School of One, Core Standards, Probability, New York

Wednesday May 11, 2011

Continuing to think about the future of education, I went back to the School of One web site to find out more about it. It seems pretty cool, and is up there with Khan Academy in my leading influences right now. Interestingly, I don't know that the two work together, although they really probably should.

And then I saw this: "School of One was designed to align with the New York state mathematics standards but will soon be adapted to align with the Common Core standards." I didn't remember this from when I was doing my MAT and then teaching in NYC, 2006-2008, and sure enough checking the wiki, Common Core was announced in 2009 and the standards came out in 2010. Some evidence does point to earlier development of this project, but I don't have any more history on it. At first blush at least, it seems like a good thing. Almost all the US states are in on these standards for Math and ELA. I wonder how this is affecting other stuff in the American teaching world.

Next, I took a look at the math standards, and found this example on page 81: "a model says a spinning coin falls heads up with probability 0.5. Would a result of 5 tails in a row cause you to question the model?" I guess they're trying to emphasize that such things are possible, but at the same time, if that's all you know about this "coin" then the theoretical likelihood of that outcome is 1/32 or about 3%, which is a statistically suspicious thing to see. (Okay, 6% if you think it's one of two equal-"entropy" events.) So maybe it's just a sort of interesting example, or maybe I'm way off somehow, or maybe even if there are standards a whole lot depends on how people interpret them.

And finally, I'll be in New York for sure from June 1-8! Holla!

This post was originally hosted elsewhere.