Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

Archive for the day “February 25, 2015”

What I Think About Common Crap… I Mean Common Core


Several years ago, while campaigning for my local school board as  director, I was introduced to the term, “common core”.  My understanding it was a concept that would challenge children in their education by no longer educating children by simply “memorizing” subjects and content, but instead, learning to apply what they have to learn to every day life.  And I am going to preface my next comment by stating that my opinion has absolutely nothing to do with politics and who created “common core” or “no child left behind” or whatever other gimmick some corporation wants to get rich off the backs of our children.  But…



Now that I got that off my chest.  Here is what prompted this rant.  My daughter had asked for help with her math homework.  So far, it has not been too difficult a task to do.  But this year, math has become quite a challenge.


This was a multiplication formula that was used over the summer when my daughters visited me.  Now if you are like me, you see extra work in both of those equations.  The goal of Common Core is to stop “memorizing” the work, and instead, “think” about each equation and how you get to it.  Now, I had a math teacher in 7th grade who used to time us to see if we could use a calculator to figure an equation quicker than he could solve it on the blackboard (today known as a “smart board”).  And guess what, his “memorized” math skills were always quicker than those of us even with the quickest of fingers.  And he was always accurate.  And honestly, if you are reading this post, you learned math the same way, using memorization of the multiplication table.  And the same goes for the other functions of math:  addition, subtraction, and division.  Simply put:

47                                          37

x6                                        x23

= 282                                111


= 851


And that is all there should be to simple math.  Why did someone have to mess with this?


But later on in the school year, Common Core just got a whole lot more frustrating.  I will be the first to admit that I did not really care for doing fractions, but at least I could learn them, and I did them.  But with Common Core now, this led to a nightmare trying to teach my daughter simple fractions and common denominators.


My daughter’s homework was addition, not subtraction, but was still just as absurd.  But the formulization was just as absurd.  What I wanted to do was to teach her as I had learned, and what has been used for decades.

3/4 divided by 3/8 = the common denominator being 8, makes the first fraction 6/8 divided by 3/8 = 2.  But that would be too easy.  Instead Common Core pushed to write a thesis for every math problem.  No memorizing.


 Now I know, math is not the only target of Common Core.  Scores for science have been dropping each year in my old school district because with all the focus on standardized tests, Math and Reading have become the priority.  At one point, our education was a leader in the world when it came to science.  And now there is a push to erase our nation’s history, because it makes us look “bad.”


Slavery.  We had it.  The Great Depression (the first one).  We had it.  World Wars 1 & 2, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, etc.  We had them and more.  But now the push is on to teach our children how great a country we are, and we can change our history simply by erasing it.  Now I do not know about you, but I think our country did great things when it did abolish slavery.  Our country did great things when it gave women equal rights and so on.  We do not need to eliminate our history.  We still need to teach it, we just need to teach more of it, because more has happened since I was in school.


Common Core wants our children to become thinkers.  Most of us reading this have no issue with being considered thinkers.  And the difference is this.  Twenty years ago, we were not consumed by Youtube, television, year round athletics and all of the other extra curricular activities.  We took time to get our homework done first, and if our grades were not good enough, we did not participate.  Now, homework gets done when there is time.  And guess what, Common Core is not helping grades go higher, not helping to learn to test, and are definitely not creating thinkers.  What it has done is make some corporations very wealthy creating new curriculum, and this is the way it will be until someone else wants to get rich off the minds of our students and brings in a new method of learning.  We are trying to fix what was never broken, and not fixing what is.


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