## Are Standards the Secret Sauce?

One of the hottest topics in education today is standards. This is in large part due to the adoption of the Common Core State Standards in 45 of the 50 states. Standards are designed to provide a clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. Haven't they always been designed to do that? Haven't we had state standards for over 25 years? We have adopted standards, changed standards, and redefined standards across the country, ad nauseam. All of this change has resulted in almost no impact on student performance and the achievement gap continues to negatively impact the aspirations of our students.

## What else have we tried?

Over that past 50 years we have also changed the philosophy of math education a few times. In the 1950's and 1960's "New Math" was born in response to the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union. New Math shifted the focus from direct instruction, when the teacher explained and modeled for students what they needed to know, to an inquiry-based approach that allowed students to "discover" math through hands-on learning experiences. By the 1970's, New Math was abandoned due to poor results and quickly replaced by Traditional Math which brought a return to the basics. In the 1980's, Reform Math was the flavor of the day, shifting this time toward math being taught and practiced through explorations and projects, with a focus on real-world applications. Here we are in 2013, trying to end the "Math Wars" and bring balance between New Math, Traditional Math and Reform Math. All of this change has resulted in no positive impact on student performance, and the achievement gap between white students and students of color continues to plague our nation.

We have changed the standards and the philosophy, but the belief that a change in curriculum is the secret sauce to radically improving student achievement is perhaps the most delusional. Schools and school districts have invested millions of dollars in Saxon Math, Everyday Math, Connected Math, JUMP Math, Singapore Math and countless other math curriculum - all claiming to be aligned with the standards. No curriculum or set of high standards as has resulted in a positive, longitudinal and widespread impact on student performance and the achievement gap hasn't budged. We believe the only way to make real change in how well students learn is to change how they are taught.

We have changed the standards and the philosophy, but the belief that a change in curriculum is the secret sauce to radically improving student achievement is perhaps the most delusional. Schools and school districts have invested millions of dollars in Saxon Math, Everyday Math, Connected Math, JUMP Math, Singapore Math and countless other math curriculum - all claiming to be aligned with the standards. No curriculum or set of high standards as has resulted in a positive, longitudinal and widespread impact on student performance and the achievement gap hasn't budged. We believe the only way to make real change in how well students learn is to change how they are taught.

## 360 Degree Math Changes Everything

360 Degree Math utilizes the most important and fundamental elements of education - how kids learn best. Education is not about standards, it is not about philosophy, and it certainly is not about curriculum. Education is about kids.

360 Degree Math is a highly structured approach to teaching math that is unlike any other teaching approach currently used in American classrooms. The elements of this approach are based on social, neurological and educational research. From the moment students enter the classroom, they become the performers and while the teacher shifts into the audience, where he or she can observe students closely, see what their misunderstandings are, and correct them instantly. Learning is no longer done in isolation or dysfunctional groups with students sitting in desks for prolonged periods of time while the teacher tries to help students individually, often repeating the same reminders and directions over and over. In a 360 Degree Math class, all students work through the math on the four walls of the classroom while the teacher stands in the middle of room and sees the learning as it happens. The teacher can see student misconceptions immediately and provide feedback to the students in real-time. Students organically form into social networks of learning during this uptempo, active learning experience, helping one another grow as learners with the teacher's support.

360 Degree Math is a highly structured approach to teaching math that is unlike any other teaching approach currently used in American classrooms. The elements of this approach are based on social, neurological and educational research. From the moment students enter the classroom, they become the performers and while the teacher shifts into the audience, where he or she can observe students closely, see what their misunderstandings are, and correct them instantly. Learning is no longer done in isolation or dysfunctional groups with students sitting in desks for prolonged periods of time while the teacher tries to help students individually, often repeating the same reminders and directions over and over. In a 360 Degree Math class, all students work through the math on the four walls of the classroom while the teacher stands in the middle of room and sees the learning as it happens. The teacher can see student misconceptions immediately and provide feedback to the students in real-time. Students organically form into social networks of learning during this uptempo, active learning experience, helping one another grow as learners with the teacher's support.