Not all math classes are the same even in the same school

Maureen Downey:

Researcher William H. Schmidt believes education has become a game of chance in which the odds of success are predicated on factors outside the control of the students, including where they live, the schools they attend, the teachers they have and the textbooks they use.
An internationally recognized researcher on effective math education, Schmidt says that U.S. students lack equal opportunities to learn math, something he saw firsthand when he took sabbatical from Michigan State University to spend a year at the University of Virginia.
As an author of Michigan’s math standards, Schmidt knew his second grader would have been learning multiplication tables up to the number five back home in East Lansing. In Virginia, multiplication was not taught at all in second grade, reinforcing what Schmidt already realized from his international comparisons: All math classes are not equal and students do not have the same opportunities to learn math.