Eye on Education

How the Common Core Will Change High School Math Classes

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

Much of the debate about the Common Core, a new set of expectations for what students should know and be able to do in math and English at each grade level, has centered on the changes it will bring to English classes.

But the Common Core will change math classes too.

Trent Bowers, an assistant superintendent in the Worthington school district in central Ohio, explains:

The CCSS will change many areas of instruction but none will be more recognizable than our high school math courses. No longer will Worthington students’ progress through the traditional pathway of Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2. Instead the material will be presented to students in an Integrated way with courses titled CCSS Integrated Math 1, 2 and 3.

Independent of the names of the courses students take, the CCSS requires all high school students to develop integrated understandings of algebra, geometry, and data analysis, where concepts, skills, and representations in each content strand support concepts, skills, problem solving, and reasoning in the other strands.

So Worthington is moving towards replacing courses named Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2 with courses called Integrated Math 1, 2 and 3, Bowers writes.

The titles might be confusing to adults who have grown up with the “regular” names.

But the idea behind the Common Core high school math shift is to give students better answers to the time-honored math-class question “When am I ever going to use this?”

From the Common Core:

Modeling links classroom mathematics and statistics to everyday life, work, and decision-making. It is the process of choosing and using appropriate mathematics and statistics to analyze empirical situations, to understand them better, and to improve decisions.


  • m.smith

    While I see the benefits in teaching math this way, I have great concerns until our college system is changed. About 5 years ago our district used a math program much like that described, but we found our students were struggling in college math classes because they are still taught in the traditional way.

    • southernmom169

      It’s coming…just wait. Common Core will infiltrate the colleges, and only those kids who are taught Common Core will be able to attend college, everyone else will be left out in the cold. This is Bill Gates goal, to have ALL kids on an equal standing with one another.

      • felix1999


        ” …..only those kids who are taught Common Core will be able to attend college, everyone else will be left out in the cold.”

        LOL! How can you say that with a straight face? Colleges and universities are totally frustrated with kids in this “new math” progams. They don’t KNOW ANYTHING. They are literally LOST without their solar powered calculator. They don’t know BASIC math facts. They can’t read, write or comprehend much but they know ALLOT about SEX and “prejudice” according to Obama’s worldview.

        Bill Gates forgot his roots. Bill is totally devoid of reality. Yes I know Bill gives OODLES of money away and calls a press conference to bask in the adulation.

        To give you an idea on how out of touch and full of himself he is, Bill has declared that by 2035 WORLD POVERTY will be over!

        Excerpts from this AMAZING news on Feb. 5 2014

        “The poor are getting richer, says Bill Gates, and there’s no reason to believe we can’t end poverty – soon. “By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world,” Gates said in an annual Gates Foundation letter.”

        “He and his wife are struck by how many people seem to believe that the world is getting worse, he writes. “By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been,” writes Gates, citing improvements in health, life expectancy and dramatic turnarounds in cities such as Mexico City and Nairobi.”:

        Has he spoken to Obama about that? All Obama harps on is CLASS WARFARE, and RACE WARFARE. Obama’s policies and worldview is what is making AMERICA a poor third world country.

  • southernmom169

    The Common Core agenda is backed by big corporations who have THEIR foot in the door…Google, Microsoft, GE and Exxon Mobil…plus it is led by Bill Gates himself, who owns Microsoft, which will be the software they will use. Hmmm, makes you wonder what is REALLY going on. PLEASE research this BEFORE you agree to it. This cirriculum, if you can call it that, will only indoctrinate kids and turn them into little government loving zombies. Once this is implemented in your school systems, it will be TOO late to do anything about it, you’ll be stuck with it. Check out http://www.theblaze.com/tv; they have done a MOUNTAIN of research on this, and it is NOT pretty what they are going to do to your kids in the name of ‘education’.

    • felix1999

      Yes, parents are being BSed! It is the kids doing TRADITIONAL math that KNOW what they are doing. The CC math is VERY convoluted and the text books are riddled with mistakes. Those in a full CC program will be and are left behind. Kids in CC will be LUCKY if they finish up with Algebra 1 in their senior year in high school. It’s just another disaster. No prominent educator approved of CC and those that are prominent called it “woefully INADEQUATE”.

    • The Commenter

      All I have to say is wow I’m fifteen and hate the common core but becoming a government loving zombie no. the common core is really bad and I speak for a lot of students when I say it’s too hard. When I took the common core test for math im about 90% positive I failed along with just about all of the other 9th grade students even the smartest students at our school said they thought they failed. The makers of the test put trigganomitry,geometry,and algebra II on an algebra I test. Even our teacher couldn’t help us because they were never given any information on how to prepare us for it. Another thing is all of those versions of math are at least a grade level higher than what we are expected to learn so I don’t know what they expect when they are giving this to us. One thing that happend is that they shortend the period for preparation by at least a month we were barely over half way done with our lessons when we were expected to take the test. So if you all thought your children and America were being hurt by the standards before wait till you see what happend when they were changed now because giving us tests in stead of taking away the calculators is not the solution because I’m an a student in my math class and have a 98% in it for the first three of the nine weeks and I barely even use a calculator and still couldn’t understand the tests they gave because they gave standards that were above us and expected us to know them without any warning what so ever

  • School Supporter

    Did Trent Bowers pull a fast one on Worthington parents? What
    research supports “integrated math” and why the (apparent)
    misrepresentation of Common Core math?


    of our peer districts are taking an approach of minimal change, moving a
    few topics in and out of their current course offerings, believing that
    such changes will be sufficient. Frankly, many of these districts [or,
    rather, a critical mass of teachers and administrators] have not yet
    realized that successful CCSS implementation will require major
    instructional changes inside each of their mathematics courses. Many of
    these districts do not realize that the status quo is not working for
    significant populations of students. And many of these districts have
    not yet embraced the goal of ALL students reaching college and career
    readiness, preferring instead to continue practices of slowing students
    down when they are already behind.

    Brad Findell, Professor of Mathematics at The Ohio State University,
    presented a much anticipated session reviewing the major shift for high
    school entitled “Traditional vs. Integrated Pathway: Examining the
    Paths.” Dr. Findell immediately pointed out that both the traditional
    and integrated pathways require three years of high school math and
    would prepare students for both career and college. He also stated
    neither pathway should be viewed as better or more challenging than the
    other and ultimately, districts have to decide which path they will

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