So how are things going in the math education world? 
Let’s look at some data.

Scale showing Math Education Theme

1955 -1969: New Math
1967 – 1979: Back to basics
1978 – 1999: Problem solving
1998 – continuing: Standards
2010 – Common Core Standards adopted

The country has had three different philosophies/focuses on how to teach math in those fifty years.  We had Problem Solving in 1990.  I entered the doctoral program in math education and assessment in 1989 – I saw this.  In 1998 the first Standards were adopted.  They were modified within a few years, and the Common Core Standards we have today were fully implemented in 2010.  These three different philosophies determine how math textbooks are written, what teachers teach, and how students are tested.

Why with three different, philosophies/approaches have rates of achievement stayed basically the same?

Our scores have stayed the same because the underlying way we teach math has stayed the same.

Math is still viewed as a collection of rules that make no sense and must be memorized.

Example of Sinapore

We teach too many topics and teach them in a shallow way.

TIMSS report 1995

Data is the way to convince people that a curriculum and methodology work

Student growth provides the necessary data.

To summarize: Why have only 15% of African American students been at grade level or above in over thirty years? And for Latino students, only 20% have achieved grade level?  And not even half of White students have performed at grade level in over thirty years?  Translating into number of students, this is over 2 million 8th graders are struggling in math.