By Mike Marsee

Members of the Committee for Mathematics Achievement (CMA) affirmed plans to resubmit their recommendations for modifications to the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) proposed changes to graduation requirements at the committee’s meeting Nov. 2 in Frankfort.

The CMA made nine recommendations at its September meeting and submitted them to KDE. Those recommendations will be resubmitted during the current public comment period and may be presented at the Nov. 29 public hearing.

Amanda Ellis, KDE’s chief academic officer, discussed and addressed each recommendation with the nine committee members at the meeting and told them they also have been discussed and considered within KDE.

“We have walked through each one of your recommendations and talked about them thoughtfully,” Ellis said.

The CMA was created in 2005 by the Kentucky General Assembly to develop a multifaceted strategic plan to improve student achievement in mathematics at all levels of schooling – pre-kindergarten through postsecondary and adult. The committee also is charged with designing a statewide professional development program that include summer mathematics institutes at colleges and universities, follow-up and school-based support services to prepare teams of teachers as coaches and mentors of mathematics at all school levels to improve student achievement.

The CMA is comprised of 26 members, including the commissioner of education, representatives from postsecondary education and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and mathematics educators at all levels.

The CMA’s recommendations include calling for:

  • Addressing equity issues, specifically whether all schools have the same access to opportunities to meet transition readiness requirements.
  • Calling for more detail on how the depth and breadth of standards would be addressed through courses and for all content standards to be addressed regardless of a student’s chosen pathway.
  • Calling for the requirement of a senior year mathematics course. The committee says research shows better outcomes for students who take a fourth year of math.
  • Calling for language permitting an integrated approach in which any knowledge or basic concept can be spontaneously incorporated into the various subjects of the curriculum. The committee says this will give districts flexibility and provide an evidence-based approach to learning math.
  • Calling for reconsideration of the timing of the 10th-grade exam.
  • Calling for the integration of statistical literacy. The committee says statistical standards are highlighted as important life skills by multiple sources.