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Common Core math: Common Core versus common sense?

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Common Core – the education initiative sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers which aims to standardize academic pars in mathematics and English language arts – is, in the opinion of most parents and even many educators, lacking in common sense.

According to Fox News on March 29, Forty-five states and the District of Columbia had initially voted to adopt “the initiative, in a bid, they say, to improve education standards in Math and English, and give new life to what many view as a sagging education system.”

The monster formally called the Common Core State Standards Initiative has certainly been given life, but it has turned into an incomprehensible creature of convoluted number problems and nonsensical, hair-pulling word conundrums.

Even Common Core’s Core Standards website was too tricky to navigate, prompting visitors to the site to now see this pop-up disclaimer:

The website has been refreshed to make it easier to learn more about these consistent academic guidelines created to help all students succeed.

Parents are protesting across America against the “litany of frighteningly stupid Common Core math worksheets,” says The Daily Caller. Kids and parents have had enough – and are beginning to “fight back in satisfyingly creative ways.”

The picture, above left, is from a seven-year-old student from a San Jose, Calif. elementary school. His answer to a Common Core trademark math question, one that attempts to fuse basic math with obtuse requirements of written justification, was to simply say (how dare he?!) that he used his brain.

I got the answer by talking in my brain and I agreed of the answer that my brain got.

Hilarious – but at the same time how sad that children are left trying to justify rational answers with gobbledegook reasoning.

Case in point: This dad, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, couldn’t even make sense of his second grader’s number line problem. His written explanation has since gone viral, and is yet another example of Common Core’s hallmark problem of valuing complication over simplification.

Common Core rant: Frustrated dad unleashes viral Common Core rant, read it here

A Google search for “Common Core problems” reveals a horde of aggravated parents letting fly with their frustrations on web sites, blogs and via social media. Some have even set up support-type web groups to assist one another in understanding homework sheets coming home every day.

Here’s one parent who snapped a pic of her child’s third grade math problem, asking her child to match the shaded portion of the shapes with the numerical fraction, except that nothing was even shaded.

Or check out this set of incomprehensible math directions for fourth graders.

The Daily Caller also posted this math question, quite possibly the worst read-it-over-again-and-again-until-your-brain-pukes problem I have ever seen:

Juanita wants to give bags of stickers to her friends. She wants to give the same number of stickers to each friend. She’s not sure if she needs 4 bags or 6 bags of stickers. How many stickers could she buy so there are no stickers left over?

You’re welcome to debate that one below.

What are your experiences (or nightmares) with Common Core? Let's hear from you.

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