New Your State School Boards Association

Teachers' comfort with math issue in move to new standards

On Board Online • December 15, 2014

By George Basler
Special Correspondent

A bottle holds 900 milliliters of liquid, and a bucket holds six times as much as a bottle. How many more milliliters does the bucket hold than four bottles?

Fifth graders in states that have adopted the Common Core are being asked to answer such questions, while plenty of adults - including elementary teachers - might have trouble coming up with the right answer (1,800). A University of Connecticut survey of almost 700 elementary school teachers in eight states including New York found that a third reported experiencing some degree of math anxiety.

Most elementary teachers "don't feel they're experts in mathematics" because they teach many subjects, said Barbara Reys, Curators' Professor and Lois Knowles Faculty Fellow at the University of Missouri's College of Education.

Shannon Osborne, a teacher in the Jamestown City School District, certainly feels that way. Math was not her strong suit in school, she said. So it was daunting when she saw the new Common Core standards for math, such as the concept of breaking numbers apart so students can look at the structure of mathematical ideas, she said.

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News Releases

Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on the Statewide Teacher and Principal Evaluation Results

FOR RELEASE: December 17, 2014

CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 or (518) 527-6933 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

The continuing gap between student performance and educator evaluations illustrates why New York’s Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) system is broken.


With more than 95 percent of educators deemed highly effective or effective, yet only one-third of graduating students considered college and career ready, the system is not serving its purpose of improving student achievement by informing instruction.


Moreover, the evaluation results do little to differentiate which teachers and principals perform well and which do not. The structure of the APPR system is overly complex, bureaucratic and easily manipulated.


State officials should go back to the drawing board on APPR and after meaningful discussions with the education community, including those charged with implementing it, create a new evaluation system that will serve New York's students.

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Nominations must be received by December 23, 2014 to be considered. Honorees will be recognized at NYSSBA’s Capital Conference, which will be held in Albany on March 15 and 16, 2015.


Daily Clips

Auburn Citizen
Most NY teachers rated effective in evaluations

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Study shows math gains in city summer program

Schenectady Daily Gazette
Montgomery County schools ask for state to end aid adjustment

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