EdWeek reporter Liana Heitin, wandering the floor at the NEA convention, heard the same thing we hear from New Hampshire teachers about the Common Core math standards:
Among my many duties as the EdWeek correspondent at the event, I spent some time chatting with delegates about their feelings on the Common Core State Standards in mathematics.
Their answers can be summed up as follows: We love the standards. We need more resources. We’re scared about the tests.
The educators I spoke with (all from common-core-adopted states) told me, first and foremost, they are fans of the new standards—and then they quickly made a point of distinguishing between the standards, the implementation, and the tests.
Two veteran 5th grade teachers from Maine gushed about the standards’ focus on conceptual understanding and how excited they were to spend more time helping students grasp big ideas, such as place value, rather than having them memorize. As I’ve written before, the new standards emphasize sense-making and reasoning over math tricks.
Paul Gamboa, previously a 5th grade teacher in Naperville, Ill., and now the leader of his local NEA affiliate, said of the standards, “I love them. I absolutely love them.” In particular, he’s a fan of the real-world connections the standards allow him to make.
“Almost every lesson I did, I could say, ‘This is how this pertains to your life. This is the stuff you need to be a functional adult,'” he said. He’s related common-core lessons to football statistics, building furniture, and shopping at Costco, for instance.