WABE | Georgia students could struggle to learn if teachers use "funny math methods." That’s according to State Schools Superintendent Richard Woods, who recently wrote a column about Georgia’s math instruction.
If you’ve been frustrated trying to help your young child with his math homework, you’re not alone. Superintendent Richard Woods says he hears that from parents a lot. And, he says, some teachers are using strategies that confuse a lot of adults.
“This would just be these different methodologies, whether it’s the lattice method or something which many parents are not familiar with,” he says. “It’s something we did not learn as we went through school.”
The lattice method is used to teach multiplication. Students put numbers in rows of boxes with diagonal lines drawn through them. Like this:
This is a short example of the lattice method. Credit Amber Case / flickr.com/caseorganic
Read the full article and hear the interview: http://wabe.org/post/state-superintendent-ga-wont-require-funny-math-methods
Superintendent Woods discusses math issues with WSB-TV's Lori Geary.
Watch the interview: http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/ga-school-chief-pushing-for-traditional-math/vDSdJN/
Teaching using “funny math methods” – such as, for example, the lattice method – is not state-mandated and not a requirement for students to achieve on any state tests.
-- Richard Woods, Georgia's School Superintendent
Getting math right for the students and teachers of Georgia has been a priority of mine since day one. One of my first actions as your State School Superintendent was working with the State Board of Education to provide a needed choice between integrated mathematics and traditional discrete mathematics (with assessments to match each option) for our schools. Prior to this action, schools that chose to offer the traditional discrete mathematics option were penalized by having only one assessment option – integrated mathematics.
I regularly hear from parents unable to help their children with math homework, and math teachers who struggle to master instruction due to a lack of textbook options and unclear expectations for state tests.
While it is important for kids to think critically and to use different methods for problem solving, it is also essential that students have a firm understanding of the fundamentals of mathematics. Basic algorithms, fact fluency, and standard processes for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division also contribute to building a strong foundation for student achievement.
Teaching using “funny math methods” – such as, for example, the lattice method – is not state-mandated and not a requirement for students to achieve on any state tests. State assessments ask that students arrive at the correct answer and, in some cases, explain how they got there, but a specific process for obtaining the answer is not required.
I know that in the pursuit of increasing rigor, mathematics has become overly complicated. In some classrooms, solving simple multiplication or addition problems has become what may seem like a college-level calculus problem.
Due to a lack of textbook options and rushed implementation, many local school systems and mathematics teachers turned to Internet resources and/or vendor products labeled “Common Core”. As a former educator, I deeply believe in ensuring teachers have the autonomy and ability to teach using methods they feel are best for their students.
I ask that local systems, instead of turning outward to un-vetted resources, turn inward toward collaboration among the talented experts within their own departments.
Georgia is a local control state in regard to public education. Let me make the following statements very clear:
• What many have labeled as “Common Core” methods for teaching mathematics are not methods mandated by the Georgia Department of Education
• Georgia’s standards direct school districts, schools, and teachers to use basic arithmetic algorithms, fact fluency, and standard processes for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
• The Georgia Department of Education provides resources (which may be used at district discretion) supporting the use and instruction of basic arithmetic algorithms
Offering choices and clarification are some of the steps we are taking to address the concerns surrounding mathematics in our state. We will continue to monitor this issue closely to ensure our students have the best education possible.
From the AJC:
The surprise hero of the Georgia Republican Convention wasn’t one of the presidential candidates who trekked to Athens. It was state schools superintendent Richard Woods.
Woods, the newest member of the GOP’s statewide hierarchy, was elected in November in a race against Democrat Valarie Wilson. He earned some of the wildest applause from any of the speakers when he railed against the Common Core national standards and previewed an upcoming announcement about new math standards.
“We have no obligation from the state of Georgia that they’ll have to teach funny math,’ he told the 2,000 or so delegates on Friday. “If our teachers choose to use a standard algorithm, they’ll be able to do so. We look forward to making that announcement next week.”
The next day his standing was reinforced by the grassroots in a big way. The delegates approved a pack of resolutions en masse that included one that called for the election of State Board of Education members. They are now appointed by the governor.
Read more: http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2015/05/18/convention-leftovers-the-split-between-the-gop-base-and-the-legislature/
Photo credit: Stuart Griffin
Tweets from the Georgia GOP convention:
And the biggest cheer of the convention so far is for ... State Supt Richard Woods. -- Kyle Wingfield (AJC)
Woods says Common Core has not spread to science or social studies. "There will be nothing common about these 2 sets of standards." -- Kyle Wingfield (AJC)
Woods: "There will be no obligation from the state of GA for you to teach funny math." -- Kyle Wingfield (AJC)
The loudest cheers so far - easily - have been for Woods' words against Common Core. #gapol -- Kyle Wingfield (AJC)
At the GOP meet in Athens, School Super Richard Woods gets applause for promiseto put mini copies of U.S. Constitution in student pockets. -- Jim Galloway (AJC)
First Lady Sandra Deal and State School Superintendent Richard Woods visit Early Learning Center at Rockdale Career Academy
Phil Lanoue, Supt Woods, SBOE chair Helen Rice and Clarke BOE member Carol Williams with @ClarkeCoSchools Color Guard
Times-Herald | In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Georgia State School Superintendent Richard Woods visited Newnan High School (NHS) teacher Barbara Landreth, who is one of the 10 longest-serving teachers in Georgia.
'I'm really glad to be able to come here and talk with you,' said Woods.
Landreth has been teaching at NHS since 1961. She first taught ninth and 10th-graders. She later added yearbook and switched to 11th grade English.
Woods' visit was a surprise for her, as NHS Principal Chase Puckett told her he had some visitors he wanted her to meet and show around the school.
'I'm glad I am able to meet you,' she told Woods.
Woods spent time talking with Landreth about her teaching career and what changes she had seen in education throughout it.
Read more: http://www.times-herald.com/local/20150508-State-School-Superintendent-visits-long-time-NHS-teacher