Frequently Asked Questions about the new Secondary Utah Core Standards for Mathematics
Question or Concern
1. My student won't be able to take AP Calculus
2. The new math standards are not as challenging as the old math standards.
3. Will my student still learn Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 concepts?
4. Why did Utah adopt the Integrated/International Model?
5. Why do we need math standards? What is the rationale behind the change?
6. The new standards are TOO hard! I can't help my child with their homework!
7. The new classes and standards aren't accommodating for my SPED student.
8. I have heard there isn't a textbook for the high school math classes.
9. Where does my high school honors student fit in with the new integrated model?
10. How is the new core going to be assessed?
11. Will the Common Core State Standards create a national database on students?
1. Canyons School District is excited to offer two different pathways students can take to reach AP Calculus before they graduate. The honors classes have additional Pre-Calculus concepts embedded in them so students can take AP Calculus upon successful completion of Secondary III Honors. Students can take the honors pathway to reach AP Calculus their senior year or the compacted advanced pathway to reach AP Calculus their junior year. See the "Pathways" linked document below for a visual representation of the new classes.
2. In the "Comparison for Rigor" document a standard from the 2007 Pre-Algebra core is compared to a standard from the new 7th grade core. The highlighted words are action words that students should be able to do once they have mastered the standard. If you notice, the Pre-Algebra standard (yellow words) has students computing, solving, ordering, recognizing, using, and simplifying. While these are good math skills for students to have, they do not require higher order thinking skills. On the other hand, the new 7th grade standards have students use higher order thinking skills to apply and extend, describe, show understanding, and solve real-world application problems.
Comparison for Rigor
3. Yes! In the document below you will see how the concepts for Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Statistics, and Pre-Calculus are now integrated into the new classes. But don't be fooled, the new classes are not the old standards re-ordered or re-named. As seen in the Comparison for Rigor, the new standards transform the previous concepts and ask students to utilize deeper thinking and analytical skills.
Traditional Model vs. Integrated Model
4. Data from international assessments, such as the TIMSS, shows that countries who follow the integrated model of mathematics consistently outperform the US because of the connections students are able to make across math concepts. In the "Myths and Facts" document below, on pg 11 4th paragraph, it goes into detail about the decision by the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) to adopt the integrated model for secondary mathematics instruction.
Myths and Facts
5. This document below outlines the rationale for the change. It discusses how the previous standards were not preparing students for college and careers post high school.
Is Utah Math Ready?
6. Parents from all types of math backgrounds can help their students with their homework by asking guiding questions.
Helping Your Child with Math at Home
7. Canyons School District Special Education Department offers a continuum of services for individuals with disabilities, learning needs, and with IEPS and 504s. Please contact Christina Thomas or Jenn Griffin for more detail.
8. There is not a commercially published textbook. Because the standards are fairly new, textbook companies do not yet have materials out that support the integrated model. Canyons School District has created resources for teachers and students. These resources were created by a team of teachers who spent considerable time studying the standards. Contact your student's teacher for more information on the student resource.
9. Canyons School District has three different options for high school students. The document below outlines the different math pathways students can take during their high school career.
10. Instead of the end of year CRT (Criterion-Referenced Test), students will now be taking the SAGE assessments: Student Assessment for Growth and Excellence. More information about the assessment can be found at the website below:
11. "No. Each state will continue to use the same policies and procedures for student privacy that it already has in place. The assessment consortia will collect background data on students - their race and ethnicity, special education status, and so forth - in order to provide information on the aggregate performance of subgroups of students, but they will not collect data that will enable anyone to identify individual students. Prohibitions on individual student data remain, and the consortia will not collect information on student attitudes or beliefs."
Source: Alliance for Excellent Education