Table of Contents
Despite America's commitment to equal opportunity, the extent to which students are exposed to challenging mathematics content depends not only on which state they live in, but also on the school and classroom to which they are assigned. The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics were created to remedy such inequities in learning opportunities. These standards share the coherence, rigor, and focus that characterize instructional frameworks in high-achieving countries, but their success depends on policymakers, parents, educators, and textbook publishers overcoming obstacles to implementation.
Misconceptions about intelligence—for instance, that it is genetically determined and immutable—abound. The latest research shows that environmental factors are extremely important and that interventions, including high-quality preschool and rigorous, supportive teaching, increase intelligence.
More than 40 years ago, Dr. James Comer and his colleagues created the School Development Program to improve relationships among the adults in schools. Based on the idea that academic learning and child development are inextricably linked, the program enables educators and parents to create supportive environments for students to learn and grow, both socially and academically.
Throughout the school day, students must understand and learn to create tables, maps, graphs, and diagrams, among other spatial tools. While some students may easily interpret these representations, others may struggle. But that doesn't mean they can't improve. Research shows that teachers can help students strengthen their spatial abilities and, as a result, boost student achievement.
Finland's core values of providing students with equal educational opportunities and promoting cooperation among teachers, administrators, parents, and government officials have contributed to the country's top-notch performance on international assessments.
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About American Educator
American Educator is a quarterly journal of educational research and ideas published by the American Federation of Teachers. Recent articles have focused on such topics as reducing the achievement gap between poor and affluent students, heading off student discipline problems, teaching an appreciation and understanding of democracy, the benefits of a common coherent curriculum, and other issues affecting children and education here and abroad. Total circulation, as of our most recent issue, is over 900,000.