Calling Common Core math “Satan’s Handiwork,” a California mom isn’t the only one that asserts there’s something seriously wrong with the education children are receiving in mathematics and reading. That same mother said that she’s broken down in tears, while another in Pennsylvania admitted that Common Core math makes her blood boil. So why are parents having such a strong reaction to education?
It’s the fact that they are unable to breakdown complicated terms like “rectangular array” and “area model.” In their eyes the tasks that matter — such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing — have become as complicated as calculus due to the additional tasks that need to be completed to execute tasks that were once straight forward.
One mother explains that she needs to know four different ways to add. Stacey Jacobson-Francis of Berkeley, California explained how difficult her daughter’s homework is.
“That is way too much to ask of a first grader. She can’t remember them all, and I don’t know them all, so we just do the best that we can.”
The days of simple arithmetic doesn’t exist, which leads to frustration for parents and their children, and these new techniques don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Common Core has been adopted by 44 states in the United States. Essentially Common Core is a division of English and math standards that outline how a child should learn by using specific methods.
The President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Diane Briars explained why Common Core is being instated in schools:
“Part of what we are trying to teach children is to become problem solvers and thinkers. We want students to understand what they’re doing, not just get the right answer.”
For parents that have to deal with a child suffering through their homework, this is simply not the approach they’re looking for to be implemented in the classroom. Jennie Barnds of Iowa is confused by her daughter’s long division:
“If we are sitting there for 20 minutes trying to do a simple problem, how is an 8, 9, 10-year-old supposed to figure it out? It’s incredibly frustrating for the student and the parent.”
Though some people aren’t convinced that the problem and frustration at home is Common Core. Experts have said that Common Core promotes “reform math” which gained traction in the 1990s, but its critics call it “fuzzy” math. Still the reform says that children should learn and explore several concepts like “place value” before properly understanding the simpler way of doing arithmetic. Its naysayers say that this way leads to stress.
Stanford University mathematician James Milram says that Common Core’s math standards are “a complete mess” and are too advance for younger children.
“You are asking teachers to teach something that is incredibly complicated to kids who aren’t ready for it. If you don’t think craziness will result, then you’re being fundamentally naive,” Milram said.
[Image via Ollyy / Shutterstock]