Common Core

Undoubtedly, you’ve seen the stories, or at least the memes, of people today who are dumbfounded by their kids’ homework. Usually it’s the math that is the challenge. Why is math so challenging now? It’s that insanely idiotic thing called Common Core.

When I was in the public school system from 1977 to 1990, math was rather straightforward. Things like 13+21=34; 183-94=89. Kids would memorize their multiplication facts from 0 through 12 (i.e., 0×0 on up to 12×12). They would receive a sheet of paper with some 50 – 100 problems to work out. Simple and to the point. Kids in school today have to deal with the pain in the ass Common Core curriculum.

One student’s problem read something to the effect of “Jenny read 28 pages on Monday and 103 on Tuesday. Is 75 a reasonable estimate for the increase in pages read?” The student answered, “Yes, because 103-28=75”. The teacher marked it wrong because the student didn’t estimate (100-30=70). So, the student being correct gets penalized? What’s the logic behind this? Or, “Use repeated addition to solve 5×3”. The student answered “5+5+5”. This is correct; however, the teacher marked it wrong replying that the answer was “3+3+3+3+3”. What in the actual fuck? There was even a case where the father had a bachelor’s degree in engineering and couldn’t figure out this bullshit.

Another facet of Common Core I will never comprehend is something called “learning across the curriculum”. My daughter told me about this one when she was in the 9th grade, back in 2013. In her PE class, she was assigned to write an essay about physical activity. What, may I ask, does writing an essay have to do with PE class? I thought the purpose of PE was to participate in physical activity, through running or sport. I never, ever had a PE class in which I had to write an essay. There were those rainy days in California where during PE we ended up watching some sort of videotape.

Instead of simplifying things, Common Core makes everything more difficult by teaching roundabout ways of solving problems. This is similar to the way politicians speak in “politically correct language” by phrasing things in such a way as to not say a fucking thing. Or, they speak in euphemisms and soft language, so as not to disappoint anyone or hurt their feelings, heaven forbid. I have long held that this is little more than one step in the dumbing down of America’s youth, teaching kids how to take a test, rather than challenging kids’ minds, giving them a goal to strive for. They’re not being taught basic life skills like cooking, filing taxes, completing a job application or what used to be called balancing the checkbook. Americans today have social media to keep themselves blissfully ignorant as the government slowly strips them of their rights, and they’ll never miss them, because schools aren’t teaching things like this anymore.

The quote of the day is this:

“How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it.”

Alexandre Dumas

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