The State Board of Education (SBE) recently approved adoption by the state superintendent of public instruction of the revised math standards for Washington state students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
“The revised math standards have firmly set Washington on the path to greatly improving math achievement,” said Steve Floyd of Gig Harbor, SBE member and lead for the board on mathematics. “The new standards will help ensure our students have the best math foundation to prepare them for post-secondary education, the 21st-century work force and life.”
“I am thrilled by the state board’s green light,” said Terry Bergeson, state superintendent. “Not only does this bring us closer to teaching students the math we know they need to be successful, it also validates the incredibly hard work of the many people who created these rigorous standards.”
In its review of the revised K-8 standards earlier this month, the SBE’s math consultant, Strategic Teaching, called the standards a model for other states: “We believe these new standards compare favorably with the best in the world. The standards are now what leaders in the state have insisted they must be — clear, rigorous and measurable.”
The adoption culminates a process that began when the 2007 Legislature asked for a review of the current math standards. Strategic Teaching — together with an SBE-appointed math advisory panel of education, business and community leaders from across Washington — completed the review in August 2007. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) then coordinated a standards-revision team consisting of state K-12 teachers, school-district curriculum experts and higher-education mathematicians. OSPI contracted with the Dana Center at the University of Texas to oversee the process.
The standards were revised twice and were the subject of multiple public meetings before they were sent to the state Legislature Feb. 28. Shortly before the session ended in March, the Legislature asked the SBE to provide final review and approval of the standards for adoption by OSPI.
With the approval of the revised standards, action now shifts to curricula review and recommendations, and to preparing math educators to teach the new standards. OSPI’s goal is to train as many K-8 math educators as possible by the end of 2008.
Revised math standards for grades 9-12 will be presented to SBE for review later this spring or summer.