The August 29, 2014 letter from California's higher education top administrators announced that "the a-g requirements for CSU and UC admission,
specifically areas ‘b’ (English) and ‘c’ (Mathematics), have been updated to
align with the Common Core standards."

How that alignment
will look is not specified in the letter.

As of today
(9/9/14), the UC Mathematics ("c") subject requirements listed publicly do not show alignment with the Common Core State Standards. Instead, they still
show expectations of California standards that existed before the
CCSSM. For example, in item 2 of Course requirements, "The content for
these courses will usually be drawn from the Common Core State Standards
for Mathematics [PDF]. While these standards can be a useful guide, coverage of all items in the standards is not
necessary for the specific purpose of meeting the 'c' subject
requirement....The ICAS Statement of
Competencies in Mathematics can provide guidance in selecting topics
that require in-depth study." [Emphasis mine.]

A concern for
California community colleges is that the alignment to the CCSSM might become
what was proposed by the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools
(BOARS) in 2013. In July, BOARS wrote that “… the basic mathematics of the
CCSSM can appropriately be used to define the minimal level of mathematical
competence that all incoming UC students should demonstrate...As such, BOARS
expects that the Transferable Course Agreement Guidelines will be rewritten to
clarify that the prerequisite mathematics for transferable courses should align
with the college-ready content standards of the CCSSM.”

BOARS clarified (December 2013) that “… going forward, all students must complete the basic
mathematics defined by the college-ready standards of the Common Core State
Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) prior to enrolling in a UC-transferable
college mathematics or statistics course.”

The college-ready
standards of the CCSSM are simply all the non-plus standards. As written in the CCSSM, “The higher
mathematics standards specify the mathematics that all students should study in
order to be college and career ready. Additional mathematics that students
should learn in preparation for advanced courses, such as calculus, advanced
statistics, or discrete mathematics, is indicated by a plus symbol (+). All standards without a (+) symbol should be in the
common mathematics curriculum for all college and career ready students.”
[Emphasis mine]

Thus BOARS has twice
stated that it expects all UC students to have all the CCSSM non-plus standards
as prerequisite to any course that could receive UC credit.

But what undermines BOARS's credibility is its assessment of how the ICAS statement of competencies and the CCSSM content standards compare. In the opening paragraph
of the BOARS July letter: "The most recent version of the ICAS mathematical
competency statement makes clear the close
alignment between it and the CCSSM. Both define the mathematics that all
students should study in order to be college ready." [Emphasis mine.]

In actuality, what
ICAS considers essential math content for all students is only a small subset
of what the CCSSM specify as necessary. The ICAS document lists four sets of
possible high school math topics. The first is Part 1: Essential areas of focus
for all entering college students. Appendix B of the ICAS document explicitly
shows how the CCSSM include not only the math topics of Part 1 but also the
math topics of Parts 2, 3, and 4, which are areas of focus for students in
quantitative majors or are areas of focus considered desirable but not
essential.

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