Q:

Our state has opted out of using the Common Core Standards. Instead, the schools will be following our own state's standards. What do you think the differences between the two standards would be in mathematics? -- Inquisitive

A:

There may or may not be a substantial difference between the two sets of standards in math. In fact, the Common Core Standards were based on standards of the individual states. Before Common Core, states covered different math topics at different grade levels. What Common Core does is put all the states using them on the same page at the same time.

Plus, it is believed that the sequence of math topics in Common Core is mathematically coherent and will lead to college and career readiness. This may or may not be true of math standards for individual states.

One criticism of state math standards is that they are a mile wide and inches deep. The Common Core Standards generally have far fewer broad statements and are more specific. They concentrate on a clear set of math skills and concepts so students will be learning math in a more organized way. And the Core Standards make sure the students are learning math in each grade so they can succeed at a higher level.