3 Examples That Show How Common Core Is Destroying Math Education In America

Whenever you let federal bureaucrats get their hands on anything they are probably going to ruin it. During the Obama administration, the Department of Education spearheaded a transformation of American education that was absolutely breathtaking. Over a period of about five years, Common Core standards were implemented in almost every state in the entire nation. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a huge step backward for public education in this country. Common Core has been called “state-sponsored child abuse”, and it is a big reason why U.S. students are scoring so poorly on standardized tests compared to much of the rest of the world.

According to Wikipedia, at one point 46 states had adopted Common Core, but now some states are having second thoughts…

46 states initially adopted the Common Core State Standards, although implementation has not been uniform. At least 12 states have introduced legislation to repeal the standards outright,[1] and Indiana has since withdrawn from the standards.

Sadly, many parents don’t even understand how dramatically our system of education has been tampered with. In her book entitled The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids, Joy Pullmann exposes how the Gates Foundation has been one of the key players in the effort to get Common Core introduced into classrooms all over America…

Organized in seven chapters, her book describes how the Gates Foundation promoted and continues to promote one extremely wealthy couple’s uninformed, unsupported, and unsupportable ideas on education for other people’s children while their own children are enrolled in a non-Common Cored private school. It explains how (but not exactly why) the Gates Foundation helped to centralize control of public education in the U.S. Department of Education. It also explains why parents, teachers, local school boards, and state legislators were the last to learn how the public schools their local and state taxes supported had been nationalized without Congressional knowledge or permission; and why they were expected to believe that their local public schools were now accountable for what and how they teach … not to the local and state taxpayers who fund them or to locally-elected school boards that by law are still supposed to set education policies not already determined by their state legislature … but to a distant bureaucracy in exchange for money to their state department of education to close “achievement gaps” between unspecified groups.

But this isn’t just an issue about control. The truth is that the approach to teaching basic fundamentals such as how to add and how to subtract is fundamentally different under Common Core.

Let me share just three examples that show how much Common Core is changing the way that U.S. students learn math. All of these examples have been floating around Facebook, and if you have never seen these before they are likely to make you quite angry.

If I asked you to subtract 12 from 32, how would you do it? Well, the “new way” is much, much more complicated than how we were all taught to do it…

If that first one seemed bizarre to you, than you really aren’t going to like this one…

And this last one was so confusing that a parent with a degree in engineering decided to include his own commentary on his child’s homework…

How are kids supposed to function in the real world if this is how they are learning to do basic math?

Personally, I am going to teach my daughter that 9 + 6 equals 15. But that isn’t how it is supposed to be done under Common Core. You can watch a video of a teacher explaining the very convoluted Common Core way to solve that math equation right here.

And of course it isn’t just math that is the problem. Common Core is systematically “dumbing down” our young people, and that may help to explain why the average U.S. college freshman now reads at a seventh grade level.

So what is the answer?

The first step in fixing our education system is to repeal Common Core. But even in red states such as Idaho there is a lot of resistance

Since their inception, the Idaho Core Standards have been enmeshed in controversy.

Some legislators and citizens have pushed for a repeal of the Idaho Core Standards, the state’s version of Common Core standards in math and English language arts. Those repeal efforts have gone nowhere in the Legislature.

I don’t know what is wrong with our legislators. The Republicans have full control in this state, and so there is absolutely no excuse for not getting something done.

As I end this article, I want to give you an idea of just how far the quality of education in America has fallen over the past 100 years. In Kentucky, an eighth grade exam from 1912 made a lot of headlines when it was donated to the Bullitt County History Museum. As you can see, it is doubtful whether many of our college students would be able to pass such an exam today…

4 thoughts on “3 Examples That Show How Common Core Is Destroying Math Education In America”

  1. Dear Michael and readers, First off let me say that I am certainly against Common Core in its totality. However, being a homeschooling mom of 4 and having to teach math (Singapore Math aligned to common core) I feel some folks are not seeing these math problems for what they really are intended to do. You might think I should not be using common core aligned math, but I would argue that I have found a way to teach it very well to my children and there are certain parts of it that I skip over. For example the word problems for the 1st and 2nd grade level can be confusing to a CHILD. As an adult I very much understand them because my comprehension is much greater. So the main issue with common core math in the early grades is not really the math, it is that we are asking children to have a greater reading comprehension than they have and or are ready for. I have to reword the word problems almost all the time for my kids to understand what is being asked. Teachers certainly can not do that in school like I can at home. I also feel that most of the issues with school is not always the math, but how they teach reading.

    Now lets take the problem that includes “Jack”. Yes that is not the way math is done on PAPER. However, this is a great exercise in mental math. In fact if practiced it can be faster to add and subtract this way in your HEAD. In fact, I even have a DVD set that has a whole lecture series on how to do mental math and this is one of the things it teaches, counting up and or down. I have taught this to my kids and it has really helped a lot. It does take some change in how we all view math, but I can tell you that after teaching my kids this and learning it myself I can now add and subtract larger numbers in my own head faster than I ever could being taught the old fashion way, which did not teach mental math at all. And the speed with which my 9 year old can add and subtract in her head is almost as fast as me, depending on the size of the numbers.

    Now for the exercise that tells you to count up from 38. Actually the same thing, it is an exercise that helps teach mental math. Now if the teachers are not explaining this concept to the children properly, then it certainly could lead to confusion. Furthermore, if it is not being explained to the parents, who like me, were not taught this, well you should be able to see how they would think that their children are being taught funny math. I even thought the same thing until somehow it clicked in my head. Now I teach my kids two kinds of math. Math on paper and math in their heads and it has helped.

    As for the example of 32-12. I have never seen such a crappy example like that. But, I would have to guess it is the beginning stages of trying to teach counting up or down. Adding the numbers in the box is just to show the answer.

    So again, I understand this feels like NEW math, but it is not. It is poorly explained metal math exercises. I don’t know about other math curriculum, but I do know this is in Singapore Math for sure. Also, I have found that how they explain “on paper math” is a bit different that even I was taught, and I can see how that would also frustrate parents. Our books worded differently the “Borrowing” and “Carrying Over” for adding and subtracting. Calling it “regrouping” or something like that. I can easily reword what the book says so my kids can understand, but teachers do not have that option.

    I am not saying that all the math stuff is great, but this is what I have learn from experience. The biggest short coming in most schools is not properly teaching reading and pushing kids to hard and to fast. K – 2nd grades should focus and good reading and simple math (and throw other stuff in the mix). Then things can move faster in 3rd and 4th grades. I know of many homeschooling families who have this philosophy, myself included, and it works very well. Kids don’t get burn out and really keep that love for learning all the way through high school and beyond. Kids really do want to learn, they just need the right stuff.

    I hope any of what I have said helps. Take care and many blessings to all.

  2. Common Core is a set of standards. States, districts, schools, and teachers have the responsibility of meeting the standards when they are adopted. The 3 examples you provide are not from the Federal bureaucrats as suggested; rather, these are materials made by educators or other interested parties trying to meet the standards. If they fail, as you suggest, then they need to improve, but this is not an indictment of the Common Core.

    • It is an indictment of the Common Core. Common Core is a method used by so-called educators to “teach” students how to think. In other words, it’s not so much a set of instructions on how to solve a problem as it is a set of instructions in the way to get learners to think. And THAT is where the problem is. Common Core teaches faulty logic. I’ll repeat that for anyone who has trouble understanding what I’m saying: COMMON CORE TEACHES FAULTY LOGIC. Common Core teaches children to engage in thought processes that do not lead to the correct line of reasoning. Or it teaches them a very inefficient line of reasoning, which is NEVER the correct reasoning path. The fundamental concept underlying all thought processes SHOULD be to proceed from Point A to Point B with the LEAST amount of steps such that you ONLY arrive at Point B and no other point. Not arrive at Point C, or Point C and then Point B; a simple, linear path from Point A to Point B. Common Core teaches students to circumvent the path of logic, and regardless of what Robert Frost was talking about in his “Road less Traveled By” poem, taking a path that diverts from truth will always lead to the incorrect answer. Estimating answers is not solving for the correct answer. Using more than the necessary set of steps to solve an equation is also the wrong way to solve a problem. Doing so is more time consuming, and time = money. Common Core is both time-wasting AND money-wasting. It’s nonsense, and it’s leaving our children at a significant disadvantage in terms of what they could be achieving academically.

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