilities. Tests that play mind games with well-prepared learners are easily spotted by capable students. They will win those games, I promise.

 

As a principal, I told my staff I didn’t care if they stood on their heads or danced a jig on their desks as long as the students showed mastery on the ITBS [Iowa Test of Basic Skills]. It, at that time, was excellent as a norm-referenced test. Our Washington state test was a God-awful fuzzy example of progressive thinking. Even so, the students at my school were in the top five percent of the state with it because of their solid competencies in reading, writing, and computing.

 

If Texas students have a solid foundation in knowledge and skills, it will show on the STAAR/End-of-Course tests, which are designed to give objective, not subjective, measurement.

 

 

From Texas HB 462 at http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/texas-bans-common-core/:

 

(b-3) A school district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels under Subsection (c).

(b-4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.

 

 

Nakonia (Niki) Hayes

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12 Comments

  1. Nakonia (Niki) Hayes

    The Texas Math TEKS cover very well the standard requirements for learning the basic operations (adding, subtracting, multiplication, division). Our standards don’t go into detail on how the teacher should teach concepts, however, since that’s pedagogy (as reflected in your copy of Core standards). Our mission was to tell “what” to teach, not “how” to teach. Every teacher should have a solid, PROVEN curriculum to support the standards plus the ability to plan and deliver effective lessons for any set of students.

    Lastly, no more breath or time should be spent debating the merits of Common Core in Texas. That breath, time, and energy should be spent learning the TEKS and finding quality materials to support them.

    • Avatar
      everyonesfacts

      If you’re teaching the basic operations you are teaching CC. Any CURRICULUM covering CC standards would do so. Thus, any teacher teaching the basic operations is de facto breaking the law: “any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.”

      • Avatar

        What you fail to understand is the public disdain for federal control with these mickey mouse standards.

        • Avatar
          everyonesfacts

          I don’t see them as mickey mouse. Which specific standard is mickey mouse? Earlier today, you couldn’t do them at home to help an elementary school child and now they are mickey mouse? Which is it? It can’t be both.
          Any student that can do what the standards say is certainly better than most students who graduate especially if they take an advanced math class on top of the 11-12 standards which is easily doable.
          The standards are not federal. Any more than when a state or district adopts AP or IB.

      • Nakonia (Niki) Hayes

        That is tortured language and twisted logic. Facts come first; opinions must come second–based on facts. Read the law. It specifically states “common core.” You don’t like the law? Work to get it changed.

        • Avatar
          everyonesfacts

          Nothing I have written is wrong. From the law:

          (b-3) A school district may not use common core state standards to comply with the requirement to provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels under Subsection (c).

          (b-4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may not be required to offer any aspect of a common core state standards curriculum.

          So teaching addition in grade 1 seems like it would be in violation of the law. Seems like anti-CC people like yourself will be selective, but methinks in keeping with the letter of the law you should go after all grade school teachers who teach the basic math and vocabulary that are part and parcel of the law.

      • Niki Hayes
        Niki Hayes

        That is tortured language and twisted logic. Facts come first; opinions must come second–based on facts. Read the law. It specifically states “common core.” You don’t like the law? Work to get it changed.

  2. Avatar
    everyonesfacts

    So, no addition, subtraction, multiplication, division as those are part of CC math?

    • Jimmy Kilpatrick

      This is Texas and if you had read the article you would have seen the state outlawed using common core.

      • Avatar
        everyonesfacts

        “This is Texas” might explain it.
        But, that said, even in Texas I expect them to use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
        Like how do you teach math without doing this:

        “1)Students develop strategies for adding and subtracting whole numbers based on their prior work with small numbers. They use a variety of models, including discrete objects and length-based models (e.g., cubes connected to form lengths), to model add-to, take-from, put-together, take-apart, and compare situations to develop meaning for the operations of addition and subtraction, and to develop strategies to solve arithmetic problems with these operations. Students understand connections between counting and addition and subtraction (e.g., adding two is the same as counting on two). They use properties of addition to add whole numbers and to create and use increasingly sophisticated strategies based on these properties (e.g., “making tens”) to solve addition and subtraction problems within 20. By comparing a variety of solution strategies, children build their understanding of the relationship between addition and subtraction.
        2)Students develop, discuss, and use efficient, accurate, and generalizable methods to add within 100 and subtract multiples of 10. They compare whole numbers (at least to 100) to develop understanding of and solve problems involving their relative sizes. They think of whole numbers between 10 and 100 in terms of tens and ones (especially recognizing the numbers 11 to 19 as composed of a ten and some ones). Through activities that build number sense, they understand the order of the counting numbers and their relative magnitudes.”

        My guess is EVERY math teacher who teaches addition will be doing what could be defined as CC math from the Grade 1 introduction.

        http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Content/1/introduction/

        • Jimmy Kilpatrick

          How about some timed drilled sheet considering we want all kids to at least master this. Math instruction has become so dis-jointed only these days is nearly impossible to help students at home. The folks with resources pay to have it done at private place.

          • Avatar
            everyonesfacts

            There is nothing in CC stating one can’t use timed drill sheets.

            For instance, the following grade 1 standards can all be done with that method:

            Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.

            CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.A.1
            Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.1

            CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.A.2
            Solve word problems that call for addition of three whole numbers whose sum is less than or equal to 20, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

            Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction.

            CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.B.3
            Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract.2 Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. (Commutative property of addition.) To add 2 + 6 + 4, the second two numbers can be added to make a ten, so 2 + 6 + 4 = 2 + 10 = 12. (Associative property of addition.)

            CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.B.4
            Understand subtraction as an unknown-addend problem. For example, subtract 10 – 8 by finding the number that makes 10 when added to 8.

            Add and subtract within 20.

            CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.5
            Relate counting to addition and subtraction (e.g., by counting on 2 to add 2).

            CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.C.6
            Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).

            Work with addition and subtraction equations.

            CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.D.7
            Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.

            CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.D.8
            Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = _ – 3, 6 + 6 = _.

            1 See Glossary, Table 1

            2 Students need not use formal terms for these properties.

            I just don’t see how TX will teach math without these CC methods and standards.

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