The document dealing with mathematics, entitled Mathematics Framework for California Public Schools, was last published in 1992, and is a major revision of the previous edition, published in 1985. In many ways, the framework concentrates more on how to teach mathematics than on what to teach. When discussing issues of curriculum content, the framework makes frequent reference to a document published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) entitled Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics.

The Palo Alto school district has made the decision to follow all of the
framework documents, including the Mathematics Framework. Many of the
changes that have parents so concerned __are exactly the changes being pressed
by the Mathematics Framework__.

The real thrust of the framework, however, is in its recommendation for changes in the way that mathematics is taught. Some of its main recommendations are:

- It pushes for a major change in emphasis. This includes a de-emphasis on practicing basic skills and an increase in "questioning", "writing", "discussion", and "cooperative work".
- It declares that "calculators are the 'electronic pencils' of today's world .. costing much less than students' textbooks," and recommends that four function calculators be issued to all kindergartners. Once the students have these calculators, there should be a decrease in rote memorization, so that students in 2nd and 3rd grade can "learn the addition and subtraction facts and some of the multiplication and division facts through their many encounters with numbers."
- It strongly discourages tracking, counseling that schools should "Maximize time spent by students in heterogeneous groups. Minimize time spent in tracked or special-ability groups."
- It promotes a changed role for the teacher, saying that the new approach "requires teachers to do more coaching and facilitating and less telling..."
- It discourages testing, and promotes portfolios, "authentic assessment," and "holistic scoring rubrics" in their place.

In addition, many of the changes advocated by the frameworks seem to follow a much broader social agenda than that needed just to improve mathematics education. "Mathematics instruction can be connected to society by a conscious choice of contexts for problems that illuminate the mathematics side of social issues." There is no mention of who decides on the "correct" answer to these social math problems.

Finally, many of the recommendations given in the Framework seems to address problems that are not pertinent to Palo Alto. "Progression through the mathematics curriculum is an unfulfilled promise for the majority of California's students." However, over 95% of all Palo Alto students complete four years of high schools math. For 7th through 12th grade, it states that "shallow courses, which emphasize repetition and low-level skills, must be replaced...." However, there are no such courses in Palo Alto.