DPI Wants To Keep New High School Math Sequence

May 5, 2016

Fayetteville math teacher Kenneth Williams creates a life-sized right triangle in his classroom.
Credit Jess Clark

The North Carolina Department of Instruction wants the state to maintain the new high school math sequence that some teachers and parents dislike.

DPI's proposed revisions to the state's academic standards would keep integrated math in place, but would revise many of the standards for clarity and move some standards into different grades.

DPI's Jennifer Curtis gave a few examples of the changes at a press conference.

"We reorganized geometry according to what teachers asked us to do. So we put our focus on circles and quadrilaterals in the third math," Curtis explained.  "In the second math we have more of a focus on triangles."

DPI recommends changes to the state’s academic standards every five years. This year, the Common Core standards have received extra scrutiny from a politically appointed commission charged with replacing them. The new "integrated" math standards were a point of focus throughout the commission's work. When the state implemented Common Core in 2012, high school math switched from the traditional sequence, which teaches algebra and geometry in separate grades, to an integrated approach in which algebra, geometry and statistics are taught in each grade.

Many teachers have struggled with the new sequence, but State Superintendent June Atkinson says teacher feedback shows most support it.

"I wouldn't say we have 100 percent, but most of our teachers want us to stay on the course of Math I, II and III," she said.

DPI has opened a web survey where the public can view the revised standards and comment until May 20. The State Board of Education will vote on whether to adopt the revisions at its June meeting.