Thoughts on the Common Core and its implementation

The following picture appeared on the Facebook page of Daniel Bongino, who is running for Congress in Maryland.

Source: https://scontent-a-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1/1184774_620433314716100_343011500_n.jpg

Here was his commentary on this picture:

Like many of you, I am a parent who is passionate about my child’s education in an increasingly competitive and unforgiving global economy.

Having stated that, I cannot condemn the Common Core in strong enough terms. Look at the picture I have attached to this post. I gave my daughter a relatively easy long-division problem to do today, in an attempt to gauge her progress, and this is what she gave back to me.

This is completely unacceptable. How is it that we are replacing a time-tested, efficient method of long-division with an absurd, multi-step process that not only confuses the students, but the parents too?

Compounding the Common Core disaster is the fact that in my daughter’s last school year she was taught the older, more effective method of long-division and is now completely confused.

Friends, all politics are local and it gets no more local than your kitchen table. Fight back against the Common Core, and do it quickly, by calling and emailing your local, state, and federal elected officials.

This is not a partisan issue. Your child’s education is suffering whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. Every second we lose is another second our kids are being exposed to a third-rate curriculum in a first-world economy. Count on me as an ally in this fight.
-Dan

Source: https://www.facebook.com/dan.bongino/photos/a.517057181720381.1073741827.101043269988443/620433314716100/?type=1&theater

green line

Yesterday, I discussed the mathematical logic behind this unorthodox approach to subtraction. Today, I want to briefly talk about the Common Core standards for mathematics and their implementation, as this is a topic that I’ve been following for several years.

  1. To the mindless critics who think that America is headed to communism because of the Common Core: there’s no point having a rational discussion about this. Michael Gerson is one of many conservative commentators who is not ideologically opposed to the Common Core; see http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-gop-fear-of-common-core-education-standards-unfounded/2013/05/20/9db19a94-c177-11e2-8bd8-2788030e6b44_story.html.
  2. Also to the mindless critics: while Texas (where I live) is not a Common Core state, the standards for mathematics that we’ve had for the past 10 years or so align fairly well with the Common Core. And Texas is about as far away from a blue state as any of the 50.
  3. To the thoughtful critics who are worried about the appropriateness of the Common Core standards: as I said, while not in perfect alignment, for the last few years Texas has had content and process standards for mathematics education that are decently close to those stipulated by the Common Core. I’m more than happy to declare that the implementation of the Common Core has been thoroughly botched from sea to shining sea. Still, I believe that a good implementation is possible, and I hope that you don’t throw out the baby with the bath water when critiquing the potential of the Common Core standards.
  4. To the supporters of the Common Core standards: you better read Diane Ravitch’s thoughtful critique of how the standards have been rolled out: http://dianeravitch.net/2013/02/26/why-i-cannot-support-the-common-core-standards/. It seems to me that textbook publishers are driving the rollout of the Common Core, and educators are desperately trying to shift from the previous standards to the new standards while also trying to figure how they are being required to teach because of the textbook… and not because of the standards themselves.
  5. Also to the supporters of the Common Core standards: voters — and, more importantly, parents — will not tolerate these standards if a rationale for these standards are not carefully explained. I do think that most parents do care about the mathematical education of their children and will rationally discuss cutting-edge ways of teaching mathematics, but they have to be convinced that these cutting edge methods actually make sense. The rollout of the Common Core will be studied in public-relation circles for years to come for how *not* to make drastic changes.
  6. And though they are not specifically required by the Common Core, don’t get me started on the hours we’re wasting high-stakes testing, an intellectually lazy and ineffective way of measuring teacher quality.
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1 Comment

  1. Common Core, Subtraction, and the Open Number Line: Index | Mean Green Math

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