Skip to comments.The Common Core Conundrum
Posted on 04/18/2014 3:14:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
Common Core State Standards could be the under-the-radar issue of the 2014 campaign. Business leaders and politicians had their hearts in the right place. We are a highly mobile society. People are likely to move more than once for jobs. Often they move their whole families to new school districts. Sometimes families move across the country.
Children, particularly children whose parents are in the military, are prone to be disadvantaged in education if they move around. A school in one part of the country may be ahead of, behind or on altogether different subjects than a former school is. Because of this problem, the education elite in the country thought it would be worthwhile to promote a common core of education -- i.e., ensure that children in a mobile society are exposed to a common core of subject matter regardless of the school they are in.
Right now, the standards are just for math and English. Superficially, it seems harmless. Some conservatives, however, have groused that Common Core comes with increased federal strings. The more a school adopts the standards the more the federal government can control the curriculum. Additionally, some of the original source material for Common Core is copyrighted by outside groups that stand to profit from its adoption. Most troubling, from a philosophical standpoint, Common Core teaches children to be good worker bees for the big companies that support it, but not necessarily good citizens with an entrepreneurial mindset.
All of the arguments and problems with Common Core, however, pale in comparison with the biggest problem. It is a problem many of those who support Common Core cannot appreciate because they have no children or their children are old enough not to be affected. It is a problem many of those who report on Common Core cannot appreciate because of their own lack of children and direct exposure to Common Core.
The problem is math. In addition to embracing a common core, the education elite have again rejected the tried-and-true way of teaching mathematics in favor of the trendy and novel. But the methodology is so different that the majority of parents cannot help their children. As a basic example, children are encouraged to estimate a series of numbers to be added instead of simply carrying a 1 from the right column to the left column. Children are discouraged from counting on their fingers. Their teachers would prefer they estimate totals than be precise.
More convoluted, children are encouraged to explain their answers. No longer is it correct to add 2 and 2 to get 4. Now a child must explain why that is so. If a child decides that the answer is 5 instead of 4 but provides a logical reason for the answer, teachers are encouraged to give the child points.
In my own household, our second-grader attends a private Christian school that is using Common Core. In second grade, our child has already been exposed to time, money, addition, subtraction, measuring, multiplication, division and fractions and is now headed into math involving parentheses. Before one concept is grasped, new concepts are approached. Common Core seeks to build familiarity before competence.
The way the math is taught, parents cannot help their children because they do not understand it. Some schools are offering to reteach parents math skills via Common Core so they can help their children. Common Core supporters have gone so far as to release studies showing that children whose parents do not help them will outperform, over the long term, children whose parents are engaged. The justifications to maintain the madness keep growing.
Teachers are frustrated, too. Many see students who once liked math now shying away from it. The teachers must deal with the frustrated parents, too.
It is not a bad idea to have some uniformity of education in a mobile society. But reinventing several-thousand-year-old basic concepts goes too far. More and more parents are turning to the ballot box to stop the technocrats from doing this. This sleeper issue could impact local elections nationwide.
Wonder if they would embrace common core math at NASA?
If I were sending a child to a private school with its attendant high tuition, they darn sure better not be using CC as their curriculum. I’m paying for a better academic experience that is not just a “me, too” approach to education. My kids could get that without the extra cost in the public school. Erickson needs to re-think, IMO.
“As a basic example, children are encouraged to estimate a series of numbers to be added instead of simply carrying a 1 from the right column to the left column. Children are discouraged from counting on their fingers. Their teachers would prefer they estimate totals than be precise.
More convoluted, children are encouraged to explain their answers. No longer is it correct to add 2 and 2 to get 4. Now a child must explain why that is so. If a child decides that the answer is 5 instead of 4 but provides a logical reason for the answer, teachers are encouraged to give the child points.”
That is the kind of crap taught in schools that drives me nuts!
Math is one of the things that has to be precise, a guess won’t cut it.
Nobody is going to hire the little dummies after they graduate. Would you want them building your next car, or your house?
“Well...the roof covers most of it, should be close enough.”
” Some schools are offering to reteach parents math skills via Common Core so they can help their children. “
Whoa, Nellie! Even more government indoctrination? Not a good idea.
Better to scrap the whole common core notion and get back to teaching.
Estimate versus count? Concept over competence? Seems quite...quite...fuzzy.
There is not a damn thing wrong with math tables and rote for the foundation of math. Build the proper foundation, and the rest will come more easily.
Addition tables, subtraction tables, multiplication tables, and division tables are the building blocks of arithmetic competency.
All the feel-good leftist ‘theories’ to the contrary notwithstanding, it’s time to get back to teaching basics as the building blocks.
Same goes for the English curriculum. The common core model of blending English with the ‘social studies’, history, and science curricula completely misses out on the classics that best teach the practical expression of grammar principles, sentence structure, vocabulary, and clarity of thought.
It’s a garbage model, from garbage unionist demagogues, and sponsored by a socialist state that believes parents are pesky busy-bodies in the educational process.
Dump the Dept of Education. Move control of education back to the local level, and get fedgov back within the confines of the Constitution.
The only problem in our educational system is that it’s a system, created, managed and run by government. We need separation of school and state. Basta!
Fact is, a Japanese kid in an American school does better than a Japanese kid in a school in Japan. Same thing for any ethnic group you can name, except for a particular ethnic group that cannot be named.
Since that ethnic group has an average IQ of 85, it is impossible to raise their scores. In the name of "equality" however, it is possible to cripple the high-achievers and drag their scores down.
It's not fair that some people are more successful than others, you see.
If Common Core is so great, why did all the developers have to sign non-disclosure agreements?
Does a non-disclosure agreement have any place at all in public education?
Watch this video on Common Core titled "Building the Machine" for documentation
Wow.. I hade forgotten that the difference was THAT large. Been a LONG time since I read 'The Bell Curve'.
No wonder we have so many problems.
It drives me nuts when you hear âoh no! We’re 27th in math!â when we test all students and use all the data. Many countries only test top students because others are already weeded out â of course they’ll be ahead of us! We have equality of opportunity and maybe one day a low achiever will âget itâ and do great things! In some of the other countries these kids are already out working at 12 to support their family because they didn’t pass some stupid test. Many of our kids have also lost their motivation because our education system is boring and parents don’t care.Certain ethnic groups value and stress education more and do well here because they are pushed— they’re families remember when in the “old country” lack of top scores meant $2/day factory jobs making iPhone cases!
Even as early as the Year 1886, such was the case. A man by the name of Zacharias Montgomery was denied an important post in government for doing just that. You will read some of his words below.
With that said, those who love liberty must be willing to come forward to declare that it is better to be remembered for standing on and articulating enduring principles of right versus wrong, liberty versus tyranny, than to be praised by the mainstream media and so-called "progressives."
Below is one small excerpt from Montgomery's 1886 Book entitled "Poison Drops in the United States Senate . . . ." Although his treatise dealt primarily with the public school question, the following remarks might be helpful to those who, today, are concerned by what passes for "public education" and its latest innovation, "Common Core."
Zacharias Montgomery excerpt:
"My countrymen, disguise the fact as we may, there is in this country to-day, and in both the political Parties, an element which is ripe for a centralized despotism. There are men and corporations of vast wealth, whose iron grasp spans this whole continent, and who find it more difficult and more expensive to corrupt thirty odd State Legislatures than one Federal Congress. It was said of Nero of old that he wished the Roman people had but one head, so that he might cut it off at a single blow. And so it is with those moneyed kings who would rule this country through bribery, fraud, and intimidation.
"It is easy to see how, with all the powers of government centered at Washington in one Federal head, they could at a single stroke put an end to American liberty.
"But they well understand that before striking this blow the minds of the people must be prepared to receive it. And what surer or safer preparation could possibly be made than is now being made, by indoctrinating the minds of the rising generation with the idea that ours is already a consolidated government ; that the States of the Union have no sovereignty which is not subordinate to the will and pleasure of the Federal head, and that our Constitution is the mere creature of custom, and may therefore be legally altered or abolished by custom.
"Such are a few of the pernicious and poisonous doctrines which ten millions of American children are today drinking in with the very definitions of the words they are compelled to study. And yet the man who dares to utter a word of warning of the approaching danger is stigmatized as an enemy to education and unfit to be men tioned as a candidate for the humblest office.
"Be it so. Viewing this great question as I do, not for all the offices in the gift of the American people would I shrink from an open and candid avowal of my sentiments. If I have learned anything from the reading of history, it is that the man who, in violation of great principles, toils for temporary fame, purchases for himself either total oblivion or eternal infamy, while he who temporarily goes down battling for right principles always deserves, and generally secures, the gratitude of succeeding ages, and will carry with him the sustaining solace of a clean conscience, more precious than all the offices and honors in the gift of man.
"History tells us that Aristides was voted into banishment because he was just. Yet who would not a thousand times rather today be Aristides than be numbered amongst the proudest of his persecutors.
"Socrates, too, in violation of every principle of justice, was con demned to a dungeon and to death. Yet what name is more honored in history than his? And which of his unjust judges would not gladly, hide himself in the utter darkness of oblivion from the with ering scorn and contempt of all mankind ?
"From the noble example of Aristides and of Socrates let American statesmen learn wisdom, and from the undying infamy of their cow ardly time-serving persecutors let political demagogues of today take warning."
So Zacharias Montgomery in 1886. Read his complete work at HERE.
A reading of the complete volume likely will realize this man's ability to see the consequences of what his fellow Americans were advocating in the area of education of youth.
What long term??? A thousand years???