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Common Core is making me stupider.

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As you may know if you follow me on Facebook, I pretty much hate, with a capital H-A-T-E, this “new common core” math being taught. Every day it’s a massive struggle for Chris and me, him with a Masters Degree and myself with a Bachelors, to teach 3rd grade homework to our daughter.

Putting aside that we work for hours past an already 8 hour school day, ignoring that we are provided no text books to learn about the material, and sweeping under the rug that they send home homework on things they have yet to even teach yet, we are doing our best.

But we are lost.


And I am a bit angry to tell you the truth.

Today was just another example of “fuzzy” math.

This is on Charlotte’s homework:


All her problems have to be done this way.

Under what math EVER would 291 be “estimated” or “rounded off” to 200?  Am I missing something? And this is the example for her to base all her other math homework on.

I can tell you that if I estimated or rounded off my bills from $291 to $200, I would get a notice of an unpaid bill. I am not sure my mortgage or car payment would agree with that.

And let’s jump to the answer. The estimated sum ’500′ is considered reasonable with ’645′?

Is 5 million the same as 6.5 million? Ask an accountant that. Ask a corporation that.

I can’t help but wanting to refuse to teach Charlotte something that I find completely and utterly wrong.


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  1. Stephen Spencer says:

    It is obviously clear this program called Common Core is nothing but a design to instill futility in thinking among young students, make it near impossible to learn, and deliberately dumb down the nation. I haven’t heard of any other nation accepting this. I wouldn’t teach my kids this way. Here is what happens. Very few, if any pass, they are all given an IEP, a learning disabled designation, then put on some drug, which makes it worse. Schools should outright refuse, regardless of federal or state funds, to teach this complete nonsense. As a teacher myself, I won’t teach it. Okay school, do something about it. My kids are going to excel.

  2. Are you sure this is related to Common Core? I have a teacher friend who struggles with math and teaches her struggling learners to break down the problems in a non-traditional way – but they arrive at the correct answer in the end! (She would also have them add 50 and 90 and 4 and 1 in your example problem.) Although I am not a fan of CC, I thought it was more about scope and sequence than actual techniques. Is it possible that curriculum publishers are using this time to push their own agendas?

  3. This Common Core is ridiculous. It’s all about not ‘offending people’ if they are wrong. In maths there is either a right answer or a wrong answer. But officer I was only going about 100km which is reasonably close to 60kmh!! What happened to learning times tables as we all had to do at primary school. Yes the whole class would be heard singing along 2×4′s are 8 3×4′s are 12 etc but it stuck in our memory and to this day I can walk around a supermarket and be within a few cents when we get to the check out. As a Professional Quantity Surveyor, my clients want to know exactly what their project is going to cost, not something reasonably close. I totally agree with draagydragoon re paying teachers something reasonably close to their expected pay. And I’m on the Board of a very large educational facility so mix with these people regularly.

  4. This is a very poor example of estimation. The proper way is to round to the nearest 50, not round down to the lower 100. They should have: rounded 354 to 350 and 291 to 300. This would give you an est of 650, much closer to the correct answer. I have a degree in Apllied Math and I was an navigation instructor for the Air Force for 20 years. We taught our students to do rounding estimates because you need to think on your feet. I have taught my kids and many of there friends this and it has help them with there math courses. It is also used by most people in life (when you add up the items in your shopping cart, you always us this to estimate). Don’t get me wrong, I hate the common core. Most of the way they are trying to teach solving math problems is STUPID!!!! But this is a great way to teach kids how to confirm there answer and will help later in life.

    • Mr. facepalm says:

      Seriously? First of all, “(when you add up the items in your shopping cart, you always use this to estimate)”? I always use a calculator to find the exact total so I don’t go over budget and pretty much everyone else I know either does this or doesn’t add up the items in their cart at all. I’m in Calculus now and you don’t estimate to confirm your answer, you check it using another method of solving it or reversing the problem (i.e. subtracting 354 from 645 and seeing if that equals 291. Sure, In the Air Force or some other quick-reflex situation you might need to use this, but for most everything else, you need to be exact whilst confirming your answer.

  5. 34,000 New York children refused to take the ELA state tests. Many more will choose to refuse the math, especially now that principals and educators are speaking up. Watch and spread the video. Parents have a right to refuse!

  6. WTF???? Has anybody stopped to think that this is 3rd grade math, not college level calculus? Who dreams up this s**t? As a holder of two masters degrees and a professional accountant by trade, I can tell you that estimation is a good skill, but the analysis done by some of the people on here makes my head hurt. The problem is wrong. Anyone who can tell me otherwise in 2500 unintelligible words needs a hobby.

  7. Completely ridiculous. One thing I do want to repeat that was mentioned earlier – teachers are not to blame. They have to teach this by law and a vast percentage of them hate it as much as parents do.

  8. My daughter is in 8th grade and hates CC!!! Because of it, her grades are going down and she was an honor roll student!!! Even the state tests she took in the past was above average until last year, with CC BS test it was lower. I have opt out my child from ELA CC test in April and going to do it for Math which is held this week (4/30-5/2)you as a parent have a right to refuse your child to take these tests! I’m worried about when she goes to high school because its going there!!!!

  9. draggydragoon says:

    That’s ok, we can just pay the teachers that use this method of teaching math with the same method. If their monthly paycheck is supposed to be $4,798, I think $4.000 is reasonable.

  10. Jane McGonnigle says:

    Teaching this concept to 3rd graders is not only useless, I bet it hinders them as well.

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