If the Triangle High Five has its way, Wake, Durham, Orange and Johnston counties and the Chapel hill-Carrboro school system will have a uniform set of math course names and sequences.
As noted in today's article, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board will review the Triangle High Five proposal at tonight's board meeting. Ruth Steidinger, Wake's senior director of middle school programs, said the board would likely get the presentation in January.
Wake will need to decide relatively soon so that high school students can make their course selections for the fall 2012 semester.
All this is taking place as North Carolina prepares to implement a new math curriculum in 2012-13 based on the common core standards.
Click here for the handout for tonight's Chapel Hill school board discussion.
There are some things to keep in mind though.
Triangle High Five is now dropping the use of the words "middle" and "advanced" that you'll see in the Chapel Hill handout. So it's just Common Core Math 6, not Middle Common Core Math 6. It's also just Common Core Math I, not Advanced Common Core Math I.
Chapel Hill is also using as its default the accelerated math sequence that would have middle school students compact three years of math into two years. They'd then take Common Core Math I in eighth-grade, the new equivalent to Algebra I. Then it's off to honors courses in high schools.
Chapel Hill's uber-bright LEAP program students would take compacted math covering fifth- and sixth-grades in fifth-grade. This would allow them to accelerate the standard math track by two years.
But Triangle High Five isn't saying districts should use either sequence as a default. The group gave the districts what it called the "state of NC Mathematics Sequence" and an accelerated math sequence as options.
It will be interesting seeing how Wake decides to handle it considering the push over the past two years to increase Algebra I enrollment in middle school. Will Wake emulate Chapel Hill or go with a less ambitious sequence?
Steidinger is supposed to talk with Superintendent Tony Tata about the issue on Monday.
For one perspective, click here for a draft document that N.C. State Professor Jere Confrey did for Triangle High Five on implementing the common core. It would appear that she's against doing things like accelerating students by two years and offering honors math courses in high school too early.
Confrey gave a presentation to members of Wake's ED task force.
As for the course names, Triangle High Five decided not to go with the two options approved by the state.
The state said school districts could continue to use the names of Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. But Triangle High Five isn't recommending that considering how much those courses are being changed.
But Triangle High Five didn't go with the other state-approved action of calling the high school courses Integrated Math I, II and III. The three existing Integrated Math course in the current curriculum would be heavily modified by the common core.
Integrated math stresses a greater problem-solving skills and using real-world examples. Relatively few districts in North Carolina use Integrated Math.
But Triangle High Five is calling the Common Core Math I, II and III a hybrid between the traditional courses and the integrated math ones. This means it will get greater scrutiny from the state though.