The Simple Things in Life

In the movie Dead Poets Society Robin Williams explained, “I don’t mind that your poem had a simple theme. Sometimes the most beautiful poetry can be about simple things, like a cat, or flower, or rain … Just don’t let it be ordinary.”

Yes, simple can be beautiful. Mathematicians talk about the beauty of numbers. Albert Einstein talked about an idea’s internal symmetry. Maybe the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics could use a little simplicity right now, since so many parents and teachers seem to be confused by their rollout. So here we go. Why are we using these standards?

1. We want a more mathematically literate workforce.

2. We want more kids to do well at the university level.

3. We want a society of problem solvers.

Is that too simple? Perhaps, but it’s intended to be a starting point. A “reset button,” if you will. For anyone to start making more sense out of evolving approaches to mathematics, check out this article from The Hechinger Report.

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