New York state has a long history of revamping its K-12 math education system for the past two decades. From Sequential Mathematics prior to 2002, to Math A, Math A/B and Math B in 2001-2009, to P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) in 2009-2017 (with a modification in 2013), New York State has gone through numerous phases attempting to provide a better math education for the students. However, the math performance in the state has not improved much. New York State’s NAEP math scores have fallen tremendously post Common Core, as shown in the graph below.
(Source: Study Finds Historic Drop in National Reading and Math Scores Since Adoption of Common Core Curriculum Standards, from Pioneer Institute Public Policy Research)
In response to the poor math performance, NYS educators, parents, curriculum specialists, school administrators, and experts in cognitive research worked together and developed the New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards in 2017.
CCLS vs New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards
The New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) were internationally-benchmarked and evidence-based standards which served as a consistent set of expectations for what students should learn and would be able to do. The goal of these standards was to ensure that every student across New York State was on track for college and career readiness. Relative to the prior standard, CCLS was meant to introduce focus, coherence, fluency, deep understanding, application and dual intensity. Under these principles, teachers and students focus their time and energy on fewer math topics, and form deeper understandings, gain greater skill and fluency, and apply what is learned in real-life examples. This New York State math module provides students an opportunity to develop a great math foundation and build understanding of more complex and sophisticated math concepts and applications through fluency exercise, chains of reasoning, and abstract and contextual activities.
The New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards (2017), on the other hand, reflect revisions, additions, vertical movement, and clarifications to the previous mathematics standards. The new Standards focus on math knowledge and life skills. The goal of the changes is to ensure that students can habitually demonstrate their learning and understanding over time because of the instruction. Through such learning experiences, students will grasp the mathematical concepts that are necessary to function in a world very dependent upon the application of mathematics. Additionally, students will be able to apply critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical reasoning skills outside of the math world.
While both math systems offer the same math topics (counting and cardinality, operations and algebraic thinking, number and operations in base ten, number and operations – fractions, ratios and proportional relationship, the number system, expressions and equations, functions, measurement and data, geometry, statistics and probability, number and quantity, algebra, and modeling), CCLS divides the subjects into subtopics. Students are learning at a slower speed under CCLS, while on the other hand, The New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards promotes class engagement by asking students the ‘how’ questions. For example, instead of counting from numbers 1 to 10 as CCLS would, students are now answering questions such as “How many ____ are there?”
New York State Math Assessments
New York State has seen an improvement in math performance since the launch of the new Standards. In the most recent math assessment results in 2019, 46.7% of Grades 3-8 students scored at a proficient level compared to 40.2% in 2017 prior to the start of new Standards. Of the big 5 city school districts, New York City continues to have the highest percentage of proficient math results (45.6%), followed by Buffalo (20.9%), Rochester (13.0%), Syracuse (14.7%), and Yonkers (34.6%). Statewide charter school proficiency rates were higher than total public school proficiency rates (charter school at 58.9% and public school at 46.7%). Another interesting fact was that approximately 16% of students refused to take the state’s math assessments, which was a decline of 3% since 2017.
Overall, the New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards has a slow effectiveness in students’ math performance. To see a faster improvement in a student’s math academics, the right math tutoring program can fill the learning gaps. After joining Math Project’s math program, 87% students reported significantly ahead of their math class in school. An average Math Project child gets 2-3 years ahead of his or her peers within 6 months of being in the program.
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Study Finds Historic Drop in National Reading and Math Scores Since Adoption of Common Core Curriculum Standards – https://pioneerinstitute.org
New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards – https://www.engageny.org
New York State Next Generation Mathematics Learning Standards Crosswalks – http://www.nysed.gov
State Education Department Releases Spring 2018 Grades 3-8 Ela & Math Assessment Results – http://www.nysed.gov
New York state exams: Here’s what the latest results show for students – https://www.lohud.com
State Education Department Releases Spring 2019 Grades 3-8 ELA & Math Assessment Results – http://www.nysed.gov