Zimba, on the other hand, remains the guiding math light for the SAPs, whose staff has grown from 3 to 27. On December 13, SAP issued the following press release announcing SAP's recommendations for test prepping America's children to take the PISA test. In so doing, SAP tries to make the case that Common Core will make America competitive in the international test taking derbies.
It would appear that this is an all in bet on PISA results, if Gates and SAP can keep the Common Core out of the ditch for the next three years. That's a big if!
Notice that in the clip from the press release below, the focus is not on standards, not on teaching, not on curriculum – it is on the test. All the focus is on the test, on the assessment. Except for number three, which would have all teachers teaching math along with the math teachers:
- Focus assessment strongly on arithmetic in grades K-5. “Without the basics firmly in place, students can’t proceed to mathematical literacy or advanced STEM fields,” Zimba said.
- Include richer applications in high school assessments. For example, assessments can mimic PISA by including multi-item sets that investigate a given scenario. “As PISA itself shows, this doesn’t require lengthy tasks or hand scoring,” Zimba noted. “However, both would be helpful where there is willingness to pay for them.”
- Finally, “Students in grades 6 through 12 should be using mathematics systematically across the curriculum,” Zimba said. “I analyzed many PISA items that would be just as much at home in a science or health classroom as in a math classroom—if not more at home. College and career readiness is an important and challenging goal, and we can’t keep asking the math teachers to do it all. We need all hands on deck.”