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America’s Math Curriculum Doesn’t Add Up - Freakonomics Radio #391

A brand new Freakonomics Radio Podcast that’s insightful and relevant.


Teaching to the test – the engine of our education system. Which math skills will girder 21st century jobs? The rise of a new and improved ‘high stakes’ SAT College entrance exam. Who is behind what high school math curricula teaches and what does college math say is important. A fascinating interview with College Board CEO David Coleman and others on pushing the 500lb gorilla in the right direction that is timely for or conversations on detracking.



Equity-based curriculum changes among our three districts are inextricably linked since we (90, 97 and 200) are in fact one school system. Young families considering making OP or RF a home don’t look at K-8 without considering high school student performance on nationally normed tests. Although not a detracked subject in OPRF’s plans, administrators acknowledge in recent information sessions that changes are coming for the math curriculum. What can we expect? One place to look is River Forest.


Administrators underscore the sequential nature of mathematics instruction, and the need for vertical articulation between 8th and 9th grades. At a recent District 90 BOE town hall meeting the audience was told River Forest is “leading the way” in equity-based curriculum changes. The K-5 math curriculum changed from Math Expressions to Investigations and The Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance has a lot to say about the efficacy differences between these two curricula. If sequencing is important, then changes made by the equity leaders might be one place to look for what’s ahead in OPRF.

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