It was surprising for me to see the number of people who stated that instructional time was the missing component of their school/district program. As Tracey mentioned, at the K-6 level everyone has 75-90 minutes a day of math instruction. Of course, there are various programs that rob from that time including intervention time, co-curricular activities, particularly chorus and instrument lessons and GT programming. (Not a problem for most of these students, as they are often strong in math). I believe at the high school time is an issue - except for AP calculus which meets 90 minutes/day - I believe all math classes meet 90 minutes every other day with a significant chunk of time devoted to starting homework. I do take issue with Leinwand's loose use of numbers when he states,

Students whose formal mathematics period is sixty minutes per day receive nearly 180 hours of instruction a year, **fully 50 percent more time** than students in forty-five minute periods.

This math doesn't work for me.

I see two areas of weakness as we move toward the common core standards. The first Tracey addressed eloquently

While multiple components could be viewed as challenges, I've decided that that of "professional development" deserves the most attention. Because on-going professional development tends to take place outside of the school day and on a volunteer-basis, teachers (and principals) do not share a common vision of what quality mathematics instruction looks like. A lack of shared professional development impacts most of the other components we've read about so far. If we have not engaged in p.d. together, we will not implement curriculum the same way.

This gap in PD opportunities also applies to educational technicians who do so much to help some of our students. If it is difficult for teachers to understand and embrace these standards, with the limited PD time we have, it must be even more so for many of these support personnel.

The second important weakness I see as we approach the common core (at least at the 6-8 level) is the area of instructional materials. The MathScape program we use lacks some program elements and is short on engaging problems for developing deep understanding of the mathematics.