Core-Plus grads at Michigan State University

One of your fellow readers of Scholar's Notebook pointed us to a A study of Core-Plus students attending Michigan State University by Richard O. Hill and Thomas H. Parker, of the Department of Mathematics at Michigan State University, published on January 21, 2005. This study concludes:
While the attribution of causality is impossible in this study, the results are compelling. Except for some top students, graduates of Core-Plus mathematics are struggling in college mathematics at Michigan State University. The evidence shows that they were less well prepared than both graduates in the Control group and graduates of their own high school before the implementation of Core-Plus mathematics. At the very least, these results point the need for larger and broader studies of how Core-Plus students fare in college mathematics.

Wayzata parents should also read this report about Wayzata's math program, authored by Judy Stucki from Wayzata High School, which appears on the official Core-Plus web site. By many measures, Wayzata has some of the top-performing high school math students in the state.

Dr. Lawrence Gray at the University of Minnesota has cautioned us, "all data are suspect." I encourage parents to read and consider these studies in light of their children's needs and interests.