Metric System Yes, Common Core No: A Let...

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In mathematics and science, United States (US) students, ranked 30th and 24th respectively among 57 countries in 2012. In 2015, after five years with Common Core, they ranked 40th in mathematics and 24th in science. This is the tail end of a documented decline for over 35 years. And yet, the US spends more money per student than all other countries. In his book, Dillon M. Lobban, EdD, mathematics teacher, teacher trainer and curriculum designer compared the curricula and education environments of other countries and finds the reason the US is so far behind. His analysis shows that the US, Myanmar and Liberia are the only countries in the word still using the convoluted medieval imperial system of measurements in school curricula. All other countries use the metric system and the Celsius scale. He has determined that the real culprit in the decline of math and science education in the US is the continued use of the United States Customary System (USCS) i.e. the imperial system of measurements, with over 20 asymmetric measurements units. The leading countries in math/science education utilize the simpler, easy to use and symmetric metric system with only three units and the Celsius scale in school curricula. Lobban argues that the Celsius scale would enable US students to start algebra in the first grade as does Russia. It was Russia, a metric system country, which shocked the US with the launching of Sputnik in 1957, making it the first satellite to orbit the earth.

In 2009, the US Department of Education pledged $5 billion to states, to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to improve mathematics education, without piloting nor field testing. Lobban has evaluated these standards through feedback from teachers, parents, students, and educational professionals, and finds them awfully deficient. Instead of experiencing the joy and pleasure of mathematics, American students are confused and frustrated to the point of being in tears.

In his book, Lobban lays out the solution of the two issues, the US precipitous decline in mathematics and science and the opportunistic implementation of Common Core and suggests practical solutions. He suggests scrapping the CCSS and default to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NTCM) Process Standards, with infusions of metric system elements. He argues for an immediate implementation of a ten-year country-wide phasing in of the metric system and the Celsius Scale while phasing out the USCS and the Fahrenheit scale.

Lobban’s book is written to be a resource for information, content and pedagogy for teachers and parents to bring joy and pleasure to mathematics and science. He advises parents how to become advocates for their children’s success in K-12 mathematics and science education.

For more information visit Dillon’s web site at: http://www.ametricamerica.com/Mathematics-Education.html.

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