Jason Zimba, one of the writers of the Common Core, waits while his daughters play. Zimba had a genius for creating reports that were mathematically precise but also humanely phrased, Coleman says. But why does this all matter? "To design a successful assessment report, you need to be thoughtful about what the teacher really needs, what the student really needs," Coleman says. Mathematics was used, and technically invented, by many cultures around the world. But it's unclear whether their efforts, and similar ones by like-minded nonprofits and funders like the Gates Foundation, will trickle down to the millions of classroom teachers attempting to adapt to the new standards. "I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering which included extensive study in differential equations and other high-math applications," he wrote. I thought all mathematical forms were reified and waiting to be discovered. This is the non-Platonist position. If she gets the answer "lickety-split," as her dad says, she can check it off. Now they're in use by tens of millions of students nationwide. Moreover, if the universe disappeared tomorrow, our eternal mathematical truths would still exist. For instance, some states required students to memorize the times tables, but about a third of states didn't, according to Zimba. After a brief stint at a liberal arts college in Iowa, Zimba landed at Bennington, where Coleman's mother was president. Advertisement. "I used to think if you got the assessments right, it would virtually be enough," he says. By Staff Writer Last Updated Apr 12, 2020 3:10:30 AM ET. Mathematics is not discovered, it is invented. It hit the mainstream in early 2014, when a dad in North Carolina posted a convoluted "Common Core" question from his son's second-grade math quiz on Facebook, along with a letter he'd written to the teacher. "It was hard on us as a family," he says. Critics called the standards too convoluted, too abstract and too conceptual because of the focus on getting students to explain and discuss their answers. "The creation of the standards is enshrouded in mystery for people," Zimba says. This rather romantic position is what I loosely call mathematical Platonism. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Phil Daro was involved in the writing of California's current math standards. Grow Network was hired by states like California and districts like New York City and was eventually bought out by the educational publishing giant McGraw-Hill for an undisclosed price. 3) Math is not so successful. Mathematics is the science that deals with the logic of shape, quantity and arrangement. One idea we thought is that standards could be really focused and better. The group has published training materials, including videos in which teachers demonstrate Common Core lessons. A recent development within the last century was the discovery of fractals. Remember how irrational numbers petrified the bejesus out of the Pythagoreans?