The Common Core State Standards in math focus on students developing a deeper understanding of math concepts and learning alternative strategies to problem-solving. However, this shift raises questions about whether elementary-school students in particular are being asked to grasp too much math theory at the expense of acquiring basic problem-solving skills. Teacher and writer Barry Garelick writes in this article that he is hopeful teachers will be able to adjust the standards to fit the abilities of students as the common core becomes the established curriculum at schools across the country.

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