From the LA Times
Op-Ed: California’s math education needs an update, but not the one proposed
By Jennifer Chayes and Tsu-Jae King Liu
California students’ math scores have lagged for years and only gotten worse during the pandemic.
The California State Board of Education has the job of adopting K-12 curriculum frameworks in accordance with state education code, which calls for “broad minimum standards and guidelines for educational programs.” The last math curriculum framework was adopted in 2013. Now the latest effort to rewrite the framework, close the learning gap between student groups and prepare more underrepresented minority students for STEM careers could end up having the opposite effect by reducing access to rigorous courses needed to succeed in science and engineering fields.
Right now, the state’s Board of Education is considering adopting an advisory K-12 California Math Framework, with public comment on the proposal open until May 16. Finding a way to improve math performance is critical. However, the framework’s authors are wrong to suggest that the achievements of computing and wider access to data have made some advanced math courses irrelevant.
Jennifer Chayes is dean of the School of Information, and associate provost for the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society. Tsu-Jae King Liu is dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering.