ACT released its Condition of College and Career Readiness 2018 report where they report math scores are at a 20-year low nationally.
They also noted that college readiness in math is trending downward among ACT-tested US high school graduates, falling to its lowest mark in 14 years.
“The negative trend in math readiness is a red flag for our country, given the growing importance of math and science skills in the increasingly tech-driven US and global job market,” said ACT CEO Marten Roorda. “It is vital that we turn this trend around for the next generation and make sure students are learning the math skills they need for success in college and career.”
Education Week reported on the ACT report and they include a quote that is rather surprising. Catherine Gewertz wrote, “Matt Larson, the immediate past president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, said the math scores ‘are extremely disappointing, but not entirely unexpected.’”
Not surprising? Of course, I’m not surprised because we’ve seen this trend with ACT and we anticipated problems, but I have to admit I’m surprised to read a person whose organization shilled for Common Core.
In a report released earlier this year, the NCTM called for major shifts in the way math is organized and taught in high school, including focusing more deeply on fewer essential concepts. Larson said that states have made solid progress adopting good math standards, but the ACT results suggest that schools need to focus on improving curriculum and instructional practice to bring those expectations fully to life.
“As a country, we’ve reached the limits of what we can get out of standards alone,” he said. “We need to pay more attention to what is taking place in the classroom.”
Oh, we’ve taken Common Core as far as we could?
That was a short, disappointing ride. Nah, it’s not the standards, it’s everything else that is the problem… I couldn’t possibly be the standards!