In 2006, the NCTM released “Curriculum Focal Points,” a report urging that math teaching in kindergarten through eighth grade focus on a few basic skills, largely reversing the controversial stand taken in the landmark 1989 standards document which launched the math wars of the 1990s and 2000s. Francis Fennell, president of the council played down the degree of change the new report, and said that he resented talk of “math wars.” Interviews of many who were committed to the standards said that, like the 2000 standards, these merely refined and focused rather than renounced the original 1989 recommendations.

Nevertheless, many newspapers like the Chicago Sun Times reported that the "NCTM council has admitted, more or less, that it goofed". The new report cited "inconsistency in the grade placement of mathematics topics as well as in how they are defined and what students are expected to learn." The new recommendations are that students are to be taught the basics, including the fundamentals of geometry and algebra, and memorizing multiplication tables.

Many school districts and states are committed to curricula and frameworks based on the now-obsolete mathematics standards which many parents and citizens claim robbed their children of an education in basic arithmetic skills.

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