Priceless: Student Sums Up Common Core Idiocy in a SINGLE Word

by Gina Cassini | Top Right News

One student got tired of being dumbed-down by Common Core’s convoluted “standards” to do basic arithmetic.

“Standards” like how to add two numbers, which the student was told to do like THIS:


WHAT? It’s enough to make you pull your hair out.

So when he was given his next basic arithmetic assignment, to find the difference between 180 and 158 (180-158), this 5th grade student just did it his own way — the right way — and dissed Common Core with single, awesome word:



But this really makes us feel for these kids, who are being corrupted by this incompetent program. How are we ever supposed to compete with China if we have upending even basic arithmetic and confusing young minds in the public schools?


cc-thumb(h/t FederalistPapers)

  • LieutenantSword

    Great job, kid. Do it the right way.

  • Hargraves Ian

    Bet Common Core is a product from the Common Whore while relaxing on the beach in Kenya or Hawaii!

  • I bet he failed too. It’s not about getting the right answer…it’s about doing it THEIR way. Learn to follow their instructions young and dismiss the idea that it doesn’t make sense. Really…can no one else see the historical path we are taking here? Hitler realized this worked too!

    • Lane Walker

      It’s about being able to “make change in your head.” What is wrong with asking a student to explain how they do that? This student was not very efficient. Another student might say, “26+17=30+17-4” We’ve complained for years that US kids can’t do this, so why are we laughing about fixing it? In the second question, the student is learning about PLACE VALUE. The same kid who thinks it’s too much trouble to use words like “hundreds, tens, and ones” will later add 2.25 + 3 and get 2.28.

      • Linda Wilson

        Then why not just teach how to count back change? Oh yeah…you are trying to teach logic. For some of us, logic comes from solving real life problems. I still have no use for algebra, but I do need and use math every day.

        • Lane Walker

          Great question…and good logic! “Counting back” is one of the many options for solving this kind of problem. However, not all kids think alike. Math is best when it is not taught one-way-for-all. The “one-way” method of instruction ends up producing a “robotic approach” because students can’t adjust their memorized methods to fit different contexts. One of the goals of teaching mathematical reasoning is so that the math also works in science classes. Science teachers will often confide they have to reteach math to kids because of the “robotics” problem. Another thing that might interest you is that good understanding of fractions leads directly into Algebra. When kids learn Algebra, it isn’t difficult if they understand fractions. In fact Calculus isn’t difficult for kids who really understand Algebra. So if you tell me what kind of math you are using every day, I can explain to you how it fits with Algebra. I would really enjoy hearing from you.

          • James Bond

            My math always worked in science, I got A’s in both, to try and justify re-inventing the wheel is quite arrogant. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates learned the old fashioned way and do not seem to be doing very bad.

          • Lane Walker

            So you’re one of roughly 10%. Enjoy that! Since you have a good math background, I’m hoping you might be interested in some more specifics (besides the need to teach little kids number sense). Fractions are the #1 reason why a huge percentage of kids can’t pass Algebra 2. They squeak by for years converting them with calculators to pass tests but then they run into rational functions, complex fractions, complex numbers within fractions, and they are unable to proceed further with the math. A very insightful exercise is to call the local colleges and see what math classes their freshmen typically place into. Another issue is “proportional reasoning.” Students are traditionally taught to “set up a proportion and cross multiply.” They walk down the hall to science and every time they see 3 numbers, many students robotically set up a proportion and cross multiply. CCSS teach a beautiful progression from fractions to ratio reasoning to understanding what a proportional relationship is and finally writing linear equations that define the proportional relationships. In the early stages (7th grade), proportional relationships are first equated as y=kx which graphs as a line through the origin. If the data doesn’t line up through the origin, the student can see the relationship is not proportional, etc. I have been teaching for 10 years and I have been so impressed. I know why so many students are confused and am seeing huge gains in their (same-old) State exams based on using CCSS progressions to help them clear the fog. Oh, another example: I talked to a physics teacher recently who couldn’t see why kids weren’t doing well with vector arithmetic. He didn’t think of translating axes from the unit circle to fit his vector spaces. With CCSS, all that is coming into horizontal alignment, saving students a TON of learning-re-learning.

          • JonDillinger2016

            You are literally the only person that is sticking up for this garbage. My father taught for 30+ years and retired because he refused to teach his students this crap.

          • Lane Walker

            The president of every major mathematics society has signed on. You can verify this by Googling their individual sites. Colleges are supporting because they are concerned about many years of many kids dropping out because they can’t pass their math classes. Last month my husband and I were listening to a webex on retirement and the investment companies are saying our economy would be better if our kids could take on jobs that require math. I would like to see more teachers in these blogs but most of them are exhausted. My kids are grown and I have time.

          • reaganite22

            I don’t believe that for a minute, Lane. But, if true, it’s only because of benefits those presidents of math societies expect to receive from the federal government. The only math professor on the Common Core Validation Committee was Stanford’s James Milgram. He refused to approve the math standards and has been outspoken against them.

            Anyone who was forced to suffer through “New Math” in the 60s and 70s recognizes the idiocy in this method of teaching math. Quit trying to put lipstick on this pig: it is still hideously ugly and will cause millions of students to begin to both fail at, and hate, math. Common Core isn’t about improving the education of students. It’s about profits for certain connected individuals and industries, as well as the dumbing down of our kids.

          • Lane Walker

            Between the Work Team, Feedback Group, and Validation Committee, there were 12 research mathematicians. Of these Miligram was the only research mathematician not chosen to be on the Work Team or Feedback Group. I do not have any inside info to know why, but by the statements he has made in public, I have a few ideas. I am aware of the comparisons being made between the fuzzy math of the 60’s and 70’s and disagree. CCSS are very similar to Singapore math which has been used very successfully by home schoolers and some regular schools in recent years. That can be fairly easily verified by laying the materials side by side. Someone in an earlier comment called me a troll for taking the time to try to explain to people who have read all kinds of stuff online that is not true. I can see why legislators are intimidated and throwing up their hands, passing laws to throw out the CCSS and then having educators in their own state come up with new ones that look a whole lot like the CCSS. Here’s the story behind who I am and why I am responding to you: I welcome sincere questions by people who are genuinely interested in doing something to help American students access good jobs.

          • M Meier

            Hmm… I “suffered” through the New Math of the ’70s (never could understand why they called it New Math). It seemed very simple, add the number, carry the 10s, and continue. I also learned to keep the decimal place when multiplying and use a 0 (zero) placeholder. I learned it very well and I don’t know what the Old Math consisted of. But I can agree that this CC stuff is idiotic!

          • Daisy Duke

            colleges are supporting this and every other liberal nonsense that comes out of Washington – that does NOT make it right

          • WalkerBob

            Kids are dropping out because they can’t pass their math exams? Try teaching the basics rather than the complicated BS that you are espousing. Mathematical societies are branch offices of the education system and are filled with people who have NEVER existed in the real world outside of the education system. The fact that you are the only one here who can’t see how pointless and absurd this system is and how you are graduating a vast number of kids who can’t make basic change in their heads or write a coherent sentence simply proves that you are more interested in keeping kids in class to justify your own pointless existence than actually teaching people to deal with the world. You are a sad and delusional person and it is a disaster that you are allowed to be in front of impressionable children, let alone be responsible for getting them ready for life. A fine example of what is wrong with the arrogant education system in North America….

          • Denver Bob

            I am the wrong person to comment on this as I believe 1/2 (fraction) of the principals and Administrators in this country are dead weight and should be fired. The fact that the presidents of every major mathematics society have signed on does not impress me. I believe a bus carrying 100 lawyers going of a bridge is a waste of a good bus – so … Math has not changed in 400 years – so why do we invent new ways to confound the kids. They cannot think logically until about age 25 anyway – go rote is the only way to teach them – and if you can show 3 dimensional ways of seeing the problem, the better.

          • Lane Walker

            You are correct that math hasn’t changed in 400 years. In fact I believe math has always been there but it took us a long time to find it…and we still are. I don’t know when bad mathematics instruction began but I know how some teachers got into it. The “traditional tests” are plug and chug. With traditional instruction students generally aren’t expected to be able to solve word problems. When I taught College Algebra, the curriculum and department final were such that a student could get a B having never successfully worked a word problem in their entire lives. What good is math instruction if most students can’t apply it to real life? On the other hand, who wants to fail a bunch of students by teaching them to solve problems (which is much more challenging for the instructor and the student)…when the curriculum and tests don’t require it?

            You are correct that research shows our students brains are not completely formed until they are in their mid-20’s or so, but a pre-schooler can think logically. I recall my father screwing in a hook, high up on the back door to try to keep my 2-year-old brother from escaping. When Dad got down off the chair, my brother brought over a broom handle. In Algebra, we would call that “evaluating” and “applying operations.”

          • BusyMomOf7

            You are an idiot. This “new math” has been proven to be cimpletely ineffective in higher levels of math. In fact, you will consistantly get the wrong answer if you use it

          • Lane Walker

            I have taught College Algebra, Statistics, and Calculus. At which point do you feel Common Core is ineffective? The Progressions of the CC develop fractions such that they flow gradually and naturally into Algebra. It is very common for Algebra 2 students to bomb out because students who are weak with fractions are unable to tackle complex fractions, algebraic fractions, or fractions within fractions. So can you give a specific example of what is ineffective in higher levels and what consistently produces wrong answers. Maybe I can figure out what is going on. This is a real concern because it is heartbreaking to have so many students lose their academic (and career) dreams, basically because they never understood Algebra. Common Core holds out great hope that we can change that trend.

          • Rachel Laird Baldwyn

            I’m assuming Lane Walker makes a living promoting this crap. When my youngest son was in elementary school, a group of educators decided that the old way of learning to read (i.e. phonics) was not the way to advance our kids. Sight words was the way to go. My question then was “what happens when he needs to read a word that he has never seen?”. A few years later they decided that sight word learning was a mistake and went back to the tried and true phonics. What do you think happened to kids like my son who were taught the method that didn’t work? I can tell you. He is a very poor reader. He will graduate next year and is a very poor reader and has struggled his entire school career. He has a visual motor deficit and doesn’t learn that way. There has to be a better way than to clump all students in the same category and expect that one method of teaching will make all kids learn.

          • Denver Bob

            Rachel – I give you an “A” for hitting the nail on the head. Administrators out to make a name for themselves and get a PHD tacked on to their names – attempt to impress – And experiment with todays’ kids – Phonics is a PERFECT example of the way California chose to teach kids to read sight words…. Supposedly they have gone back to phonics. My 27yo still cannot spell – thank you school Administrators.

          • MartyBellerMask

            No, she’s not. She’s the only person bothering to try to explain it, Everyone else is shrugging you off.

          • Big George

            She’s also the only person here with a writing level above 5th grade.
            Your father seems like a big baby. It’s not that hard to understand and it’s not that hard to teach.

          • Lolly

            That “fact” you presented about the writing level of the respondents of this blog is untrue and a huge exaggeration. It is never a reasonable plan to personally attack people because they disagree with you.

          • Funny, fractions and such are indeed adequately taught i elementary schools around here. I saw no problem with any of the people in elementary school, when i learned fractions. What i did notice is that after learning them in 4th grade, then revisiting them in 9th grade, we see a great example of no retention. The problem with alot of this isn’t method, it’s just that there is no incentive for retention. Teachers cram facts down via homework, which usually gets copied, then after the test is over, there’s absolutely no reason to remember it. This is a problem with all subjects in public school, and i would argue it is one of the many contributing factors to the perception that it is worthless. The only thing that gets re-enforced as much as language (which we learn and retain) is reading, writing, and the basic add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Everything else that’s taught, even grammar, is not part of the next topic, so it gets lost, because we’re not forced to truly understand it to understand what’s on the next test. Once this test is over, we can safely forget what we just learned.

          • Lane Walker

            Great insights. I talk to a lot of teachers and there is a lot of concern about how little information kids seem to be retaining these days. I’ve been trying some of the collaborative teaching techniques with real-life problem solving and discovered that the kids do much better at figuring things out than I recall seeing before. This automatically leads to better retention because they are thinking and talking math instead of just trying to remember something that doesn’t make sense. One of the reasons CCSS fractions “stick” better is because the amount of time spent at each level and another reason is because fractions are then connected to ratio reasoning. After that the fractions are in two-step equations and so the kids re-visit fractions every year as they continue to move forward. I’m thinking they are figuring things out better because that’s how they learn new video games and aps on their phones.

          • M Meier

            You need to stop with the “Great question” and “Great insights” and so forth. No offense meant, but you “sound” like a used car salesman.

          • Lane Walker

            Oh, I didn’t know that. It’s the way I talk naturally, but I can fix that.

          • Spaced repetition is proven in language learning programs. It’s not a shift in learning method, it’s how it’s always has been. It’s how we learn everything as human beings, because the less we need something, the more likely we are to forget. I think a more practical approach, and this will be seen as heresy from everyone, would be to put off topics tht can’t be appreciated until a certain age. Why else do so many grade levels repeat topics? Because many topics can’t even be appreciated at certain levels of learning. Grammar is not retained much at all, which contributes to the united states’ problem with almost no one able to learn foreign languages. Save grammar nd other advanced topics untl they’re old enough to actually make a connection to the importance of it, which would also help retention.

            EDIT: Another problem is standardization. Many people are “late bloomers” and other people start strong and slow down. Tests *ARE* being done (IQ and the like) to put children in castes of where they “should” be for “their benefit.” Common core will only standardize this so people can’t move to get out of this lock. If we want a standard, we need a standard for what people need to know before graduating, and let teachers figure out what needs taught when.

          • Lane Walker

            I don’t think that is heresy at all. I’m sure you’re not saying that kids shouldn’t learn the meaning of % until the week before they take out a mortgage. What you are saying has to do with “age appropriateness,” and that is a popular topic right now. When I began teaching high school, I thought my job was to convey information; but I teach at a very competitive high school where administrators frequently ask the teaching staff, “What are YOU going to do when a student doesn’t ‘get it?'” One of the best things I can do is help my students to see why they need to know what I teach (motivate with relevance). I show them how the
            thought processes relate to exciting careers and everyday thought processes.

            For example, the first day of class, I have seating charts waiting for them at the door. Their job is to find their picture, see the number on their picture, then find that desk number and sit in it. Substituting
            themselves with a picture, then a number then a desk is a 3-step
            substitution. If they get that (and they all do) they are well on their way to understanding Algebra.

            About repeat topics: That brings up a word championed by the CCSS, “coherence.” You are correct that there is a astounding amount of repetition with traditional instruction, typically 33% of the year is a repeat from the year before. That can be seen by examing tables of content for several math books in a series. I think you nailed it when you said, “use it or lose it.” Traditional instruction is associated compartmentalization as opposed to coherence.
            Students memorize procedures to take the test. Then the content shifts to something unrelated. For example, teachers often
            do not connect multiplication as being the same as repeated addition in such a way that students think, “That makes sense. I can see that.” Under traditional instruction, each new number requires a separate set of steps to “do” addition/subtraction and multiplication/division (later root and power, integrate and derive…), and sometimes these operation inverses aren’t even connected with each other as subtraction undoes addition. That brings the total to four new sets of procedures with each kind of number (whole number, fraction, decimals,irrationals, and complex.)

            The CCSS-M writers do not subscribe to a testing policy associated with their work, and all of us who like the standards wish people
            would stop conflating the two issues. Also, I know from discussion forums that they support a “growth mind set” that believes IQ is not fixed . As long as I can remember, tests have been used to group kids (they did in the early 60’s; yes I’m that old). The good news
            is that writer Phil Daro has a whole video series on that explains how our instruction differs from Japanese. He explains that students work on some real life problems and use their own choice of tools they have previously learned to use. Tools can mean manipulatives, drawings, charts, graphs, and ultimately equations. I have listed those tools in order of mental challenge. So kids on the low end of development might figure the problem out using plastic disks and the most advanced students might produce an equation.
            Then the students are given an opportunity to present how they thought about the problem. Students who came to wrong conclusions aren’t shamed, rather encouraged as the class thinks together to help them revise their idea. Thus effort, rather than “being smart” gets the kudos. These kinds of activities FOLLOW direct instruction, allowing opportunities to review and expand ways of solving problems.

            There will always be students who do not pass grade-level expectations and move on. It is every teacher’s job to identify areas of weakness and shore them up. The new teacher evaluation systems consider “value added.” This means a student’s historical
            scores are compared with prior year(s). When teachers move students from, say, below grade level to at grade level
            or from at grade level to advanced, that is considered “value added.” This will be the incentive to give those late bloomers a lift when they are ready. Every year I have some kids grow from basic to advanced…obviously late bloomers.

          • However by proposing these standards the shortcomings will be more widespread than the shortcomings of the traditional method. The problem with over-standardization is when it becomes a restriction or holds people back. By the sounds of it, students are encouraged to work together (which in itself isn’t a bad thing), but it sounds to me like they’ll ultimately boost and hold each other back.

            However, also, you’ll find that trying to motivate students by telling them how x, y, and z leads to a, b, and c, you’ll find that they don’t get very motivated, especially the older ones. The nice thing about the traditional systems is that you either make the cut or it’ll bite you.

            It sounds like those of you who are doing it have the right intentions in mind, but i worry that you may be optimistic with your approach, especially when you’re doing things that make it confusing like the examples above (i’m amused by how we only ever see complaints about math, though). It took me a second read to actually figure out what you’re doing. It’s right, but without more context, i can’t criticize it, however that does look like an instructional, and it’s not giving us a “why” we’re doing it this way, which is why we’re hearing parents complain: they have no idea why things are being done a certain way, and it looks like you’re just making random rules that no one knows why it’s even working.

            Then there’s talk about “fuzzy math” and the like, but those topics are whole new can of worms.

          • Lane Walker

            Research backs the changes CCSS make, but I don’t believe in linking a bunch of studies few will read and understand. Instead I point to Singapore math that has been used very successfully by US home schoolers and CCSS is closely aligned to Singapore. Here is good overview of the problem with US math and exactly how CCSS-M will correct it in ways that will make sense to you.

            Students are changing with technology. Few US students can “track” a 20-minute math lesson any more. Retention seems to be dropping. While CCSS does not endorse a particular way of teaching, working in groups (studies say < 6, I prefer 2-4) is improving my students scores. I must say it takes a whole lot more work to write a group lesson than a lecture. The goal with group work is to draw out of each student what they are capable of reasoning out, putting the task slightly beyond the comfort level of the high end students' ability to, say, write an equation. Meanwhile the lower level students are stretched to be able to sketch a picture or start constructing the table. As students begin to share out, the lower levels are drawn into the upper level thoughts and the upper level see how other people see things too. I find it to be hugely productive. My students achieved almost 40% value added this year and don't recall ever seeing anything like that. I credit interactive learning.

            Algebra has gotten to be too important for students these days because most of the new jobs are STEM related. For that reason, I do everything I can to help each one "make the cut" and I have never met a student within normal ranges of intelligence that I felt was incapable. The hardest thing as you alluded to is motivating them. So the way I get them motivated to see how abc relates to xyz is to give them realistic scenarios and tools to solve problems. It's a challenge but exciting thing to see them get "into" it.

            I agree the first example is a gross exaggeration. Better is something like 329+17 = 329+1+17-1 = 330+16 I just saw a post by a vet who said he learned to do that in the military. It's how people make change in their heads. Each kid is different and teachers are finding kids enjoy explaining to each other how they do it. It also teaches number sense. Kids grow up thinking a number is like a piece of concrete and can't be changed or represented different ways, compartmentalizing everything. It is important they understand the idea of "decomposition." It figures into fractions too. Just as 3 = 1+1+1, 3/7 = 1/7 + 1/7 + 1/7 That is not intuitive for a lot of kids unless it is explained to them and they work with pieces with their own hands.

            I asked one of our State reps why he was voting against CCSS, and he said the same thing you mentioned here (no idea why…). Several State reps have told me they felt intimidated by angry parents and they blamed schools for not explaining better. So here I am trying to explain, hoping it's not too late.

          • I like how it makes it sound like things are more flexible, but with the trend of things it’s hard to swallow. I’ll have to give it the benefit of the doubt, but you should know that anything with the words “common” or “standard” at this point is not going to be well received in the current political environment, especially when education, especially lately, is notorious for standardizing propoganda (the most famous examples being the obama songs).

            I will say, however, that things are going to be worse if the homework and such can’t easily be linked by a parent to the lesson. Math isn’t a hard topic for me, but that example above was not only a bad example, as you said, but it was written using confusing language. Everything was written in the imperative tense, which makes that, especially as it is showing what you could do to make it easier, very unnatural. Also a clearer explanation would help. Where it says “think:” you could say “because,” then below that you can say “therefore you can do this to make it easier to do in your head.” What we’re really doing is showing the properties of addition without giving them formalized names like we do under the traditional system. I know the target group might not be old enough to fully understand conditional tense, but it would make it alot easier on the parents who are trying to help their children decipher it.

          • I finally watched the video, and it reminds me of an old essay called “A Mathematician’s Lament.” It’s a good read, kinda cheesy as it was half written for parents, but it proposes that the problem is that teachers and students are loosing the why, and thus are doing exactly what this guy’s saying. Although i would argue that fraction knowledge may not be the end-all answer, i think the bigger thing to focus on is the total lack of understanding of why we do things. I retained from school the things that were explained, but i don’t retain the math that we do things that way because that’s how it’s done. Sure, history lessons on things is boring, but it really helps to have a why.

          • Lane Walker

            I agree with you. I watch a lot of videos on to get ideas. Also CCSS writer Phil Daro has a lot of videos on where he explains Japanese teaching strategies. There is so much for teachers to learn. One estimate I heard was between 90-180 hours of professional develop is needed for most teachers to fully understand CC math and the balance of conceptual understanding with procedural fluency. Based on what I have learned on my own so far, I would give some direct instruction to the class for adding two numbers, have students try one with a partner, and then have some students present their different methods to the class. For homework, I would provide a few problems with instructions something like, “Show how you could add each pair of numbers two different ways by breaking the numbers apart and regrouping.” For the parents, I would provide an example at the top of the page…and I always provide my email and phone number. In my opinion, the homework should only have about 4 of those in one evening because they have to be thought through two different ways. I remember my kid coming home with 50, multi-digit multiplication problems once and vowed I would never do that to anyone else’s kid!

          • I could go on for hours about issues with homework becoming the teacher (instead of the reinforcer), teachers who use homework to keep kids from doing drugs (which also keeps them from studying topics on their own due to time constraints), etc. Unfortunately, not much can be done about that.

          • Lane Walker

            I do family meetings with my 130 families every fall to help them understand which classes are great opportunities to learn about consequences (failing Health => summer school), and then classes like Algebra. If a student gets behind in math, a year lost can have life-long consequences as far as colleges, scholarships, even what kinds of friends the student begins to gravitate toward. In elementary, summer vacation is a great opportunity to get caught up and preview next year; but in high school, catching up on a bad year usually requires heroic interventions. I also explain that inability to focus seems to be increasing from year to year, probably related to : Teachers are having to use many different approaches to effect engagement because way too many kids don’t track with a “lesson.” When parents find themselves being the teacher, I suspect engagement issues during class. If it’s consistent from year-to-year, I recommend looking into physiological components as well as professional guidance in disciplining the mind to focus. I’ve seen kids go from F-A within a few months.

            Research-based homework recommendations are fairly consistent at around: 10-15 minutes per night in K-1 and an additional 10 per grade. If the homework assigned goes much beyond that, it would be fairly easy to arm oneself with some data and complain.

          • I’m curious by what exactly you mean by physiological problems.

            Anyway, i’m not too kosher with that TED guy. I’ve seen some good ones, and i’ve seen some bad ones, and this i’m going to throw out as a bad one. He’s already implying almost right off the bat that certain things are permanent (language ability being the most obvious error, as there are plenty of exceptions where new sounds can become part of someone’s fluent vocabulary, and quickly, mind you [I have personally trained myself and others to make sounds that don’t exist in english and you can become fluent with them in mere days, which is alot faster than most children]). He emphasizes that early life development, suggesting that afterwards it’s way too late, however provides no more evidence than a vague single graphic. This totally suggests, without evidence, that things in the brain do not change once it’s grown. (I won’t deny that it isn’t an important time, especially since they’re so easily dedicated to learning at this time, however to suggest doomsday otherwise is harmful, and can even lead to this over-stimulation issue.)

            Interestingly enough, this was in the related links, and i find it much more useful (and even challenges that guy’s lingual suggestion):

            Moreover, without being in a position of power with money, a group, or something like that, it’s not so easy to collect data in regards to excessive homework, especially when the problem is a small group or individual in a large area.

          • Lane Walker

            I think this language guy is onto something. The only words I remember from living in Germany are “crisis” words.

            By physiological I mean, stuff a pediatrician would check out.

            I agree that watching the “wrong” cartoons wouldn’t necessarily bring long-term disabilities. I’m thinking they might contribute to the struggles kids have focusing and retaining but I also believe in a “growth mindset.” My son told me half the guys in his engineering classes took Adderall but they seem to ditch it after awhile as they learn to slow down their minds and focus better. Because I have to “read” hundreds of pages of text and numbers every week, I skim constantly and I have to be very intentional to slow that down for technical reading. I’m thinking kids would find it more difficult than an adult to bring their minds into subjection like that and for that reason, I thought the correlation between the cartoons and rampant focus issues made sense. We used to blame it all on sugar and that likely has a component as well, but things seem to be getting much worse.

            On the bright side, I’m seeing kids much more willing to “figure stuff out” than I ever have before. I think it comes from having to learn all kinds of apps and games without direct instruction. I’ve designed about a dozen lessons where I put the kids in groups and give them a problem to analyze that’s just a bit outside their comfort zones. The conclusions they come up have been very impressive and it’s so exciting to see them so proud of themselves when they get the right solutions. It’s a whole lot more work to teach this way but it looks like the way to go to develop the problem-solving skills required by the upper levels of the Common Core.

          • What bothers me is that SAT and such are starting to cater to common core, and i plan on going back to school,eventually.

            Anyway, yeah. The important thing is that we need to understand that things can change and that there’s never a ‘too old.” Interestingly enough, i’m hearing stories about some “special needs” students can sometimes “return to normal classes.” I’m one of the kids they put on Ritalin and the side effects were horrible. It was “the one that worked.” I could go on hours how we’re over medicating kids for being what we’ve ultimately trained them to be (I also want to argue that over-stimulation and such can be beneficial, as well as under-stimulation, and that the real key is to learn when to speed-up and when to slow-down).

            I would like to propose, however, that alot of this over-stimulation has to do with stressful families. Not only is technology getting faster, but alot of home lives are busy, busy, busy. In many families now, both parents work, which leads to lots of babysitting and daycare which leads to alot more of these overstimulating cartoons. I’m seeing a big issue today (and it was the same before, but carried out a different way when i was young) where adults are trying to give the children stimulating things so that they can do other things. One of my favourites from my childhood was “you need to go outside.” Ever hear how kids respond to that one? “What do i do out there?” The following responses from the parents is usually as useful as the original suggestion. I think one of the biggest problems today with over-stimulation is that society itself is over-stimulating, and everything’s “fast.” I’ve heard old farts say this, but i don’t recall it being normal for a 24 year old like me to be saying the world has gotten way too fast (which in itself should stand out with my ADHD diagnosis).

          • I like how it makes it sound like things are more flexible, but with the trend of things it’s hard to swallow. I’ll have to give it the benefit of the doubt, but you should know that anything with the words “common” or “standard” at this point is not going to be well received in the current political environment, especially when education, especially lately, is notorious for standardizing propoganda (the most famous examples being the obama songs).

            I will say, however, that things are going to be worse if the homework and such can’t easily be linked by a parent to the lesson. Math isn’t a hard topic for me, but that example above was not only a bad example, as you said, but it was written using confusing language. Everything was written in the imperative tense, which makes that, especially as it is showing what you could do to make it easier, very unnatural. Also a clearer explanation would help. Where it says “think:” you could say “because,” then below that you can say “therefore you can do this to make it easier to do in your head.” What we’re really doing is showing the properties of addition without giving them formalized names like we do under the traditional system. I know the target group might not be old enough to fully understand conditional tense, but it would make it alot easier on the parents who are trying to help their children decipher it.

          • Joe McIntyre

            I guess it was a fluke we who predate calculators in school can do fractions both on paper and in our heads! Amazing!

          • Lane Walker

            Calculators: Yes and no. I often have 2-part tests, one part with a calculator and one without. Kids need to know how numbers and operations and work, but they also need to have the connected understanding of how the technology works. Graphing calculators get kids into some pretty heady investigations connecting the appearances of graphs with the numbers in the table and related equations. I have them cross-checking a lot when they do homework. Teachers really need to be diligent, though, to keep kids from becoming calculator-dependent. I’ve been able to create some realistic problems where kids fit a curve to a data set related to, say, the path of indoor pyrotechnics. That would be almost impossible without a graphing calculator but related to a lot of high-tech jobs like digital signal processing. I think it is short-sighted to prepare kids for college. They need to be aware of what is beyond. As I have moved toward CCSS math, I’ve had to learn more about science and statistics and how it all connected…especially when technology is added in.

          • Daisy Duke

            why don’t you go work in the White House – I’m sure your good friend obama would love to make use of you and your Commone Core nonsense! Maybe the princess michelle could put you to work on her ridiculous takeover of school linch as well

          • Denver Bob

            When you are teaching fractions – use a pie. (not pi)

          • Lane Walker

            Pie is not on my diet but I guess it wouldn’t hurt the kids.

          • Justin Bassett

            Your logic is flawed — I did great in Calc and Calc II (and understood it), but Algebra still whips my ass up and down the yard.

          • JonDillinger2016

            You are trolling. Stop.

          • Big George

            You obviously don’t know what the word, “trolling” means.

          • Tom Novak

            If as you say, “Math is best when it is not taught one-way-for-all.”, then why was the student berated for the honest answer HE used to get the answer he got?
            You went on to say “The “one-way” method of instruction ends up producing a “robotic approach” because students can’t adjust their memorized methods to fit different contexts”. Shouldn’t that read “The “MY WAY” method…”? It sounds like you are saying they need to be flexible to learn the way they learn best, as long as it is the idiotic way we are going to teach it!
            Sounds like more “progressive liberal” logic to me!

          • Lane Walker

            Was he berated? Let’s keep this a civilized discourse or I will have to bow out. To answer what I think your question is…The student was required to explain how he got is his answer and he declined to do so. The lesson was not just about adding/subtracting. It was about understanding PLACE VALUE. Place value is causing kids a lot of confusion in this country. It’s related to “units” which gets messed up in science…very important. CCSS start building foundations for understanding place value in Kindergarten: K.NBT Work with numbers 11–19 to gain foundations for place value. This example people are making fun of is a second grade problem (2.NBT.5) so explaining using the words hundreds, tens, and ones would not be too difficult. The same kids who don’t have a solid understanding of place value in 2nd grade, have a very difficult time understanding sizes of decimal numbers like 0.8 vs. 0.75. They think 0.75 looks much better. This topic that we’re discussing here shows it is important not to try to learn math as little packages of memorized steps. Instead, the steps connect logically to concepts that are more complicated. When teachers teach in such a way that it prepares students for the next higher level, the whole process is easier for the student (both in math and in math used in science). I hope this helps.

          • reaganite22

            Feel free to bow out. You obviously have an agenda or you wouldn’t have posted so very many times here.

          • sjc0116

            Funny how centuries of teaching math the ‘old’ way worked so badly it lead to the period of time of the most advancements and innovations in human history. so throw it away because it doesn’t work for every single person. as for ‘place value’… wow you hit that one. how did all those scientists, that didn’t have, CC put man in space, cure diseases.. how did they manage without you. And forget the ancient Egyptians who built massive buildings and monuments without understanding the the ‘size of decimals’ taught by CC. It isn’t how math is taught that is wrong. It is how teachers teach. how people utilize what they are taught. I learned place values without CC. I learned mathematics without CC and I worked with scientists and NASA to analyze the affects of various events in space on objects passing through the atmosphere. must have been pure chance.. right?

        • David Moore

          Linda, you use algebra everyday. You just filled up your car with 13 gallons of gas; you traveled 130 miles since the last time you filled up. How many miles per gallon did you get? 13 * x = 130. Looks like algebra to me. Don’t sell yourself short baby. But you are only getting 10 mpg; you should probably sell that gas guzzler. 😉

      • Papi

        “26+17=30+17-4” ???? What is wrong with 26+17?

        • David Moore

          There’s nothing wrong with it. And for the record it has ALWAYS been 30 + 13, even when you add them the traditional way. I can add those number in two steps George. 6+7 is 13. what? and 1 + 2 + 1 is, wait for it…4! Hallelujah it’s raining 43’s!

          • Lane Walker

            And, at that point in a real classroom, kids are high-fiving instead of falling asleep.

      • Carrol Aery

        still damned stupid
        Band Director

        • Big George

          How wide does your mouth open when you talk?

      • Gregory Thomas

        6+7=13 Write the 3 carry the 1
        2+1+the carried 1=4
        The answer is 43
        Why make this so complicated?

        • Lane Walker

          Your method would certainly be on the table when the kids talk about how they added in their heads, but is often easier to regroup with friendly numbers (fives, tens…) for most people if they know how, particularly with subtraction. On another note, “Write 3 carry the one” does work.but a lot of number sense is left out. The “1” isn’t “1.” It is 10. So what happens when kids have just memorized without understanding place value? If they manage to remember to work left to right with that method, that’s just one hurdle. If not they write 41 + 82 = write a 2 and carry the 1 to get 24…seriously. But most kids get beyond that and move onto decimals where they add without understanding place value 3.2 + 5 = 3.7. So the teacher pounds into their head, “Line up the decimal.” So the kid lines up the decimal. The next week the poor kid is trying to multiply decimals and lining up the decimals but the teacher says he doesn’t have to line up the decimals to multiply. When students learn about place value, they are also learning about “like terms” which is Algebra. Adding tens to tens and ones to ones is related to adding x’s with x’s and y’s to y’s in Algebra. When the students memorize “carry the 1,” they miss out on all this number sense…which is why we have the problems we have with kids not being able to pass their college math classes.

      • When I took Math Education, it was well known that there were different ways to teach math, and different kids learned better in one way or another. The old 1 room school house you would teach one way, and the students who didn’t get it that way would be taught another way, and anyone who didn’t get it the first two would get taught a third way… Common Core ignores that, and tries to teach one way…and the 30% of kids who don’t get it that way, well sucks to be them.

        • Lane Walker

          I disagree entirely. Everywhere the standards say “explain,” those are places where the teacher is expected to either present multiple ways or have kids explain different ways.

      • Levi Jones

        I like to think I’m pretty good at basic math. I can add/subtract and multiply/divide fairly large numbers in my head. It’s a nifty skill to have as I’m studying engineering. And I do most my head calculations very similar to this “Common Core” style. The problem with it is it makes ZERO sense on paper to some one that doesn’t yet understand math. And the reason it makes no sense is this whole pulling numbers out of thin air thing. For your example: “26+17=30+17-4.” where the heck does that 4 come from? This is an addition problem, not addition and subtraction (it’s actually more like algebra than basic math). You aren’t going make anyone understand that it doesn’t appear out of thin air, it’s just restructured, until they know basic Algebra. A FAR better way to teach it is exactly how I was taught it in kindergarten which is more like “26+17=20+10+7+6=30+13=43.” It’s not really different than the Common Core method, except it actually makes sense AND you can visualize it. There’s no numbers appearing out of no where. 26 is 2 tens and 6 ones, 17 is 1 ten and 7 ones, add the tens and ones. That gives us 3 tens and 13 ones, carry one ten over and get 4 tens and 3 ones, gives us 43. Doing this not only teaches them basic addition, but they learn place value as well. This way they don’t make the “2.25 + 3=2.28.” Basically Common Core is trying to teach Algebra without actually teaching Algebra. That’s just for addition/subtraction. The multiplication/division Common Core methods make even less sense all the way around.

        • Lane Walker

          The restructuring (decomposing) actually happens in Kindergargen, K.OA 3.Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way and the kids are doing very well with this. They enjoy playing with chips and regrouping them and sharing their ideas. You are correct to notice that it is very much like Algebra. That is the point. Algebra is nothing more than generalization of what we do with numbers. So the better number sense we can develop in the kids, the easier Algebra is for them. The kids visualize restructuring in all different ways and expand their natural perspectives by listening to their classmates explain the way they see it. This can happen in class discussions or working in pairs.What you were taught in kindergarten is, as you say, CCSS. I think the way you showed it is exactly the way I would think about it but no every kid sees like we do. Which multiplication/division methods did you not like. I might be able to explain those to you. I went, “what the heck!” when I first saw some of this stuff, but the more I see how it’s really working into Algebra, I think of it as a work of art.

      • Tom Novak

        Your argument shows why you think this crap is the easy way to do math! It makes no sense either!
        There are some basic RULES you have to learn and aligning decimals is one of them! If a student beyond the second grade adds 2.25 and 3 and comes up with anything but 5.25, YOU, the teacher have failed!
        What is the supposed benefit of making a person gyrate through a simple problem and have to solve a conversion by addition, another addition problem and then a subtraction problem to get the answer one simple addition problem could do?

        • Lane Walker

          Here is a pic of some more rules: The CCSS develop a strong number sense. Example: Just as the number 5 is composed of 5 ones, 5/7 is composed of 5 sevenths. That sounds like way too much work but it makes sense why 3/7 + 2/7 = 5/7. Under traditional instruction, when a kid adds 3/7 + 2/7 they commonly say that’s 5/14 because when you multiply, you multiply straight across so we must do the same for adding. The memorized way means memorizing hundreds of procedures and keeping them all straight. Not very many kids can do that.

          • Deborah L

            I surely don’t remember memorizing hundreds of procedures to do fractions. Don’t remember having any problems in science in the 70’s either. We didn’t have kindergarten teaching 1st grade subjects and there wasn’t any pre-k either. I went to a parochial school that was very advanced for the times, we had SRA and phonics and even watched some TV programs on the PBS station, Great Books Club, etc. Our teacher in 1st grade had the magnetized 10 finger hands to use for learning number placement of the 10’s, I don’t remember if we worked past 100’s or not, too long ago. And in learning 3/7 + 2/7 there is no way the answer would have been 5/14, whoever came up with this was taught wrong and it sure doesn’t take memorization to remember that.

            I have not had to use a lot of the math learned since those days, and would have to really go back and relearn Algebra even, after 40 yrs though I still do remember some facts and rules.

            And some kids are born with certain things they can do and do well at, some may be able to the basics.

          • Lane Walker

            I’d say your parents got their money’s worth. I didn’t mean hundreds of procedures just for fractions, though. I had in mind the totality of math through high school. From what I’ve seen of examples from elementary textbooks, I think the confusion over 3/7 + 2/7 comes when kids are reminded to “add the numerators and keep the denominators” instead of reminded about what they are doing with a pie picture or something like that. When the words are the emphasis, it’s completely understandable why many students confuse “multiply straight across” with “add straight across” and “add numerators and keep denominators” is confused with “multiply denominators and keep the numerators.” The kids are smart; but lots of them don’t remember things that don’t seem important.

        • David Moore

          absolutely right Tom

      • David Moore

        I’ll tell you want’s wrong with it Lane. Because the banks and the IRS don’t care HOW you got the wrong answer. Because when you design a bridge that fails, nobody will ask HOW you figured the dynamic load on the stressed members. They will only point to the dead people floating down the river.

        The kid that adds 2.25 + 3 and gets 2.28 will undoubtedly do a fine moving rock from one place to another.

        • Lane Walker

          In an engineering context, explaining how we get answers is important when one engineer says we need ____ amount of rebar and the other says, no just _________. As kids and engineers explain their thinking, they see why they came to different conclusions. This kind of cross-checking is important for preventing accidents. So are you saying you believe that any kid who gets poor training about place value and gets confused is doomed to failure? I totally disagree. Every year I see kids like that. I walk them through the CCSS progressions and sometimes they end up being very good students by the end of the year.

          • David Moore

            Engineers don’t explain their thinking Lane. Calculation are based on MATH, not conjecture, we leave that for architects. An engineer doesn’t “think” you need this much rebar; he tells the contractor, you need this much rebar.

            Good students by your standard perhaps? If 2 + 2 = 5, that’s called failure, no matter how well a student can explain how he got that answer. Holding hands, singing kumbaya around the campfire, and creating one size fits all teaching methods may make all you academics feel good Lane, but in the REAL world, the correct answer is all that matters.

        • Big George

          Are you joking? A bank is sure as heck going to care how an incorrect answer slipped through the system if it winds up costing them money. They’re going to pay lots and lots of money to someone to sift through all their records and analyse exactly what went wrong. Similarly, if a bridge collapses, you can bet your bottom dollar that the lawyers will have an astute mathematician reworking every detail to find where it went wrong and who was to blame.

      • meliorist

        “What is wrong with asking a student to explain how they do that?”

        (a) It’s a waste of time.

        (b) They don’t have to do it the way you prescribe, and it’s wrong to insist that they do.

        Let’s say you give a kid twenty random arithmetic problems, and the kid answers them all correctly in under a minute. That kid has proved that they understand the arithmetic in your test. Asking them to explain exactly how they went about solving each sum will not add anything useful to the information you have already gleaned from the accuracy and speed of the child’s response.

        Guaranteed, if the child is fluent in arithmetic, they will (a) not always use the same methods to solve superficially similar problems, and (b) not always rely on conscious, step-by-step processes to arrive at their answers. Requiring them to spell out some dogmatic procedure will not even tell you how the child actually solved the sums you gave. It will only tell you that the child is willing and able (though not necessarily happy) to obey and conform to your pointless and time-wasting stipulations.

      • Deborah Watson Steele

        The difference is subtraction. Subtract one number from the other. I don’t see a problem with just giving the answer. Why make it more difficult? And “26+17=30+17-4”, why would we want to do that?

        • Lane Walker

          There isn’t a problem of just giving the answer but the lesson is more than just about subtraction. This lesson is also about place value. CCSS teaches how math concepts are related to each other. In this case, the student is learning about place value along with subtraction. They get long-term retention from writing. We all know when we write, we remember.

          • Honduran

            The original example; 26+17=30+17-4 actually is incomplete reasoning as it does not show where the “4” came from. A complete deconstruction
            would be 26+17=26+4+17-4= From there you can recompose the addition problem as 30+13=43. Alternately, since the +4 and -4 can be canceled (addition rule), you can recompose the problem as 26+17= since there are no parenthesis to show the sequence of operation. I contend that the original example does not show the complete deconstruction because you need to memorize a “rule” that you can’t add the 4’s together first. Also note that to get “30” in the original example, which 26+4 you must add the 6 and the 4 then CARRY the “1” to change the “2” in the ten’s place to a 3, the very operation that CCSS desperately seeks to avoid.

          • Lane Walker

            The CCSS only uses the word “carry” in the context of Geometric transformations. The goal of 26+4 is that of working with tens. It is a focus on place value, rather than shuffling digits around. This focus on place valve will minimize the number students we currently have who are 14 years old and think 0.75 looks bigger than 0.8. So 26+4 is not about carrying a one (which really doesn’t make sense), it is about creating 30.

          • Lane Walker

            The word “carry” does not appear in the CCSS except with respect to geometric transformations. The point of 26+4 is to create an additional 10. Thus, mental math like this also helps build a solid understanding of place value, as opposed to just memorizing a way to shuffle digits around. There is no “1” to carry because it is a 10. Building a solid understanding of place value in the big scheme of things minimizes the number of students that enter my high school math classes thinking 0.75 looks bigger than 0.8

          • Lane Walker

            I agree that the original example does not show the complete decomposition, but kids don’t always show everything they see in their heads when they explain what they are doing and that would play into the class or peer discussion. (We are doing less lecture and more interaction with kids because, we’re in the tech age and, in our country, kids don’t sit for 7 hours in their seats with their hands folded intently hanging on the teachers’ words. I also agree you would not want to go around in circles communting the 4 and -4 to get zero. No special rule needs to be made up, though. CCSS has SMP’s that apply to every grade. In this case, SMP 7 applies in that students are to develop a habit of examining the structure before diving in an doing something unproductive or inefficient. CCSS does not use the word “CARRY” except in geometric transformations. In fact, it would not be a “1,” it would be a “10.” Instead of shuffling digits around, “put it over the 2,” students learn to add “like terms,” tens to tens and ones to ones. So the student is breaking the numbers apart to make tens. Don’t you think it’s cool how this ends up flowing into adding with “like fractions,” “like terms,” , and “like radicals” in Algebra?

          • Honduran

            I don’t think the EXAMPLE of how to solve the problem is by a student, but by an instructor, in order to TEACH the procedure. Further, “examining the structure” does not in any way leads a student to a process that necessarily results in combining 26+4 and 17-4 without the use of parenthesis i.e.(26+4)+(17-4). That would be a bit more rigorous, however, that would not be a proper mathematical application of parenthesis as they do not define the problem beyond the original question.
            You state that “SMP 7…students are to develop a habit of examining the structure before diving in an doing something unproductive or inefficient.” It would be my contention that the EXAMPLE of how to proceed in 26+17= is both unproductive and inefficient!

            Finally you say that “…kids don’t always show everything they see in their heads when they explain what they are doing…” Based on that guidance, I would say that a kid that says 26+17=43, and the process used is merely stated as “MATH”, the kid should receive full credit!

          • Lane Walker

            Video of a 1st grade class composing/decomposing:
            Video of 3rd grade class doing this:

            The students who are too young to write (or disabled), explain verbally

            For the second problem, where the student merely stated “MATH,” the issue is not that of efficiency, rather he missed half of the point of that particular problem. Sometimes problems are solved for more than one reason. In this case 1) subtract 2) explain the significance of place value. Kids who are fuzzy with place value think 0.75 > 0.8 . That is a huge problem with US kids because they traditionally have not had much of intentional, conceptual development of place value understanding.

            The use of parentheses in mathematics is not restricted to “defining the problem beyond the original question.” For example, this is how polynomial addition is shown in Algebra textbooks (3a + 2b + 7c) + (5a + 2b +6c). The purpose of the parentheses is simply to highlight structure, as would be in (26 + 4) + (17-4). This points to the beauty of the way basic arithmetic flows gradually and directly into Algebra when taught with understanding and “math sense.”

          • Lane Walker

            Video of a 1st grade class composing/decomposing:

            Video of 3rd grade class doing this:

            Students who are too young to write (or disabled), only explain verbally. Others are sometimes required to explain i writing.

            For the second problem, where the student merely stated “MATH,” the issue is not that of efficiency, rather he missed half of the point of that particular problem. Sometimes problems are solved for more than one reason. In this case 1) add 2) explain the significance of place value. Kids who are fuzzy with place value think 0.75 > 0.8 . That is a huge problem with US kids because they traditionally have not had much of intentional, conceptual development of place value understanding.

            The use of parentheses in mathematics is not restricted to “defining the problem beyond the original question.” For example, this is how polynomial addition is shown in Algebra textbooks (3a + 2b + 7c) + (5a + 2b +6c). The purpose of the parentheses is simply to highlight structure, as would be in (26 + 4) + (17-4). This points to the beauty of the way basic arithmetic flows gradually and directly into Algebra when taught with understanding and “math sense.”​

          • Deborah Watson Steele

            This is the most ridiculous and confusing way of teaching place value that I have seen in 50 years. I’m glad I learned back when people had sense.

        • Deborah L

          This I believe in days past and in younger grades just learning the concepts of math using 10’s as a value system, would have been called regrouping; thus you want to take the 26 up to the next 10 by subtraction from the lessor number. They should be teaching this in 1st grade I think now.

      • sjc0116

        kids can’t do this because machines do it for them. It isn’t the math basics that are wrong. it is how kids are taught today and the reliance on machines to ‘make change’ Lady.. why do you think generations of kids COULD do this in their heads before CC?

        • Lane Walker

          Lots of kids dropped out in middle school before, but I agree that’s no excuse for allowing kids to become calculator-dependent now. As someone pointed out, we went through a period where some short-sighted folks believed NOTHING needed to be memorized. Kids were discouraged from memorizing basic math facts (memorizing basic math facts IS in the CCSS). But the taboo against rote memory, in general, is still part of the school culture I disagree with. Kids should memorize stuff like poetry because it is good for their brains to do that, in my opinion. In some schools, in some generations, math sense was taught along with procedures. Our country has been a patchwork of good and bad. Good math is a strong balance of understanding and procedural fluency. There are 3 things I really like about CCSS-M: basic math facts, conceptual understanding, and application to real life.

      • Well. There’s an old saying “If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it”. Nothing was broken about our current system and our band aid here, which is Common Core, makes it 10 times worse. We’re not laughing about fixing it…this is the equivalent of drilling a hole in someone’s head to cure a headache. The effort was commendable…the end result not so much. Common Core is a joke. The students barely understand it, the parents don’t understand it, heck even the teachers are fumbling. If we’re trying to help kids…we’re doing it wrong.

      • Harry_the_Horrible

        Dunno what you are trying to say.
        When I look at at 26+17, I get (20 + 10) + (6+7) = 30 + 13 = 43.
        Worrying about subtracting 4 from 7 is a waste of time.

      • Harry_the_Horrible

        Dunno what you are trying to say.
        When I look at at 26+17, I get (20 + 10) + (6+7) = 30 + 13 = 43.
        Worrying about subtracting 4 from 7 is a waste of time.

        • Lane Walker

          Yes, and if we were all in third grade, the kids that didn’t see it “your way” the first time would be very impressed with you! This is what these kinds of activities look like in first grade:

          • Harry_the_Horrible

            Sorry. I have been through first grade, long, long ago, and we didn’t need to count on our fingers or with tokens. Occasionally we used an abacus, but that pretty seldom.
            Nor were we motivated with “leprechaun traps.” Dunno what the heck they’re teaching.
            We were just taught to stack the numbers and carry the tens (that was the horizontal version of that…).

  • Howard Wright

    I have a math degree and I had to read it 3 times to finally figure out what they were doing. Completely inefficient and confusing.

    • Lane Walker

      See my comment above. I’ve taught hs & college math. The problem is our kids are not learning number sense. Here is what is confusing the kids: Each of those procedures is the “easy way,” but they get all jumbled. Here are some short videos put out by an umbrella organization of the CC writer Bill McCallum. See if the scenario changes in your mind:

      • Carrol Aery

        Band Director

        • Big George

          Really? You seriously just posted the word, “stupid” and called it a day? Are you 12?

      • gangletron

        I have tried very hard to understand the common core method of approach. What I watched in the video and what is being taught by common core are two very different things. Basically, all it does is take the old system, and explained it in a way that makes it far more confusing by adding many unnecessary steps. If you also read about common core, you’ll find out that they do things such as give credit to students who show that 2+2=5, so long as they can show how they got to the conclusion. This method doesn’t teach number sense, it only makes it more difficult for people to attain it.

        • Lane Walker

          The video is put out by the CC writers, so I’m not sure what you mean by, “What I watched in the video and what is being taught by the common core are two very different things.” Lots of folks say, “Common Core does this” and it really doesn’t. I admit the standards and progressions docs are not an easy read because they were written for math teacher trainers and curriculum writers, so I consider myself to be a sort of go-between to help regular people understand why we need the math standards. (Mainly I just want to help my Country’s kids get good jobs.) Math is really not about steps, it is about patterns. Math puts real-life problems into symbols that can be analyzed. Where did you read that kids get credit for 2+2=5? I’ll give that person the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t deliberately trying to deceive you into rallying against the CC. What that person might have seen is that students will not be humiliated for explaining thinking that led to an incorrect answer. Incorrect answers in the CCSS are not used to make a student feel stupid but rather they are an OPPORTUNITY to talk about what didn’t work and learn from it. To get a feel for what it looks like, I would recommend watching some videos of classes (for teachers) on like this one:
          In the future, you might try insisting that people who say, “This is in the CCSS” prove it by quoting the standard and matching it up with the standards online. Most likely they won’t be able to give you a standard but you can call their bluff 😉 I can’t prove it to you unless you ask my district, but I work with a lot of kids who tell me in the fall they aren’t “good at math.” I help pull up their skills using the progressions of the CCSS and within 3 months they are very proud of themselves. They would tell you that understanding math is actually easier because then there isn’t much to remember. It just makes sense and you don’t have to remember if it makes sense.

          • Common sense

            The rest of the world is passing by and laughing at us because of this.

          • Lane Walker

            My experience with working with students and families with other countries is they are wondering why our math classes are so far behind theirs. I have known a couple of teachers who taught in other countries for awhile and they said the kids were way ahead. I don’t think other countries are laughing because of the CCSS but maybe you have different contacts.

          • Common sense

            CC was only implemented by states to receive the race to the top funding and no child left behind credits. It all boils down to money. Because if you are saying that to figure a problem out that should only take 2 steps and turn it into 4 steps is a better way of teaching? Somethings wrong with that.

          • Lane Walker

            I would agree that if it takes 4 steps to understand a problem and only two steps to know what to “do” the student should show they understand the 4 steps before letting them just do 2. However, if the student later asks, “Do I add or do I multiply,” I would go back to the 4 steps to rebuild the understanding. Otherwise the student continues to ask every year, “Do I add or do I multiply” and never actually learns any math.

          • DA

            I am also a math teacher (and partially completed a Ed.D in math education but opted to stay home to home educate my children instead of finishing).
            My opinion is that algorithms are taught because children are not developmentally ready for true understanding of what is happening in the patterns. But after a few years of “learning the basics,” they will work out what is happening. Some kids do not work it out on their own, they need remediation.
            What common core is doing is trying to force an understanding before the children are developmentally ready. The outcome will be confusion of everyone.
            This is the equivalent of switching from phonics to the Dolch sight word/whole language method. The result of that fiasco is absolute illiterate children. This new method for math will ensure they are innumerate as well.

          • Joe McIntyre

            hmmmm.. how is it Lane Walker has no elitist answer to this educated post?

          • Lane Walker

            Got lazy I guess. I just did.

          • d marks

            That is exactly what I believe and have been saying so. When I was working towards my bachelor’s and they talked about this stuff, I noticed that pretty much everyone in my class had an understanding of the concepts, yet were originally taught the ‘old way’ in math. I was amused that they claimed that students did not gain number sense when that’s exactly what was present. I know for myself, and I have a high IQ, I needed the algorithms first and the understanding came later. I mentally built upon the algorithms.

          • LuJohnson

            “What common core is doing is trying to force an understanding before the children are developmentally ready. The outcome will be confusion of everyone.”

            Perfectly stated!!!!

          • Susan Jones

            It does seem to me that the “understanding” is being taught… as an algorithm to be memorized, not understood. I know “new math” of a while back also tried to teach “understanding” — but it wasn’t developmentally appropriate.
            However, why should students be expected to “work it out on their own”? IT’s a great unequalizer. If you had my parents, you’d have ’em there to talk about math, show you stuff… show you how cool it is to make sense of math… but if not, you “learned” that, well, you weren’t any good at math, which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
            Concepts and algorithms aren’t mutually exclusive.

          • Lane Walker

            Interesting: “understanding is being taught. as an algorithm to be memorized.” I can’t say I ever thought of it exactly that way and that would, indeed be ironic. I know in some situations teachers’ attempts at a constructivist approach turned out to be kids hardly looking at a problem and socializing until the teacher gave them the answers. And not all high-performing countries use that approach, so the standards don’t require it. But, personally, I can only speak first-hand for myself here, I think kids are tuning out to direct instruction more and more. I know I’m not getting more and more boring, so I think it might have to do with: but that’s a guess. I have noticed that when I provide a realistic situation for the kids where they have to stretch a little beyond their comfort zone, and use logic to pull it together, getting ideas from each other, they are very proud of their accomplishments, exceed my expectations, and are showing huge growth on follow-up evaluations. If it weren’t happening, I would immediate go back to lecturing more because these activities take tons of time to write, they have to be tailored to the kids I’m working with, and I get a workout running around the room listening and encouraging. No one in their right mind would do all that if a lecture would accomplish the same thing. Another defense of the constructivist approach as it reflects real-life learning and problem solving. Rarely in real life does someone give us a worksheet, rather we are given a problem that is considered within our grasp and we take it from there. Sometimes we have to get a clue from outside ourselves, but developing that tenacity is huge.

            Another thought has to do with how kids grow into understanding. We may not be so far apart on this issue as it seemed at first. Understanding evolves with exposure. It’s not like the kids know everything there is to know about solving an equation after 1-2 lessons no matter which kind of instruction is used. I’m better explaining this from my experience as a high school teacher but I get that the general population doesn’t work with negative exponents every day but I really want to get a better idea of how you see things because it helps me in working with my students and families to know why they think the way they do. So back to fractions. Can you give me an example of what you feel should be memorized and what you feel should be understood?

          • Lane Walker

            I disagree about CC forcing an understanding before kids are ready for two reasons. One is the huge success people have been getting for years out of Singapore math, which is closely aligned to CCSS. A district next to mine has also been seeing very impressive gains switching to Singapore. The other reason is that CCSS allows time for children to present at multiple levels of understanding to analyze real-life problems. This is an instructional strategy so it is not specifically in the CC, but the standards free up time to let it happen. Currently there isn’t time for this bc a teacher pretty much spends the first 3 months of every school year reviewing memorized procedures. With your background, I’m thinking you would really enjoy seeing Instructional Specialist (CC writer) Phil Daro’s series that explains all that:

          • I am an English teacher. You are right about the debate between phonics and whole language. Phonics is about the mechanics of language, which every child MUST master, if they want a better understanding of how language works. Whole language is about context and deciphering codes, which you CANNOT do if you do not understand the mechanics of language. In other words, it is all MATH, people! 🙂

          • Lane Walker

            I have heard the “developmentally ready” argument and it seems to be coming from a document by signed by a group of early childhood specialists related to this research ( that has been taken out of context and circulated online. It’s long, so CCSS foes have not been worried that anyone would actually read it and call them out for the misrepresentation. The philosophy reflected in this report is that early learning should come through play and that CCSS could possibly discourage play by emphasizing expected learning objectives. They go on to say that CCSS are pretty much the only ones that mention play as a means to the goal. When I read those words,it doesn’t say to me they are storming town hall meetings because they hate CCSS. They have some genuine concerns about standards IN GENERAL.

            I do not understand why anyone would teach algorithms kids can’t understand and that certainly is not what we are seeing in kids using Singapore math, either as home schoolers or in the public school. Since Singapore math is closely aligned to CCSS, the “developmentally inappropriate” argument is hard to defend. Your opinion about memorizing algorithms first was what a lot of math teachers believed before we started working with newer ACT released questions and realized kids would have to understand the math. Few kids actually get around to the “understanding” part if they have gotten by with memorized algorithms. When I taught Calculus in a very traditional school, they had to modify standard formulas to solve problems and they couldn’t do it. In frustration they would say, “Just show us one way that works ever time” and “Give us an example for each problem.” To be clear, the CCSS do require fluency with basic algorithms, but in addition, the kids need to make sense of them.

            If you have a chance, these are what the CCSS writers are telling teachers kids need to understand about fraction algorithms: I also watch a lot of videos on the I work with high-risk Algebra I kids and within a very short period of time they inevitably say something like, “Math is really easy when I don’t have to remember so much. It makes sense and sense you don’t have to remember, because it’s natural.” Without making sense of the procedures, kids are left to memorize literally hundreds of steps and few can do it. Here are just a few:

          • Lane Walker

            I first saw claims of developmental inappropriateness when
            this came out:

            CC foes claimed that early childhood experts were trashing
            the CC. However, if one actually reads the document, you can see that it is a word of caution, not a rejection. Early childhood experts believe that learning best occurs within the context of play. Having ANY standards concerns them because there is always a risk that a child will be asked to do too much work and not enough play. In fact it’s really a call for care and balance. It’s not like they think a child should be able to do whatever they want. Either way, the question of developmentally appropriateness is a good question, and I have asked people making such claims to examine the kindergarten standards and explain their concerns. I invite you to do so as well.

            1. Count to 100 by ones and by tens.

            2. Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1)
            3. Write numbers from 0 to 20.
            4. Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
            5. Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20
            6. Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group
            7. Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.

            1. Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings,sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
            2. Solve addition and subtraction word
            problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
            3. Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record
            each decomposition by a drawing or equation
            4. For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or
            drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
            5. Fluently add and subtract within 5.

            Base 10 operations
            1. Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 18 = 10 +8); understand that hese numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six,seven, eight, or nine ones.

            1.Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
            2. Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter
            3. Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

            Geometry 1. Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
            2. Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
            3. Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional(“solid”).
            4. Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, indifferent sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).
            5. Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.6.
            Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For
            example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a

          • Mary Beth Comfort

            Are these developmentally appropriate standards set forth by the early childhood educators? If not who generated this list? And is this what an entering kindergartner is supposed to already know for readiness and success benchmarks?

          • Lane Walker

            The CC writers claimed there were, foes claimed there weren’t. I wasn’t there and with the inaccuracies I have been able to personally verify on the part of the foes (and they continue to proliferate inaccuracies even after they are explained to them), I would tend to believe the writers. Either way, early childhood educators are a diverse group. Some believe young children should ONLY be taught through play and they have signed a public statement of concern regarding structure in the CCSS. In that statement they voiced concerns of having ANY standards for young children but commended the CC for mentioning the importance of play in the index (unlike previous standards). I put my boys in Montessori pre-school because I liked their play-emphasis, but I also made sure they learned the basics expected before they went to Kindergarten and that often required structure. I never stressed them out with structure as some of the early childhood folks would claim. On Sunday mornings, I work with 12-15-month olds. I lay out a blanket and they crawl or toddle over for a 5-7 minute lesson that includes several songs and a story. They love it. After the first time, none of them have to be told what the blanket is for. So I disagree with the early childhood experts who advocate play-only. Another reason I feel the standards are age appropriate regardless who was consulted is because they closely follow which has been used by homeschoolers and some public schools for decades. In my thinking, homeschoolers in general are pretty careful about not messing up their kids with inappropriate learning materials. I had a discussion with a child psychologist just last week who thought the standards were inappropriate because she read “abstract” above the kindergarten standards. I explained to her that she was reading the “standards for mathematical practice” (SMP) which appear before each grade level’s standards. The SMP are ultimate goals, not meant to be completely accomplished at any point…like the goal “I want to be good.” So much of what we read about the evils of the standards are simple misunderstandings like that and, unfortunately, the clarifications don’t go viral.

          • sjc0116

            ridiculous. absolutely absurd. If my generation learned using the crap you are dishing.. this country never would have been a world leader. Think! how do you suppose computers developed WITHOUT CC?! How do you think man went to the moon and built airplanes, etc BEFORE CC?! by accident? Or because we understood mathematics? Anyone believing CC is a good thing, is part of why kids don’t know math. You are the problem. For generations math was taught correctly by showing basics.. 2 steps is all it takes.. that is it. The rest is noise and totally unnecessary and will cause generations to fall behind the rest of the world.. who by the way, are showing their children how to efficiently do math. Lady you need a new profession. ever hear of binary code.. or hexadecimal or octal. these are used in computer languages and the number scheme is not based upon 10.

          • Jerry Frost

            sjc0116, I am so glad you wrote!

          • Bluegrallis

            You add when this is in the equation + You multiply when this is X

          • Lane Walker

            Interesting you bring that up. We math and science teachers have noted for years that kids typically look at a word problem, pick out two numbers, then multiply or add to produce their answer. Multiple choice “wrong answers” are written to match those answers. This problem is because for as long as anyone can remember, students have not been taught how to decompose things and make sense out of them. Most teachers have not expected kids to be able to figure out word problems. Just memorize some steps. Next year the kids spend another 3 months reviewing the past memorized steps so they can memorize more. This isn’t working.

          • Mary Beth Comfort

            I contend that memorization and rote learning is a beneficial and necessary part of learning-esp in the early grades where the basic facts must be memorized in order to move on to higher level computations. You can “discover” and play with number sequences and readiness forever but until children memorize the facts they cannot progress to any next level. Obviously, I am speaking of the lower primary grades as that is my level of experience.

          • Lane Walker

            We all agree on that. Some people say the CC DOESN’T require memorization of basic math facts but anyone can open them online and scan for the word “fluent.” “Fluent” means memorized and able to quickly apply. CCSS have been compared with “fuzzy math” from prior decades where kids played in groups to try to figure out things way beyond their comprehension and it was a mess. Rather CCSS strike, in my opinion, an excellent balance of memorized facts WITH understanding why the facts actually make sense.

          • Mary Beth Comfort

            As a former primary teacher I do understand the need to balance out both. I loved teaching math to second and third graders and see the moment when they “got” it. good teachers have always done this. CC relies so heavily on the testing element and how the students must demonstrate their knowledge that it does force teachers into teaching methods that are not necessarily their strong suit thereby creating a more formulaic process. I despise the Pearson curriculum. Esp for the middle school ages. I was on the math curriculum committee for many years when I taught. My child learns directly in front of a computer all class. The computer models force the student to have to give information in the way the computer model is asking. There is no partial credit for understanding the process but making a wrong computation. This is very demoralizing to a student. My CC student now has no path to take Algebra 1 because he did not qualify by testing in 6th grade for compacted math.

          • Lane Walker

            I think most teachers have concerns about testing and those are local issues. My district, fortunately, has used a lot of common sense. NY trained teachers in Syracuse in February and tested their students in April! I have evaluated Pearson curriculum. They have some nice K-5 hands on ideas, but in their videos state things like, “So just add the numerators and keep the denominators,” basically training kids to play with manipulatives but do the “real math” by memorization. Some Pearson videos even refer to math as “magic tricks.” I tried to get Pearson to talk about it but haven’t had any luck yet. For those reasons, I recommend What kind of computer system have you been using to teach and test? Our district places students based on other factors besides testing and do a pretty good job of it. I typically only have 1-2% I would say were misplaced in Algebra I. I wouldn’t feel to bad about your child’s CC placement. What is often happening is kids get placed in 8th grade Algebra and don’t do well and NEVER recover from it. It’s far better to go for depth. I taught part-time at 2 colleges and talk to lots of folks who do. The consensus is that way too many kids arrive with a bunch of memorized-and-confused procedures that would be much better off with a few things they know very well. It’s really frustrating for everyone. Back to your child…it is possible he/she could take both Algebra 2 and Geometry in the same year to catch up with the kids who took Algebra I in 8th grade. My “A” Algebra I students do that quite handily. It just depends on the local curriculum whether or not that would work.

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            As the child “Learns” how to do new things, they use all four steps. Once they’ve mastered the concept, the don’t have to.

          • Lane Walker

            Yes. Often students forget after they have mastered and it is tempting to say, like, “Oh just multiply and add.” But the students who go on to be successful in Algebra 2 are the ones who are reminded of the concept from which they see “what to do.”

          • meliorist

            It’s true. Students in some countries are years ahead of their age-peers in other countries. What makes the difference? Well, it’s unlikely to be the Common Core. In countries that excel in mathematics (in the TIMSS and PISA rankings) usually follow a very traditional curriculum, and do lots and lots and lots of sums. They practice a great deal, and progress according to the principles of mastery learning (i.e., move on as soon as you have demonstrated mastery of a particular level, and not before). They master mental arithmetic early, and they are not required to give detailed explanations of how they arrived at the correct answer to simple arithmetical problems. Instead, they learn how to do arithmetic operations quickly in their heads. How quickly? You could Google “flash anzan” for an idea.

            Full mastery of the basics provides confidence, which enables rapid progress in more advanced topics.

          • Joyce Ewaniak Paul

            go do something exciting-you are obviously —bored
            Mom, successful teacher and not bored

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            No, the rest of the world is laughing at us as they pass because we don’t properly fun education in many parts of America, all the while spending hours watching “Honey Boo Boo” on TV while eating junk food.

          • LuJohnson

            Stereotype much, idiot?

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            My stereotype is my outrageous than “the world is laughing at us” comment?

          • RedStateKitty

            Your error was not that the world laughs at us as our children fail, but the assumption in error was that we don’t properly “fun” (sic) education.” If you meant “fund” then we have been throwing money at it for years and the problem is worse than before. Funding is not the problem. Methods of teaching are, as well as the stress on the wrong methods as well as abandoning content.

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            Congratulations, you found a typo. Here’s a cookie, you smart thing you.

          • RedStateKitty

            As usual for the totalitarian wanna-bees (I know that’s not correct spelling and Am not going to worry about it) you miss the point. Whether you typed “fun” or “fund,” I wasn’t 100% sure. You could have meant “fun” since some people in the “professional education” community think all lessons should be “fun.” But obviously from your immature retort, my point about the funding of education was what you meant. And my point is (again) we need not keep throwing good money after bad. The methods of the “professionals” have failed miserably. Yet they keep begging for more and more, holding up the kids as beneficiaries when its really the publishers and educational administrators that get the bucks — and the kids get the short end of the stick. We should also get the feds out of education as they waste even more than the local agencies do. Half or more is overhead (salaries, buildings, etc). And to be truthful, it is a STATE or local matter in the first place under the Constitution.

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            “Totalitarian wanna-be”

            My teenage daughter is less dramatic than you are. Congratulations.

            If the “old methods” worked so well, why are schools failing now? And how can Common Core be so terrible if it’s only currently being implemented and hasn’t had an opportunity to yield results?

            The truth is, you have a political agenda and would argue yourself breathless against anything that has the slightest hint of “Federal Oversight”.

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            Oh Lu. Are you bitter because you’re a failed, two-bit actor or are you just upset about the small penis thing?

          • Big George

            You’re such an angry little boy. Chill out. Stop calling people names. Are you in High School?

          • Capt Jack Obvious

            3.83* 10^26 applies to what real object? Kilometers and Miles convert into each other using which ratio? Volume = pi*z^2*A? Common Core method helps translating decimal to hexidecimal how? Arithmetic was not meant to be turned into a spreadsheet, it was built to be done in your head easily.

          • Lane Walker

            3.83*10^26 would apply to anything in the realms of large measurement, such as distance between planets. Units and unit conversions are hugely important in CC. Students see things differently. What you see easily in your head is not what everyone else sees. Some students need to get ideas of how to do math in their heads before they can do it themselves.

          • David Moore

            The operative word is “some” Lane. The rest of the kids deserve to be taught MATH. The truth why this program and others like it are being rolled out is that a large percentage of primary education teachers are dumb as stumps. My kindergartner can add ANY two integers. She can find x in a simple equation. Am I now supposed to allow her to regress into this nonsense because “some” kids don’t get it, and never will?

          • Lane Walker

            Great question. This might be a good place to bring up acceleration. Some kids will need to be provided ways to do that like they always have. I have not found elementary teachers to be dumb and most of them love their students dearly. It is true that, in general, research has shown that our elementary teachers do not receive anywhere near the training in math as they do in other countries. My sons were both told by their 5th grade teachers they would never be good at math and I worked with them and they are both engineers. That was back in the day when I was a secretary and had to re-teach myself to teach them. I LOVE the fact your kindergartner can add like that. The K.OA standards only require add/subtract through 10 and a bunch of “early childhood experts” have a doc floating around saying the CCSS are “age inappropriate”…give me a break! Besides the option of acceleration, another thing happens under the “explain” standards of CCSS. Kids explain at various levels. One example is to present a problem that kids can choose to solve with disks, charts, or even writing an equation. The teacher starts with the kids using the lowest level of understanding (disks), letting them explain, then the middle (charts), and finally the equations. This allows everyone the chance to put their understanding into words…hugely important in an age where technical writing is fast-growing expectation on the job. I think you would be very impressed with this:

          • David Moore

            I didn’t say teachers don’t love their students Lane, I do contend that a significant number have no business teaching math, let alone pretending to teach whatever you want to call this BS. Care to guess what group scores lowest on college math exit exams? Bingo, primary education teachers! Can you imagine, even for a second, that we are designing teaching methods to help teachers, not students?

            I am happy your kids turned out so well Lane. In the end, it is our ultimate responsibility as parents to teach our kids. But now that I can assume you don’t have kids in this program, why don’t you let those of us who do worry about it. I honestly don’t want my child taught a curriculum designed to teach “everyone” so we can all feel good that all our students have ability to explain how they got the wrong answer. The IRS et. al. don’t care.

          • Lane Walker

            Where have they done college exit exams to show this? That’s fascinating. I’ve learned to not take anything on faith these days so please tell me how I can verify that one. Shhhhh…about the designing teaching methods to help teachers. Few people like to change but I have been presenting at a few conferences and the elementary teachers respond with, “Oh, wow, I get this!” So wouldn’t that help the students? I believe that parents know their children better than anyone else. I have worked crazy hard with a few of them that believed in their kids and got them far past what the counselors predicted. However, few parents and teachers understand how math connects from Kindergarten to Algebra. Singapore math did a great job with it as a lot of home schoolers figured out and a district near to mine has adopted Singapore and has seen their scores rising very impressively ever since. I have been reading what you have been reading online about CCSS and have decided someone needs to point out the misinformation. Here’s my humble attempt get people to read some verifiable rebuttals: Gotta get some sleep but will be back at it tomorrow night. Feel free to msg me on FB. I’ll check the “other” mailbox too 😉

          • DA

            Since Singapore math has such a successful track record, why do you suppose that it wasn’t rolled out nationwide?
            Where has Common Core been trialed before it was decided to make the whole nation guinea pigs?

          • Lane Walker

            Teachers write curriculum and choose textbooks. It is easier for them to do what they have always done. SIngapore looks very different. I recently heard of a district that had a choice between Singapore and a high-profile company with lots of videos and and other tools. They din’t choose Singapore because it didn’t have all the tools and it didn’t look as familiar. I am not able to confirm exactly how the standards are written because I wasn’t there. Some CC foes believe the method used (the story they read) to create the standards is more important than whether or not the standards would help and I strongly disagree. So I steer clear of that and focus on the standards themselves. So I can’t say how the standards themselves were tested, but I can verify their effectiveness based on my personal experience using them to help kids who are in high school (some behind in their math skills) how strong home school kids (and a neighboring district I have first-hand knowledge of) under Singapore compare with solely memorizing steps. My question to those who say this is not enough is, “How long must we field test before our kids can start learning?”

          • Joyce Ewaniak Paul

            still bored — Lane go live a little

          • meliorist

            I think this report, entitled “Teacher Quality in a Changing Policy Landscape: Improvements in the Teacher Pool”, published by the Educational Testing Service, counts as solid data:

            On page 22, there are some bar charts showing the average Verbal and Math SAT scores for actual teachers, grouped according to the type of teaching they do. Phys ed teachers, special ed teachers and elementary teachers all have SAT scores that are a long way below the average for college graduates. Their scores are especially low on the math scale.

          • Lane Walker

            This is good info to have.. It doesn’t surprise me because most colleges in the US don’t require elementary teachers to complete a math course as rigorous as College Algebra. Teachers without a solid understanding of Algebra do not understand how basic math flows into it and end up teaching math as being sets of memorized steps that are not clearly related to each other. I recently listened to some Pearson videos for their elementary textbook and the guy on the video talked about learning, “math tricks.” Until CCSS came along, no one could really argue about this because one opinion was as good as another. Recently this interactive doc was created to help teachers understand what is math and what is a trick: More than a couple of elementary teachers told my sons they were never good at math. That has to have an effect in itself. I have seen research comparing US teachers’ responses to things like multiplying fractions compared with other countries and our teachers could rarely explain why the procedures worked. I’ve also read that our teachers will need 80-160 hours of training to be able to understand how to teach CCSS math. It will take time. Thanks for sharing.

          • DA

            My experience as a high school math teacher in professional development with other teachers:
            Secondary teachers became teachers because they love their subject (math)
            Primary teachers became teachers because they love kids (and generally hate math)
            It became clear why so many (most?) children are hopeless in math by the time they got to high school—their primary teachers taught them to hate/fear math.

          • Kelly

            Bingo!!! I am a high school chemistry teacher and I have the same experience! Horrible math skills and a general dislike of science!!!

          • Black & White

            You are right…parents ultimately are responsible for the child’s education. I was taught by my mom at a young age and this prepared me for the education I received from outside. I quit school for a while to learn a trade and after a while decided to go to college. My mom feared that I might not pass the assessment tests. On the contrary, I scored mostly full points on all the tests for both colleges. This shows how deep the education system have fallen. In my parent’s time, everything we are doing in college is done in high school. Speaking of degeneration.

          • sjc0116


          • Enthusiast

            It only feels like nonsense because you haven’t learned it. I discovered this method on my own in 7th grade. I had been in remedial the year before and began excelling once I switched from trying to memorize math tables and actually started understanding what a number is. The method listed above is how I do math in my head and it is extremely fast and accurate.

            26+17 = 23 + 20 = 43 is much easier than 26+17 = 3, carry the 1, 1 + 2 + 1 = 4… and put that with the 3.. Yeah.. 43. The traditional way is so obviously broken when you *get* numbers. Once you understand what you’re doing, rather than just following rules, math becomes common sense.

          • Erika

            That’s wonderful that it works for you. The problem is, CCSS are requiring all kids to learn this way instead of tailoring it to how each child learns. I, personally, do much better with memorization and tables. So this system would fail me and make me hate math – which growing up it was one of my favorite subjects because there was one answer. It wasn’t like an English essay where it could be left open to interpretation. The way the CCSS’s are written, especially in early education, do not allow room for children’s individuality. It states in the standards themselves how they have to solve a problem. They are tested on every method instead of a teacher saying you can do it way A, B, or C. They’re expected to master every method. This isn’t fair to children who are cognitively not ready for these types of expectations.

          • Enthusiast

            There are adults who don’t even know how to turn on a computer, but children today are masters of technology. My son was able to type the password into the computer before he could read. My toddler nieces and nephews are perfectly at home using tablets and smart phones. Twenty years ago, if you said that you were going to start teaching computer skills in preschool, people would have told you that it isn’t fair because the children aren’t cognitively ready for that type of expectations. Don’t sell kids short. They have consistently kept up with the times where many adults haven’t.

          • Erika

            Skills with technology (such as using a smart phone) are much different than cognitive abilities in understanding abstract concepts.

            An example – based on Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, which has been studied for decades now and has been found to be an accurate theory of development, children until around the age of 7 are in the pre-operational stage of development. This means “Young children are able to think about things symbolically. Their language use becomes more mature. They also develop memory and imagination, which allows them to understand the difference between past and future, and engage in make-believe.

            But their thinking is based on intuition and still not completely logical. They cannot yet grasp more complex concepts such as cause and effect, time, and comparison.” (From Web MD).
            In the 1st grade Math Standards introduction it states:

            In the Grade 1 Introduction, it specifically states: “Mathematical Practices
            Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
            Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
            Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
            Model with mathematics.
            Use appropriate tools strategically.
            Attend to precision.
            Look for and make use of structure.
            Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.”

            Thinking abstractly, and constructing viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, isn’t developmentally appropriate.”

            Things that are above the level of cognitive function for most kids in 1st grade. These are not bad goals to aim for – but they are the set standards. Kids are expected to meet these standards prior to entering 2nd grade. It’s not fair to them.

            Another example, directly from the standards themselves for 1st grade:
            Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13).

            Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = _ – 3, 6 + 6 = _.

            These are both above the cognitive abilities of an average 6-7 year old. Based on Piaget’s theories of cognitive development, these abilities are not fully comprehended until later 2nd grade early 3rd. Not 1st.

            I have not had the chance to delve past 1st grade yet, and focus on it because that is where my child is headed. But will be reviewing all of these standards as time permits.

            If concepts are overly complicated (as can be seen in the examples listed in the standards) it makes children question their abilities, hurt their confidence, and makes them hate learning.

            Understanding deeper concepts is wonderful and important. But why not teach the basics – without the confusion? Why not teach memorization? Memorization is important for brain development and keeping your brain strong. Why eliminate rote memorization in regards to math facts? A child can learn both – if asked to do it at appropriate cognitive levels.

          • David Moore

            Right again, I’ll let you take it from here. Lane and Enthusiast are your classic liberally-minded “know it all’s” who have no tolerance for diversity. And yes, I realize that implies an ideological hypocrisy, but that is a separate argument, for another time.

          • David Moore

            “Don’t sell kids short” You might want to think about that statement, how it relates to this argument, and how you might be advocating exactly what you propose we should not.

          • Lane Walker

            The CCSS do require memorization of basic math facts. They use the word “fluent” and you can scan the standards and see that. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a standard that requires a specific method. Please post one. How many methods a student is required to know would be a curriculum issue, not a standards issue.

          • David Moore

            YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT! And yes I meant to yell.

          • David Moore

            Good for you Enthusiast, but you exemplify my point exactly. YOU needed remedial help. Many kids do not; it isn’t that uncommon. Personally, I would solve this problem in a VERY different way in my head, by adding 26 + 7, and that sum + 10, hence allowing me the freedom to see, or “get” the numbers, not morphing them into ones that are not part of the original problem. I have taught my kids that as well. My kindergartner can solve this: 26 + x = 43. How confusing would it then be when, in the prior problem, 26 magically turned into 23, and x is now 20? But the most beautiful part is that they can fully and logically “explain” how they got the WRONG answer. What a bunch of malarkey.

            But I digress, now add, 2,435,432,917 + 456,239,876 the same way. Go ahead, I’ll wait 10 to 20 minutes for you to finish “getting” the numbers. Again, my kindergartner can solve this with ease using traditional techniques. It simply doesn’t matter how large the number gets. “lining up the decimals” is not that hard a concept to understand, and can be taught MUCH faster than whatever method you will employ to solve this problem. Learning BOTH methods is necessary, but as numbers get large, my child will NOT struggle, as traditional methods simply do not break down as the numbers get larger. I will not teach my kids to “break down” these numbers into cubes and squares and whatever. They will simply learn to “carry the 1” as many times as needed and be done in one pass.

            How wonderful for all the liberal educators who want all kids to get it, while holding back the kids who actually do. It is still my assertion this method came about by people who didn’t get it themselves, and are now being asked to teach it. Had you had a teacher who “got it” Enthusiast, I bet you would have found it much easier to understand.
            A poor man should not teach finance.

            Who is John Galt?

          • Enthusiast

            “by adding 26 + 7, and that sum + 10”

            But you just did the problem the same way as above. You broke the numbers apart and added the parts together separately.

            I needed remedial math because the way math is taught in public school is useless. There’s a reason so many people hate math.

            Large numbers aren’t any different than small numbers because large numbers are made up of small numbers. That’s the whole problem with the traditional method. Larger numbers seem different and unfamiliar, so they are more difficult because you’ve memorized how to deal with small numbers and have to work to get large numbers.

            Sure, learn both methods. As they become wide spread, the traditional method will fall away because it only works for addition. I can teach your child one way to do all basic math functions. Subtraction is reverse addition, multiplication is repeated addition, division is reverse multiplication, which is addition. When you get into advanced math, knowing what the equation means is MUCH more valuable than being able to quickly learn how to carry the 1. In the market place of ideas, do you really want to suppress a better product because of stubborn tradition? Or worse, because Obama suggested it?

            Also, don’t be a fanboy. The world doesn’t need shallow libertarians who throw around the only quote from the only libertarian literature they know. “Who is John Galt” sounds mysterious and occult, but it means nothing to people who have never read/seen Atlas Shrugged. It means “I’m a crazy” to liberals and “I’m going to cause you to lose elections to Democrats” to conservatives. Instead of spouting ineffective tag lines, convey policy information. True libertarianism appeals to both sides of the aisle, but most Randians are simply conservative extremists, like Glenn Beck.

          • David Moore

            That quote was only for you Enthusiast, I could not care less what others with their limited understanding ‘think’ about it. I would much rather take a “shallow Libertarian” over an idiot [insert any other ideology here]. I can quote the book all day long with much more pertinent and thought provoking passages, but what does that accomplish? Even the book itself alludes to the fact that the phrase is cliche, so what? The message was sent, and received, even if the point was missed, by the “shallow” whatever you are.

            In direct response to your premise, actually no, I did NOT break apart those numbers the same way. I did not, for example, subtract a value from one of them, then add to the other to create a new number that made sense now, and for only this problem, then add it to yet another two digit number which, by all rights, should be broken down again. I broke a single number into it’s base and remainder; a technique which has been applied for centuries in our base 10 world. Lastly, as I clearly stated, my kindergartner does NOT see any difference in complexity between say 14 and 3,456,876. EVERY NUMBER IS SMALL to her, and she can add (or subtract) those two numbers in seconds rather than minutes. In fact, I just asked her, and she said 14 + 76 is 90, BOOM! I wonder how she managed that? So I asked her. She said 6 + 4 is 10 and 10 + 10 is 90. Wait a minute; so am I to infer now from what I hear from the establishment that she would get this problem wrong, because she could not articulate correctly how she arrived at the right answer? I really do hope this is not true, but I fear it is.

            You can take your one size fits all method and shove it. And yes, I do understand the fallacy in that statement. This “shallow Libertarian” does appreciate the traditional method has been used in that manner for decades. My point, as it has been from the beginning, is those who can, do; those who can’t should be taught common core, or some other remedial method. In the end, the correct answer is king; how someone arrives at the correct answer is truly irrelevant. If I choose to teach my child math, she should not be penalized by the mere fact she arrives at the correct answer is a different (read more correct) way.

            Fair enough?

          • Big George

            Adding two integers isn’t exactly “math” – it’s the most basic of “arithmetic”. If that’s the only way your daughter is able to deal with numbers, she isn’t exactly a genius, now is she? Now if she was able to solve the problem using multiple methods and was able to outline the steps of each method, then maybe she’d be up to par with the advanced students.

          • Mike Fletchall

            “Some students need to get ideas of how to do math in their heads before they can do it themselves.”

            Exactly….*some students.

          • David Moore

            Unfortunately the truth of that concept is totally lost on those who develop curriculum for the whole.

          • M Meier

            And why, exactly, does a child in grade school need to learn about measuring the distance between planets or realms of large measurement???

          • Lane Walker

            I just checked. Kids get a solid understanding of multiplying and dividing by powers of 10 in 5th grade CCSS. Traditionally teachers would say, “Just move the decimal to the right (or left if dividing). Kids typically got it right half the time. Under CCSS, students see why the decimal moves (to make a number larger or smaller according to place value). They have 3 years of work with that before they hit 8th grade where they actually add-subtract-multiply-divide in scientific notation. The science teachers would be more qualified to give a complete rundown of how scientific notation is used in real life. Part of it has to do with just understanding how HUGE things are: National debt is in the trillions, distance between planets. More often we see very SMALL numbers where the powers on the 10 are NEGATIVE. That’s huge in biology…from there I’m running a blank. You might want to Google scientific notation rather than take my word for it anyway.

          • David Moore

            Really? My 1st grader has to wait until then? For your CC students to catch up to where she already is? Nice.

          • Guest

            If you’re 1st grader can’t articulate multiple methods of arriving at an answer, then she’s not ahead of other students, she just plateaued as an average student able to memorize simple numbers and won’t be able to proceed on to higher mathematics without difficulty. If she doesn’t understand how the math works, what good are her memorizations?

          • Big George

            If your 1st grader can’t articulate multiple methods of arriving at an answer, then she’s not ahead of other students, she just plateaued as an average student able to memorize simple numbers and won’t be able to proceed on to higher mathematics without difficulty. If she doesn’t understand how the math works, what good are her memorizations?

          • Big George

            Why not? Some students have higher aspirations than simple arithmetic allows for. Let the dumb ones learn how to memorize 32*47 and let the ones with higher potential learn how to articulate the various ways one might arrive at the answer.

          • meliorist

            After watching the videos that you linked, and putting that together with the common core materials that I have seen (via the internet, as I don’t live in the US), it seems that the idea is to require children to perform arithmetic operations in accordance with a specific procedure, and to demonstrate that they used that procedure by describing it. The procedure used is based on the “number line”, which is equivalent to doing arithmetic with cuisenaire rods (those wooden sticks divided into numbers along their lengths), except one doesn’t actually have the rods to hand, but is required to imagine them in one’s head. Cuisenaire rods have been around for a long time, so if there’s anything “new” in this CC math stuff, it’s the insistence on doing this on paper rather than with actual rods.

            It is conceivable that the procedures described will help some children who have (a) no number sense at all, and need to be taught the absolute basics, and (b) have lots of time to spare – because it is a very time-consuming procedure describe all the micro-steps along the way, as children are asked to do. I would hypothesize that, if you just gave kids cuisenaire rods in kindergarten or their reception class, and demonstrated their use, they’d pick up the concepts very quickly, and there’d be no need for elaborate pencil-and-paper tests to check that they are using such concepts.

            For the other children – i.e., any child who already has some reasonable grasp of number, it is a distraction and a waste of time. In the time it takes to describe the steps in doing one sum, a child could do ten actual sums instead, and thereby gain some useful practice, since it is practice that leads to fluency, not tedious analysis of process.

            Also, there’s something very dogmatic about insisting on this particular method. The point of arithmetic is to arrive at results – quickly and accurately. There are usually multiple ways of reaching a result, and it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, generally matter which method you use, as long as you get to the result quickly and reliably. When it comes to simple arithmetic, children in general shouldn’t be required in tests to describe the details of how they arrived at every result. The goal should be fluency. If you are fluent in arithmetic, you “just know” that six sevens are forty two, as easily as you just know that elephants have trunks. Stopping to explain why you think six sevens are forty two makes no more sense than stopping to explain why you think elephants have trunks. It’s just not a reasonable thing to do, most of the time.

            A couple of millennia ago, Plato said that mathematics is the queen of sciences, and arithmetic is the foundation of mathematics. He was right then, and he’s still right today. Give children fluency in arithmetic, and they not only have a useful tool for daily life and business, but also have a confidence to explore the science of mathematics more deeply. Bury them in tedious process and dogmatic approaches, and not only do you delay fluency, but you’re likely to turn them off mathematics altogether.

          • DA

            Young children (before 10) are in the concrete operational stage–and math manipulatives are age appropriate teaching tools. They NEED something in their hand.
            Generally, children over 10 are capable of learning algebra (abstract).
            It is absurd to try to bypass the appropriate developmental stages

          • meliorist

            You’re overgeneralizing, and you are underestimating children in general.

            To suggest that all children are incapable of learning algebra until the age of ten is nonsense. There are plenty of children who start learning algebra before that age. Some are already learning calculus by that age, and others are writing computer programs (which requires algebra and logic).

            Variation between children is quite large. If the average child is capable learning a particular topic at age 10, then there will be about 10% who are ready to learn that topic by age 8 or earlier, and 10% who will not be ready to learn that topic until 12 or later. If your system assumes all children at a given age are equal in their abilities, that system will either fail completely, or it will artificially delay the brighter children.

            Anyway, we’re talking about arithmetic here. You say young children need to have something “in their hand” in order to understand mathematics. Fair enough. I have already suggested that cuisenaire rods can be useful for teaching arithmetic at the early stage (kindergarten/reception). In Asia, they use the abacus. The Japanese abacus (soroban) is especially well-proven (much more so than the Common Core method, which appears to have no empirical support at all). By all means, use such tools as cuisenaire rods, abacus, etc., in the early stages of learning arithmetic. However, don’t force children who have already gone beyond the need for such simple crutches as cuisenaire rods to pretend as if they are still using them. To do so is to waste their time and hold them back.

          • meliorist

            Piaget’s theory of operational stages has been for the most part debunked. Anyway, to suggest that all children at a given age are at the same precise stage of cognitive development is obvious nonsense, contradicted by mountains of evidence. By age three, some children are a year or more ahead of others, and the gap gets bigger as the children get older. At age 10, Some children are performing at the level of the average 7 year old, and others are performing at the level of the average 13 year old. And that’s just kids you will see in every a typical classroom full of 10 year olds, and not counting the rare extremely brilliant children, who are performing at the level of an average 15 year old or higher, or the extremely dull children who would not normally attend a mainstream school, and at age 10 are at the level of the average 5 year old, or lower.
            I would agree that for the first two or three years of learning mathematics, concrete tools such as Cuisenaire rods or (even better) the Japanese abacus, should be employed, but children should not be required to keep on using them, or pretending to use them, after they have demonstrated that they can do mental arithmetic fluently.

          • Chris Pate

            I am great with math and passed trig with flying colors and this common core bullshit confuses me but what is confusing to me is the fact that they go thru 10 steps to do a 1 step problem and nothing about it that they teach them to do in the steps make sense although they do work also it just makes it easier for the students to get the answers wrong by adding steps to simple problems

          • Lane Walker

            Please post a particular problem or message me in FB and I can let you know if the problem is really related to CCSS. I can tell you which standard and why it makes sense to include it in a lesson. If it isn’t I can explain how I know it isn’t. You can also send your questions directly to one of the lead writers in the forums here: Bill usually takes a week or two to get back with you, though.

          • Jerry Frost

            why are you so for this common core garbage when most all of us learned how by teaching the basics. There are always going to be some who are not very intelligent. Why punish the more intelligent so the less intelligent can keep up?Lady, I was doing math in my head in 4th and 5th grade. My school teachers pushed math and taught us how to calculate in our minds. I can multiply , and divide up to 5 figures in my mind. I can do math faster in my head than most can do with a calculator. Just where was this rubbish tested before it was pushed on to our children? Generally you do not mess with something that WORKS….ya know don’t fix it if its not broke

          • Lane Walker

            I disagree with your conclusion that more intelligent kids will be punished. I just responded to a post that claimed less intelligent would be punished. If that was happening with CCSS, then students who were taught Singapore math either as home schoolers or as public schoolers would not be having such good success because they are closely related. I have not been personally involved with the writing or adoption process, so my faith in why the standards works is built on my experience in the classroom and observations of others using CCSS-related materials like Singapore. Are you faulting your teacher for teaching you how to calculate in your mind like the CCSS do? I’ve heard tons of people say, “Kids can’t make change in their heads. They have to get out a calculator to do the simplest things.” That talk has been going on for at least 30 years. It sounds like you are very good evidence that teaching kids to add in their heads is very effective. I’m not sure where you read that our system WORKS but you could easily bust that claim by calling some colleges and asking them about what percent of kids they get need remedial math. To call Stanford would probably not support my argument here because they pick the best of the best. Call a regular state school or community college.

          • David Moore

            “I disagree with your conclusion that more intelligent kids will be punished.” I know; that is painfully obvious, and a real shame as I infer from your comments you are in the business of education. Too bad you aren’t in the practice. You might see how wrong that statement is.

          • Lane Walker

            I’m still teaching 130-150 kids each year: Recently I emailed a legislator asking why he voted against CCSS in MO. He cited parents are furious and that it is OUR job as educators to explain CCSS to the parents so they know what we know. Until then, the legislators will continue to be intimidated into passing something (anything) to get the parents to calm down. I’m trying to do my part, trying to get the word out, before each and every State spends millions to revisit the standards and ends up with what Indiana ended up with.

          • David Moore

            Jerry, watch yourself. Your logic may make some people’s heads explode!

          • sjc0116

            as a person whose livelihood is based upon math and logic..I’ve been programming computers for 38 years. You are nuts if you think this is going to help kids ‘get good jobs’. here.. this should be simple for you.. you tell a kid he has 2 apples and someone gives him 2 more.. 2 + 2 = 4. or 2 x 2 = 4. the old method of teaching math has successfully lead to creation of computers, putting man in space and beyond, medical advancements that increased the life span of people, etc. CC is going to prevent advancement by creating crap while the rest of the world teaches the basics and the efficient way of dealing with real life equations. The problem isn’t math. it is the people teaching it and the use of electronics. if CC was such a good thing.. the rest of the world would be using it. Instead we have a bunch of a-holes developing CC and creating havoc. Go back to basic math.. it’s a simple non-technical thing. as for your dealing with other countries Ms Walker. perhaps you need to sit in their classroom and watch how they teach MATH. Other countries ARE laughing at us.

          • Lane Walker

            “How” teachers teach is as diverse as the cultures they live in. In some very high performing countries, kids sit in rows with their hands in their laps, all wearing uniforms. I have not been in any foreign classrooms, but even being in 10 would not tell the whole story of diverse instructional strategies. I have watched a ton of videos but since I was not physically there, I can only rely on friends who have to verify what I see in videos. The CCSS do teach the basics. Please scan them so that you can see for yourself and not take anyone else’s opinion because you have the background to read and understand them. What the CCSS do that is not currently being taught in most classrooms, is to make sense of numbers and operations. For ex: I can tell a student to move a decimal to the right when multiplying by ten and move the decimal to the left to divide and they will get it right half the time. If I teach a student the idea of “ten times bigger” or “ten times as many” they understand the result should be a larger number and will, by logic, move the decimal to the right. I agree when other countries see our scores, they must be laughing and have been for many, many years.

          • Jerry Frost

            just give it up. whats the deal you have moron children who can’t keep up with Joe average?so you want Joe average to be as dumb as your children?n

          • Erika

            Exactly! This is why the reasoning of the US rankings on international standard tests drives me batty. If our educational system was so horrible, why do American’s have more Nobel Peace Prizes than any other country (US over 340, Great Britain is next in line with 140, China – whom we are often compared to on international tests – hold 8!)? Why do American’s hold more patents than any other country? Why, in the 200 years since the US was formed, have there been more world altering discoveries and inventions than in the 2,000 years prior?

            No, our educational system isn’t perfect. But it’s a lot better than trying to teach and drill children to a test. We allow creativity, individuality, and innovation. . . . at least we use to. CCSS do not allow for that anymore. High stakes testing will not allow for that. Punishing teachers because of standardized test scores will ruin our educational systems to the point of no return.

          • David Moore


          • Big George

            And how many hundreds of years did it take for the “old method” to get us there? We’ve advanced pretty far in your 38 years and our children deserve a better eduction than you had if they want to keep up in the global job market. I certainly wouldn’t even think of hiring someone who was unable to explain how they arrived at a mathematical conclusion. Monkeys memorize, humans think.

          • Erika

            The problem is that in the early years many of the standards are developmentally inappropriate. They are not inline with what children are cognitively capable of. And then in later years it doesn’t allow children to reach the higher levels of math while in high school. I graduated high school in 2002. My junior year I was in AP Statistics. This is not possible with CCSS. Even one of the main creators of the math standards has stated that the CCSS prepare children for “non-select colleges” not for select colleges and universities. How is this preparing our students for STEM careers, if it doesn’t even prepare them for colleges above community college level? Much of the talk of the need for these standards is to prevent high school students from needing remedial math when they enter college. If they are only being prepared for community college level work – then remedial classes will be needed more and more at the higher university levels.

          • Lane Walker

            It is interesting you bring up the “developmentally inappropriate” argument. I looked up the article signed by the early childhood experts and it has been misrepresented by a whole lot of anti-CCSS people. Those experts are strong proponents of learning through play and bristle with all the standards (not their exact words but close…If you have a link please send). Their fear is that CCSS will provide more structure and less play, but there is nothing in the standards that say teachers can’t tech through play. In fact that article (wish I had it) stated that CCSS were pretty much the only standards that specifically mentioned learning through play as a viable choice. In practice (comparing with results from using Singapore), the students are rising to the Standards, much to the surprise of a lot of teachers. Again, people have used Singapore math successfully for many years with great success.

            You also quote from sources that quote Jason Zimba “a main creator” as say that CCSS would only prepare kids for…His words have been taken out of context to make it appear that our students will be worse off. This is a deliberate deception by anti-CCSS folks banking on the idea that no one will check into it. Try this: view the CCSS Appendix online and see CCSS-M only go through 11th Grade. There is still another year left for students to take math classes tailored for their career path. The CCSS Algebra 2 will prepare students for non-selective colleges, as Zimba said. Currently our senior math is not getting students past remedial math classes as can be easily verified by phoning any college.

            Here is a list of other stories that have been widely circulated and are fairly easily discredited:

          • Erika

            The developmentally inappropriate side I’m talking about is in the early years. Based on Piaget’s theories (which have been studied, researched and credited multiple times) the early levels of math standards are inappropriate. It is cognitively not at the level a child is capable of thinking.

            I am not opposed to children developing a deeper understand of math. The problem is that they are expected to get that deeper understanding before they even grasp the basics of math. Why not teach them the basics, the facts, then, once they reach a higher level of cognitive function, go back and teach that deeper level? This makes more sense to me as a parent and psychologist.

            And math standards when I was in school was to have average students complete Algebra 2 by the 10th grade, not the 11th grade. Pushing this back a year further, limits how many concurrent enrollment and AP classes can be taken to further prepare students for college, especially for STEM careers. I completed Algebra 2 in 9th grade. Common Core proponents talk of how it’s raising the bar – and while it is (to inappropriate levels) for young children, it’s not for older students.

            I have read a lot of research and information, and I do look at what is being said, where and how it might be biased.

            When you get down to the brass tax of everything – Common Core State Standards were not developed based on research. They claim to have used scholarly research, but have yet to provide any citations of such (with the exception of Appendix A via, which discusses testing more so than the standards). My oldest child is 6. I am not okay with her educational career being an experiment. Even Bill Gates has stated that this “education stuff” will take 10 years to find out if it works. As a parent that is not okay. (As stated in the interview included with this article –

            If you want to look at concise standards, that make sense to even a layman reading them – take a look at Finland’s standards. They rank among the highest on the international tests that are purported to be a reason for higher standards (which I have a problem with as well, being compared to other countries in ways that are biased and don’t take into consideration the creativity and innovation our education system provides our students, or at least should be providing our students). – – math standards start on the document’s page 158.

            There are alternatives. We shouldn’t have to rely on Federal funding and Federal oversight for our education purposes. An example of an alternate option for math standards are Utah’s 2007 math standards. The Fordham Institute rated it as high as CCSS, A-. The Fordham Institute has even received $3,000,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and yet Utah’s 2007 standards still rated as well as CCSS. And those were used without all the Federal strings attached.

            The other failure of CCSS is that it assumes that by having more “rigorous” standards and having standards the same across the country it’s going to help all students improve. It won’t though. The gap between social classes will simply increase. Why? Because parents who are interactive with their children will work harder to have continued improvement and success. Homes where students were already struggling and lacked parental involvement won’t change. These students will fall further and further behind. Politicians and corporate types that are behind the development of CCSS do not take into consideration how home life affects a child’s education and fail to recognize the importance of parental involvement in a student’s success. No set of standards or policies will ever correct these struggling children’s educational careers. Only better education to parents and communities. And even then, there will be families that simply do not support their students for success. Standardized tests (which are linked to CCSS through Race to the Top and NCLB waivers) fail our students. They fail our teachers. They fail our schools and communities.

            CCSS, Race to the Top, and other Federal oversight are failing our children. This is what I’m not okay with.

          • Lane Walker

            i really appreciate your perspective and have responded here:

          • Erika

            I’ve read through the standards for math for Kindergarten, and have no problems with them. Depending on how they are actually implemented and taught in the classrooms.

            1st grade is where I have the concerns at this time – since that’s as far as I have researched in depth. I do plan to continue it as time permits.

            Based on Piaget’s theory of cognitive development children until around the age of 7 are in the pre-operational stage of development. This means “Young children are able to think about things symbolically. Their language use becomes more mature. They also develop memory and imagination, which allows them to understand the difference between past and future, and engage in make-believe.

            But their thinking is based on intuition and still not completely logical. They cannot yet grasp more complex concepts such as cause and effect, time, and comparison.” (From Web MD).

            In the 1st grade Math Standards introduction it states:
            “Mathematical Practices
            Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
            Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
            Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
            Model with mathematics.
            Use appropriate tools strategically.
            Attend to precision.
            Look for and make use of structure.
            Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.”

            Thinking abstractly, and constructing viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others, isn’t developmentally appropriate.

            Things that are above the level of cognitive function for most kids in 1st grade. These are not bad goals to aim for – but they are the set standards. Kids are expected to meet these standards prior to entering 2nd grade. It’s not fair to them.

            Another example, directly from the standards themselves for 1st grade:
            Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13). – – – – Kids are taught to read from left to right. Why confuse them in math with breaking numbers down – 8+6=8+2+4=10+4=14. This complicates things above the level needed at this stage of learning. – – – –

            Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = _ – 3, 6 + 6 = _. – – – – Why not help them with memorizing the basic math facts, and then breaking down the relationship between rote memorization and solving equations of this nature? – – – –

            These are both above the cognitive abilities of an average 6-7 year old. Based on Piaget’s theories of cognitive development, these abilities are not fully comprehended until later 2nd grade early 3rd. Not 1st.

            If concepts are overly complicated (as can be seen in the examples listed in the standards) it makes children question their abilities, hurt their confidence, and makes them hate learning.

            Understanding deeper concepts is wonderful and important. But why not teach the basics – without the confusion? Why not teach memorization? Memorization is important for brain development and keeping your brain strong. Why eliminate rote memorization in regards to math facts? A child can learn both – if asked to do it at appropriate cognitive levels.

          • Lane Walker

            You have no idea how much I appreciate you taking the time to do
            this. As I have been branching out into leadership roles, I feel even more driven to be absolutely accurate in what I say because it’s not “just” my students that are affected. I think we might actually be in complete agreement here. The “Mathematical practices” you are concerned about are stated at the beginning of every grade level, exactly the same all the way through high school. They are goals to keep in mind, not ever meant to be fulfilled. It’s like the goal of being a good person: we never quite get there. So, for example, a first grader would be working on quantitative reasoning, not abstract, although there’s always that genius in the back row who shouldn’t be discouraged from doing so. I think that is why they don’t modify the
            SMP’s for each grade level. ELA standards have “anchor standards” that apply to all grades.

            1.OA.C.6 Explanation:

            Adding is counting. This video demonstrates how students are working a closely related skill in kindergarten:

            2nd/3rd graders count larger collections:

            Being the skeptic that I am, I realize videos can be cut and scenes can be staged, but the idea of decomposing numbers is played out the same way in Singapore math curriculum (I bought it to see for myself). And Singapore has been very effective.

            “Why not help them with memorizing the basic math facts, and then breaking down the relationship between rote memorization and solving equations of this nature?” Neither will happen all at once or one after the other. Kids get some of the math facts, then forget some, then recall and learn more…and it builds over time. Each time they forget something, it comes back faster and stays longer. Meanwhile, they are working on decomposition so they see how the numbers are related to each other.

            “Memorization is important for brain development and keeping your brain strong. Why eliminate rote memorization in regards to math
            facts? A child can learn both – if asked to do it at appropriate cognitive levels.” I agree entirely. Instead of the word “memorize,”
            CCSS uses the word “fluent”

            K.OA.5 Fluently add and subtract within 5
            1.OA.6 Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10.

            These strategies are in addition to rote memory and not every
            child will use every strategy: “Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 +…”

            If you have time, keep going with this because if you help me find something that needs changing, I can go to the writer forums and suggest it for the first revision.

          • Joyce Ewaniak Paul

            go find some excitement in your life-you are obviously BORED

          • Jeremy Green

            can you just shut up no one is listing

          • Iron Tub

            “you don’t have to remember if it makes sense”….hmmm

          • Lane Walker

            Okay, I’m stealing a quote from a student who bumped two levels this year: basic-(proficient)-advanced. I did hummmm…too. What he meant was like for memorizing fraction procedures and when to use them: “multiply straight across,” “flip and multiply,” “multiply then add,” “cross multiply”, “add numerators & keep denominators…” that is very difficult for a kid in our culture to remember. But when they thoroughly understand what a fraction is, each of these procedures makes perfect sense. We don’t have to remember to use our fingers instead of our teeth when we tie our shoes and we NEVER get that confused.

        • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

          Students should get some credit if their equations are correct but their results are wrong. They did this when I went to school and it made sense.

          • Richard

            If your equations are correct, your answer will be correct. The real world isn’t about how you do it, it’s getting the answer right. Do you think that an astronaut is going to care that you did it right when he’s supposed to go into orbit but reaches escape velocity and is hurled towards outer space with no way to return?

            The dumbing down of America continues.

          • Katie

            There is no dumbing down in America. Quit with the fallacy. In actuality, IQ scores have raised in the past century, which means that can not be due to genetics, but to educational influences. You can get this information from the Discovering Psychology textbook written by Hockenbury and Hockenbury. I’m sure of course you will ignore this piece of information I have given you because you have your own agenda, which is to make a mockery of your country.

          • LuJohnson

            Katie, stop. You are blindly embracing an agenda that doesn’t care about achieving excellence, in this case, in the form of ‘the right answer’. Moron. Kids only have 1 chance in their lives to get their K-12 education. Quit EXPERIMENTING on them. They need the basics, the SOLID basics, not your agenda driven procedural drivel.

            Hands off our kids, libtard, or we’ll hack them off. Got that, Sparky?


            You have beautifully expressed the problem with conservatism. It does not allow for growth or new and better ideas; it strives only to regress or maintain/conserve. If it were not for liberal thinking the world would still be set in the stone age. Conserve that if you wish but I prefer progress and intellectual growth.

          • Kenneth Walker

            New or better ideas? I worked in quality control engineering for GE Aerospace, Martin Marietta, and Lockheed Martin. As an engineer, I was part of a team to innovate ways to do things in the most simple, efficient, and error-free way possible. Common core math is none of those. And stop the bullshit with “If it wasn’t for conservative thinking the world would still be in the Stone Age.” Conservatives back in the day drove industry and material progress. I could just as easily say that if it wasn’t from conservatives we’d still be riding horses to California. Sorry, but bullshit is bullshit. I am a teacher as well, and when the vast majority of math teachers think this is crazy, maybe someone should listen. BTW, most teachers are liberal and support liberal ideas. Just because an idea is new doesn’t make it better.

          • sjc0116

            I’m with you. I’ve worked with NASA, US air force and navy on nuclear missiles and space flight. Very math oriented. we needed the quickest and easiest way to get answers. CC would have us back to the stone age if we relied on that means to get the answers

          • Proud2bfromtheUSA

            I thought that was the point of Common core. That is why it is called common and not excellent. It is a race to the bottom or the most common denominator not striving for excellence in education.

          • pdx73

            The problem with your so-called “progress” is it’s actually regression back to a philosophy that has failed time and time again. Yet those of you who defend it because it sounds good on paper doggedly refuse to see the inherent flaws in it. When you stifle the individual, you discourage innovation, creativity, individual thinking. All you end up with is a generation of mindless automatons dependent on big government to show them how to live and think. I understand some of your ilk want that monstrous reality and CC is one way to inculcate that kind of nonsensical thinking into our kids, but Conservativism does away with all that rubbish and embraces the best and brightest of individuals and ideas to create the best environment both for learning and achieving. Sadly, you regressives on the left are incapable of contemplating any course other than your failed model.

          • sjc0116

            relabel it and say it is new.. the liberal way of thinking

          • NukeWaste

            I am 55 years old. Let me do some math here. 42 years ago, my science teacher was saddled with a class of 25. At least 7 or 8 of us belonged there. The class was two groups. Those of us who got straight ‘A’s without doing any work and the rest who put their heads down practicing for high school. We were broken into groups. I only did my own work. I refused to share it with my group. I didn’t want to wake them up. Besides they didn’t care. When I was given the communal ‘D’ I dragged my dad in to explain the law suit that they were facing. My English teacher had already given me permission to break out of my group there because nothing was getting done. Why don’t you ask a public school teacher why their own kids don’t go to public school.

          • Ember

            Shweethaht, I don’t think they understand your 50-cent words. They’re going to ask you to re-write it so that they can understand it. Just don’t use more than two syllables or their little minds will start flashing “TILT”.

          • Ember

            Please forgive the really BAD Bogey impression.

          • Molly

            You have a grossly warped idea of what conservatism is. Conservatism means CONSERVING things. It means we don’t WASTE the resources we already have.
            If thousands of years of human experience teach us a lesson, we USE that lesson in moving forward. We build on the knowledge we have acquired. Conservatism provides the foundation for innovation.
            Liberalism on the other hand ignores common sense and frivolously wastes resources. It relies on an uninformed and dependent constituency to carry out socialist schemes that have been proven ruinous time and again.
            Liberalism deliberately crushes any type of innovation or prosperity. It tries to attain equality of outcomes by punishing those who succeed.

          • Guest

            And punishing those that weren’t born under your circumstances limits prosperity and innovation? Or does it give people a chance that otherwise would fall to the bottom of the barrel and achieve nothing?

          • thohan


          • YPYHBD

            Sudden, blinding headache alert!!! Alert! Alert!

          • Bruce White

            EXACTLY! Liberalism is hell bent on equality! Unfortunately they want to achieve it not by bringing up the standard intelligence, but by dumbing down those with intelligence and common sense to a level of those without it! After all it’s much easier to acquire their goal by producing mediocrity. The ends justify the means, doncha know!

          • CatoYounger

            Nothing in nature or human history would lead anyone to expect uniformity or equality in human affairs, yet that is what liberals seek. They want mass man, cogs in the big government machine. Unfortunately, since equality is not natural, they must use force. Doubly unfortunate is the fact that forced equality can only lead to the lowest common denominator. You cannot give someone talent or drive or ambition or great baseball ability. You CAN however, hobble the successful. You can “tax the rich”. You can bring people down but not lift them up. You’ll say you’re trying to life people up, and you can even be honest – it just won’t happen. Additionally, since liberals are so narcissistic as to think their thoughts are new, when it is only their ignorance of history. The only equality in the United States that our Founders sought was equality before the law.

          • Conservatism allows for new ideas…it just thinks about the possible outcomes rather than just doing something because it feeeels good. Liberals decide how they feel about an issue and then only consider information that backs up what they feel the answer should be and completely dismiss any contrary information. Look at Global Warming… it is a perfect example. When someone points out contrary information, they don’t consider the information, revise the theory or strive to understand why the data doesn’t confirm their analysis…they respond by saying the science is already settled…so we don’t have to consider this information. That isn’t intellectual…it is group think. Liberals also claim to be tolerant, open minded people, but if you disagree with them, they are the first to call you names rather honestly trying to have a conversation. If you get one to actually discuss an issue rationally, point for point, the conversation usually ends with, well you aren’t going to convince me to change my mind… the very opposite of open mindedness.

          • Brian

            You should consider fully understanding the objectives of conservatives and liberals before fully committing to one side versus the other.

          • BillRoberts8029

            Here is an experiment for you. When you come home from work, drive around your block, go to the next block and circle the block, then circle the next block, and then finally work your way back home, circling each block as you go. You will still end up with the same conclusion, (your car in your driveway), but you will still use the common core way of getting there. After a week of this, you may start to realize how a student feels.

          • sjc0116

            and how much more expensive on gas it was (using the CC method)

          • MontieR

            And you have portrayed the liberal excellently. You are a sanctimonious
            self inflated LIAR, that speaks as one above all the peons. Your ideas and ideals regress human behavior at every level. I don’t hate you I hate the damage you do in the name of good.

          • Amy Southall

            Common Core method is jumbled and confusing. They need basics first. Then maybe introducing a more organized, straight-forward concept, like adding from left to right. I learned to do that in 5th grade–not in school, but watching it demonstrated on TV–& still use it for adding multiple numbers. I wanted to be a math teacher (middle to high grades) & am a math nerd, but like so many comments by math/number-crunching professionals, the common core process just doesn’t make common sense. My own son did the exact same thing, explaining his answer due to “math”.

          • D. Kiiskila

            What component of conservative thinking and liberal thinking are you referring to here? You’re confusing ideology with rationality.

          • Sara

            I believe conservatism is a beautiful thing! Some very intelligent people had some very intelligent ideas which we should hold to! The problem with our country right now is that we are not even thinking or questioning these conservative ideas which I believe those who came up with these would encourage! I believe in semper reformada, always reforming, always thinking, but if those reformations lead right back to conservative ideas, well isn’t that reassuring!

          • Michael Onstott

            the stone wheel could not have been invented with out “new ideas” this is true, but it did have to be understood that the stone was a stone before it could be used… basic is basic and should not be changed.. leave the new ideas for later…

          • thohan

            You keep using that word…

          • ZoomZoomDiva

            First, one cannot assume the new idea is a better one. When dealing with our children’s education, traditional methods worked. Our children graduated school with a solid foundation of the skills, facts, and knowledge needed to continue their lives or their educations. One should only change a system that was working well if you can PROVE your changes will make it work better or more efficiently before the changes are implemented. Progress and intellectual growth are good things, but the liberals’ attachment to change for it’s own sake is not. New is not necessarily better.

          • ZoomZoomDiva

            First, one cannot assume the new idea is a better one. When dealing with our children’s education, traditional methods worked. Our children graduated school with a solid foundation of the skills, facts, and knowledge needed to continue their lives or their educations. One should only change a system that was working well if you can PROVE your changes will make it work better or more efficiently before the changes are implemented. Progress and intellectual growth are good things, but the liberals’ attachment to change for it’s own sake is not. New is not necessarily better.

          • CatoYounger

            And when does the next education fad start? Seems we get these every ten years or so? Does this mean the last fad we were told was so great was a failure? Human being and their brains haven’t changed. Lets quit experimenting on our children and teach them properly.

          • sjc0116

            Wrong.. you’re an idiot. tell that to the Egyptians who didn’t have your lunatic liberalism. or the scientists who put man into space or made medical advancements which gave the groundwork for those today. They weren’t liberals. Liberalism tries to force ONE way of thinking and stifles individualism

          • CatoYounger

            That may be the stupidest post on the internet today Dmckendree, congrats. You are confusing different meanings for liberal and conservative then also creating a strawman conservatism when you obviously don’t understand the concept. I would attempt to explain, but it would be wasted on you.

          • Sara

            LuJohnson, stop. You are blindly embracing an opposition without considering the positives and negatives of an idea. Moron. God gave us intelligent minds to write, to communicate and to THINK. All of your right new stations bash on common core and so it must be evil right? Have you considered questioning YOUR sources and using YOUR brain? Please consider that all news reporters will have a biased agenda, be it left or right. Is our education system deteriorating? Maybe! Did it suck before? Absolutely! I believe the issue lies in that the citizens of our country, young and old are too lazy to think and to filter through medias or what you learn in school or what you hear from your friends by taking some time to LOGICALLY determine what you should believe.

          • Emily Craig

            Yes the solid concrete simple basics to build on. Right! Critical abstract thinking is later, not during the foundation years.

          • William Baugh

            Start with moral “right” and “wrong” then add basic knowledge like numbers and words. It is a proven fact you have to crawl before you can walk.. crawl == “See Spot chase the cat.” crawl == “2 + 2 = 4” walk == (4 * 1205) + (86 / 3) * 3 + 1 = ??

            could it be 4907 ?? how many pages would it take for common dumb core??

          • Jerry Frost

            IQ scores have raised in the last century….. but how long has this common core crap been out? A few obummer years. check that growing IQ in a couple of years it will continue to grow in the States which refuse common core, but the others… watch it plunge

          • Richard

            Over the past CENTURY because teachers were allowed to TEACH and impart knowledge into young minds instead of this common core crap. There is no reason to go through 4 steps to achieve a solution to a simple addition or subtraction problem. None whatsoever.

          • bbgunplinkplink

            It’s “risen,” not “raised,” honey.

          • Mike Ritchie

            It damned sure didn’t have anything to do with this crap you’re pushing.

          • Susie Smith Dial

            An increase in IQ scores has been attributed to better prenatal care to allow for a healthier development of the child in vitro combined with better nutrition and healthcare during early childhood. Research into the historical impact of better healthcare and the implications for intelligence is established. You clearly do not understand the concept of “dumbing down.” Our education system has degraded from an institution which provides the tools to disseminate information and process it to one of indoctrination of concepts with an emphasis upon recitation with no reasoning.

          • Robert Alexander Kayn

            sorry to tell you this Kate but from the way you try to defend “new math” you are the one making a mockery of the country not them. i am a product of the old school education system and the lowest i have scored on an IQ test is 135. besides that crap they try and i you the word “teach” very loosely is garbage can’t be at all helpful to anyone anywhere.

          • Alessandro Drudi

            Improvement in IQ comes from better health, food and standard of living. Do you ignore this piece of information or is it just your agenda speaking?

          • L P

            When you compare America to the rest of the world’s leading countries, we have failed! We have dumbed down America.

          • Branden Alexander Farnsworth-W

            I am an engineering manager. I have seen first hand the failure of our education system in the grads that I interview.

            Common Core, like most things, had good intentions, but with very poor implementation.

            Basic analytical skills, mathematics skills, and the ability to communicate effectively are nearly non existent in the graduates currently hitting the market. The “everyone wins” generation is not able to compete with China, India, or even most of Europe.

          • Rick Enochs

            What Hockenbury didn’t tell you is that the IQ test of today is dumbed down from the IQ test of 1914, so the scores are not comparable. This was done to improve the ” self esteem” of the students.

          • eph4_15

            Live in Denial much? You are projecting. And IQ score have only increased in spite of dumbing down, due to the use of Common Core math, and Obama figures – as usual – to get the answer HE wants. It has to make him and his policies LOOK good, Like Obama Care stats, Jobs numbers, etc.. You are the one ignoring information due to your OWN agenda & making a mockery of your country.

          • cp colgate

            Katie.,,you are so wrong!!!!! Get out of the classroom now. Common core IS the dumbing down of our students…and if you are a part of should be sued.
            Our scores have NOT gone up in 40 years…in fact,
            Common core schools have brought them down. It is a subversive style and the textbooks are left wing incorrect info,
            You should be ashamed. Do your research..

          • Iron Tub


          • disgustedtaxpayer9

            Please, of course there is dumbing down in America. Kids graduate from high school without being able to make simple change, calculate percentages or interest without a calculator, and not understanding or using correct English, or even being able to spell.

          • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

            Katie is describing the Flynn effect, which shows that IQs have been gradually rising for the past century. But do you really want to delve into IQ, Katie? Are you prepared to accept the obvious yet politically incorrect?

          • georgehilton

            Katie in the past century yes, it is past couple of generations that are being dumbed down, ever since the socialists got control of our education system…..

          • Willum Proud

            IQ tests are a measure of ones ability to apply logic to solve problem, not a measure of education. IQ SCORES are a statistical manipulation based on the average of the people taking the tests. Are you saying that the average score has gone up? Because that is not true in the US. Quite the opposite based on the the actual test results over the last 6 decades, not the statistics applied to them that determines the relation ship between ‘test results’ and ‘IQ score’.

          • ken

            yes, but how long have we been using Common Core, not the past century.

          • Bill

            IQ scores have not increased.
            They are still 100 on average.

            The fact that you think otherwise shows that you don’t understand what IQ is.

          • Mike

            Bill, the test is re-normed ever 15-20 years, so in fact the iq test could change. The IQ test will always mean the average will be 100. That does NOT mean that the raw scores have not increased. It’s known as the Flynn effect.

            I think you may not know what IQ is.

          • Brian

            Liberals make a mockery of this country. I like how you have to go back an entire century to exclaim that the nation’s IQ had increased overall. Since the topic is common for core, you should consider the time frame that common core has been in existence. Proper mathematics have aided in increasing our IQ as a whole, not common core. I have a daughter going into eighth grade next year, the way she is taught to perform mathematical functions is ridiculous. Kids are being taught “touch points” and convoluted methods of solving equations instead of the correct methods. If you think they’re is nothing wrong with common core, consider asking a common core student to count your change back instead of just regurgitating what the register says. Then tell yourself how fabulous common core is as they struggle to do it properly. Good luck out there.

          • Rick Leiner

            I have an IQ that was tested when I was in high school at nearly 150 and I drive a truck because I flunked out of college. IQ scores are absolutely useless in judging a persons ability it is only a tool used to judge someones potential for learning.

          • D. Kiiskila

            Actually part of the reason IQ scores have gone up is environmental as well (do some research on why we don’t have Leaded gasoline burning in our cars anymore and you’ll find out why IQ scores are going up.)

          • William Baugh

            Naturally IQ’s have gone up. The education system has gone down to make it easy for kids to make A’s and B’s instead of the D’s and F’s that they should be getting and then having to go to summer school to make up for their lack of brain power during the regular school year. I really liked the comment about not giving the exact change , that does throw most of them for a loop. In education, just like life itself. there is no “try” you either “do” or you “don’t do”.. You study, you pass (usually) (depends on what you were studying when you should be been studying something else.)

          • Mary Curry

            Not raised but risen. Yes they are dumbing down America.

          • sjc0116

            indoctrinated I see. you are SO so wrong on every point. Let me just give you a few basics maybe it will click. we put man into space and then on the moon. EVERYTHING associated with that involved math. NOT ONE of the people needed this faux math you are dishing. NOT ONE. EVERY country in the WORLD does not use CC or anything like it because the idea is to come up with the correct answer in the fewest steps. I’ve worked with computers for 40 years. Very math intensive and what improved my math skills.. not this BS.. logic. Now we’ll go back in time.. what the hell did the Egyptians use to build all those structures when CC (thankfully) didn’t exist. Katie.. IT IS dumbing down this country PERIOD. I work for an international country and they are laughing at this stuff. Happy about it as it gives their kids another advantage. All of what I have given you are written in some useless psych book written by some self-serving individuals. what I have given are hardcore FACTS. You and those supporting CC are destroying kids. Just to let you know.. I’ve worked in areas which are math intensive. I’d compete with you any day on taking a math test.. your method versus mine. guess who will finish first and correctly.. not you

          • NukeWaste

            If you have been teaching for the last 20 years, you would have a very different opinion. The Public School kids are getting dumbed down big time. Individual work is being reduced while group work is being enforced. Individual excellence is not being reinforced properly. “How does this help your group?” Math education is severely dumbed down. So have IQ tests. Try taking a modern one. It will tell you that your intelligence is much higher than it is. IQ scores are logarithmic. 10 points higher is 100 times the intelligence. I am not interested in your Psychology textbook. I have a minor in Symbolic Interaction. Nor is Psychology a science. It is an art.

          • Ehren Schlueter

            I question if the results are askew. In my experience this new CC system is confusing young minds and is designed to cause behavior disorders in classrooms so the schools can collect more money from the government and the government can tax us more.

          • Jane Faatz Mitchell

            IQ scores have not raised at all. Tests have changed. Do you think people today are smarter than people of the past? You sure think a lot of yourself. CIting one psychology textbook among hundreds is no proof that our kids are smarter. You are not using logic at all. When I was in high school in the early 70s, you got one chance to take the SAT and there were no study classes. It really measured something. Now kids can take it multiple times, take classes to learn how to take it, etc. Do you think this means they are smarter?

          • CatoYounger

            Katie, you have no grasp of history. American school children used to learn Latin and logic in addition to “base” subjects of math, science, and english/grammar. I have seen sixth grade equivalent math books from the late 1800’s that today’s 8th graders would be unable to do.
            Secondly, how can you possibly assert that because “IQ scores have raised in the past century” (we’ll get to that) “means that can not be due to genetics.” Really, why not? Have you actually looked at the demographic changes in the United States? If there is a rise, is it a true rise or have IQ tests changed? And, even if not genetics, why does it follow its education? How about nutrition? People are getting larger and stronger due to better nutrition, why wouldn’t it affect their brains? Or how about just plain old increased and varied environmental stimulation of today’s modern world? Perhaps nothing in America today is as frustrating as all of the falsely-educated barbarians with moderate intellects who think they are smart and educated. I am not calling you that, I am saying that is what our educational systems are increasingly turning out.

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            If the point of the exercise is to show your work, then only showing the answer and not “how you go there” won’t give fill credit.

            Just because YOU can’t figure out how it works doesn’t mean the system is “Stupid” or “Dumbing-down America”.

          • Richard

            I don’t need to figure out how it works, because I learned how to do basic math the proper way, with my brain. I’ve never needed 4 steps to do simple addition or subtraction, even in elementary school.

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            Oh good. We definitely shouldn’t consider any change in the educational system because the “old method” worked great for one person.

          • Joyce Ewaniak Paul

            correction-the old method has worked for billions of people-

          • Big Bob

            And still does in the non common core states !!!!!

          • disqus_zUibfyfU5r

            The “old” method worked great for MILLIONS of people! The point of the exercise is to add 26 + 17, not write a novel. So YankeeintheBluegrass show us YOUR work, common core solution, to this problem: r=a(1-e2)/(1+e cos()); rmin= a(1-e); rmax=a(1+e)

            Ps. I live in FL and work at the place where we need “real” math and not the nonsense being put on the curriculum today…

          • pdx73

            The old system brought this country up from a collection of rag tag states to the most successful, prosperous and powerful country in the history of the human race in just over 200 years. You want to change it? Why?

          • YankeeintheBluegrass

            If we’re so woo-hoo amazing, why are we ranked so low internationally?

          • jendem

            I don’t recall all the details but some of the comparisons are not accurate.

          • Big George

            Because there’s always a better system, and we should always be trying to improve? Why don’t we just go back to calculating with an abacus? Cars work – why bother trying to improve them? Computers work – why bother making new ones?

          • Big George

            No offense, but you don’t exactly sound like a smart enough person to measure our children’s abilities against. We want them to be smarter than just being able to do simple addition and subtraction. We want them to be able to understand the “why” behind mathematics so that they can abstract complex problems by recognizing patterns. . Any idiot can do simple math the way you describe. More complex equations require deeper thinking and a firm understanding of number relationships. It’s a different world then it was even ten years ago. Simple math isn’t enough for this generation to succeed in the age of information technology.

          • Susie Smith Dial

            YankeeintheBluegrass, I hope your name is in reference to living in Kentucky because your reasoning is definitely not conducive to being able to play improv music. Basic mathematics skills that should be taught to children should not involve convoluted and complicated thought processes. If one asks a third grader to give the product of 8 X 3, the child should be able to recall the answer from memorized multiplication tables. If a child is asked the sum of 32 + 9, the child should know 9 +2 equals 11, put down the 1 and carry a 1, 1 + 3 is for so the answer is 41. Bringing in extra steps that have nothing to do but add addition steps not only complicates the problem but increases the possibility of a mistake. Some of these CC math problems are making a simple math sentence like 45 + 32 = X more complicated than using proof theory to explain geometry concept in high school.

          • twmat311

            Not to belittle all this, but the “points for correct equation” logic sounds like when I give my in-laws exact correct point-by-point directions to my house, and they get lost anyway (yes, I still give them credit for trying…)

          • Lola

            Give your in-laws a Garmin GPS and forget the point-by-point directions which are hard to follow when you are driving anyway.
            This Common Core math is reducing kids and parents to tears because it turns what is normally simple to figure out in to something complicated and frustrating!!

          • Sara

            So…….. don’t encourage your in-laws to think… encourage them to mindlessly listen to a technological device to tell them what to do (if we’re going with the analogy).

          • Keith Myatt

            So then are you going to move you house to where they ended up? Not likely.

          • John Clay Carroll

            It’s the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ mentality that permeates our culture.

          • copywriter111

            The ones who get the real trophies the trophies come in the form of a paycheck. Kids are the real losers. Hopefully the kids in private school can some day teach children from these public schools how to tie ones shoes.

          • kirkpatrick

            This is so evident when you do business with companies these days. Their employees are profoundly lazy and incompetent, and if you remind them they aren’t living up to the standards you’ve come to expect, they will try to actively make you suffer, and the laws tend to shield them. It’s almost impossible to get things done with these bumbling morons.

          • KChandler

            I totally agree. Kids don’t learn how to win with grace or lose with it either because no ones feelings should be hurt. I am sorry but if you play baseball or any other sport you play to win, and if you come out on top then you get a trophy but if your team stinks and you come in last you should not get a trophy. What you do get is a lesson, and that is, if you want a trophy you need to step up your game. We are telling these kids that they don’t have to work for any thing, it will be given to them no matter what any way.

          • Mary Curry

            This is throughout our country. They tell good readers that they cannot win summer reading contests because it is unfair. They tell good spellers that they are showing off if they can spell correctly. They tell businesses that they cannot be successful because it ruins the competition.

          • Mary Curry

            Are you sure you do not want them to get lost?

          • twmat311

            Not out loud, but there are some days… 🙂

          • Siobhan Elizabeth

            When Carl Sagan attended the University of Chicago as an undergrad majoring in physics, the had an innovated General Ed program all science students (and probably all students) had to take. As Carl put it, in this environment it was considered unacceptable for a physics student not to know Plato, Aristotle, Freud, etc, etc, they had to have a broad understanding of human knowledge when they graduated. It’s why later he was able to write about so many other subjects and tie into the science that was the focus of his books (and of Cosmos). In this program, they had a class where the professor taught the idea that the Sun revolved around the Earth as if it was the correct theory, and at the end of this exercise, many students were “questioning their commitment to Copernicus” in Carl’s words. This was to teach critical thinking, to show that the Earth-centric view held sway for so long, not because the people were stupid back then, but because there is a logic to it, and it especially makes sense based on what they could observe of the universe back then. Of course, today, we KNOW that the Sun is at the center. But that was a valuable lesson to these budding science students that nothing should be dismissed as an idea without evidence, just as an idea should not be accepted without strong evidence. I see that as sort of like the idea that children in CC are learning about how numbers work, and if they can demonstrate in a logical way that 2 + 2 = 5, then they understand the underpinnings of mathematics and that is important. As long as it is shown to them why 2 + 2 really does not equal 5, then they have learned something important. Understanding more than just how to do rote arithmetic is necessary to being able to learn the harder math later, Trig, Calculus, etc. I bet if I’d been taught math this way, I’d have gotten through Trig and Calc and would have become the astronomer I wanted to be. But math became a sticking point for me. I plan to prove to myself today that I really can do it, because I also think the teachers just didn’t bother to help me with math because I was a girl. But that’s another issue.

          • Johnny Blade

            if you can use ‘logic’ to demonstrate that 2+2=5 then the entire structure of mathematics is incorrect.

          • Tom Welsh

            I have no problem with this. When I go to McDonalds I’ll give the CC genius 2 dollars and another 2 dollars for my $4 meal. I’ll tell him 2+2=5 and he owes me a dollar change.

            Similarly, if I ever have the misfortune to hire a CC genius, I’ll give them two $20 bills and tell them it’s $50.

          • Tara1

            Whatever you do, do not give them correct coin to the purchase amount you might get a tongue lashing from management for trying to confuse and steal money. Truly happened.

          • RHO1953

            Above all else don’t give them a coin to ease the changemaking. That makes their eyes cross and glaze.

          • Maria Stoerlein Shaw

            You can do that now without the CC math… none of them can give change if the computer doesn’t tell them correct amount to give…. and if your order comes to $15.10, don’t give them the dime after they’ve already put the $20 payment into the computer.. they can’t figure out that they owe you $5 and not $4.90.

          • WildBill51

            If a student is allowed to use logic to demonstrate the 2+2=5, then what happens when the same students grow up to become engineers designing bridges, rockets, and aircraft? Do want to get on a plane that was designed by ‘close enough with logic’ or accurate engineering?

          • Gregg Evans

            They design components for GM?

          • Andrew

            So I’ll go ahead and finally just spit in the mouth of this “black is black and white is white” nonsensical BS. When I was a Junior in High School and taking Calculus I would get partial credit for the correct method and incorrect answer. The logic being that I took the time to memorize 15 different equations and applied them in the correct fashion to get to the answer, and if I forgot to carry the one then I don’t fail the class and waste the last 4 months of my life. Oh, and by the way, today I fix F-16 fighter aircraft in the Air Force, maintaining the structural integrity of the entire air frame. I literally aced the ASVAB, crushed the AF Officer Qualifaction Test, graduated Summa Cum Laude from my university with a 4.0 and scored a 700 on the GMAT.

            So maybe, just MAYBE, instead of looking at the world with this kindergarten, cookie cutter, idiotic mindset of “if we give kids an inch they’ll turn out completely stupid!” you can view the world in this light: Millennials, the spoiled, rotten, lazy generation you despise so much, are not only filling the ranks of the military you claim to love, but have also accomplished vastly more than the baby boomers even thought possible.

          • Lori Ziegler

            You know…your completely irrelevant rant tooting your own horn and telling people how impressed you are with yourself only shows how narcissistic you are and your complete inability to relate to others except to explain to them your superiority. Why don’t you step down off your high horse for a minute and actually look at statistics showing American kids are drastically failing in math from just a few years ago. Whether YOU understand this method or not is irrelevant. ….the majority of American kids do not and this method is not working for the majority.

          • Vista Bail Bonds®

            Andrew, I commend you on your accomplishments, but don’t pat yourself on the back by thinking Millennials have accomplished vastly more than Baby Boomers. Because the technology you take for granted today, the Baby Boomers didn’t have – so they invented it. It’s easy to improve upon something already created, try inventing something totally new that will change the world forever.

          • Sara

            But they will not be able to use logic to demonstrate that 2+2=5.. thus the teaching moment.

          • Siobhan Elizabeth

            I don’t actually think you can demonstrate that 2 + 2 = 5, I was making a point about the idea of teaching kids how to think as opposed to rote memorization.

          • Jane Faatz Mitchell

            Rote memorization of basic math facts is a good thing. I am an elem. teacher and play games with my students to learn the facts. Once they are memorized, they can learn to think through problems using the basics they have stored in their brains. Same goes for reading. If they didn’t learn sounds, sight words, and spelling by rote, they would not be able to read. How do you think you learned to think critically? It’s a process that is learned and built upon over time.

          • whamo

            I think it’s a good idea for high I.Q. individuals with minds going 100MPH. The slow ones will just get discouraged with this challenge.

          • JoJoJams

            Exactly. It would be a “faulty” logic, and should be corrected as such – not applauded.

          • Homer Simpson

            Learning past beliefs in science and learning to use evidence to dispute theories is NOTHING like learning how to make 2+2=5. Mathematics is straight forward; there is no grey area like there is in Science. 2=2=4 and will ALWAYS equal 4, no matter what evidence or theories you try to use to change that. It’s not the same as teaching past scientific beliefs and why they were held for so long, until evidence could be shown to dispute it.

          • Sara

            Thank You, you have said that thoughtfully and eloquently and I couldn’t agree more. Isn’t teaching students to think the ultimate goal of education?

          • the moderate

            Well Elizabeth, if you can demonstrate that 2+2=5 it is easy for me to understand that math is a “sticking point” for you. The “method” described above is the intellectual equivalent of putting 43 tooth picks on the table and counting them.

          • NukeWaste

            You never would have become an astronomer. Waiting lists were always very long. At one time, there was at least one job opening per year somewhere in the world for one person. There are even fewer jobs today. Equipment and student workers do the brunt of the work. I hope that you found something that you like to do for a living. I went for the BS, Physics.

          • Siobhan Elizabeth

            Well, gee, thanks a lot. I know that being an astronomer isn’t the most practical of jobs, But I’d like to think that if I’d gone for it, and worked hard, really hard, I could have found a position at a university if not at a specific observatory. And, I wasn’t very specific. I would have majored in physics, since Rutgers where I went, didn’t have an astronomy major, but a physics major. After that, I would have pursued a PhD, most likely also in physics, while taking as many classes dealing with astronomy as I could. Most astronomers actually get degrees in physics. If I had to take a job that wasn’t specifically in astronomy until I earned my stripes, that would have been fine

          • Big Bob

            Richard you are correct.

          • disgustedtaxpayer9

            There is nothing wrong with giving points for being able to show your steps, and for working hard — understanding the process, vs. memorizing answers, or copying from your neighbor — but it should not be as much as for the right answer, or for mastering the subject!!!

          • CelticGyrl

            Thank you Richard! Your first sentence in this comment goes straight to the issue. If your equation (method) is correct, your answer (result) will be correct!

            I get so frustrated with this mentality that I (at 49 years old with a nursing degree, after maintaining a 3.88 gpa through college, while working full-time with a toddler and a husband deployed for Operation Desert Storm/Shield) am somehow too stupid to understand how to help a child in elementary school learn basic math!

            My mother feels the same. She has a degree in Accounting, worked as Fiscal Officer for a government agency overseeing millions of dollars in grant money to our county and as bookkeeper for private business and boys/girls athletic programs (just to highlight her varied experience) and she nearly pulls her hair out when doing math with my 17 year old or my 11 year old niece!

            Our children are being told their parents are old and dumb, wrong headed in our beliefs (political/religious), and should be ignored in favor of Big Brother! Thank God my sons have listened over the years and can think with their own brains. My 22 year old comes to me and asks questions knowing I won’t belittle him or ignore his point of view. That’s worth all the organized education in the world to me!

          • peg_c

            I think this is a big part of CCC – REMOVING parents and family from children’s education! No parents I know understand this crap. It’s very important to the Left to get parents removed from (ultimately) all aspects of their children’s upbringing. Anyone who’s a former lefty (as I am) knows this. It’s part of a real sickness in socialism and Marxism. They believe the State owns the children.

          • Timothy Shampoe

            If your equations are correct does not mean your calculations are correct. That is a fact. In statistics if you have a data set of points and you write one down incorrectly you get the wrong answer? Your equation maybe right. Secondly of you you do three of the four steps right then you should get partial credit for the your answer. In much of life in the real world it is not about finding the answer but find the way to get the answer. If the right answer was the most important thing, then an employee would never say, I do not know the answer now but I know where to to get it. They should just say the answer, either right or wrong. In fact, it is more important to understand how to get the answer than the answer itself.

            Look at science one minute we have a concrete conclusion and sound theory then ten years later we have a whole new theory or conclusion.People hate change, and the fact of the matter is what is Pi? Why is it 3.14? If we explain the process they can see the picture, the reason for Pi. Understand the principle is important. This question is taken out of context and needs to be explained as the fifth grade student is supposed to be using mental math and finding a way to use the tens to figure out the problem. We all do this. We have a group of numbers and add them trying to find the tens. It is the same concept but using the the sums of two smaller numbers and adding them together to get the sum of the original answers. Breaking problems down unto smaller steps that we can handle is another step that we learn in doing higher level math? So is turning a subtraction into an addition problem wrong? 10-3= ?+3=7 working backwards is the same thing, it is another way to figure out the answer. If there was only one way to do math it would difficult to teach all kids. As I am getting my doctorate I am learning that there are many ways to salve a problem. First thing is not shooting down a new way of doing things.

          • Sara

            YOU THINK AN ASTRONAUT IS NOT GOING TO CARE ABOUT PROCESSES?! HAVE YOU EVEN SEEN THE MOVIE APOLLO 13?! Astronauts are some of the most intelligent humans out there and they must focus intently on methods and thought processes to understand a concept at the deepest level.

          • Big George

            Except that that’s not true. In the real world, people are constantly analysing, reviewing and revising their methods as they gain understanding. Example: A computer program uses a method that, although returns the correct answer, does so in a highly inefficient manner causing the application to lag. Even though the answer is correct, the method used needs revision. The hero of the day is going to be the programmer that can outline the steps in the procedure so as to identify the inefficiency. In computers, how you get the answer is just as important as the answer itself.

          • Northwest_Raised

            No worries, Richard. Obammy canned the space program.

          • Lex Walker

            Whether or not the angry astronaut cares doesn’t matter, he’s deep space’s problem now.

          • ChucklesAE

            Because for some reason everyone who goes to school is going to be producing trajectories for astronauts?

            In the “real world” most people don’t use half of the shit they learn in math class in every day scenarios. Additions, multiplication, subtract, maybe division. Using fractions if you’re in construction or a job that needs precision. Most of algebra and beyond ? No, sorry but no.

            There’s no need to complicate basic arithmetic in the manner that is being done with Common Core.

          • Barbara Finger

            yeah but if the answer was right and you couldn’t explain you were wrong – I never used the work sheets – to confusing I just figured it out in my head with my fingers – but CC is way too complicated – math is hard enough for some without making it that way for all

          • Johnny Blade

            I set the machine up right but still managed to make the wrong part, I deserve partial payment….. good luck with that.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            School is meant to prepare you for real life, its not meant to be exactly like real life. A teacher needs to see how the student got to their answer, so if they get it wrong, they can show the student where they went astray in their equation.

          • rosemarienoa

            Where did you go to school & when ????? That’s simply crazy ?????

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            I graduated in 2006 from a public school with good grades, and then graduated from a university in Boston with even better grades. Every math class I took, at both schools, required you to show how you got your answers.

          • Big George

            You should be more specific in your posts.
            If a student is smart enough to get the right answer then they should be smart enough to articulate “how” they got the right answer. I wouldn’t hire someone who can’t explain how they got a correct answer. Why? Because they could have been cheating or guessing for all I know. Even if they got the right answer once, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in future applications. What’s so crazy about that? And what kind of an idiot can’t explain how they did their “math”.

          • Arelar2

            still pumping gas?

          • Big George

            You should try contributing to the conversation instead of derailing it.

          • Big George

            What are you implying? You have something to say about honest laborers?

          • Jack Burnett

            That’s perhaps the stupidest comment I’ve ever heard. I don’t want the nurse calculating my dosage to get credit because she used the right procedure but ODed me anyway. I don’t want the guy wiring my home to get close to the load requirements of my service. Math is all about getting the correct answer. What will you suggest next, that we just round Pi down to 3 because that’s good enough??? Man, you’re an idiot.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            That’s why its a high school exam, not real life. A teacher needs to know if the students understand why they are getting the answer that they are. If a student simply writes down a number but does not show how they got to that number, the teacher has no way of knowing whether or not the student understands the equation. Getting the answer is one thing, but understanding the equation and when do use it is another, its important that students know both.

          • Big George

            What are you talking about? Are you seriously comparing k-12 education to professional training? I don’t usually let 7 year-olds measure my medicine. However, I would expect a nurse to be able to explain to me how she arrived at my exact dosage. If she is unable to list the steps she took to arrive at her number, I wouldn’t exactly trust her conclusion, would you?

          • Michael Onstott

            No credit for wrong answers… wrong is wrong no matter how you try to sugar coat it……

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            So we shouldn’t be teaching students how to do the equations that lead to the right answers? It doesn’t matter if they actually understand the math they are doing? We shouldn’t teach the method behind the math? Perhaps we should leave education up to the professionals, who have dedicated their lives to studying how best to teach students.

          • Michael Onstott

            Yes, we should be TEACHING, that’s what leads to understanding, ever try living in a house that was build roof first and basement on top?? it doesn’t work, some things have to be done a certain way, the right way for anything else to work… basics are basics and should be left alone

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            And how are you supposed to text if they know the equation if you don’t make them right out the whole thing on the test?

          • Michael Onstott

            ok…. yes, they need to be taught, yes, they should show their work so they can be corrected… that’s not the question… they should not be given credit for a wrong answer just because they tried something… they should be corrected and shown how to do it right..

          • Big George

            You’re the funniest person. You can’t be serious and yet you write with such conviction I’m surprised you didn’t end your strange assertion with the word “Period!”.
            There are many fields of study where finding the wrong answer and understanding how it came to be are more important than obtaining the correct answer. Systems Analysis comes to mind.

          • Lostcustomer

            Tell that to an engineer that builds bridges or buildings when they fall down. The answers are either right, or wrong, not in a gray area…

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Is a professional engineer the same thing as a high school student? I thought school was meant to prepare students for jobs, not to be a job?

          • Karl Dulle

            uhm…. WTF?

          • Skillt Reed

            You shouldn’t get credit for a wrong answer….period. A wrong answer means that you didn’t understand the concept. Giving students credit for a concept they obviously didn’t understand is what is going wrong with education…among other things. Its insane and not responsible. Children begin to understand that being given credit for something….when you did nothing…is worthless. Just like “participation ribbons”. I refused to give them for my science fairs. We did it the old fashioned way…right up to my retirement. Three winners and a grand prize winner with honorable mentions. My students worked like dogs for these prizes and I certainly wasn’t going to dumb them down. I had to fight bitterly. Now when I have attended science fairs as of late…..its pathetic. No real “thought” and the lamest projects. Competition was eliminated and “participation” ribbons are given. Thus, not even your bright students work hard….why should they??? You foster complete worthlessness with this attitude.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            No the whole point is, if you did the equation correctly, you DO understand the concept…

          • Skillt Reed


          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            You can still understand the concept and get the wrong answer…

          • Skillt Reed

            In my class buster… don’t get credit for a wrong answer. If you truly understand the concept….then your answer would be correct. Geez, WT Heck is wrong with you?? Your one of those feel good kinds….right? You want everyone to have a participation ribbon….sing kumbyyah…right??? Your idea of credit for a concept you did not understand is absurd….its called “dumbing down” and its the reason why the public school system is in the toilet. It is why parents are leaving the public school system in droves….to home school. I come from a long line of great and gifted teachers. My students tested in the and higher on standardized tests. Our federal and state govt is happy if your students test in the low 70’s. I find that absurd. After WWII we were 46th ranked as the smartest nation. We are now 87th ranked. That is just sad. Of course if we have dimwits like you….saying…”oh give the kid credit….geez…he tried.” I tell you what….we will let the pilot that didn’t pass the test….fly YOUR plane….as long as you “think” he kinda got the concept…..right??? (He sure would not fly MY plane.) Or how about the next time your need surgery…heart surgery…..and the doctor who does your surgery is the one….who didn’t really pass his tests…but you “think” he kinda got the concept. (We will let him be YOUR doctor. OF course, that is what you will get with Obama Care anyway. That is so laughable it isn’t funny. Meanwhile the Japanese are surpassing us….I wonder why…..could it be….THEY DO NOT GIVE CREDIT FOR WRONG ANSWERS BECAUSE THEY GET…..IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT….YOU GET THE CORRECT ANSWER….IF YOUR ANSWER IS WRONG….YOU DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT. End of story. Now stop….your just making yourself look foolish.

          • Skillt Reed

            I cant edit and when I went to correct what my students made in standardized tests….I wasn’t able to insert….but my students tested in the 80’s on federal and state standardized tests. Our govt is happy if your students tests in the 70’s.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            You’ve completely misunderstood what I’m saying. Apparently the concept is to complex for you to comprehend.

          • Skillt Reed

            I think this is Deja Moo…..I have heard this “Bull” before.

          • copywriter111

            Makes sense

          • KChandler

            No that is the problem, I don’t agree with common core, but I don’t agree that a math problem should be counted “partially” right if it is wrong. I benefited from this practice along with all other kids, but if you think about it, it isn’t right. We lead our kids to believe in math it is ok if they know the procedure but not get the correct answer. Math is either right or wrong, there is no in between. 2+2 = 4 and I don’t care how you show me it is something else, the logic fails.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Then why even bother to learn how to do the equation anyway? Why not just memorize all the answers for the test?

          • Tohopeornottohopethatisthe?

            It makes sense in high school math (like pre calculus) where you are have long, complex problems, but not for elementary math.

          • NukeWaste

            Sorry Richard, If your equations are correct but you have to do the math by hand, your work is worth 8 points. The correct answer is worth 2, but 0 if no work is shown.

          • Allison Powers

            They don’t do that in engineering. If the bridge falls down, that is not correct.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            You understand the difference between college/university and the real world? College is to prepare you for a job, not to be exactly like the job. You don’t get hours of instruction when you’re an engineer either, you don’t get grades, you don’t have to write papers and pay tuition…yeah, there’s a lot of differences, what’s your point?

          • Allison Powers

            These kids, some of them, are going to be engineers. If you are in engineering, you have to get the right answer. Somebody’s life, maybe many people’s lives, will depend on it. We really need to strive for accuracy in math. To be not teaching accuracy in basic computational skills is ludicrous. And, using this common core method will slow down computations. While an American kid figures it out and writes down all this tedious adding, kids in China have probably already completed 3 or 4 or more math problems in the same amount of time.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            Again, this is school, which is meant to PREPARE you for those jobs, not to be exactly like those jobs. Yeah, in a construction job you don’t get to do the equation right but get the answer wrong. But you also don’t get to have conferences with the teacher, have hours of instruction, write research papers, and get grades. In an engineering job, you’re right, they do need to get the correct answer. But they also need to be able to understand the equation and know how to use it. Also, I’m a teacher in Asia and I work with teachers from China. If you think this process is tedious, you should see the worksheets and Chinese teaching methods they have showed me. In China, all students are still taught do to math with the abacus.

          • Allison Powers

            For years, their people were starving. I wouldn’t point to them as an example. Most of their tech they stole from us. Kids need to learn rote basic math skills so they can move onto more complex problems and not be bogged down with cumbersome methods.

          • NoFightingInTheWarRoom

            I wasn’t pointing to them as an example, YOU were. Do you not remember typing “While an American kid figures it out and writes down all this tedious adding, kids in China have probably already completed 3 or 4 or more math problems in the same amount of time.”? That’s what I was responding to…

          • Jason

            No they should not. It’s either right or wrong.

        • Bryant Hill

          You spent way more time figuring out how someone put CC into practice
          If you give the Federal Gov’t the task of making a round wheel more round, they would produce a square wheel.
          If you put the Federal Gov’t in charge of the Sahara Desert for five years they would show a shortage of sand.
          How in the hell did we get in this mess?

          • gangletron

            Finally someone who understands. We got into this mess by trusting said government would do a good job.

      • Common sense

        Our kids are not learning because trash like this is being taught.

      • Gwen

        After my A/B child started making C/D in math for getting the RIGHT answers we decided on homeschooling along with several other families. She now likes learning again and enjoys getting credit for putting down right answer. The problem your not understanding is EVERY child learns differently and that’s OK! You can teach CC and some kids may pick it up and like it however, others will not and shouldn’t be
        punished. In the real world NO ONE cares how you got the answer as long as it is right.

        • Lane Walker

          I’m a huge fan of home schooling, which doesn’t make brownie points with a lot of teachers. I absolutely understand that every student learns differently, which is one of the reason I like homeschooling. You can tailor every lesson to your daughter’s preferences. CC is not the “one-size-fits-all” you’ve read. Explanations are huge, though, for several reasons: 1) Increases retention, 2) needed for collaboration in real life 3) connects one topic to another 4) expands perceptions (as we slow down to explain, we think of other approaches that can be more efficient. You might be interested in CC writer Phil Daro’s video “Against Answer Getting.”

          • Jerry Frost

            still talking garbage about the virtues of dumbing down our children so yours can keep up?

      • Satchel5775

        Actually, I like your “fractions confused” sheet. Will make a great set of notes for my students. Thanks.

      • pjt2352

        “See if the scenario changes in your mind:”
        No it doesn’t.

      • Erika

        Thank you for sharing some sources. I’ve been researching a lot on Common Core and I always appreciate sources from those that are on the side of Common Core to better understand the why behind these standards.

        • Lane Walker

          Thank you for the encouragement. Please feel free to message me on FB if anything else comes up. I just critiqued a video for someone. There is so much misinformation floating around out there and I certainly don’t want to add any more to that so I try to only state things I know by experience are true. I also try to only bring evidence people can prove for themselves I’ve checked into a lot of the posts against CCSS and much of it looks very convincing until I check further and see what was taken out of context. It is especially heartbreaking for me to watch people tear into the math standards knowing how desperately US students need them.

      • Maggie Scheck Geene

        If they gave the explanation that they give in the video it would make sense. With no context at all how are little kids supposed to understand what is being taught? ESP?

        • Lane Walker

          The standards will require deep explanations and hands-on work for the kids that, to be honest, few of us teachers have been taught ourselves. Most elementary school teachers never even took “college algebra” and fractions that are taught this way lead gradually and smoothly into Algebra. It is estimated it will take 90-180 hours of in-service to train the average teacher. I presented at a few conferences last year and am working within my own district, but much more needs to be done. You sure made my day by checking this out. Americans seem very willing to forward complaints and gossip but no one’s attempts to get through have gone viral 🙁 Every year I work with a class of kids assigned to me an extra hour each day because math is so hard for them. They are 14 years old and in 3 months, they are bragging about all the different ways they can break down a fraction problem and work it out the most efficient way.

      • Mary Niski

        Lane Walker why try to fix something that isn’t broke. Teaching children plain addition, subtraction, multiplication and division has worked fine for centuries. I think whomever came up with this crap has reached his level of incompitence and is now changing stuff so no one catches on that they are an idiot.

        • Lane Walker

          You are correct that adding whole numbers have remained the same since cavemen left marks in caves counting their prey. The problems stem from the fact that our society has become so techy. Students need to be able to add decimal numbers, fractions, work with negatives, irrationals (square roots can be found in Home-Depot Do-It-Yourself Ceramic tile). When all students know is what they memorize, math eventually becomes confusing and frustrating. I’m not sure which “crap” got your attention but can explain if you upload an example. For now, let’s just talk about fractions. Here are the simple, old fashioned words we use to tell kids how to “do fractions:” A 3-second peek at that is all most folks need to remember how easy it was to remember ANY of those procedures, but who in the heck remembers all and which to use when? That’s why our system is broken and so few of our kids are able to hold degrees that help them secure the fun jobs that are out there. Here are some short fraction videos by an umbrella of the Core. Watching a couple will help you understand the side of the Core issue that most people haven’t heard about

      • Mary Beth Comfort

        Ah, Bless their hearts….Truly, educators in their attempt to sound all “teachery” go all in to show how incredibly smart they are…. As usual, the pendulum swings so far out that it has to be corrected by swinging completely the other way. There is no common sense to understanding that all kids DON’T LEARN THIS WAY!!!!! For the kids that do, Hooray!!!! Let them do it all day. For those that don’t we teach alternative learning strategies and allow each child to demonstrate mastery in the way they understand how to get to the answer. That is the beauty of learning. There are so many ways to solve problems. We have completely deincentivized this by forcing all kids to learn only ONE way to get answers. But then, computers can’t understand that kids are individuals. Too bad for you teachers that your jobs are being replaced with the interfacing monitor.

        • Lane Walker

          Somehow I must have said something about “one way.” The CCSS do not prescribe a particular “way” for much of anything. I have recently heard of teachers requiring students to memorize several different approaches for something that was also not in the CC. It is true that CC require a student to be able to explain how they get the answer. One of the main reasons for that is because students will see 2 numbers in a word problem and then do whatever they did last time they saw 2 numbers. On the chapter test, it probably works. Another reason students must explain is because they are developing a skill that transfers to the next level such as “place value.” They have to be able to explain they add tens to tens and ones to ones because when they just go by what they “see,” they later think 0.75 looks bigger than 0.8…and it gets worse from there. With the recent upgrade to Khan Academy (and others), live lecture is becoming less needed, but teachers will need good coaching skills to guide students in problem solving and collaborative work.

      • Marlo Miller Ricciardi

        I don’t want the kids that learned this way counting my change.

      • scott

        if you think CC is easier than old fashioned math,I understand why you are a teacher,not because you are good at what yu do,but because the union will fight you to keep your job no matter how much you screw up

      • Jan Carroll Weaver

        If parents can’t even understand it, how are they supposed to help their children with their math studies?!? Hell, you can’t even use flash cards with the younger kids anymore. I say there is an answer to every math problem and it doesn’t take the “difficult” and “time consuming” way to figure it out. I learned math the CORRECT way and have spent many years in finance (over 28) without any problems. Kids today already have too many frustrations getting through their school years. Give them back what EVERONE understands, not just you teachers, who are mostly against CC anyway!!!

        • Lane Walker

          If parents can’t understand it, it is the responsibility of the school district to provide resources. I totally get this because I raised two sons as an “outsider” to the school system. I always felt frustrated not knowing what was going on behind those walls.

          Flash cards have not gone away as students still have to be fluent with math facts and vocabulary, but it is important to go beyond memorizing “these digits equal these digits,” memorizing sight-words without understanding the meaning. The “difficult and time-consuming” methods teach foundational concepts like place value that carry through the grades. CC multiplication connects with area models and scaling. The time-consuming part also leads into familiar shortcuts. Students move between diagrams and procedure and back again if they forget the meaning of the procedure. The difference is, the kids don’t end up getting so confused. We started school last week and several of my new Algebra I students wrote 1/2 = 2/3 adding to the numerator and denominator instead of multiplying. Last year a senior Algebra 3 student was frustrated when I helped him to see that 4 1/4 is not equivalent to 1 (confused with multipying 4 x 1/4). It’s not my students’ fault they are so confused. They aren’t dumb or lazy and I will continue to push our Country into embracing mathematics instruction similar to Singapore. US home schoolers have purchased from for decades and been very successful. Those materials are also closely aligned to Common Core.

      • Berni

        r My daughter is unable to help her 7 year old with math homework. They just threw parental support out the window. The kids are ON THEIR OWN in this frustration. Do you understand how IMPORTANT parents are in a solid education??!!!

        • Lane Walker

          We have excused our poor Internationally bench marked test performance by saying other countries push their kids too hard or only test the brightest, but when we consider the majority of our kids need remedial math in OUR colleges, then we sort of run out of excuses.

          I’m confident most parents would agree we should not keep bad math instruction bad just so parents can help keep it bad. Parents who use math in their jobs tend to be able to help with math related to their jobs. However, the generalized number sense that flows from about grade 3 up is not what it needs to be for US kids to be able to wrap their minds around flexible Algebra skills, not just in college, but in real-life problem solving.

          US math instruction has had issues for many years and it will take many years to train all the teachers (just to understand the difference between math and memorized tricks), write curriculum, write real-life problems for kids to solve, etc. We can’t wait around until perfection is in place to help our kids. Home schoolers and school districts that have used Singapore Math or similar programs have a leg up on this whole process, but most of us are just getting our feet wet.

          • Berni

            Only entering second grade and tho she stated in kindergarden that she wants to be a paleontologist (how many K graders even know what that is? Im not even sure I spelled it right) She is already near tears over math even though she was adding two place odd numbers before she started K.. and NOW she is confused. Explain that please??? When parents set the stage for acheivement, then to have it ruined by illogical practices… what then? My grand daughter has been obsessed by books since she could hold them. 18 months old and would grab a book and go occupy herself on the sofa without being guided to do so. Her moral. ruined. Her drive. ruined. her lust for learning. ruined. motivation. ruined. her joy for school. ruined. thanks core!!! As a family with 6 kids 7 and under.. we are considering hiring a retired school teacher to home school the group.

          • Lane Walker

            The Common Core doesn’t tell teachers how to teach, but for some reason is getting the blame for messed up teaching. Can you give an example of a problem that upset the paleoanthropologist? .

    • Basically they are bringing back the calculation technique of Japanese Counting Sticks, but not giving the kids the sticks.

      • Bluegrallis

        Gotta use yer fingers instead of sticks. CC is just about the dumbest thing I ever heard of.

        • Joe Fonebone

          Or possibly French toast sticks. Wait, Michelle O. has outlawed those. Dammit!

          • abqblondie2


          • Darren A. Thomassie

            How about string cheese!!!!!!!! ;0)~~~

        • Dillon

          Lol my grandpa taught me this trick but he explained it in a much easier way not ” let’s give 5th graders help by giving them a tip not even college students understand in the first 5 months of looking at the problem.”

        • FedUpLibBS

          I remember getting a RULER ACROSS the Fingers I used to figure the answer. 50 years, and I Still HIDE my hands if I use my fingers for a math problem!!!

          • NukeWaste

            As a physicist, I am proud to count days on my fingers. I don’t use them when doing non-integer math but they don’t require batteries and they hold my beer when not being used for other things.

        • copywriter111

          Books look stupid but plenty of color.

      • sjc0116

        even the Japanese don’t do it this way. why bring back something ancient to compete in a modern world?

    • William Bush

      I have a Physics degree and I agree with you 100%.

    • Bryant Hill

      I looked at it once, knowing that Common Core was endorsed by Obama and administration and right away I knew it was inefficient.
      Is there anything the Federal Gov’t is involved with that is efficient?

    • Ashley Daniel

      The broke it down wrong, If they were going to instruct how to add in that manner, they should have done it by digit placement. 20 +10 = 30. 6 +7 = 13. 30 +13 = 43. That way is more useful, and the explanation was very bad.

    • Olog Hai

      If the kids get stonewalled by that, how will stuff like trigonometric substitutions in calculus ever get taught? or polar coordinates?

    • william C

      Nothing like screwing up a system that worked well for generations learning basic arithmetic. I had to uncork a bottle of good scotch just to stop the head from spinning with this one!

    • John Thaddeus

      Profound isn’t it? The very MODELS are changed for what reasons?SO TRUE, I REMEMBER THE KEN HAM DEBATE WITH BILL NYE AS OF THE LATELY! IT SEEMS RUDE DON’T CHA THINK? KEN STARTED (with veracity) THE DEBATE WITH A QUESTION [ quite easily bill missed and dissed the entire debate by the nature of blatant ignorance ]; KEN ASKED ALONG THE GUIDE LINES OF ANY DEBATE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED: KEN QUESTIONED THIS—> ‘WHY WAS THE EDUCATION MODEL, (since,actually for a long time now) [ SIMPLY ] CHANGED” to this point Bill Nye averted to ( MATERIALS)! The very thing, (the likes should have been respected because Bill was a GUEST ), KEN WOULD’VE LOVED TO MAKE HASTE UNTO INTELLIGENCE! denied!

    • MontieR

      Completely inefficient and confusing. Describes ANYTHING that has come out of DC in 30 years.

    • Big George

      I seriously doubt you have a math degree if you were unable to figure out what’s going on in that problem – or you’re just crappy math despite your degree. I thought mathematicians were supposed to be able to understand numbers from multiple angles?

    • treynich87

      I still wouldn’t understand.

    • Mari Lewis

      I am a grad student and it may as well be written in Chinese becuz I have no clue what it means!!

    • JSS

      I use the above mentioned technique when adding larger numbers in my head. Like 375+88 is 375+25+63. But I admit it’s pretty unrealistic for the average math student to handle that. Most of my college math students are not using that mode of thinking.

    • Not Liberal, aka brain is on

      @howard_wright:disqus I hear you. Finance degree here. I had to read it a couple times to figure out their logic LOL.

    • peg_c

      Have you ever seen anything like the hatred here coming from the 0bots? Man, the disgusting things one has to defend when one is a lefty Useful Idiot.

    • I also have a math degree.

      It is not a complex method. It is just a method that is congnitively natural for some people, but it could be beneficial for others to see the process explained explicitly. When you add numbers in your head the exact same thing happens as in this explanation. Secondly, earning a math degree doesn’t make you any more qualified to understand how addition works than someone who has passed the first grade.

  • Larry Mickelson

    There is only one answer to this insanity, it is meant to dumb down future generations and make them wards of the STATE!!!!

  • Papi

    This is like reaching around your back to scratch your nose.

  • disqus_M1YVW4vmTT

    Math is NO longer math as we learned it. Here in AZ they want to start a new standarized test called PARCC. It asks the students to find ALL the possible answers and you lose points for NOT getting them all. This is contrary to how we have taught them to test, find THE answer.

    • Tom Novak

      As far as I know my math, there is only one exception to a solution being one single number! That is in the case of square roots. The square root of 25 can be 5 or -5. The absolute value is the same but because you are multiplying two negative integers, you still come up with a positive product.
      That PARCC sounds like the stupid questions you see on facebook to which every other response is “order of operations dictate…”!

      • Lane Walker

        Interesting thought. What is the solution of x + 2 < 10? What is the solution to a system like this: x^2 and -x^2 Yeah, I'm a math teacher, but these are the kinds of connections we need to make. A solution can be anything within a shaded region as for y < 3x Most of the released questions I have seen from PARCC & Smarter Balanced are word problems. We've got a lot of improvement to make before our kids are really good with word problems. But what good is math if it can't be used in real life?

  • venicementor

    PURE IDIOCY – and I am closer to understanding why this country has the president it has – pure bloody stupidity.

  • dmar003

    i just showed my wife, she shook her head and said “huh”. she like the answer to problem 4. she brought up a point. when we where going to school many moons ago they tried what was called “new math”. that went down in a fiery blaze. maybe instead of calling it Common Core, we can call it the New,New Math. all the states need to get rid of Common Core.

  • Gregory Thomas

    Mathematics has always been described as the “Universal Language” because there is but 1 way to do it no matter the native language of the people involved. This convoluted method will only accomplish one thing…making the children learning it not know how to “speak” proper math. I have also seen this kind of thing with my step-son. His math teacher in 10th grade Algebra was teaching a very difficult way to do the equations. The kid was totally confused when I showed him the proper way to work it. His way resulted in the wrong answer 65% of the time. I weep for the children.

    • If you think there is only one way to solve a math problem, look up the various ways used to prove the pythagorean theorem. One was developed by President Garfield.

      • Rose

        You missed the point. EACH of those ways used SIMPLE “ONE WAY” tactics on the basic building blocks to the TOTAL answer.
        Thee may be several ROUTES to the total for a complicated problem, but each BUILDING BLOCK of it is arrived at BY ONE SIMPLE ANSWER at a time. Like 1+1=2. NO OTHER “ANSWER” for that – 2X2=4 – NO OTHER “ANSWER” for THAT. You may assemble your BLOCKS in different manner and LEARN that some ASSEMBLY ROUTES DO NOT WORK AT ALL for the LONG HAUL.
        1+1+2X2 isn’t going to equal the same thing every way you do it. ONLY ONE IS RIGHT. 4X2+8, BUT 2+4=6. Your real life problem will show you the right answer and teach you the CORRECT FORMULA, and you may find several WAYS to do it RIGHT.
        But there is STILL only ONE WAY to find the SOLUTION.
        We now know that the RULE is (1+1) + (2X2) and whether you add the one’s first or multiply the two’s first, you cannot ADD the One’s to the numbers of the multiplication – the second set of Two’s, until after those 2 Two’s are multiplied.
        You cannot go (1+1+2) X 2 unless your real life problem is THAT WAY.
        IF you just SEE 1+1+2X2 (without any parentheses) – then the ONE RIGHT WAY TO SPEAK MATH is (1+1) + (2X2) = 6.

        And if your REAL ANSWER is 8, then the ONLY RIGHT WAY TO SPEAK THAT in MATH is always (1+1+2) X 2 = 8.

        PERIOD. You are speaking APPLES AND ORANGES. And if you KNOW anything about Pythagoras, then you know better than to do that (speaking apples and oranges, over Just Apples).

    • Lane Walker

      I’d be interested in an example of what that teacher was doing. Do you remember exactly?

  • Gregory Thomas

    Mathematics has always been described as the “Universal Language” because there is but 1 way to do it no matter the native language of the people involved. This convoluted method will only accomplish one thing…making the children learning it not know how to “speak” proper math. I have also seen this kind of thing with my step-son. His math teacher in 10th grade Algebra was teaching a very difficult way to do the equations. The kid was totally confused when I showed him the proper way to work it. His way resulted in the wrong answer 65% of the time. I weep for the children.

    • One math teacher gave his students the task of adding all the numbers from 1 to 100. A young student wrote down a number and put down his pencil.

      How did he solve it so fast?

      Pair 0 with 100, pair 1 with 99, 2 with 98, and so on, till you get 49 with 41 as your 50th pair. That is 50 x 100, then add 50.

      You may have heard of the student’s name. Gauss. Yes, that Gauss.

      • Ferrish Thefish

        I’m willing to bet money that story is fake. I understand the brilliance of the formula, but the story itself sounds like Washington’s cherry tree. Which also taught a useful lesson, but simply happens to not be true.

  • Tom Novak

    The stupidest part of the whole thing is that to make it “easier” they have to do at least two other math problems to get a set of alternative numbers to ad or subtract to get a final answer!
    How the heck is that easier?!?
    We do all have little tricks and methods we use to do some math in our heads, but TEACH them math, plain and simple, and they can do it their own way when they are out of class.

  • Michael Christenson

    What’s sad is that he got it wrong. Should be 38.

    • Michael Christenson

      Never mind. It’s late. I’m tired. Good job kid.

  • Ivan Salis


  • Beth Sathre

    They’ve been doing this for years but for some reason it’s only being talked about now. I was b*tching about it almost a decade ago as were other parents and teachers. My son had to do this about 8 years ago and his teacher told me they implemented it a few years before that. She agreed with me that this common core thing was stupid and I told her that my son would be doing math the old way, the right way. She said ok 🙂 She (the teacher) said the board of education thinks common core is easier for the kids to understand. She also said she saw the opposite in her class so she dropped the common core teaching after she introduces it just so the children can see it done another way. I just dont get why it took almost a decade for the media to notice this common core learning is stupid and hindering our children learning. Thank God my kid graduates in 2 years and in the mean time I teach him the stuff school leaves out or gets wrong (which is a lot) especially in world news and politics.

  • Steve Novotny

    Math is math. Why make it complicated?

  • Ferrish Thefish

    I can understand breaking a problem into smaller parts. Tons of algorithms are based on divide-and-conquer. Linear algebra is all about turning one complicated problem into two or three simple problems. So, I’d be totally ok with something like:
    26 + 17 = 20 + 10 + 6 + 7 = 30 + 13 = 43
    That teaches an understanding of the difference between the ones place and the tens place, as well as the concept of carrying the 1.

    I don’t think Common Core is stupid because it breaks a larger problem into two smaller problems. I think Common Core is stupid because the smaller parts are stupid.

    • Rose

      How much evidence is required for you to decide they are doing this INTENTIONALLY?
      Because you have already been BURIED by the Evidence when THIS doesn’t look like part of the plot to do so.
      You look like someone who has developed the HABIT of saying, “Oh, I’m SURE they didn’t really mean to do that!” – 50 million times PER DAY, for 50 years.
      WITH GOD, it expires THE FIRST TIME.
      HE is the one who quoted THIS OLD SAYING to me: “Fool me once, shame on YOU. Fool me TWICE, shame of ME!”
      Now, sadly, it took me several MONTHS to BEGIN to realize what He was saying to me, although the first 10 times HE said it to me, I KNEW FULL WELL WHO HE WAS TALKING ABOUT! But “on my side”, I “HAD THE EXCUSE” IF YOU WANT TO CALL IT THAT of being in my 20’s! at the time!
      The knife is at your throat. You have no more ROOM to negotiate with your BRAIN. You are already BLEEDING. And it is NOT an accident.

      • Ferrish Thefish

        Common Core math, while unintuitive and pointlessly complicated, still leads you to the correct answer if you hold your vomit long enough to slog through the process.

        The lies they teach in history/literature/social science/political science/current events/economics do not lead you to the correct answer. That’s where all the control and brainwash is.

  • Scott Johnson

    26 plus 17 is easier if you go with my method…..17 is close to 20, and is the same as 20 minus 3 therefore 26 plus 20 minus 3 is 43.

    • Rose

      You should know “6+7” OR “6X7” off the top of your head by rote – then you don’t have to play around looking for “the easiest way”

    • Matthew Reynolds

      This is the same method explained in the example, only you started with the ‘7’ in 17 rather than the ‘6’ in 26. Starting with the ‘6’ in 26 you get the same method they showed – 26 is 4 less than 30 (6+4 = 10) so remember 4, 30+17 = 47, minus the remembered 4 is 43.

  • Lacs

    They are trying to use those stupid “trick” methods to math – problem there…….. no comprehension of how you would apply it to the real world.

  • Briton Garrett Watson

    Wow. What a confusing explanation on how to do simple addition. No wonder the kid at McDonalds can’t give me correct change without the use of a cash register.

  • Gregory Patchy Stone

    Your logic is bad and you should feel bad 2+2= 5 um how in the actual did you get that? You physically can’t you need to add a 1 so the problem then becomes 2+2+1=5 oh my god I can math…..

  • Rose

    I had a teacher who loved watching me solve complicated, Algebra, or Geometry, problems by a different formula than he used, but what he loved about the different than Standard Way was that HE AND ALL THE STUDENTS in the class thought my way was easiest, and I had to prove it was MATHEMATICALLY TRUE and CONSISTENT – EVERY SINGLE TIME – NEVER A FLUKE and ONE-TIME JOHNNY – before he let me show them how to do it that way, too. I had great teachers and they would never have TRIED to teach anything of Common Core to their students. They believed that EDUCATION was the KEY to BANISHING SLAVERY, and they always drilled that into us, no matter what subject they taught. Frankly, that was BEFORE the Days that DRUG ADDICTION had captured the American Culture.

  • Sauger_stockBC

    If kids were no so fat they could use their toes but most can not see their feet .

  • Hemicrashbox

    Wouldn’t surprise me if china is behind core,also if it’s so good how many other countries have signed on to adopt it in their schools?

  • Susan M Mueller

    1+1=2… Anything different is wrong and I don’t care if it hurts your feelings!

  • conserv&preserve

    My dad always taught me to do it this way…. 26+17…. add 26 to 20 the subtract 3… that is the way I been doing it for years!! Maybe that ain’t right, but it makes more sense the way they showed!!

    • Matthew Reynolds

      The method your dad taught you IS the way that they showed.

      • conserv&preserve

        No not really…. Not even close!!

  • heynorm48

    Using the Common Core approach to math, kids of the future will never be able to balance their checkbooks.

  • George Murrey

    As a former band teacher, I don’t know how many times I went through the same process for beginning band students until they learned it. This can be applied to common crap. Unless the teacher doesn’t take time, and they don’t, the kids will struggle beyond frustration and end up giving up. Either teachers take time to teach the new concept, which I don’t support, or they can go back to the much simpler method. I have taught the KISS method to my students, Keep It Simple Stupid!

  • DanielB702

    Too many ads Facebook – customer

    • RhetoricalQuestion

      You do realize that A) this isn’t Facebook, and B) they don’t read individual comments?

  • Xerocky

    Clearly they’re trying to ruin our children’s understanding of math like never before. How complicated does this have to be?

  • John Kennedy Fitzgerald

    what video?

  • David Dunn

    Obama an his islamic pigs doing this

  • Marty Bittle

    My two cents worth. I teach 5th grade math. 99% of the time when I get incoming 5th graders, they despise math. I have made it my goal to show them all kinds of ways to solve a problem. Every brain is not wired the same. Example: Pre algebra. I use hands on algebra balance sheets. Some students get it quickly – and are off and running. Other students look at the manipulatives like deer in headlights. I teach those students the simple algorithm and they are off and running. I think some of the problem with math in elementary grades is that teachers use ONE method, and refuse to allow children to solve problems in other ways. By the time we are midway through school, I get comments like: Why do the other teachers make math so hard? I love math now, and I hated it before. Not saying I’m the greatest teacher on earth – but I do know every kid is different so you have to vary your ways of instruction to meet those different learning styles.

    • Mary Beth Comfort

      There shouldn’t be any controversy for teaching this way! That is the nature of what good teachers do and have always done. I myself was energized when teaching math to my second and third graders because I loved giving them as many tools as possible to put in their tool boxes for solving problems. To me that is exactly what math is all about. And I agree with Lane that math is a combination of patterns. Once kids see this it tends to “demystify” math. However, I am a firm believer in teaching rote learning when it applies- mostly at the basic levels. The confidence that comes from knowing facts builds as the students become developmentally ready to move forward. Allow the kids that are ready to move on to do so. Math and reading in particular need to quit being so grade level based and become more mastery based.

  • Kevin O’Connor

    Top news 5th grade homework, I woke up hungover for this.

    • RhetoricalQuestion

      Then go back to bed…

  • Bryan Bell

    The best math students in the world all come from countries that use the abacus. We will never be able to compete with a system where the students actually see what is happening with the numbers’ manipulation. The older students don’t even use a physical abacus – they just envision one in front of them and still use their fingers to calculate on their “imaginary” abacus.

    • Matthew Reynolds

      The above method described in the text is an imaginary abacus methodology. The abacus is not a one size fits all solution either, though I would say that the advantage of it is that it does scale to the needs of the student. I would have certainly rebelled against being forced to use one in my childhood though.

      • Bryan Bell

        The abacus seems to be a one-size-fits-all in the orient….and that’s quite a few kids. If you told them to never even start with a physical abacus as a child, but instead,to just envision the principle behind it, they’d say you’re crazy.

        • Matthew Reynolds

          For many children, they would certainly be right. The main advantage of the abacus is it works a) as a counting on fingers methodology, b) as a way to see the underlying methodology, and c) as a way to keep kids who can see the underlying methodology in their imagination busy so that they stop doodling tie fighters and x-wings during class.

  • Mimi Schmaltz

    Hell, Bangladesh is laughing at us……….

  • Michael L Harp


  • Tom Moulthrop

    The reason our kids aren’t excelling is because the curriculum is slow and lame. Educators are naive and need to realize these kids need a lot more stimulation than they get. They want to know things they’re not being taught. Parents need to be part of the program and not abandon their kids to the schools.

    • jendem

      Many of the educators do understand but are being told you want to keep your job you will do this. Some of them are even fighting back. It’s the stupid government that needs to get the hell out of education that is the real problem.

  • Wraith Ideal
  • Wraith Ideal

    Arkansas Mother Obliterates Common Core in 4 Minutes!

  • Wraith Ideal

    Brilliant anti-Common Core Speech by Dr. Duke Pesta

  • Janette Miller

    Commie core is NOT educating.

  • Wraith Ideal

    If common core is so great, why isn’t it implemented in fancy elite private schools. This is strictly for the public schools. It is for the peasants, the masses, the workers. It is meant to standardize people to keep them “in their place”, so that they never think about excelling beyond the limitations set forth by the government.

    Wake up, open you minds, and think about it.

  • Michael Reaves

    I’m with Howard Wright – I have an advanced math degree and this is just asinine. I see what they’re trying to do but they’re making it more complex than it really is. Just send the kids to Kahn Academy on Youtube – they’ll get a much better education.

    • Matthew Reynolds

      Pretty much. I also see what they are trying to teach. I don’t think that there is a problem with what they are trying to teach. I just think that they are doing a bad job of it.

  • The old system of adding tens and ones to get your answer is the easiest method I have ever seen, and it makes sense. What they are asking this kid to do makes no sense at all. I saw the problem, and said, “Sixty-eight, seventy-eight, eighty. Twenty-two.” Goodness, I think it maybe took me three seconds. What is wrong with these people that they are making the process so unwieldy and illogical?

    • Matthew Reynolds

      This method you are using is the exact same method explained by the text with the steps slightly rearranged, and like the method explained by the text, if you understand the method in the text you can do it in like “three seconds”. Now, I’m not defending how they explain their method, but I only understand your method of “adding tens and ones” because I know what you are trying to do. What’s wrong with these people is that by definition they are trying to teach something many people do in an intuitive fashion. When you do things intuitively, you often don’t concretely know the steps you are using – think about the process of describing how to sort a stack of papers alphabetically. When you try to explain it, it becomes unwieldy. The real problem with the common core is that they are trying to teach everyone to use the same processes mathematically adept individuals do intuitively. But this isn’t actually a good solution for everyone. The real solution to the American educational system involves tracking people into the solutions that they need, but you can’t do that in America because invariably there would be an outcry of racism and in some cases that outcry might even be warranted.

  • James McClelland

    When I was a kid they were teaching “new” math and it had some formulas you were supposed to follow and I remember more than once I got the right answer to a problem but had it marked wrong because I did not follow the formula.

  • Mike Santino

    I can’t wait for next years income tax return.

  • Mindmech

    Who is being paid big bucks for stupidity. They must be trying to educate idiots with this. Fifty years ago, a kid could do this in his head. Can you imagine getting change at your local McDonalds now?

  • netraider

    Common Core defies logic. It almost seems like a deliberate attempt to sabotage the next generations of Americans in an attempt to destroy the country.

  • Monika Smith

    I had to start Common Core crap halfway through High School, now I’m in college and thought I would escape it, but nope, we are doing Common Core in college too. Future generations are doomed.

  • Erika

    I explained this to my parents and my dad asked why they don’t just bring back an abacus.

  • RedStateKitty

    Whomever Lane Walker is she/he is trying to defend the indefensible. Ignore her/him.

  • twmat311

    Why doesn’t anyone show an example of how to add large numbers (i.e., hundred-thousands, or millions), or better yet, a column of values? The examples I always see are the 2-3 digit samples shown; ok, maybe the samples are just basic enough to do in our heads, and we’re missing something. Show us how “easy” (?) it is with large numbers!
    My personal feeling: This is the result when bureaucracy steps in to (ahem) help us.

  • Mary

    That is what Obama wants for our kids. He wants this to be a third world country. That entire Vommon Vore is Communist and Islam. No Bible but ok for the Koran.

  • fawkes77

    I’m a substitute teacher in Miami. So, I don’t know common core because we didn’t have it when I was in school, and they don’t teach subs anything. Anyways, many MANY kids and even a few parents told me that my way was better. The kids actually understand it better.

  • chuberry

    Common Core has finally solved the dilemma of trying to find a way to make ‘New Math’ look like a good thing.

  • Daylo

    “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

  • pydsigner

    What these people seem to fail to understand is that 20 + 10 + 6 + 7 is much easier way to break this down than (17 – (10 – 6)) + (26 + (10 – 6)).

    • jendem


  • ross mcglockness

    FK common core.

  • Becky Leisenring

    As I have traveled around in different countries the one question that I ask is how do you keep your children in school. The answer is always the same they take there education seriously and so do there parents.

  • Stephanie Jones Key
  • FactFinder

    Sounds like Progressive Liberal confusion to me! After all, they love to waste everyones time, energy, and resources. Go ahead that try to balance the budget of this country using this method!
    Maybe this is why they still haven’t produced a plan to tackle our financial problems, if they were trying to use common core, that would definitely make sense, and answer the question of why this country is in the financial shape that it is in!

  • Louisenjonathan Haydel

    Why can’t they just add 26+17 and call it a day.

  • Philip Marlowe

    Stupid people vote for democrats. Common core is designed to make people stupid.

  • Jd Adams

    I am getting a little tired of people completely misrepresenting what Common Core is. It puts out to what level students should be at in math and english as they advance into the next grade. It is NOT listing how they are to be taught. That is left up to the the state, school district, school and/or teacher. If someone wants to teach (and gets approval for the course work) the “new math” method, that is neither supported nor rejected by common core. All CC is saying is that whatever method you use, at the end of the year the kids need to be up to at least THIS level. I used to agree that the “new math” method was about the dumbest way to teach math there was, and the fact that most teachers using this method wound up with students who were falling behind. Then I encountered one teacher who actually knew how to explain this method well, and the kids in her class jumped way ahead of other students in the same grade. I modify my opinion to say that new math is a poor way to teach, unless that teacher REALLY knows his/her stuff, then it could be great.
    But the point is that Common Core does not specify HOW to teach anything, it is just a set of standards students need to be at.and nothing more.
    Some common misconceptions:
    1) Common Core is dictating how my kids are taught! In reality, it is the individual school boards that determine that, CC just says how well they have to know it when they are done.
    2) CC (Common Core) is letting the federal government determine how the schools are run. In reality, federal involvement is minimal. The original formation of CC was brought about by several states contracting to find a way so that if a student graduates from a grade in one state, then any other school he/she goes to can reasonably assume that student has at least a certain level of knowledge. It was set up by STATE Boards of education, NOT the federal government. The federal involvement can be pretty much summed up with them saying that they support common core, and any state who wants to participate can have some extra money to do it. If a state chooses not to participate, they don’t lose anything, they just don’t get a share of the money set aside for those who do participate. The feds are not participating in the setting of the standards, or in any other aspect of CC other than to give away money.
    3) Our school district is already better than the standards of CC; if we participate, it will force us to lower our standards. No. Simply, no. It is very clear that these are minimum standards; if a participating state or school district already has higher standards, then they can keep the higher standards and still be eligible for the federal money. The standards are minimums, not maximums.
    4) CC will require us to teach science that goes against our religious beliefs!. No. CC standards are for Math and English, not science. It is possible that there will eventually be science standards, but attitudes such as this will heavily weigh against it. The only science requirement is that in English, students will have to learn how science books and papers are structured, such as citing sources, using bibliographies, etc. It does NOT say what science books are to be used, or even that the material in those books should be taught. They just need to know how the science books are laid out, so that they can understand those types of books if needed.

    • lilyred

      You make it all sound so simple. In reality, please explain the worksheets (with “Common Core” written boldly in the corner) that give the teacher explicit instructions on how to “teach” and what responses from the student are expected on this page. You may be correct on some things, but the CC aligned and recommended material is suspect and stinks to anyone with common sense and anyone trying to protect children from “progressive” and radical “reeducation”. Our state standards were already excellent. If the students in the education machine don’t learn, blame it on lackluster teachers, uncaring parents and administrative fraud, waste, abuse and corruption. Look for the local school district influence to be progressively phased out in favor of federal “control”. It’s coming.

  • Bryant Hill

    How are we ever supposed to compete with China if we have upending even basic arithmetic and confusing young minds in the public schools?

    Under Obama’s Fundamental Transformation of this country, his federal Gov’t is busy dumbing down our children. You see, Obama hates America because in his narcissi, he feels inferior to our greatness, so he endorses Common Core and how it dumbs the children down before they can catch onto anything meaningful.
    Read your history, but Hitler did that as well to children when he was in power. Dumbing down the children today gives Obama or future Democrat leader the edge on running their lives and controlling their futures.
    Obama is a destructive person and should be relieved from command.

  • TomRay

    Math can be difficult enough without “teachers” DELIBERATELY trying to confuse the students.–Perhaps there is a PLOT. The “uneducated” are usually poor, easy to buy off and to deceice—Perhaps the Libs are looking to make more voters

  • Teri

    Why must we compete with other countries when it comes to education? Maybe I am just too small minded, but my main concern, as a mom of three, is to raise respectful, kind, well educated young men that know how to be great men. I am not the least bit concerned if they fail to excel above some other young person half way around the world. We all have something to offer this world. It doesn’t matter if it is world changing or changing the life of your next door neighbor. What matters is doing what is “right”. I personally think that the common core is a tracking method to collect data. I strongly disagree with all of the standardized testing and I do NOT want the government tracking my children.

  • Deborah L

    I think everyone at some point was taught to round up to the next ten like this example perhaps. I know I add numbers like that a lot still if it makes it simpler. I would hope that they had some practice in being shown how to do this and actually rounding up numbers to the next 10, 100, etc.

  • Oso Takano

    I THINK I see what they are doing…or trying to do. I use 7+6=13 (for some reason, a number pair that comes up a LOT)
    The convoluted approach they are showing in this example took me awhile to figure out.
    I have a BS in Engineering, a Masters in Engineering Management, and I’m working on a second Master’s in Education.
    So, I have NO doubt that a fourth grader is looking at this explanation and going, “This is to tough. Screw it, I’m going to be a drug dealer.”

  • T Scott Christ

    They didn’t articulate the thought process correctly. It’s not “that” complex. What it should of been(and still not the “easiest” way for alot of people) is 26+17 broken down to “tens” is 20+10 and 6+7, it’s easy to know 20+10 is 30 and figuring out 6+7 is 13 simply means the mind only really has to calculate that 30+13 is 43.

    • Matthew Reynolds

      Correct. My problem with common core is less over what they are trying to teach, than how they articulate it. My sense is that the people responsible for creating content in the math portion of the common core just simply are bad writers however good they may be at mathematics.

    • FM505

      Same big yawner Scottie… stop wasting time lad.

  • Strunz0

    These methods of teaching make sense to me only because as a child I was very good at figuring out the right answer on my own without using the method taught (or not taught until later on in school). I wouldn’t survive trying to explain it though, mostly due to being impatient and wanting to move on to the next excercise, not spending time articulating the work around root process

  • Donald Sensing

    Or you could just add 10 to 26 to get 36, then add 7 to get 43. If what this problem is doing – very poorly – is trying to enable students to perform calculations in their heads then the goal has a lot of merit because mental calculations, especially multiplication or division of larger numbers, pretty much require multi-step breakdown into simpler components.

    I remember talking to a store clerk in Staples not long ago about a sale item that was regularly $75 but was on sale for $67.50. He said that if I bought the floor sample I’d get another 10 percent off the original price.

    So I said, “Sixty bucks, huh, not bad.”

    And he said, “Wow, you did that in your head?” He was a high-school grad.

    True story.

    • lilyred

      I was terrible in math, but I figured this type of computation out, as my brain matured over the years. You would never figure it out, thought, if you used your phone calculator every day.

  • Victory!

  • cp colgate

    The IQ scores have not gone up…do your research!!!

    • FM505

      Score will increase when they look for the friendly numbers…

  • Heather Buck

    I’m a teacher, and I’m not particularly young. The common core is not all that new in my opinion. I was literally teaching a lot of this in the 80’s in my 3rd grade classroom. I also later homeschooled my three children, and the materials I used, and my goals, were much closer to common core than the CA state standards. Mental math and manipulating numbers should not be shocking. Requiring students to find alternate ways to solve problems strengthens them-and ultimately they will have more tools to solve harder problems later on. No good teacher is going to ask them to solve one problem multiple ways indefinitely-it’s a teaching tool. I also know that students in other countries learn their basic math skills (for example, regrouping in subtraction) in many different ways-and they all work! Some probably are more logical than the “American” way I grew up with. If we were doing a great job teaching math in the United States we would have almost all students graduating from high school and we would have lots of students majoring in math, science and engineering in college. If that were true the United States would not need to outsource so many engineering and technical jobs. Kids come in all flavors; teaching math in just one way-without lots of depth, hands-on activities, practical applications, integration in science, history etc.-means that only a small percentage of kids like math and get good at it. We need to help ALL kids understand math.

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  • Ryan

    I did terrible in math in high school. never attended college. I’ve been a successful musician all my adult life…Successful meaning I make a fine living doing nothing but music.

    This is the first time I have ever seen a common core problem. After a few minutes , I figured out how it works. I also understand that they are trying to get kids to use their brains a little bit more. That may have to do more with parenting than math class. I was fortunate that my parents focused on my strengths , music, instead of shaming me on my weaknesses. Both of them school teachers. Teaching a kid to think for themselves is fantastic. Depriving them of reaching solutions by sending them the long way around is a sin.

    Remember, Not every child is a math genius. Some are born artist and some become soldiers. Some get cancer and die. How important is the Common Core then?

    Let the flower find its own sunlight.

    If I was a business owner and I found out my accountant was figuring out my bottom line with such a time consuming method, I would fire him for clocking more hours than necessary.

    Just my thoughts.

  • rwksict

    Will someone PROVE how this example is in ANY WAY related to CC? Post a link to the place on the CC website that references this method.

  • disgustedtaxpayer9

    I never properly learned math because I had to suffer through the “new math” which was a version of this garbage. This is thoroughly confusing and fails to teach the underlying concepts.

  • John

    this will fail just like “modern math” did years ago.

    • FM505

      Only when we are diligent…

  • 3VWdriver

    “common core” … what a bunch of “crap”.

  • SirAlbertL .

    Well done young man.

  • Mary J Randall

    They want our children dumb.

  • bob

    Point1 – Math works in absolutes. If the answer is not correct then it is wrong no matter how you arrived at incorrect answer.

    Point2 – read a psychology book. IQ is no longer a standard for measuring intelligence. There are seven different areas of testing that replaced it years ago.

  • Todd Clemmer

    I’m trying to figure out what the central planners plan is here with this.

    • lilyred

      Keep digging–you will see it.

    • FM505

      Right in front of you Todd…

  • Harry Butch Schexnayder

    That’s gotta be the craziest since trying to convert every thing over to metric!!!

    • CelticGyrl

      I remember that! It’s funny now but it was a pain then…

  • CelticGyrl

    If Common Core is so wonderful, why aren’t the Chinese and other advanced educational systems using these standards and techniques? If we must be able to compete with them…why not use their methods?

  • Steve V

    Common Core must be stopped. This has to be designed to destroy America’s future. It is idiotic…

  • lilyred

    Aside from the math debacle for the little bitty ones who can’t even read the directions (but no one is allowed to help them), the “prep/testing” takes up months of classroom time. It appears that the CC objective is to erase history, rewrite history, push social advocacy (teach that “angry” words are preferable) and insert political opinions that are presented as FACTS. If the student doesn’t answer the question “correctly” he cannot proceed to the next question. Or, he may be sent back to the computer for “remedial education”, before being retested, to see if his “attitude” has changed. In the 70’s & 80’s, they were giving “citizenship” tests—parents thought they were “tests” on George Washington, the Bill of Rights, the Three Branches of Government, etc. No. “We’re not testing objective knowledge. We are testing and scoring for the child’s threshold for behavior change without protest.” What does that sound like? Been coming for a long time. We, as parents, were asleep at the wheel.

  • jennfire

    all in the plan

  • GatorStrong

    Better answer would have been screw you! Idiots!

  • Ghost_Babel

    Because math.

  • another shining example of common core making children stupider by over complicating that which should be done without pen and paper.

    • 2summer4

      They’re easier to control.

  • Sharon K. Ridenour

    I still say that common core crap is just that – CRAP!

    • FM505


  • Cindy Taylor-Matuse

    Common core is one of the worst things to happen to our education system. It’s only rivaled by Michelle Obama’s regulated lunches. When store cashier’s can’t divide $11 by 2 or 50% off, it tells me all I need to know. When she was counting on her fingers, and still had a questioning look on her face, and was surprised when I finally just blurted out $5.50, it’s sad. She figured 3 other items at the following for 50% off – $9.98 – $4, $2.50 – $.050 and $14 – $6. I just gave up on her, and let her ring the prices up she came up with. If this isn’t dumbing down, what is it?

  • avnrulz

    I had to fight this every day with my son’s home work.

  • Molly

    If Common Core is really this dumb, then I guess the conspiracy theorists are right. It is a deliberate plan to cultivate an ignorant, subservient, and compliant populace.
    Seems to be working, too.

    • FM505

      No need to ‘guess’ any longer Molly…

  • Keith Myatt

    This common core crap reminds me when my oldest son was in the sixth grade and had to do some pretty simple math. In the book it said to use pencil and paper or a calculator to get the answer. How is “use the calculator” teaching them how to do math? I wouldn’t let him and was very upset with me. I pointed out that if he used the calculator, he does not learn how to get the answer. It also pissed me off when he got a hundred on a composition he did and it was full of incorrect punctuation and either misspelled or the wrong words were used (like have the word there when it should have been their or they’re). I asked the teacher why she gave him a hundred. He answer was they were not worried about the other things, it was the idea they were after. I asked her just how he would be able to communicate his ideas correctly if he used the wrong words or incorrect punctuation. That is why when kids enter college now, they have to take remedial English in their freshman year. And that course does not count as part of their classes so you are paying for something they should have learned in K-12. The dumbing down of our children.

  • Marvelous Marsupial


    7 + 6 = 13. place the 3, carry the 10. 20+10+10 = 40. 40+3 = 43

    *sigh* and bill gates usually has good ideas.. backing common core makes me hate him.

  • Dave

    This only works if you know the answer you are trying to get ….

    • alfredparodi

      Utterly stupid. why go through all those steps when you can just look at it and come up with the answer.

      • Big George

        Any monkey can come up with just the answer. We should be expecting more out of our children. They should be able to understand the underlying principles behind mathematics.

        • alfredparodi

          I spent 54 years as a numbers man, a bean counter they use to call us. You are all wet. And just what are the principals behind math according to you. I wanted answers from my employees and not a dissertation of the principals behind their answer. If I interviewed a prospective employee and he said he knew the principals behind the math he used I would have a hard time to keep from laughing. Common Core does not work in the real world.

          • Big George

            Well a lot has changed in the past 54 years and bean counting simply isn’t good enough for anyone who wants to compete in the global economy, especially if our children want to be qualified for careers in Computer Science – you know, that field of employment that has and will continue to dominate our job market for decades to come.

            In Computer Science and its subdivisions, getting the right answer is not nearly good enough. A developer needs to know which, out of many possible algorithms is the best and most efficient means to the correct answer.

            As I said before, any monkey can get the right answer. The applicant I’m going to hire is going to be the one that can tell me the best path toward the correct answer. I would have a hard time holding back my laughter at someone who can’t explain the steps they took to arrive at their answer, correct or not.

            It’s great that in your particular field, you don’t need anything more than basic arithmetic, but your field is 1 out of millions.

          • alfredparodi

            Numbers are numbers and they don’t change. You are laughable. Have you really worked in the real world. Again I say time is money and you waste valuable time in CC. What makes you think my field only uses basic math. Your assumption are way off base.

          • Big George

            alfredparodi said: “Numbers are numbers and they don’t change.”


            In a Base 10 system, 1+1 = 2.
            In a Binary system, 1+1 = 10.

            Seems like number do change.

            You said, “You are laughable”.

            And you’re out of touch with the current job market.

          • Big George

            alfredparodi said: “Common Core does not work in the real world.”

            How would you know? It’s never been tested. CC has only been in existence for a short period of time, and those that have been taught it have not yet entered the work force.

          • alfredparodi

            Good luck to them. They will find out that that it is a bunch of crap. In the working world time is money. There is not enough time to go through all this procedure. I go back to the time when there were no adding machines and calculators. You did everything in your head or pen on paper. CC is trying to complicate a simple problem and justify the work of morons.

          • Big George

            In Systems Analysis you get paid quite a bit to backtrace all the steps within a system to sort out the points of failure and to insert more efficient paths. Similarly, in Computer Science fields you need to know several different ways of getting at a solution and to know when each is appropriate. Recursion and Iteration are two concepts that require a thorough understanding of of how to break down an algorithm into the smallest parts possible. Simply getting the answer isn’t good enough.

            You said: “There is not enough time to go through all this procedure”

            Really? It takes 3 seconds. Maybe that seems like a lot for a 2 digit calculation, but what about a 10 digit number? Are 3 steps too many for that?

            The traditional way of teaching children to find the difference between 180 and 158 also took multiple steps:

            1: Borrow a 10 from the 80 making it a 70
            2. Now Subtract 8 from the new 10
            3: Subtract the 50 from the (now) 70
            4: Subtract the 100 from the 100

            That’s the way most people do it on paper. Most children can’t “just look at it and come up with the answer.” as you said. Most of them have to work it on paper and are using a number of steps in their approach no matter what technique they use.

            The approach in CC is to prepare kids to be able to perform more complex calculations entirely in their head. How long does it take you to calculate the difference between 7,308.95 and 8153.01 in your head? And would you be able to break it down into the steps you used if your employer asked you to? How long would that take?

            CC isn’t perfect, but neither is the old way hasn’t exactly made us the world leader in new technologies. There are new careers out there that require abstract thinking and and the old way does not teach that.

          • Big George

            alfredparodi said: “And just what are the principals behind math according to you.”

            It completely depends on the situation and the job. In this case the student was asked to explain how they arrived at that number. Without much to go on but a picture, I’d say the principles the student was asked to demonstrate were: whole number relationships, place value, and grouping.

            The student was either unwilling or unable to answer the question, which was “how you found your answer”. If the student can’t answer a simple question like that, how do you expect them to get by in any field.

  • gatekeeper96740

    This is more stupid core……….

  • Aaron Stoner

    And the way to fix the education system?

    Spend more hours in the classroom…riiiiight.

  • Cynthia Troendle

    When I do small math problems in my head that is similar to how I do them. 26 + 17? Take 4 from the 17, give it to the 26 which gives me 30 + 13, one easy step to 43. How does everyone else do it when doing math without pencil and paper?

    • Kit Sober

      Cynthia. That is 2 steps. Standard math is two steps also, but it works with more than two numbers (Math: add 1’s places, carry 1. Add tens places). How do you add four different numbers such as 17, 25, 12 and 47 in “common core?.

    • Kelly

      That’s how I have always done it. Don’t know how or when I learned it… if anyone taught it to me I really don’t remember….

    • alfredparodi

      Where does the four come from. Why can’t you just add the two straight up and dow
      m. Why complicate things that are so easy.

      • Big George

        Because there’s more to know than just adding “straight up and down”. That’s the most basic thing a child is capable of learning about numbers. Why not teach them more? Just because you can’t understand it doesn’t mean they can’t.

        • alfredparodi

          I will give you the same answer as your previous reply

          alfredparodi Big George • a minute ago

          I spent 54 years as a numbers man, a bean counter they use to call us. You are all wet. And just what are the principals behind math according to you. I wanted answers from my employees and not a dissertation of the principals behind their answer. If I interviewed a prospective employee and he said he knew the principals behind the math he used I would have a hard time to keep from laughing. Common Core does not work in the real world.

  • Kit Sober

    So sorry for the children who are suffering for what we as parents failed to do: Uphold the standards set by our forefathers by their trusting in the Lord Jesus. The consequences our children will face are tragic indeed.

  • william C

    Nothing like screwing up a system that worked well for generations learning basic arithmetic.

  • Kelly

    After looking at this problem for awhile and then finally figuring out what they were doing, I realized they solved this problem the way I have always done it when adding (or subtracting). But the explanation on how to do it is VERY confusing and I fear many kids will be lost… especially those who already have an understanding of how to do the math on their own.
    I teach high school chemistry and the students I see everyday have NO math sense at all. These kids (10th, 11th, 12th grade) cannot add/subtract/multiply/divide without the use of their calculators ~ which they start using in elementary school. When confronted with pre-algebraic problems (math skills learned in 6th grade) or even multiplication or division of fractions (5th grade math) they are clueless. Many of them will tell me how “good” they are in math because they got “advanced” on the state’s high stakes test… but I contend that just because you can pass a math test doesn’t mean you can apply those math “skills” you were “taught”. Testing has become so important that the students are literally taught what they need to pass the test but they cannot apply those “skills” to a real life situation ~ or any situation outside of those taught for the test. CCSS are not going to fix this problem…. new standards, new test.
    When I was a kid in school, we had different “books” that we worked in and you didn’t move on until you mastered the material. I have been reading many of the comments here and saw some that mentioned Singapore Math. Amazingly, the emphasis of this program is that the student masters the material before moving on….. THIS is what we need to do! Students should not be allowed to move on without mastering the material. Those that move quickly and finish the material early would have supplemental work to enrich their learning. Those that move more slowly would have the time to really learn and master the material. If it is not done during the school year, the child would need to spend another year in that grade or go to summer school to complete the material. It is not fair to the child to handicap him/her by not making sure that the foundation is laid and is strong…..

  • Puresnow

    * Georgia Senate votes to nullify Common Core

    also AL, AZ, CO, CT, FL, IA, IL, IN, KS ,KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, OK, PA, SC

    (there are 23 total, still searching which ones)

  • Kyle Dobbs

    When our children get to college, all of this nonsense will be thrown out the doors as they will be expected to know their multiplication tables 1 – 10 as well as having number in powers memorized. If a professor asks a student to work a formula on the board and this process must be done before the formula can be worked, the student will be asked to leave class, or will be ridden hard to drop out.

  • Vickie

    It’s not just about math, check out the literature they want them to read, and have a discussion on! Actually I had a teacher in high school who wanted us to read “Everything you wanted to know about sex, but were afraid to ask”, needless to say, my dad found out, and burned the book, discussed this with the teacher, and I had to read a different book! So watch what your children are being taught, because the children believe that they were to trust the teachers…..not anymore!

  • shannon853

    what happened to casting out 9’s??

  • William Shores
  • William Shores

    Conservatism is about conserving what is good and right and just. It is not about holding anything or anyone back. It’s about holding true to the winning virtues and values and principals of this unique nation. Using what has been tried and true and successful in our lives. Using ones mind and heart, not just using emotions acting out without benefit of intellect. There are ramifications to those kind of actions. We are experiencing them today. Progressive ramifications. They are destroying this once great society. Top down, bottom up and inside out.

  • Cowboy1957

    The reason they named it Common Core is to try to fool us longer than the name Commie Core would have.

  • Joan

    Basically, they are trying to show the kids how to break a problem down into components. Unfortunately, a lot of the teachers and workbooks are making it harder than it really is.

    • FM505

      Basically…? By going around in circles, looking for friendly numbers…? Hilarious Joan…! Once past the ‘basics’, do a cursory study about the entire curriculum… there’s basically no way to become a fan of this drivel.

  • Steve Novotny

    Common Core is one of the stupidest things our education system has tried to push on to our children. No wonder cashiers cannot give you the correct change unless it tells them on their monitor!

    • Big George

      You just made an excellent point in favor of CC.
      CC has only been around a short while. Any cashier that can’t give you the correct change must have been necessarily educated with the old system, unless they’re giving those jobs to 10 year olds these days.
      Maybe CC will help the next generation properly make your change, no?

  • Carmena Hilliard

    LOL! Smart kid!

  • Xenos

    One major problem with this article, is that they are presenting the CC for addition and then presenting a subtraction problem. The Common core method for that problem would be:


    Now as you can see, this is actually nearly the exact same way we calculate change in our heads. If you want to make $0.78 you count out 3 quarters to make 0.75, then 3 pennies to make 0.03 taking them together makes $0.78. Also if you pay $5.00 for something that costs. 4.78, and don’t have any kind of calculator handy you would count out 2 Pennies to make $4.80 and then 2 dimes to make it to $5.00. The fact that cashiers can’t add change without the registers shows that the old way doesn’t provide us with the how, just the what.

    Ohh, as a final note, before I forget, that addition problem is just eliminating the carry the 1 step from the addition. Another way to look at it that will make it make sense is this way:

    26+17= (26+4)+(17-4)= 30+13= 43

    Basically you’re borrowing rather than carrying the 1, which actually is a much better setup for algebra than the old way, Lets add an X and see where we get.


    You could break that one down further to make the pieces even easier to digest, but that was all that was necessary to illustrate my point.

    • Jim

      I think the point you made is the problem. I’ve dealt with this for the past 12 years. You’re trying to teach algebraic properties to elementary school children that barely have a grasp on basic math. The directions for solving are also very confusing.

    • Jos America

      You mention making change. An idiot at Wendy’s couldn’t figure out what to give me back when I handed her a $20 bill, a $1 bill and 2 quarters and the bill was exactly $11.50 !!! After what appeared to be her brains starting to leak out of her ears after staring at the cash register for a minute she gave me back 9 singles and 4 quarters. Brilliant.

      • Sara

        An idiot who did not go through common core……….

  • jd

    I’m Old school and made 95 – 100 in math since 2nd grade. I still can not figure out what they are trying to do with this crap.

  • Jack Savage

    This is goin to me my second piss off the world day.

    This f@¢ing set of comments is it exactly what’s wrong with America today. us versus them, liberal vs conservative, progressive vs libertarian. Guess what when it came time to bring the standards of Child Left Behind up, nobody had a answer… But everybody now wants to criticize common core. It is now out on the streets now the question is it what part of it is broke if it is, and how do you fix.

    To the person that said 2 Plus 2 equals 5 is being given credit, prove it, show us a piece a paper where somebody got a grade for it and the teacher knew what they’re doing.

    for the person that says get the equation right, your answer is right… I’ve got two words for you Mars Lander ring any bells… Stop with the divisive bullshit. I have yet to see a question like that through any of my children in regards to maths. I see this page and plenty of others coming across, but of course nobody can tell us what school it comes from or give us an actual person that has seen this.

    I am very involved with my children’s education… I have a son in a master’s program and I have a daughter in high school. I am the parent there is not another. so when I actually start to see stuff like this come into my house, then I might actually be concerned about common core is actually out there it might be negative. What I can say is that’s a level of math classes that my children have taken in the last 4 years exponentially increasing difficulty. Not because of how they’re being taught but because how quickly they are trying to get them into a higher level math, so that’s eight and be able to be ready for college.

    Maybe if some of you people would actually look at the curriculum in the school systems and come back and tell me yes common core is being taught just like that, then I might concern myself. the person said was talking about IQ is going up… It is the problem is the disparity on the bell graph of the IQ is also getting wider. So yes we have a dumbing down of America because we have considerably more dumb people and we have considerably more smart people. but if we do not get our heads out of their asses, and get away from divisive politics, then our country is doomed anyway.

  • vic

    They were trying to teach us this way back when I was in first and second grade back in the early 60’s (trying to use young minds as guinea pigs). It was tough for some to grasp, and kid couldn’t get help at home from their parents, so they gave up.

  • Gunner

    I have novel idea, let’s give the kids a problem, and let them figure out how to get the answer, if they are wrong, we tell them they are wrong, and show them the right way to do it. How about if you do a math problem using well, math functions, you get the right answer rather than trying to “simplify” the process which is already pretty simple, 4+4=8 let’s not make into well, 1+1=2, so (1+1)+(1+1)+(1+1)+(1+1)=8 because it is easier to add 1+1 than it is to add 4+4.

  • alan greene

    Actually, and shocking enough, I somehow see some logic in this.

  • John Thaddeus

    SO TRUE, I REMEMBER THE KEN HAM DEBATE WITH BILL NYE AS OF THE LATELY! IT SEEMS RUDE DON’T CHA THINK? KEN STARTED (with veracity) THE DEBATE WITH A QUESTION [ quite easily bill missed and dissed the entire debate by the nature of blatant ignorance ]; KEN ASKED ALONG THE GUIDE LINES OF ANY DEBATE SHOULD BE FOLLOWED: KEN QUESTIONED THIS—> ‘WHY WAS THE EDUCATION MODEL, (since,actually for a long time now) [ SIMPLY ] CHANGED” to this point Bill Nye averted to ( MATERIALS)! The very thing, (the likes should have been respected because Bill was a GUEST ), KEN WOULD’VE LOVED TO MAKE HASTE UNTO INTELLIGENCE! denied!

  • ijustgottasay

    It would be less confusing to round both numbers up, add those numbers together, and then mentally subtract the difference. Like round 26 up to 30 and 17 up to 20. Then add 30 and 20 and get 50 and then you should easily be able to subtract 26 from 30 and get 4 and subtract 17 from 20 and get 3. Add those together and get 7 and then subtract 7 from 50 and get 43. It’s easily done in your head and you don’t need a calculator.

  • 1. I figured out what they were trying to do pretty quickly. They think that getting to a multiple of 10 then makes it easier to add on the remainder of whatever number was butchered to help get to the 10. However, in their “ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS” mindset, liberals ultimately make things far more difficult.
    2. THIS is a great example of how convoluted and disturbed the liberal mindset is… it really think this is somehow easier. And think how many people had to be as convoluted and disturbed to agree either through acceptance or allowance.
    It’d be funny if it weren’t so dangerous.

    • Sara

      Wait… so is CC dumbing things down or making them complex? I don’t understand your contradiction.

      • You see the two as mutually exclusive? Great! You’d enjoy common core! They are dumbing things down by making the problems too cryptic and complex to solve via the tried and true method. The real problem in this country isn’t “stupid students”… its the breakdown of the nuclear family. But social engineers think that if they can just manipulate things in schools, the children will end up happy and educated.

  • Stephen McElroy

    I believe that people were much smarter before computers and calculators were standard equipment in the schools. Teachers actually taught and students had to use pencils, paper and their BRAIN to learn.

  • Bacchus

    answer 101011

  • BetseeRoss

    Who was the “genius?” who decided it was necessary to “break apart the numbers to make a ten” instead of learning to add and subtract? No wonder kids give up and drop out of school.

    • Big George

      Kids have been giving up and dropping out of school for as long as there have been schools.

  • Curt Ernie DeHusson

    The Engineer says, “My equations are correct.” Second gentleman says, “but the bridge still fell down.”

    • Big George

      Which is exactly why one needs to be able to understand the steps involved – so they can backtrace their work to figure out where it all went wrong.

  • David Edward Sapp

    I think the way this is written is entirely confusing. But there’s nothing new about this, it’s simply communicated poorly. People are getting upset over nothing.

    If anyone actually took the time to analyze what the idiot who wrote this was
    actually trying to communicate, it would be so very simple, many people do this
    in their heads all of the time. It’s just so poorly communicated. He’s simply
    trying to communicate a mathematical shortcut so to speak, although it’s so
    badly told.

    All he’s saying is because we use a system of tens to count with, before you add
    numbers it may be easier to factor up one of the number to the nearest 10,
    subtract whatever number you get from that from the other number, THEN add them

    WHY is this so crazy? Well, I do this in my head sometimes because it’s easier to
    add when one of the numbers is an even 10, 20, 30, 40, etc. that’s all. But
    it’s not necessary when you do it on paper, the normal (standard) way. So,
    maybe the reason behind it this is to teach kids to be able to do math better
    in their heads, since they won’t have paper to write things down for most
    occupations, unless they are mathematical people, or scientists.

    But it’s explained terribly. It also doesn’t translate to any other systems, such
    as 12, 16, etc. as in America we still measure things with inches, feet, yards,
    miles, pounds, ounces, etc. And they are not systems of tens. So, a child
    should learn also to do math in his or her head in systems of 12, too, in the
    practical world, unless is a scientist.

    • Sara

      Thank You, I agree. I believe writing down the processes of this maybe simple math equation will better help the student understand the concept.

  • Tontine

    Math! This kid is going places!! (Besides the principle’s office!!”)

  • SEB

    I agree with Howard Wright and numerous others on this site in that Common Core is a disaster. I, too, taught math, science and English. I would point out two things. First, please remember most tests are timed and these extra steps are ridiculously time consuming. The second point I would like to make is that if you refer to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary you would note that “common” also means to fall below ordinary standards or be lacking in refinement. The word “core” also has numerous meanings, one of which is “the essential meaning.” I have come to the conclusion that Common Core was aptly named. This type of education is essentially meant to have students fall below ordinary standards. That sums this crud up in a nutshell!

  • Sara

    Okay, honestly this is really the only problem I have with the opposition to common core. Because I’m not promoter of common core because it’s the government run public school system so I know there are lots and lots of problems with it. The problem I have with people’s opposition to it is when they MINDLESSLY oppose it without really looking at it and THINKING about it.

    So in this picture, the article is talking about how this is an example of Common Core DUMBING down the standards because it reviews the remedial math skills, however the author complains how this method is too COMPLEX and CONFUSING. O.o this is where a lot of opposers contradict themselves, but this is the regular critique of Common Core.

    Okay so people will first look at this and think it’s nonsense, but if you THINK about it, this is often the process one will use to do this math in their head. I mean, how else would to add 26 and 17 in your head? What this is is simply a recording of a thought process to get an answer l, so in essence it’s THINKING about how you are getting your answer, thinking about your thinking… Aka actual learning.

    Okay so go through this and think about it, if I were to record the process my mind goes through, it would be something a long this line. Okay, so I’ll think of 26 as 30 for a moment because I can easily add 17 to 30 and get 47, then I’ll take away that 4 I added in earlier to get 43, the answer is 43.

    Perhaps where the CONFUSION lies is that a student has to read someone else’s thought process to get the as we and at first glance this could be confusing, but if you think about it (and therefore really learn) you will better understand the concept. And the next prompt encourages the student to do the same in writing out, in words, their process for coming up with the answer.

    So this child who is praised for writing “math” wasn’t pointing out the flaws in a flawed program, he was being lazy and not wanting to think the extra mile. Any student can do math like this in their head, but it takes an intelligent student with the desire to learn to take the time and effort to really understand a concept.

    So this is what some of the aspects of common core would promote. And so the problem I have down at lie in my support for common core, but more when people oppose something without giving it much thought and consideration because I think this is very dangerous on both sides. It’s very very very dangerous to take common core as it is and not question the governments motives and precarious amount of power, but I believe it’s also dangerous to discount something without giving it a good look and using your own brain to reason it out. I don’t think common core is the answer, or even good, but I just wish people would recognize the good in it even just for the sake of making a more thoughtful, intelligent argument against it.

    • imsailing

      I agree with teaching kids to add in their heads….did it with my son & he can figure out the change he is due in the store before the clerk can enter it in the register. But the WAY they try to teach this is idiotic. I could do the same thing in three much easier steps by first adding the 10’s & then adding the 1’s. 26+17…..take the 10 from the 17 & add it to 26 + 10 = 36. Add the ( “ones”) 6 & the 7 = 13. 30 + 13 = 43. The way you explained it was about 10 times less complicated than the way they are doing it, but I still think my way is simpler than adding 4 to get to 30 and then taking the 4 away again. Here’s my compliant. You can’t just teach only this way to do adding/subtracting to a child because there comes a day we all know where the math is far too complicated to do in your head and if you don’t also know the standard way to add/subtract, you are not going to be able to do it. You have to teach the standard way of adding/subtracting on the easy problems so when you get to the hard ones you know how to do it.

      • Sara

        I agree that their way of saying it might be a little more complicated. I actually personally think that your way of doing it is a little more complicated than mine. The work does give the child an option to write out their process after and this may be less complicated than that listed by common core. I think perhaps the benefit of the slightly more confusing method does make a student fully grasp the concept, once they grasp the concept, the more difficult math problems will be easier and so they can utilize the short hand math by writing it out or using a calculator, but the important thing is to understand how the math works which I believe is what aspects the common core are at least attempting to promote.

  • Daisy Duke

    Good old fashioned math is all they need to learn in elementary school! This Common Core HOGWASH is dumbing down our kids! Whomever thought up this ridiculous mess should be run out of education on a pole!

  • Dillon

    Public schools r a joke 90% of wat is taught is never needed, taught by people who can barely teach it or just plain stupid. I feel like they should teach us wat we will use, or teach us things depending upon wat job we want. U wana b a carpenter u go to school for carpentry after sophomore year or somethinh

    • Sara

      *are *what *what *what *you *want to *be *you *something

      Your punctuation is incorrect. You used passive voice incorrectly.

      Public School taught me how to utilize proper English. I have had brilliantly qualified teachers and also a handful of bad ones. Also, if you have the extraordinary privilege to be home schooled or to go to a private school, that is wonderful for you! However, there are many children who do not have these options available to them. Some of these children may not want to become carpenters. Public School at least attempts to educate the masses so that we can have a thinking, literate society. Carpentry is an excellent, important profession and I do not think carpenters would like your comment that they are uneducated. We need thoughtful carpenters who can read, write and reason. We need thoughtful citizens who can read, write and reason.

      • James White

        I do hope you are not in the teaching profession.

        If Dillon hadn’t learned the use of the correct active, past and future tense of words by as he suggested the end of the tenth grade, he isn’t likely to do so.

        As for your comments I couldn’t follow your train if thought, if you had one. That may be a product of the teachers you had that were, as you described, ” . . . a handful of bad ones.

    • Big George

      Ladies and Gentlemen – The voice of the conservative party and the model of opposition against the Common Core.
      Behold: Dillon!

      • James White

        Your ignorance is only exceeded by your arrogance. Dillon has a point whether you see it or not.

        I also doubt he is Conservative, but; I wouldn’t assume either. It’s possible he doesn’t profess either; you know, middle of the aisle, independent.

        I would suggest that if a student had little interest in the arts or sciences that following the tenth grade, their curriculum could be focused on arithmetic used in the carpentry, drafting, electrical, plumbing and other trades. Proper job scheduling, materials ordering, business ethics and basic accounting could also be studied. Maybe preparation of quotes for work as well as use and balancing a checkbook and the basis of interest on a revolving charge account.

        While sheepskins are becoming so plentiful that they are losing their significance and/or are becoming second class to many with masters, our country is becoming devoid of the many trades we need. That supply and demand will significantly push up the labor rate for those “Dillons” that people like you will have to pay in the future.

        As for you word characterization. Arithmetic is to Math as “Journalism” is to “Professional Reporting”. We know what is intended by both. As for the “Professional Reporting” by journalists, at least we can hope!

  • Big George

    The best part of this is that “math” is really an incorrect answer. “Arithmetic” would have been correct. Calling it “math” would be like calling the ability to spell “cat”, “journalism”. This kid doesn’t seem like he knows what he’s doing.

    • Miss Jenni

      Wow, you are a real piece of work. The only thing you can add is an insult to a child. I really do not see what difference it makes what he called it. Math, means the same thing. The sad part is you yourself used the term “Mathematics” in a previous post, so to insult this child by using the word Math is a little contradictory is it not? Nice try at sounding intelligent. Too bad it failed.

      • Big George

        (1) the branch of mathematics that deals with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division,
        (2) the use of numbers in calculations

        (1) the study of the relationships among numbers, shapes, and quantities,
        (2) it uses signs, symbols, and proofs and includes arithmetic, algebra, calculus, geometry, and trigonometry.

        • Big George

          Common core prepares students for Mathematics
          Arithmetic is the lowest level of mathematics.

          If that’s all that parents want their children to learn, that’s fine,
          but those kids won’t be getting a job in software development any time soon. They need to develop abstract thinking. Getting the right answer is easy. Choosing the best path toward the right answer is challenging. That’s one of the many benefits of common core. But I agree, this student is obviously not the kind of student that should be attempting anything more difficult than basic arithmetic. That would be a waste of everyone’s time and our society needs burger flippers.

          • Miss Jenni

            Some of the world’s best mathematician’s did it WITHOUT Common Core. Ya know, those that mastered it BEFORE Common Core was invented. You are ASSUMING he could not do the calculations in his head. This is a child and he has several years of school left. Keep your uneducated opinion of this child to yourself. You do not know this child personally therefore you do NOT know for a fact how he did the calculations. Obviously you could not win an argument with anyone else so you have to pick on a child. You just ASSUME this child will be no good at math. How mature of you..Great job and being a bigger failure.

          • Big George

            I’m pretty sure this kid is not reading this blog, so I’m not sure how I could be picking an argument with him/her. It’s you I’m arguing with.

            If this kid isn’t able or willing to explain their work than they weren’t following instructions and are therefore incorrect. It’s that simple. Someone who can’t or refuses follow instructions on a test is incorrect by definition. Maybe he can do it in his head, but that wasn’t the question on the test now was it. Maybe he can’t read.

            And sure, plenty of mathematicians came before Common Core. Many came before the invention of the abacus, calculator and the computer too. Should we disregard those tools just because people got by without them? There will always be a better way and we should always be searching for it which requires taking chances with new tools and techniques. CC is far from perfect, but at least they’re trying something to improve American children’s embarrassingly shallow grasp of higher mathematics and number theory. I can only imagine that students like this will fall through the cracks when they reach the midrange mathematics courses.

            My argument is not directed toward this kid but against the people celebrating his “triumph” of ignorance. I hope this kid has someone in his life that will help him overcome that. Although, to be honest the whole thing is probably fake and an attempt to derail CC for political reasons.

          • Miss Jenni

            I am not a fan nor enemy of Common core. If they want our children to be smarter then they should have turned to the smartest country on earth and how those children are taught and adopted those techniques. It does not matter if the kid is reading it or not. Stop picking on the kid. You cannot justify judging this kids future because of one test. The article didn’t even say he couldn’t do the Common Core, again you ASSUMED he couldn’t do it.

          • Big George

            Fair enough, but I really don’t think I’m picking on the kid. I think I’m pointing out that someone, somewhere, isn’t preparing him for a future in our global economy. I’m worried for kids like this, not picking on them. This kid’s going to have a hard time when his employer asks which algorithm he used for write his software and the kid replies, “Computer Science”.

          • Miss Jenni

            You nailed it right there. I think it is more that our kids are being passed whether they know the work or not.

        • Dale Roberts

          Actually calling it “math which is short for Mathmatics is correct because this shows a relationshipe between numbers. In your attempt to be a smart a$$ you just proved why your insult to the child was in error. All these extra steps are not necessary. Why write 30 pages of computer code when 3 lines will do?

          • Big George

            Dale said: “Actually calling it “math which is short for Mathmatics is correct because this shows a relationshipe between numbers.”

            I don’t see any evidence that this child understands the relationship between those numbers. Where do you see that? From the evidence in the picture, there’s no way to know if the student accidentally stumbled onto the answer or cheated or even did it the CC way. The whole point of the exercise was to: “EXPLAIN how you got the answer in Problem 4”. Even if the student had used the old-timer method, he should have been able to outline the steps he used to get there. The student was either unwilling or unable to show their work.

          • Big George

            Dale said: “Why write 30 pages of computer code when 3 lines will do?”

            You wouldn’t. But while you were learning how to compute recursive or iterative functions, you would certainly write the code out the long way to begin visualizing how to properly condense your algorithms into more efficient code. Very few people are able to immediately understand recursion and iteration without writing it out first.

  • Charles Edward Akers

    I grew up hearing the phrase, “Some people will complicate an anvil”. Common Core Mathematics is a prime example.

  • Pikov Andropov

    I am a math teacher and have been for several years. I also teach physics, engineering, and robotics. I have bachelor’s degrees in physics and math and education, hold a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. I am half-way through a PhD. I am a member of Mensa. This makes ME wonder.

  • Mark Wnorowski

    The real story can be found here.

    Here is copy of a comment I left to one of the many uninformed. Bring it on.

    Wow! How many of you have actually read the Common Core standards on your State Department of Education website? If you haven’t you shouldn’t be posting like you know what you’re talking about.

    First, stop bitching about how some cashiers can’t do math. They weren’t taught using Common Core. Your posts are ignorant.

    Second, Common Core math does not teach students that there is only one correct way to solve a problem, but teaches that there are several correct ways to solve and understand a problem. Just like using analogies and metaphors to understand literature, students will now have more tools to use, if they NEED to use them.

    Check out how other countries (many with much higher math scores then the U.S.) teach math. Common Core ideas weren’t just invented but have been used successfully all over the world. We can stick our heads in the sand or wake up and smell the roses.

    I can’t believe some of these comments are from math teachers. They must work with the science teachers that deny climate change and think Intelligent Design is an alternate explanation for evolution.

    Please explain why the algorithm for dividing fractions works the way it does. Bet you can’t, because you weren’t taught. Common core teaches students how BECAUSE you have to understand how math works in order to use it!

    For those of you bringing Common Core English standards into this discussion, please provide a link to a Common Core document that tells teachers which books students must read. Common Core teaches the skills needed to comprehend what you read, not what to read.

    And now to make some of your heads explode.There really is no such thing as subtraction. Subtraction is just another form of addition.

  • Mark Wnorowski

    I forgot to add these links for Idaho’s Common Core. For your reading pleasure. Please let me know what you find objectionable.

  • Mark Wnorowski

    This is a link to the members of the Business Roundtable, which fully supports Common Core Standards. If you use any of the products or services of these companies, and you disagree with the Common Core initiative, then stop shopping at WalMart, stop using Exxon gas, get rid of your Microsoft Windows operating system, don’t fly anywhere on a plane built by Boeing and tear up your Mastercard.

    If you are pro-business your posts contradict your stance on free enterprise and capitalism.

    If you own stock or invest in mutual funds that own the stocks of these companies, please sell them all now to show your support for stopping Common Core standards.

    If you work for any of these companies, quit.

    And here is an interesting opinion from a professor at Liberty University, a well known conservative, Christian university.

    Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, professor of English at Liberty University, said the English standards are helping to refocus students on text analysis.

    “A lot of students come to us who have very rarely if ever actually read a text in school,” she explained. “Some students who study English have just learned to get by by having brilliant conversations.”

    Prior said the standards mark a return to an emphasis on close reading of the text, a move she believes that Christians should welcome.

    “The Common Core standards are just simply asking students to read the text carefully, understand what a text is saying and how it is making an argument, which is really important,” she said.

  • Kellie N Collins

    I took advanced and academic math as well as general/basic. I cannot do this.
    This is messed up.

  • Mark Wnorowski

    Doesn’t anyone want to come out and play? Cat got your tongue, or did I just shut the bullies down? Rules of the game: Read my posts first and then counter with reliable information and include your sources. Political right wing talk show hacks and the like are not true sources of information.

  • Don Arnett

    ‘How can I help it?’ he blubbered. ‘How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.’
    ‘Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.’

    I just can’t seem to shake this feeling that I’ve heard the mentality behind Common Core somewhere else before.

  • whamo

    When you critique the Common Core approach, please keep in mind that Bill Gates endorses it. Personally I never enjoyed mathematics, and I would always go straight to the easy answer. But I can see the value at examining the different routes to take towards the right answer. Four days ago I spent a day in surgery getting skin cancer removed from the top of my head. It took twenty stitches to tighten up my wig. The doctor only gave me 3 days of morphine, and on the fourth day my headache suffering was incredible. To me, doing a math problem in the Common core method would be a similar experience. I think the Common Core method should only be used on the mathematically gifted, you know, people who enjoy such things. But I’d venture to say it’s of little value to the average Joe.

  • Debbie Forthun Kitchen

    This is actually how my brain functions but I can’t even picture what it does to other peoples minds. My IQ has tested several times in the 140-150 range not typical in the US. I know I add, subtract, divide and multiply unlike most but its always done in my head. If its a math based, accounting type test I finish in 1/2 the time BUT when there is an error…old style pen/paper or calculator is busted out and I never use rounding at that point. So it makes sense to me but I cannot see middle America doing this. They will have nothing to fall back on once they know they have made an error.

  • Scott Carver

    There is a simple solution to this whole mess. Unfortunately, it requires something that most of us have little to spare, time. The solution is to pull your kids out of the government run school system, and teach them at home. I know of a family that did this with their daughter. She passed her GED at age 16, and was able to work full time at the family business for two years to earn money for college. This gave her a work ethic that allowed her to attend the college of her choice, without having to rely on the government student loan program. She paid for it with cash, which she earned.
    She is now attending medical school, again on her own dime, and will graduate in two years. Not bad for home schooling.

  • jb80538

    Common core is the dumbest way to do math that has ever been thought of!

  • KaimiKalihi

    That’s the long way around the barn to get to an answer when the barn door is wide open!!!

  • Elaine Craig

    I can sum up common core in just one word: BS

  • Tidewaterhorse

    I am currently working with common core in English and there is a vast difference in writing and math in using cc standards. It makes sense in writing but not in math.

    • Lane Walker

      It makes sense to a math teacher who understands what is confusing our kids and causing the majority to need remedial math in college.

  • Dan

    My question to this process….why is it OK to add 30 to 13 to get 43, but it isn’t OK to simply add 26 and 17 to get 43? Shouldn’t this truly be broken down even one more time to make sure 30 and 13 really equal 43? Wait, no matter how you break it down eventually you will have to prove that 2 numbers, added together, equal 43….this is about the silliest thing I’ve ever seen.

    • Lane Walker

      I think you would really like this video because it shows what kids look like actually doing this: We have raised generations of kids who “can’t make change in their heads.” The video shows how kids can learn that skill from each other, taking different approaches based on the way they think.

      • lilyred

        I’m 65 and I can make change “in my head”. What’s wrong with the way I learned back in the ’50’s?

        • Lane Walker

          The way you learned back in the 50’s was most likely similar to Common Core. Did you add like 22 + 15 + 38 by putting the 8 and 2 together to make 10 and then +5? Would you consider 39 + 26 + 15 the same as 40 + 25 + 15? I suspect that’s how you learned and too many kids can’t break numbers up like that in their heads. I think the posted example is extreme, but making fun of it just shows how few people understand what you have known for a long time.

          • lilyred

            I started doing that over time, as I got older, it got easier. Think I figured that out myself.

  • Kevin M. Koop

    Whoever the asshole was who created this should be dropped off in the middle of Iraq with only a 9mm and 8 rounds. If they die OH WELL TO BAD SO SAD!

  • Kevin M. Koop

    Here a challenge! Bring back the show ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER and have them compete against the morons running the Department of Education! I’d bet $100 the fifth graders would destroy them!

  • Beth Zlinsky Sullivan

    My 2 boys graduated in 2012 +2014, they have a hard time helping their sister, who is in 6th grade, with her homework because of this. Things have changed even since they were her age. They say these ways are easier but as a parent who helps with homework, it’s harder on everyone bc it makes no sense.

  • Savage Patriot

    Five steps to figure a simple 1 step calculation makes no sense at all. Why stop there when you can add another half dozen steps to cofuse the hell out of everyone. Lets go one better using this same type of logic . If you walk into a pharmacy to buy an aspirin tablet. Explain to the Pharmacist the chemical processes used to make the primary precursor elements before he will allow you to purchase that tablet. In addition the part gangletron brought up. If you can show how 2+2 =5 you get credit. NO you get slapped upside the head for being stupid. Or else you go to “work?” for the Government!

  • Winston Smith

    If THIS is how we are “supposed to” figure out “26 + 17” I’d HATE to see how they suggest you do vector analysis or (OMG!) a quadratic equation!
    P.S. my grandfather learned the Pythagorean Theorem in FIFTH grade!

  • Steve

    Dumbing down the population so they have no choice but to vote Socialist!

  • MILAN68

    I have no freaking idea to that

  • SkyBill40

    I have a degree in elementary education and despite no longer teaching in the classroom, this kind of nonsense “math” would certainly have me considering switching professions due to an adamant refusal to teach this ridiculous method that over complicates what should be a quite simple calculation.

  • pjw01

    It is called dumbing of Americans. It has been happening for decades. Every wonder why your grandmother knows how to help your children with most of their homework? It hasn’t changed much in decades.

  • Gary Zelasko

    Idiotic way of teaching math.

  • Skillt Reed

    I’m a retired science teacher and I was confused. This is so stupid and not necessary. Honestly common core is the dumbest thing I have ever seen come out of education…..and trust me….I have seen a lot of dumb things!!

  • Steve V

    I had enough trouble with math. This nonsense would have put me completely out of business…

  • pagostoy .

    What’s wrong with these idiots? Common core? How about Moron Core?

  • melissa

    Math is math, there is no logic in a wrong answer, except to go back and figure out why it’s wrong. The number line doesn’t change, it is a linear principle. The Cartesian plane coordinates, geometry and all else pertaining to math are relationships. Making those relationships harder to grasp is an insult to intelligence and CC is a stick in the mud so kids are more confused. Math is simple logic based on complex principles. Stop making it harder than it is so we can move forward as a nation. Bye bye Gold Standard.

  • Birdbranze

    OK, finally figured this out after seeing it maybe half a dozen times (that’s 6 times CC kids). What gets me is; They are teaching kids to borrow, but for some reason, don’t want to 1- Use the term or 2- Explain it. You borrow 4 from 17and add it to 26 to make an easy number to work with, then add 30 and the remainder. Problem is, they have the kids so confused that they can’t figure out that you have to borrow 4 to make 26 into 30. I think the government is so used to borrowing Trillions from China that they forget how to borrow in the single digits.

    • Dale R

      They call it “regrouping”. There is a ones collum a tens a hundreds etc. I have 2 kids who have done this and let me tell you explaining homework is not fun. I ended up taking a dollar 10 dimes and 10 pennys and explainging it that way. The 3rd grade teacher said I don’t care how they get there as long as they get there.

      • Murphy’s Mom

        And this “teacher” ‘is getting paid because??

      • Birdbranze

        When my mother taught me this, she used the term she was taught in the 1930’s “borrowing”. The big difference was, my mother never went past the 9 grade and explained it in a sensible easy way, unlike these educated idiots running things (into the ground) from their D.C. offices.

  • copywriter111

    I am a planner and use numbers regulay. I see minds being corrupted to make the next generation look and feel rediculous .

  • kirkpatrick

    The 6 in 26?? As opposed to the 6 in 16?? As if we need an example of each digit?

  • kirkpatrick

    Do they forbid the Abacus in rooms now?

  • Gmans

    Screw that Home School them,

  • Lori Ziegler

    I believe that trying to make a simple equation much more difficult by adding several more steps to it is mentally disturbing… in if you prefer this method you must certainly have a psychiatric disorder…….kinda like washing your hands 25 times in a row or vacuuming a rug 15 times after walking on it. There just is no point in all the extra work and looks ridiculous to a normal person. It proves nothing and teaches nothing.

  • Amy L. Porod-Christen

    CC is about the dumbest thing on this planet! I have looked my son’s teacher in the eye and told her that he WILL be learning the old way at home and that is what he will use. She tried to convince me that this was easier, HA! Told her no way, he will be learning the RIGHT way to do math. She was not pleased that I wasn’t going to cave. We don’t need another generation screwed up, especially in math when we’re trying to compete in the world.

    • Murphy’s Mom

      Good Mom! I wish your children success in school. I think it will be more difficult for them than it was for the generations before them.

      • Amy L. Porod-Christen

        Sadly you are right. One of my older sisters grew up in the era where educational professionals thought phonics was a waste of time and quit having the kids learn it. She still suffers from it.

  • the moderate

    OR…you could just add 26+17 and save three trips around the mulberry bush.

  • grammy23

    What I’ve come to believe is that for those of us parents that start teaching our kids math before entering school through everyday practical things, like grocery shopping, the schools are telling our kids thru Common Core “Your parents taught you wrong”.

  • loraallen

    And people think the way I do math in my head is complicated! My brain goes something like this:
    26=20+6, 17=10+7. Take the tens: 20+10=30. Take the ones: 7+6=13, 13=10+3. Add all the tens: 30+10=40, now add the ones: 40+3=43. No need to drag in a 4, which is unrelated to the problem. I could always skip the 13=10+3 part and just go with 30+13=43, but for this rare glimpse into my brain I chose to go the whole 9 yards. (9 yards, take the root, 3. Think “this is bullshit”, chuck it all out and say “I’m going to go find a math system that doesn’t involve pulling numbers out of my ass!”)

    • VG

      Oh, my aching head!!!

    • Murphy’s Mom

      I was never good at math. This (common core) kind of convoluted horse manure would have left me in tears more than I had been in grade school. Why are we letting idiots ruin our children’s futures?

    • Ron Yeary

      Your initial method takes 7 steps to complete. By the old school method 26+17 =?
      Add 6 + 7 = 13, carry the leading 1 in the tens column : 20 + 10 + 10 (carried) = 40 + 3 = 43. Three steps by the old method, I didn’t have to use a calculator and the old method has your method beat by 4 steps.

  • numenorean

    Stop bitching, fools. You will never stop Commie Core. Pull your kids out of public school.

    • Mary Curry

      Indiana got rid of it two years ago

  • Willy Rho

    Common CoHoers do not want your Children to think Rationally. They want them to accept whatever the Emperor tells them without reasoning.
    Common Core is a part of that Indoctrination.
    Do as Mao Says, and learn to Repeat Whatever he Says. Sort of Like Commies and Muslims. You know the kind of People, like Barack Obama(Illegal alien Kenyan, Brit, Indonesian, ILLEGAL ALIEN) and Valerie Jarret(Muslim Iranian).

  • Willy Rho

    All States should secede, Declare War on Washington and Mexico and form a new Union, while taking 20 miles into Mexico all along the Mexican and the USA border. Except take ALL of Baja.

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    O M G

  • Mary Curry

    I received a minor in math in HS without taking a class. I was in the test class for ‘new math’ in the mid 60’s and by the time I got to HS they used my books to teach from. Since I had already gotten A’s in the course they said it would not be fair for me to take it again. But I LIKE math. Or I used to. I always knew that there was a way to back out of an equation. Add-subtract, multiply-divide. My teacher in college had me doing algebra in Chinese, hoping it would slow me down. I still do math puzzles for fun But the crap my grandkids have for math is making them hate it. They spend so much time prepping for tests that they miss the point of the exercise. They do not enjoy math. And it is sad.

  • mutantbuzzard


  • And if you have 40 numbers to add?
    If you are not writing your own curricula, you are probably just a government stooge.

  • NukeWaste

    I am in trouble! I have been looking at this problem for months and couldn’t figure out what they were doing. Last night I had to add up a bill after my cellphone died. I have been subconsciously doing this since 4th grade. You would never figure out what was done here unless somebody does it for you the first time. I called my buddy, a fellow physicist and proper psycho. He does math this same way. But we only do this if we don’t have pencil and paper. Then we both go Old School!

  • What’s wrong with 6+7=13, carry the 1, 1+2+1=4 so 43? It’s worked for my entire life and I can do it on the fly in my head, no fingers or thinking required.

  • Mark Anderson

    Solve this? They are attacking our innocent kids! What actions follow? I already know the answer.

  • Emily Hough

    Ok this whole uproar about how common core doesn’t work just drives me crazy. Has anyone dissing on common core actually read the standards? I have. They do not specify the strategies a teacher must use to teach a concept, they are a set of goals or endpoint of what we want our students to know. The whole point of having common standards accross the nation is so that we don’t live in a nation full of stupid people. If we are consistent in our goals for education, it’s makes it easier on those students constantly changing schools, and the quality of our education higher. So, if the teacher is using a strategy that doesn’t make sense it is not the common cores fault. If a student doesn’t understand something then s/he obviously has not reached the goal and the teacher must find a different means if getting the student to that point. Also, if you do not have mastery in that content area, don’t be ragging on how or what is taught. You don’t know the reasoning behind things. Finally if you choose to participate in a discourse then do your research, if you don’t, then you are demonstrating the very reason we need a set of rigorous standards for education.

    • Ron Yeary

      ” So, if the teacher is using a strategy that doesn’t make sense it is not the common cores fault.”
      By your reasoning we need to replace teachers that would have a singular method of teaching. Perhaps we need to provide more individual instruction to reach each student. Yet your Common Core method wouldn’t allow that. You simply flunk the student.

      • Big George

        1. Yes, we should replace teachers “that would have a singular method of teaching.” That’s not exactly teaching.

        2. Nowhere does it say that you “simply flunk the student”. There are plenty of alternatives to that.

        3. I don’t want my tax dollars going to “more individual instruction” anyway. It’s the parents’ responsibility to pay for a tutor.

        4. CC allows for multiple methods, so the student can eventually use the techniques that are best suited to his or her abilities and drop the ones that don’t work for them. What’s so bad about learning an alternative method of arithmetic? They still teach the old way also. The kids got 12 whole years to decide which one they prefer.

      • Emily Hough

        Yes. If a teacher can not differentiate for students, then we need to hire a teacher that can. Yes. we need to “provide more individual[ized] instruction.” The common core does not stop teacher from using various methods of teaching. Perhaps people implementing the the standards are not varying the methods. Again I will reiterate, the common core is a set of standards or endpoints that we want students to be at by the time they graduate. For example, the common core asks that 5th graders know how to add and subtract fractions by using equivalent fractions. It does not specify how this should be taught, that is up to the teacher. For high school language arts, it asks that students are able to evaluate theme, it does not specify what texts to use or how to teach students to do that–it, again is up to the teacher to differentiate teaching methods and strategies to best fit the student learning. HOW those students get there is dependent on how the teacher decides to teach them. A teacher flunking a student because the teacher does not want to differentiate is not acceptable.

    • jendem – If you think it is just about standards you are missing the rest of the iceberg.

  • peg_c

    This is why our grandkids are being homeschooled from now on. CCC will NOT be taught there, nor will any of the lib agenda!

    • Lane Walker

      The problem with traditional math is that word problems have been avoidable. Few teachers really expected the students to get those. What good is math the kids cannot apply? College placement tests, AP, and ACT are all moving towards problem solving so if all the students know is memorized formulas they can’t modify and apply to real life, they will end up in remedial math at college. If I were to home school, I would use something like Singapore Math.

      • peg_c

        I don’t disagree, Lane. Problem-solving with real-world examples are excellent. But rote formulas have to be memorized first IMHO, just as written language has to be taught by first teaching the correct way to write and then getting into the whats and whys (theory behind the application). Being able to string equations or words together doesn’t make you a mathematician or writer, but you cannot be a mathematician or writer without first mastering those. All the great mathematicians memorize formulas and equations first. Is CCC doing this? Not that I’ve heard (and I’ve sat in on state conference calls on CCC).

        • Lane Walker

          First memorize, then understand can work in some contexts. Can you be specific about a formula or something like that so we might be able to come to a consensus?

          • peg_c

            No, because I’ve forgotten all the math I ever learned (it was 200 years ago). Maybe you can come up with something since you’re the mathematician. I’m done here – I wanted to comment and I did. I’m not into a big discussion.

          • Josh Stetson

            It seems like your demographic is the most against this teaching method. If you’ve forgotten all the math you ever knew, how can you judge the methods used to teach it today?

          • peg_c

            My demographic? Prejudiced much? My kids are homeschooling now partly because of CC. In fact, CC is the #1 reason since 2011 for the huge increase in homeschooling (in North Carolina, homeschooled students now outnumber private school students – and no, I’m not in NC). My kids are in their 30s. Why don’t you compose a rant about that demographic? What are you – 16?

            The math I forgot was algebra. I aced geometry. I was an IT professional for decades. So keep trying to portray me and others like me as idiots 🙂

          • Josh Stetson

            I’m actually 27 and a laborer in a paper mill. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how this will become useful in mental arithmetic. The demographic i was referring to was actually “Idiots.” Good guess!

          • jendem

            No one advocates for route memorization without understanding what you are doing. The issue is that kids are being scattered in their approach to learning material instead of just doing it the way MOST kids will get it. That is one thing I really dislike about the new CC thinking with education, that, somehow, kids will master material without actual mastery. That’s boring so let’s move on to more advanced application even though half the class isn’t ready.

          • Lane Walker

            The mantra for memorization advocates is, “You don’t need to know how the light switch works.” Sometimes I hear, “I didn’t understand it, so why should they be expected to.” The reason so many teachers do this is explained here: Mathematics teachers are attempting to call this practice to task here:

          • jendem

            Let me be more specific, people who do not like CC are not advocating for memorization without understanding.

          • Lane Walker

            I realize you do not intend to speak for all when you say “people who do not.” If the people, on whose behalf you speak, would fight the path by which the Feds usurp too much authority, I would applaud you. By fighting the Common Core math standards, you not only miss the target (the Feds will find something else to push), you end up defeating the best thing to come along that could help our kids be successful in college. By jettisoning the common standards, your people perpetuate the routine demolition of millions of kids’ dreams of having successful careers.

          • Lane Walker

            Here is a brochure from last year’s Interface Conference, math & science: On page 20, you will see a session, “Some Tricks and Shortcuts I’ve Learned While Teaching Algebra.” I sat in that session and listed to that well-seasoned teacher showcase all his tricks for getting right answers in Algebra with no understanding of the math. Without an agree-upon set of standards, my opinion is as good as his. Another place to get a peek with what is wrong with US math instruction is here:

            CC does not set the pace or order of instruction but does require teachers to teach math instead of tricks. I am posting TWO pics so you can see the contrast but also videos of expectations for fractions can be found here:

        • jendem

          You are totally correct. The new thinking is for kids to be ready to fly when no one has gotten on the plane.

      • peg_c

        I said elsewhere that one of the key factors of CCC is removing parents from their children’s education. What better way to do that than to implement CCC?

        • Lane Walker

          I have around 130 students each year and arrange to meet with them and their families in small groups before school starts so that I can explain how we can all work together to make sure all the kids are successful. Success, to me, means all of my students finish their year ready to move onto the next levels with confidence. Since Algebra is the gatekeeper to most new careers these days, I feel like I have these kids’ futures in my hands and need all the help I can get from parents and guardians. I provide my families with resources. I am also very honest about the sobering statistics with respect to college success rates so that the families can see the need to support the whole process. I’m not sure why you feel CC removes parents from my students’ education.

          • jendem

            Well if they specifically create ways to make sure parents don’t understand or can help their kids with homework, that pretty much removes the parents.

          • Lane Walker

            I don’t know why people believe Dr. Milgram with things he says that the average person cannot verify or disprove, particularly when he publishes things that can be very easily disproved by the average person:
            The only explanation I have is that someone very badly wants to believe what he says here.

          • Lane Walker

            I sympathize with parents wanting to help. The best way to help is to understand what is missing from math ed now. The big umbrella of missing info is “number sense.” Example: High school students will often say 0.752 > 0.81 because 0.752 looks bigger. Common Core math has a heavy emphasis on students being able to explain using “place value.” Parents who have never had to explain using place value might be frustrated. Example: High school students will often say 1/2 + 3/4 = 4/6 or 4/8 because they have confused all the memorized procedures that were so easy–one at a time. Parents don’t see the confusion teachers see down the road and don’t understand that is exactly why kids have to take remedial math classes in college.

          • Lane Walker

            The best way I know to understand for yourself that Common Core math is a good thing is by considering the way traditional fractions are taught and compare with CC instruction. I highly recommend the Unit 1 & Unit 2 5-minute videos here: and compare with the pictures I’m posting here. The reason I am writing is because I have taught at 2 colleges and have seen way too many kids dropping out because they can’t pass their math classes. It is heartbreaking. In MO, 16% of today’s freshmen are expected to get a 4-year degree by their early 20’s and about half of those degrees come with only debt and no job. It is true that some of the problems teachers have given students are ridiculous, but hasn’t that always been true?

          • jendem

            Yep, myself and thousands and thousands of other people. If you don’t agree that’s okay. We are winning the war on CC without you.

          • Lane Walker

            My other responses apparently didn’t post so I’ll try again, thinking surely if you are trying to help kids you might be willing to think through what you are dong. Truth is not necessarily that to which a majority hold. Compare for yourself what is traditionally taught, for example with fractions (just a pic, you don’t have to read): with what Common Core requires two 5-min videos:
            This is why US mathematics instruction needs a major overhaul.
            The problem with parent involvement, and I sympathize with your frustration, is that most parents were trained under traditional. That’s why most people say they “aren’t good at math.” I can explain other things you are seeing if you are willing to consider what is at stake here. Just ask. Otherwise, when you have “won,” will you also take on responsibility for overwhelming percentages of students whose dreams of a good career are dashed because they can’t pass their college math classes?

          • RenoParent

            Dr. Milgram (CC Math Feedback and Validation Committee’s) gives one of the best explanations of why CC math is not good for our children or the future of our country [37 minute audio]!


  • Tony Afara

    These are some Math flunkies whom invented a simpler way to solve the problems. They call it Meth

  • Janihall

    As an accountant, I would never get my work done with this idiocy!

  • Laura Ives Craft

    This is just using 10 as a “go to number”. My grandson was having trouble mentally adding and subtracting so I taught him this. It helped him grasp the concept and then he had no problems. Example, what is 22 plus 13? Well, 20 plus13=33 (20 is the go to number) from 20 to 22 is 2,so the answer has to be 2 more or 35. I am a math teacher in a non common core state. This is not off the wall like many things I have seen.

    • Chad

      The problem is that not everyone thinks like your grandson and while it may work for him it may not work for my child. Teaching every child EVERY possible way to think about a math problem is not a viable solution to the problems people face teaching or learning math. This is government work at it’s worst. I’ll have no part in it.

  • luckyflesh

    I wouldn’t do it this way, but if the idea is to come up with base 10, why not just take 3 from the 26 to make the 17 = 20? then 23 + 20 =43.

    Not how I would do it, but if you’re going to do it weird, at least do it the easiest weird.

    • Vueiy

      “The easiest weird,” lol. That could be a band name. Dibs!

      • luckyflesh

        I’ll buy your first album. 🙂

    • Josh Stetson

      How would you do it then? 25+15 is 40 and 1+2 is 3, so add them together and it’s 43? If that was the student’s written explanation, they should get credit as well, but finding the nearest 10 does seem to be the easiest way to me.

  • Amy Parker

    If you really want to see something stupid check out the method of casting nines!!! Utterly ridiculous!

  • CainCan

    Kinda startled by this.. this is MY kid’s paper! I wonder how they got it… Not so sure it was his brilliance coming through (though he IS pretty brilliant in my eyes!!) – more like he had no earthly idea how he got the answer – and neither did his parents, so we were sorta satisfied with his “obvious” answer!

  • Justin Remelius

    I dont mind this because this is what is use to solve addition in my head. Ex 1089+1726=1090+1725=1100+1715=2815. To me, doing it this way in my head is easier than trying to think through the traditional way.

  • Vueiy

    I get what they’re trying to do, but it really just makes the whole thing more convoluted than it needs to be. In the first one, I’d just remember that 6+7=13 and carry the one. I mean, why switch things around if you don’t have to? It’s just making more work.

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  • RenoParent

    Dr. Milgram (CC Math Feedback and Validation Committee’s) gives one of the best explanations of why CC math is not good for our children or the future of our country [37 minute audio]!

  • CatoYounger

    Basically, what the common core math like this is, is a way to help math-challenged kids “get it”. The problem is that it is being forced on everyone. There is no reason for the simplest math operations to be done this way.

  • Gretchen Dustin

    Wow, they are really trying to make Americans stupid. Why? I can only hazard a guess. Control. Control is easy when everyone is not allowed knowledge, and of course, knowledge is power, and power is something the government wants taken away so they can rule with an iron fist. This country is going in reverse. The government is taking away the very thing this country was built on, freedom from tyranny from a corrupt monarchy. History will repeat itself and I am afraid we will live to see it. This saddens me to the very core. Freedom is now a thing we will only have memories of. How the hell did the American people let this happen? Perhaps we will never know.

    • TruStJ

      Absolutely! This is part of a larger picture. 1. Control the education, you control the kids. You can pass your idealogical and moral beliefs to impressionable minds, including turning your parents in for having a gun. 2. Disarm the masses. 3. Bankrupt the citizens/country 4. Control the information flow (media and now net neutrality which the FCC&FEC= govt) and the information is disseminated by the feds. 5. Create civil unrest, manufacture race/class wars. 6. Control the healthcare (death panels).
      Legalizing drugs was a great achievement because it makes people passive and easy to be led. All of these things are straight out of the “Communist Manifesto.”

  • Scot Murberger

    That was actually more effort than just doing the math to add the two numbers.

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  • Dan Knight

    Math … a scary topic indeed. Worse than assault rifles. Second only to ‘Reality’ as a source of Liberal distress. (Okay, maybe physics or chemistry or economics are close, but I don’t want to use too many Right-Wing scare words. I might get Swatted.)

  • elizbethvarden

    If a student does not give a rationalization in multisyllabic words on how they found their answer it is marked wrong.

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    They are using flawed pedigogy to try to make kids explain processes before they can even do them. Give the kids some practice in adding, using blocks or fingers or checkers, and they figure out the whys. This is partly a rehash of the New Math of the Sixties that wa so bad. Only this is worse.

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    20 + 6 = 26
    10 + 7 = 17

    20 + 10 = 30
    6 + 7 = +13

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