Stanford Prof Debunks Research Behind New California K-12 Math Standards



Ben Margot / Associated Press

Recently, this column noted that student journalists at Stanford University belittled a highly paid education professor at the school who was helping lower California’s K-12 math standards. Now, another Stanford professor — someone who actually works in the math department — has examined the research used to justify the new K-12 standards and discovered serious flaws. Stanford math professor Brian Conrad reports “many misrepresentations.”

The Golden State’s attempt to change math guidelines has been met with serious opposition. A Journal editorial in December noted a public statement from hundreds of the country’s top quantitative scientists warning of the assault on math in schools:

“We are writing to express our alarm about recent trends in K-12 math education in the United States,” the statement began. The social justice wave of 2020 has spurred efforts to eliminate standardized tests and lower standards in math to create performance gaps that don’t exist.

Scientists subtly describe the politicized erosion of standards as “well-intentioned approaches to reforming math education.” They don’t follow a new math framework proposed by the California Department of Education, which encourages math teachers to take a “justice-oriented perspective.” The signatories said the course route would reduce “the availability of advanced math courses for middle school students and commencing high school” and discourage students from doing calculations.

This is supposed to raise “equity”. But in addition to hurting America’s global competitiveness, the letter said, a decline in rigorous math in public schools “could lead to a de facto privatization” of the program. advanced teaching and “harm students with fewer resources.”

Now, Stanford Professor Conrad, who directs undergraduate studies in the math department, reports on further research on the new California Math Framework for K-12 students:

When I read the newly published CMF in mid-March, I was met with many unbelievable claims and substantiated by citations to other articles. So I read other articles. To my surprise, in essentially all cases the articles were severely misrepresented in the CMF. Some articles even have conclusions opposite as to what has been said in the CMF… The CMF contains numerous misrepresentations of the neuroscience literature, and statements that betray ignorance of it.

… CMF claims Ramani and Siegler (2008) show that “ after four 15-minute sessions of playing a game with a sequence of numbers, the difference in knowledge between low-income and high-income students average entry has been removed ”.

It would be great if closing educational gaps was as easy as playing a game a few times. But Ramani and Siegler showed no similarity. Their paper showed the unsurprising result that playing games on a sequence of numbers improved preschoolers’ performance in the task of approximating a number’s position on the line. It doesn’t say anything about the difference in math knowledge.

(iii). In many cases, the CMF argues against speeding by citing articles that do not justify the claims or draw conclusions to the contrary…

(v). In some places, the CMF does not have research-based evidence, as when it advises “ Do not include homework…. as any part of grading. Homework is one of the most unfair methods of education. ”

(Because). The CMF states that Sadler and Sonnert (2018) provide evidence in favor of delaying calculus in college, but the paper finds that learning calculus in high school improves performance in college. .

(vii). The CMF makes the impressive claim that (Black et al., 2002) (actually 2004) has shown that students “ assess their own understanding with astonishing accuracy, and they do not overestimated. ” there’s no need to take an exam to assess a student’s knowledge: we can just ask them. Unfortunately, the article by Black et al does not contain anything of this type.

The abundance of false or misleading citations I find in the CMF makes me doubt the reliability of all the citations for the material in the CMF…

My score for correctly presenting the CMF cited material is F.


Another Bloody Weekend in Chicago

Most elected Democrats have learned to stop talking about bringing down the police, but that doesn’t mean the violence perpetrated in many American cities has returned to pre-2020 levels.

NBC WMAQ station in Chicago reported:

Chicago saw another deadly weekend, with at least nine people killed and 26 others injured a week after more than 40 people were shot, seven of them fatally, in the city.

Along with the tragic destruction of innocent lives, violence is also threatening the livelihoods of those who depend on the city’s nightlife. The Chicago Tribune edited:

On Sunday night, happy patrons sat at the James M. Nederlander Theater in Chicago’s Loop awaiting the start of the production tour of the Broadway musical “Moulin Rouge.” The theater, said some who were already there, was nicely filled. But just before the scheduled closing time, an announcement from the stage was made that the show had been cancelled.

The reason was a nearby shooting.

According to police, the victim of a robbery opened fire on the assailant. But instead, they attacked two people the police called “unintended targets,” which were the code for the unfortunate stand in the alleyway outside the Chicago Theatre. Both were taken to the hospital in (thankfully) condition. For God’s sake, one of them is a doctor, and one of them is an actor who worked on “Moulin Rouge”. That was enough to make many people involved in the production unwilling or unable to understandably make or organize the show. So the audience was brought home…

Broadway officers and employees in Chicago have for months said police protection in the theater district was insufficient, and many spectators told reporters Sunday night that they were reluctant to go to the Loop. right from the start.


James Freeman is co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China, and America’s Resurgence”.


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Alley Einstein

Alley Einstein is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Alley Einstein joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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