Common Core Math: Rotten To The Core

in steemiteducation •  12 days ago

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Not having been saddled with a public school education may or may not make me qualified to talk about math, but I do have a little experience teaching it to my kids. I read an article about how Common Core works and a more than a few things troubled me... first and foremost that the focus has been shifted away from finding the correct answer in favor of focusing on "the process." If I were an astronaut (who harbored some hope of returning home safely) I would hope that the engineers who did the planning focused on the right answer. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in their 1989 Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics determined, "[t]he first standards gave a strong call for a de-emphasis on manual arithmetic in favor of students' discovering their own knowledge and conceptual thinking." (See Link Below).

De-emphasis on manual arithmetic??? Or, even more troubling- how does one discover one's own knowledge if he/she has no point of reference from which to begin? I, in my ignorance, labored under the illusion that mathematics was about finding the correct answer. The same set of standards goes on to say, "Reformers do not oppose correct answers, but prefer to focus students' attention on the process leading to the answer, rather than the answer itself. The presence of occasional errors is deemed less important than the overall thought process." Well, at least they don't oppose wrong answers, but when it comes to occasional errors, I go back to my astronaut analysis... "Sorry Colonel Tom, it was just an 'occasional error.'"

In reading through the Eight Principles one really stood out to me- number 2 "Reason abstractly and quantitatively." This is fine for a philosopher, but hardly fit for the hard sciences. But, I'm often wrong so I decided to put it to the test. I went to the market this morning and the total was $68.49... I handed the cashier a $5.00 bill. "That's only five dollars," she said. "You're not reasoning abstractly and quantitatively," I replied. "What???" She said. "This is what they're selling your grandkids for math in school," I told her.

Now in all fairness, she's a friend... and elderly black woman who raises money for the Arkansas Children's Hospital, my one charity. When she isn't busy we always chat about our grandkids and I explained to her about the article and frankly, she was shocked to learn what I had told her... as was I when I read the article. It does, however explain why the United States ranks 30th in math and only slightly higher in science. This according to Peggy Carr, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics. Perhaps if Ms. Carr employed the new math, she wouldn't be so concerned about the outcome.

The problems themselves that students are asked to solve are ludicrous as well. In the following video, several adults are asked to solve a 4th grade common core math problem...

It should be clear to any reasonable person that there isn't enough information provided to solve the problem with any measure of success. What's the point of learning to "solve problems" if the right answer is irrelevant? Whatever the intention of Common Core, in any reasonable analysis, the results are a resounding...
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http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/11/k12_the_math_you_need_is_emnotem_the_math_you_get.html

GIF by @papa-pepper

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Who needs math anyways?, let's just make the machines do the countin' while we do the collectin'

More dumbing down of our society........... it starts with the kids. Control is the game as a free thinking intelligent populace is not controllable.

Beep! Beep! This humvee will be patrolling by and assisting new veterans, retirees, and military members here on Steem. @shadow3scalpel will help by upvoting posts from a list of members maintained by @chairborne and responding to any questions replied to this comment.

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On my page I try to put a lot of information about Space A travel. Do you think you can help me get the word out to people that may benefit from that?

2+2=5

Ignorance is Strength. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery.

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Well, while we're at it, might as well throw in- I'm a very good looking man... Naw- that's too much!

Our technology and our society evolved so much in the last 50 years, yet the whole education system it's so impervious to change and innovation. I agree with you that getting to the right answer should be the priority but also harnessing the kid's potential in full should be important. Each kid has different gifts, we can't impose one study method and the same topics to all of them

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I agree... the whole premise of "public education" is flawed for that reason. I homeschooled my 4 kids. I knew them and how they learn as individuals... HUGE advantage! My theory is that everyone (well almost everyone) is good at something. People that are successful are the ones that find and capitalize on it.

I must say I never got math and I do believe it was mostly because how it was taught to me. I remember having frequent collisions with the teacher just because I had gotten the right answer through a different method. Now what sense does that make?

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I had pretty much the same problem... When I got to college I was terrified of math, but the girl that taught the class explained it in just the right way to make it all make sense. It turned out I was really good at it.

I tried to understand common core math a couple of times. It seems pretty useless to me. I'm pretty dang good at 'everyday' math. You know, addition, subtraction, multiplying, dividing, fractions and percentages, but that common core stuff just confuses me.

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I don't think there's anything to understand... if the video is any indication. I watched 3 or 4 more and it doesn't seem to get any better. I studied a lot of philosophy and political theory in college and nobody loves abstract thought more than I do... BUT- it has no place in mathematics!

This is exactly the same in our country. Students can't even do the basics in math. Our president can't even count, and he never went to school but he condemns homeschooling and there is a big fight going on about it now between homeschooling parents and the department of education. You should watch this and see what we have to put up with. It is hilarious and so disturbing and sad all at the same time.

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I'll check it out... I was hoping the rest of the world had been spared the insanity! Oh Dear God... How did he become president??? Is he a military dictator?

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You complain about your president. I will take him with a smile. He was voted in by the ruling party. HE is a complete idiot. Everybody hates him but nothing is done about the situation. It is a circus we live in....He is too stupid to be any kind of dictator my dear...I don't think he can even dictate a letter...ha ha ha
If you go to youtube under the funny section you will find more videos of him...he should be top on the list...

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I watched a few more on Common Core and they didn't get any more promising- who could think something like this up... it's mental illness disguised as education!

Oh, I think I'll keep "The Donald" by the way... at least he can read and write. Actually he's a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at Penn. It's the best in America so he can't be too bad at math!

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Ronald MacDonald would be a better president for us. It's ludicrous...scary what we have to go through....he doesn't even worry about his own people...sickening.

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He might be available!

This is right on!! I believe you and I have the same values my friend.
Truth warriors need to rise!!

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Thank you!!! You have yourself a new follower!

I am really bad at Maths, I failed my school exam :(

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I found out that I'm actually pretty good- I just needed the right teacher.

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The same happened to my sister, she failed then went back to college where she found she was brilliant at it :)

We deal with "common core" math on occasion helping grandchildren with homework. Oh, my gosh. another insane experience. I have long worked in the decorating business and relied on math being an absolute science. And, believe me, when windows are measured to a certain number and draperies are made to order, the measurement must be "absolute" or, when they don't fit exactly, a redo will be in order. Just plain ole common sense!

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You're not looking at abstractly enough lol! It doesn't matter if the windows fit the draperies or not as long as you feel ok about it... Clearly the people that made the windows were probably racist- it's their fault!

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Lol! It's surely part of the script anyway.

I don't know, when I was in school math was called an 'exact science' - so maybe the kid can get some credit for applying the correct process, but he still fails. If the right answer is x=3, it's simply not good enough to say x is somewhere between 2 and 5!

I think you might be overdramatizing it, and even perhaps attacking a straw man! There's definitely a lot of problems with education, but the thing you describe here I think isn't one of them. The reason there's emphasis in the process is because educators want the students to understand deep maths, not just memorize the correct answers. If faced with a never-before-seen problem, they want the students to know how to apply the process to reach a solution, instead of being stamped because they've never encountered the problem before. Abstract thinking is that leads to new discoveries. We don't want to beat our calculators. We can't. What we want is to invent new maths and solve deep problems. I'd rather live in the US and be 30th in the world in math, than live in China and be 1st.

Like I said, I agree there's a ton of issues with scientific literacy etc., all around the world, but somehow I feel your post misses the real issues. Soon the cashier won't even have to process tangible money, so you won't have to be able to count them. But you'll have to be able to know how to secure your credit card against a hacker, and that will require some abstract quantitative thinking.

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You almost have a point... except that most of the innovations of the 20th century came from an America that used exact math not some watered-down feel good processing. Also, your comment is the only one of it's kind. Everybody got the point so I'll spell it out for you... What you're advocating is not education, it's brainwashing. There's no dichotomy between abstract thinking and exact mathematics, In fact Newton was a fine abstract thinker (yet somehow came up with the right answers. HINT: He didn't use new math). I understand your point- it's the same liberal hogwash being used to justify the destruction of what was once the finest educational system in the world and turn the US into China. Nice try though... I'd rather live in an America that was 1st in math and science rather than some Marxist pseudo-utopia!

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I'm not advocating watered-down feel good processing. Again, it seems like you're building up a straw man and attacking him.

My comment might be the only one of its kind because most people would rather not leave a comment than disagree and get into what will most likely be a pointless debate.

I reread my comment, and I don't know where exactly I advocated brainwashing. I'm a philosopher. Brainwashing is my bane.

Newton is almost one of my heroes. (I say almost, because of all the alchemy and searching for hidden messages in the Bible, and stuff like that. But he couldn't completely escape being a product of his time.)

I don't know what exactly goes on inside US classrooms. Maybe it's true they don't care about the students getting the answer right, though that seems highly improbable, and it's not how I would interpret the quotes you provided. The video gives one example of what seems like a silly puzzle. I'd like to see more, otherwise it might be the equivalent of scouring over hundreds of pages to find one spelling mistake. I'd like to hear what the other side has to say, and the video provides none of that.

Not everyone who disagrees with you is automatically a Marxist spouting liberal hogwash.

Btw, random but maybe related question: Newton was poorer (adjusting for inflation) than Donald Trump (I'm making an educated guess here; and you can replace 'Newton' with 'Einstein' or 'Stephen Hawking' etc.). What does that say about capitalism? I've yet to see a system where intelligence and hard work is justly rewarded...

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any hints on making that actually happen, some people have skewed beliefs they are very valuable whereas they have contributed no value to anything...

like most people working for the economy, selling products and pumping a dome bubble to protect themselves from reality, of course I'm a bit of a negativist from time to time, how might we make a good barter economy or whatever, there are many good nuggets from everyone's life, be it Einstein or Steve Jobs unfortunately most people never get through a true meaning and even less manage to convey it to others.

So I do agree with the snip on capitalism, in fact I'm still up to debating politics since i don't like any system it would seem, but I do lack knowledge as well and I'm not about to pay thousands to go waste my time being read a library by the whiteboard and given tests of how crammed my head is from political history :D

so yeah I like parts from communism (mostly idealistic that never get to be realised, like common unity ... :D welll except for witch hunts, commons unite quite quickly for a show :D )

I'm still wrapping me head around politics it's pointless....

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The American education system has been usurped by Cultural Marxists that use curricula like Common Core to destroy education and by doing so the United States along with it. Forgive me if I mistook you for one of them, I have no idea where you live. I assumed it was here, otherwise I didn't think you would defend such a blatant attempt to destroy a culture. The focus of our system of education has been shifted away from education to create "good little global citizens," malleable and compliant.

If you go to YouTube there are several similar videos that show the same thing. I found none showing that it actually worked in any way. Apparently you didn't read the article I provided the link to, or you would understand the context... I'm not going to continue this argument any longer, I'm not going to change your mind, so why persist.

awesome

I was so furious when I found this in my child's school!
Such Garbage!!!

let's talk about it, I think we can reason maths into a better understanding of our own selves

I'm just trying my hand with bullshit :D not sure if it will fly tho :D yeah having no real exemplar people that give their solid principles to the future generations is a surefire way to have people scrambled like eggs, brains that can't function properly and excel, looking for words, umming every three seconds they try to convey meaning by make a sentence.

so of course with our unfocused mindsets and our not real strive for excellence guidance, no wonder we've been watching videos go viral of how dumb americans are, how drunken russians are and not to mention how very hacky they get after a round of vodka probably.. the third world magically got very poor (nothing to do with exploitation of natural resources and a near millennia of colonisation and wars) charity and government projects work out flawlessly and are the most efficient way to fix roads ... and let's not forget build big shit piles of concrete :) for everyone and also net everyone in their box :)

I got a bit carried away but I thought we were talking about maths :D

I will answer the question logically, she needs to buy enough stickers, if it's 6 per bag, she better have more than 6 friends, or she can give however many she wants to each person, so that not are left, but of course this problem is so gaping with misinformation it's ridiculous....

  • how many stickers are there per bag?
  • how many people are there?
  • how much stickers per each person?

yeah logic problems were a favorite resting and relaxation after doing maths for me, it was so easy :) but there was also tick-tack-toe expanded, chess, sudoku puzzles, games that were actually conducive to learning and development, in fact that's how I learned English, Diablo 2 and Starcraft :D overcoming adversity and having a story for the way there :) when Warcraft 3 was out I was already fluent in english :D

so for maths, doing general maths is important, calculate change, calculate price, calculate costs, calculate spending, calculate time spent on problems, you can do brain games, I think Dr. Kawashima was the person to start the trend, any logical or abstract thought is good for maths, but so is solid understanding of it's principles :) not many people are aiming to be academicians tho, wow I've learned a new word :)

did you get the subtle joke? not so subtle?

#conscious-learning