Going Deep on the

– Problem & Solution –

The Math Education Crisis

Common Core:
The Common Core Algebra One Math Standard (“CCA1MS”) makes the Math Education Crisis WORSE!

Traditional Algebra One is difficult. Mastering it is a major academic achievement for ANY student, including those the Math-Smart 10%.

Common Core (CCA1MS) makes Algebra Mountain 50% taller!

Beginning in 2010, after failing for 40 years to resolve the Crisis with “pre-algebra” (and without eliminating it), the educational establishment introduced CCA1MS, which adds significantly more intellectual content to Algebra One. CCA1MS increases the height of Algebra Mountain by about 50%!

In other words, when the system has long been failing to teach traditional Algebra One to the Middle 80% in a one-year (two semester) course format, their new “solution” is to increase the learning burden on students by 50%! This is sheer insanity!

CCA1MS consists of 60 items, each of which describes something students much learn. Most are vaguely or obtusely written. Many sound like gobbledygook! Reading them is nauseating, especially for mathematicians! For example, item A-CED.4 states:

“Create equations that describe numbers or relationships. Rearrange formulas to highlight a quantity of interest, using the same reasoning as in solving equations.”

Translation: “Solve an equation containing several variables for one of the variables.”

Click here for a nauseating view of the entire CCA1MS (the Algebra One pages are excerpted from California’s Common Core Math Standard).

Of the 60 items in CCA1MS, only 24 are exclusively from traditional Algebra One. The other 36 contain significant concepts and skills that are traditionally taught after Algebra one:

  • From Algebra TWO: fractional exponents, exponential functions, logarithms, recursion, and interactions between linear and nonlinear graphs.
  • From Chemistry and Physics: dimensional analysis and the units cancellation method.
  • From Trigonometry: periodic, even and odd functions.
  • From Statistics: data distributions, mean and standard deviation, relative frequencies, trends, categorical and quantitative variables, function fitting, correlation and causation.
In an attempt to squeeze all this more advanced stuff into a one-year (two-semester) course format, Common Core largely removes two major topics from traditional Algebra One (algebraic fractions and radicals) and sticks them into the Common Core Standard for Algebra TWO!

Thus, CCA1MS expects students (a) to learn about the abstraction of negative exponents in algebraic expressions before learning about the underlying algebraic fractions they represent; and (b) to learn about the abstraction of fractional exponents before learning about the underlying radicals they represent. This is like trying to teach kindergartners to read sentences before teaching them the alphabet! CCA1MS’s “swap” between Algebra One and Algebra Two is pedagogical insanity and a guaranteed disaster for the Middle 80% (as well as many in the Math-Smart 10%)!

We reject CCA1MS as a corruption of math education.

We soundly REJECT this pedagogical insanity, and hence REJECT CCA1MS. Other than jumping to the senseless commands of arrogant bureaucrats, there would be NO VALUE to be obtained by attempting to make AlgebraVictory “compliant” with CCA1MS. Indeed, any course “claiming” to be CCA1MS compliant is certain to be garbage.

Explore the other “Go Deep” pages…






Algebra Mountain



No Trail



Establishment Resistance



Common Core

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