First Review of What Students Should Learn in Math Since 2007
Minnesota initiated its first review of state standards in mathematics education since 2007 November 18 with the first meeting of the mathematics standards review committee. The committee is a 36 member group made up of public school teachers from both traditional and charters schools along with representatives from both the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State system and come from a variety of schools across the state. Four members appointed by the Tribal Nations Education Committee will join the group at their December meeting. The day’s activities were led by Sara Van Der Werf, the new Minnesota Department of Education’s new mathematics specialist.
The group started their day with a presentation by Dr. Eric Milou, a professor of mathematics curriculum and instruction at Rowan University and one of the authors of the National Council of Teachers of Math Catalyzing Change series emphasizing deepening students’ mathematics understanding, identity, and doing so in an equitable way.
Group conversation points included wondering if all students need Algebra II as currently required by state statute, should schools continue to track students in mathematics, how to develop more exploratory learning with students, how the standards will incorporate computer science and how to support teachers in implementing those computer science standards.
Doug Paulson, Assistant Director Academic Standards, Instruction, and Assessment reminded committee members that Minnesota is a local control state and that they are explicitly prohibited from determining the delivery system, classroom assessments, or forms of instruction that schools must use. The purpose of this process is the creation of rigorous academic standards for Minnesota’s public school students.
Jennifer Dugan, Director of Academic Standards, Instruction and Assessment reviewed with the committee their meeting schedule and the target of a final draft presented to the Commissioner in August 2022. The committees first draft is scheduled for release in February 2022 and will include only the proposed standards. A public engagement process will follow that release including town halls and online comment opportunities. The second draft, incorporating the public input, will include proposed frameworks including technology and information literacy standards. The frameworks by law focus on college and career readiness.
The committee finished the day breaking into a set of small groups examining other standards including the PISA, NAEP, and standards from the states of Oregon, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin, and the frameworks from California. That activity will continue when the committee reconvenes December 7.
A roster of committee members, links to guiding assumption documents, meeting timeline and more can be found at the Minnesota Department of Education Mathematics page.