dreamWhat happens when theories and wishes meet reality?

Below is a post from a New Jersey mom showing what Common Core State Standards aligned curriculum looks like:

I. AM. LIVID. I – as much as I try – cannot help my children with their homework. I’ll give just ONE math problem my son had to answer (which he had to teach me how to do – nothing like making a parent feel like a total dumbass):”Which numbers complete the calculation 27×6?”

A. 42, 120, 162
B. 13, 127, 140
C. 42, 112, 154
D. 27, 120, 147

Step 1 – multiply 7×6 (= 42)
Step 2 – multiply 2×6 (= 12)
Step 3 – My son’s words “now add a zero because it’s actually 6×20 because you already did 7×6, so you would now have to multiply 6×20”.
Step 4 – Add the 2 partial products: 42 (7×6) and 120 (6×20) to get the answer, which is 162.

How the hell does Step 3 make any sense? What happened to 2×6? Isn’t it obvious? Twelve became 120 because, for some stupid reason, we already multiplied 7×6, so we add a zero into the mix!! WTH??!

Now that my son has explained it to me (which he struggled to do), I know the correct answer is A.

Why on EARTH are they “teaching” multiplication this way? And they have the nerve to call it mental math?! I think a 2 step process (the way we were taught) is much easier than a 4 step process to get the same answer. But again, if they don’t show the 4 steps, it is marked as wrong. Then my son proceeds to tell me that he feels as though he’s being “brainwashed” and that he’s upset they are “erasing everything I learned last year”. He’s stressed and feels stupid. Added bonus to my anger: his teacher told all of the parents to set a timer for 40 minutes. If the child cannot complete his/her homework within the 40 minutes, he/she should stop because it shows they’re not getting it. If we follow this and stop the timer after 40 minutes, he gets a zero for not completing his homework. And if he/she isn’t “getting it”, they get no additional help to make sure they DO get it. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

My children are 8 & 9, and they are writing letters (their idea) that they would like to read themselves at our B.O.E. meeting next week. In addition, I’m bringing their report cards from the last 3 years to show that my children ARE smart and that it’s not a matter of a “white suburban mother finding that her child isn’t as smart as she thought”. I’ve never sworn in front of my children before, but come homework time I’ve begun swearing like a lunatic (minus the F word).

Sorry for the lengthy rant about situations we’ve all read about before – my frustration level just met its breaking point….

The mom provided additional information on the publisher and type of Math her son is being taught:
This was a sheet they were given as homework as part of Topic 6 instruction right out of the Envision Math book published by Pearson. I’m beyond furious with every aspect of it – the invasion of privacy, shared data, parents’ rights being revoked, threats of Child Protective Services involvement, children’s feelings of failure and self hatred – the list could go on and on.

Doesn’t it seem to you that these standards that are supposed to be clearer and fewer that are supposed to create global citizens are in fact creating students who are frustrated and will see Math as not worth trying because it’s too convoluted? Is this age appropriate? Did the standards writers have any clue on developmental stages for children?

Do you think this dream of national standards was the dream of most parents?  The quote is “A dream you dream alone is only a dream.  A dream you dream together is reality”.  John Lennon was wrong.  This “dream” parents/students are experiencing is not of their own making.  It’s beyond time for parents to pull their kids out of this Common Core nightmare.

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