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Math Utah Core

Submitted by ts on Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:36am

The Utah Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort to establish a shared set of clear educational standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics

Why A Utah Core?

Core standards will help ensure students are receiving a high quality education consistently from school to school and state to state. We need college and career ready standards. We need students moving from our colleges and universities into the workplace, ready to compete in the emerging global marketplace.

How Was the Utah Core Developed?

The Standards made careful use of a large and growing body of evidence. This evidence included scholarly research; surveys on what skills are required of students entering college and workforce training programs; assessment data identifying college and career ready performance; and comparisons to standards from high-performing states and nations.

Strengths of the New Core

Aligned with expectations for college & career success Consistent across all states Includes both content and application of knowledge through high-order skills Informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society.

There are several reasons why moving to the CCSS is beneficial for mathematics instruction in Nebo School District:

First, this is a structure that is used in countries with high mathematics achievement. Thus, this is a transition to “world-class” mathematics instruction for Nebo School District.

Second, it better prepares all students for college and/or careers by the time they graduate from high school. By studying topics more in depth and by examining the interrelationship among mathematics concepts, students will be better prepared for the ever-increasing quantitative skills needed for our rapidly advancing technical economy.

Third, the new core’s structure allows students more flexibility to accelerate or slow down their mathematics learning as they progress through their secondary education.

How are elementary math classes sequenced in the Utah Core State Standards?

Students take their grade level mathematics class as they have in the past. For example, a 3rd grade student takes CCSS 3rd Grade Math. (See Student Pathways document of the Utah Core)

How is the content of mathematics the same and different from the current Utah
Core Curriculum and the Utah Core State Standards?

The primary difference between the current Utah mathematics core curriculum and the Utah Core State Standards is that the Utah core focuses on mathematical topics with more depth than the current core. Students that complete CCSS through Secondary Math III will be college and career ready with skills and knowledge in mathematics beyond those contained in the current Algebra 2 course.

How are secondary math classes sequenced in the Utah Core State Standards?

  1. 7th Grade Math
  2. 8th Grade Math
  3. Secondary Math I
  4. Secondary Math II
  5. Secondary Math III

Will all students take the same math class in 7th grade?

No, students will be placed in the math class that best fits his/her needs. Seventh grade students will be placed in 7th Grade Math or 7th Grade Math Honors.

Will students be able to take calculus by the time they are seniors in high school in
the new Utah Core State Standards?

Yes, all students, whether they start in 7th Grade Math or 7th Grade Math Honors will be able to take Calculus by the time they are seniors, and some students by the time they are juniors. However, students will have to move to the honors track by the time they take Secondary Math III in order to be prepared to take Calculus by the time they are seniors.

What is the difference between the “regular” track and the “honors” track?

For 7th Grade Math and 8th Grade Math students will cover the same required topics in both the regular and honors tracks. However, in the honors track the investigation of topics will be broader and deeper. Students will be prepared for the next grade level regardless of which track they take the previous year. For the Secondary Math classes, there will be additional topics covered in the honors track that are not covered in the regular track, completing the requirements for Pre-Calculus by the end of Secondary Math II Honors.

Will students learn Algebra and Geometry in the CCSS?

Yes, students will learn all Algebra and Geometry concepts as well as topics included in Algebra II and Pre Calculus if the student completes mathematics course work through Secondary Math III Honors. The model that Nebo School District and the rest of the state will be following is an international model for structuring mathematics content. The Utah Board of Education voted to restructure the core using an international model because it is a model that has been proven effective in high performing countries around the world. Furthermore, there is great common sense in the idea that mathematics topics be integrated while they are studied, rather than being treated as isolated topics with no connection to each other or to
the real world.