Common core: Father’s check goes viral. Why do so many parents relate?

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Checking homework: Ohio dad’s ridicule of Common Core goes viral.

Angry over the complicated instructions of Common Core math, an Ohio dad crafted a message to his child’s elementary school in the form of a prank check. “You figure it out,” Doug Hermann writes in a Facebook post, alluding to the facetious dollar amount he had written out on his check followed by a series of Xs and Os. Educators from across the state appeared before the House Common Education Committee Tuesday as part of a legislative study of education practices in the state’s public schools. Although he clarified that the check was never sent to the school, Hermann was able to commiserate with fellow parents who may also struggle with Common Core practices across the country. Ann Coody of Lawton, a retired educator and chair of the committee, says the goal is to give educators a forum to share with other educators and lawmakers the successful instructional techniques they are using.

Exasperated with a math style that has bedeviled parents around the country, Doug Herrmann, of Painesville, made out a check to Milridge Elementary, filling out the “amount” line with a dizzying array of zeroes and x’s in boxes. Common Core is a set of national benchmarks that expect students not only to calculate solutions but also explain how they arrived at the answer, with the aim of showing that there is more than one solution process for each problem. Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Robert Neu says educators in the district — the state’s largest — feel a moral imperative to lift the performance of struggling students so all of the district’s 46,000 students are successful in the classroom. Getting quite the chuckle out of it, he realized school officials would have to explain the long-form math problem to a bank teller if he did end up sending the check to school. Supporters insist that the standards are needed to ensure some uniformity across the nation, but critics say testing for national standards indirectly dictates curriculum, which they say undermines local control of education.

I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering, which included extensive study in differential equations and other higher math applications. Since the set of academic standards have been adopted by more than 40 states in the past few years, students, their parents, and even some teachers have taken issue with its complex phrasing, roundabout methods, and total rejection of memorized shortcuts or formulas.

For instance, a three-digit multiplication could involve making illustrations, breaking apart numbers, multiplying, adding, and then a clear break-down each step. Stacey Jacobson-Francis, mother of a first grader in Berkeley, California, tells NBC Washington that her daughter’s homework requires her to know four different ways to add. “That is way too much to ask of a first grader,” she says. “She can’t remember them all, and I don’t know them all, so we just do the best that we can.” Still, supporters of the standards say students are now understanding math in an unprecedented way, some showing precocious conceptions of advanced formulas.

Take 2 from 5 and add it to 8 (8+2=10) Then add 3.” “The math standard focuses on investigative math, which has been shown to be a disaster,” Wright said. “With the new math standard in the Common Core, there are no longer absolute truths. The problem, she says, is the parents. “The toughest part is the homework part because parents, it’s so hard for them,” Palermo says. “A lot of parents, they doubt themselves because there are all these models and things they’ve never seen before.” However, as is often the case, there was input from many other sources — including State Departments of Education — that had to be incorporated into the standards,” he said during the testimony. Last school year, Common Core-aligned standardized tests marched forward, going from paper-and-pencil to the computer to allow for questions to adapt in difficulty based on a student’s answer.

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