Iowa Core: Model Core, Part 1

Who wrote the Model Core Curriculum?

A Lead Team – representing teachers, students, administrators, school board members, higher education, the business community, and experts in the fields of science, literacy, and math – laid the foundation for what is included here. (p. 4)

The lead team members are listed on page two.  Note that the members are listed by affiliation but without credentials.  That is, there is no basis for determining that any of the team members are experts in the fields of science, literacy, and math by the information provided in the report unless “expert” means being an employee at the Department, an AEA, a school district, or a college.  There is a PhD in math education but I could not easily confirm through an internet search that any of the lead team members holds a PhD in any of the disciplines listed.

Lead Team members suggested members for all three [work teams], and the Department of Education also identified candidates. In the end, Work Team membership included experts from the content areas and various levels of education: higher education, both two-year and four-year programs; high school, K-8, and area education agencies. (p. 14)

The work team members are also listed on page two, and again there is no information provided to indicate what might qualify the team members as experts.  The science team has three consultants, two high school teachers, two science education PhDs, and a community college instructor.  Among them, one is a chemistry teacher, two are in biological sciences and one in physics.  I could not easily determine the areas of interest for the other four team members.  The literacy team has four consultants, one library media specialist, one teacher/librarian, one teacher, two curriculum specialists and one community college professor holding an MA in teaching.  The math team has five consultants, three teachers, and three college instructors (one of whom holds a PhD in math and one with a PhD in math education).

Of particular interest is the PhD in math education who also happens to be a co-author of the Core-Plus textbook series.  Some links to information critical of Core-Plus is available NYC Hold.  It is troubling that his relationship to this math textbook series was not disclosed, not only because of his own potential self-interest, but also because the Department appears to have steered the Model Core Curriculum into favoring reform math without being straight-forward about their efforts.  Indeed, it is possible that a parent or legislator with no knowledge of the math wars or constructivism would have no idea how controversial these standards might be; the words math wars, reform math and constructivist/constructivism appear nowhere in this document.

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