January 11, 2012
To: Members of the State Board of Education (SBE)
From: Judy Cias, Acting Executive Director
Re: January 2013 SBE Agenda, Item 03
The purpose of this memo is to provide additional context for the recommendations before the SBE regarding implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics as they relate to Item 03 on the January, 2013 agenda. Specifically, this memo speaks to the requirement for the SBE to adopt a single set of standards and the need for this action to occur at the January 2013 meeting.
Senate Bill (SB) X5 1 (Steinberg, Ch. 2, Statutes of 2009) authorized the SBE to adopt academic content standards in English language arts and mathematics as proposed by the California Academic Content Standards Commission (ACSC). This law required the SBE to accept or reject the ACSC’s recommendations without the ability to make any modifications to the standards as presented by the ACSC. The ACSC presented the SBE with two sets of standards for grade 8 mathematics: 1) the CCSS for grade 8 and 2) standards called “Algebra 1 at Grade 8,” which are an amalgamation of 51 standards unique to California. The SBE adopted the dual set of standards as recommended.
SB 1200 (Hancock, Ch. 654, Statutes of 2012) became law on January 1, 2013, and requires the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) to recommend to the SBE modifications of the CCSS for mathematics by March 30, 2013. This law specifies that there be only one set of standards adopted for each grade level and that the content standards for Algebra I be based on the CCSS. (The Common Core State Standards as promulgated by the Council of Chief State School Officers establish grade level standards for grades 1-8 and flexibility in course design based on mathematic subject areas for grades 9-12.)
In order to meet the requirements of SB 1200, the SBE must adopt a single set of standards for each grade level in grade 1through 8, which are aligned to the CCSS. The Instructional Quality Commission’s (IQC) recommendation for an 8th grade CCSS course includes approximately one-third of the material that was previously covered in California’s Algebra I standards as well as content previously covered in California’s Geometry standards. The CDE will, as a part of its presentation on this item, offer a PowerPoint that identifies some of the advancement and sequencing options available under the CCSS.
There is nothing in SB 1200 or the IQC’s recommended revisions to the CCSS in mathematics that prevents students from completing Algebra I in grade 8 or earlier. The proposed revisions to the standards offer a number of placement options for students, and the SBE continues to believe that student placement decisions are best made at the local level. The state has no role in this local decision process.
Also scheduled for action at the January meeting is the evaluation criteria for instructional materials for mathematics. In order to adopt these criteria, the SBE must first adopt a single set of standards for mathematics in grade 8.
In November 2013, the SBE will hear a recommendation from the IQC for a framework that will provide guidance to schools and districts on how to implement the CCSS in mathematics. The adoption of the mathematics frameworks will serve as a blueprint for instruction and will provide suggestions for multiple pathways for students to become college and career ready. The Math Curriculum Frameworks and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC) is currently discussing issues related to acceleration and remediation of mathematics instruction in grades kindergarten through 8 and will recommend to the IQC options for pathways within the framework. To date, the CFCC has discussed a number of pathways that promote long term success in mathematics and college and career readiness.