Math was always one of my better subjects all through school. It was always easy for me to memorize formulas and equations and how to solve different problems, but I knew other students that struggled with the things I found easy. That prompted me to do my best to make math real and not just something abstract. Once I showed others how to make the math real to them, it was easier for them to understand what they were being taught. What was important was getting the right answer, not necessarily one specific process used to get that right answer.
One of my daughters struggled with math and had convinced herself that it was too hard and that she just couldn’t do it. I spent every evening for the next several months working with her and making the math real, not abstract. Some of my methods weren’t exactly what she was being taught, but they always led to the right answer in a way that made sense to her. By end of that semester, she went from hating math to enjoying it. Her grades dramatically improved. Her teacher complimented me on working with her and for teaching her how do the math, even though it was a little different from the way he was teaching her.
If my daughter were in a public school today she would most likely continue to hate math and fail it. Why? Because the Common Core standards don’t care about getting the right answer, they only care that you use their method to try to get the right answer.
According to a post on Missouri Education Watchdog, one student, Natalie Sue, had enough with the Common Core math. To begin with most of their lessons and their tests are done online at a central Common Core website – edmodo.com. Everything is impersonal and cold. But what really bothered Sue was what the test site commanded them to do. She reportedly posted the following on her Facebook page:
“Hey y’all. Thought I would update you on what is going on at my school, and what I am experiencing with Common Core.”
“The other day in Algebra I was asking how to solve this one problem. So of course I asked my teacher how to do it and so she showed me her way, which happened to be way too confusing. So that night I went home and asked my dad how to solve this problem. He showed me, and it happened to be super easy. The next day at school, I went to teach my friend how to do this problem and as I was teaching him, my teacher came over and told me that was the wrong way, and we knew better than that. I couldn’t believe that she told me it was wrong, so I told her ‘Well my answer is right, it is the same as the book.’ Apparently that answer did not sit well with her, because she stopped the whole class and told us, “Listen guys, the accuracy of the answer is not as important as the steps you do to solve that problem.’”
“I was completely shocked… But, that’s not the end of it… She proceeded to tell us that, when we do our homework problems we will not be graded on accuracy, we will be graded on participation. I said, ‘what???’ She then told me, ‘I could comment the word “boo” and I will still get credit, because at least I tried!’ FYI, our homework is all done through the internet on a website called, ‘edmodo.com’ and all of our testing is done on a website called, ‘Studyisland.com.’ My teachers tell me this is all because of Common Core, when I hear this stuff, I know it is Common Core. I especially know this is Common Core, when my tests on studyisland.com say, ‘Common Core.’ It is ALL around us.”
“Here is the question I got in math the other day, and it was on the internet so this is copied and pasted:
Write a paragraph describing how to solve the following equation:
2/3 x + 14 = 4/5 x – 2
TURN IN paragraph in response section
You MUST use words, although you may solve the problem, showing all your steps, so that you can reference the steps throughout your description paragraph.
My response was:
I don’t mean to be rude, but this whole EXPLAIN your answer in a paragraph makes me mad. I don’t understand why we have to explain in a paragraph, I feel like showing our work is better. That is how we learn. This explain in a paragraph reminds me of Common Core, which by the way is against our 10th amendment right. I am mad that I am not improving my ‘process’ to get the answer, instead we are writing paragraphs. I am not mad at you, just mad at the curriculum.”
With Common Core, it’s not about getting the right answers; it’s all about using their method only. No other method is acceptable even if it always yields the right answer. It’s forcing students to learn to think the Common Core way which is nothing more than a socialist mind training exercise. Once students are taught to think and act the way Common Core wants them to, then they will be more susceptible to further socialist training. By the time a student goes through 12 years of Common Core socialist training, they will be good little Obamanite comrades who will serve the community and government without question and without knowing any different.