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Common Core math writers can't do simple arithmetic

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A sample math problem posted by a frustrated mother at MomDot.com makes you wonder. The mother, Trisha Haas, laments that mastering “Common Core math” is a “massive struggle” for her third-grade daughter.

If the problem, which is reproduced here, is any indication, her daughter is not the one with the difficulties.

Notice that the writer seems totally unfamiliar the rules of “rounding” to estimate a sum. To round 354 to the nearest hundred, you look at the number in the tens column. If it is 5 or greater (as it is here), you round up (in this case to 400). But the writers round down, to 300.

The second number, 291, is an even more glaring example. As Haas quips:

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.

Just as puzzling is the conclusion arrived at. If the estimated sum is 500, as the writers wrongly suggest, then how is 645 a reasonable answer?

As a wise man suggested to me, this is a case of education getting in the way of learning.

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