Oh let me count the ways! The first and most frustrating is what is called “Fuzzy Math”.
Momdotcom shared a good example of this:
There is not a logical thought process to explain it. It deals with estimates and vague “reasonable” answers instead of facts. It deals with “feelings” of all things. Younger students draw pictures of how they feel about numbers. Math is a process of order establish long ago by the great mathematicians. Aristotle said:
“The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order, symmetry and limitations; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.”
You can’t take away this order. You can’t have several ways of solving the same problem, you end up with conflicting answers. You follow a set of rules that get you the right results. Math is black and white. It is right or wrong. And now Common Core is introducing all shades of grey. (Ok. I really creeped myself out). But that is what it is. It defies principles that Aristotle and the great mathematicians put into place. It defies natural law – God’s law. And who are they to think they can change that? Let’s set aside the principles and look at indisputable facts.
I know there is a lot of support in having a national set of common standards. And yes, it would have eliminated the need for the twins to retake classes that didn’t apply to a North Carolina graduation when we left Utah. However, it is not proven that having a set of standards actually increases academic performance on test scores and Common Core (CC) is all about the test scores. There is proof that CC’s low standards are not meeting international standards, let alone the standards of top schools in the United States. Our international ranking was low and in the past two years it has fallen even lower. Top private schools in the states are ignoring CC. It doesn’t meet their standards. But it will affect them, just as it will affect the homeschool students and our ability to test into colleges. Because our students will not know how to wrap their logical thinking, problem solving minds around a Common Core test.
Common Core doesn’t even ready a student for college. CC eliminates the algebra requirement in 8th grade. Not reaching this milestone puts a student behind to graduate with a math readiness for college. For college science and engineering courses, Calculus in high school is required and if you don’t reach algebra by 8th grade, you don’t have time for it before graduation. Common Core with all of its fanfare of ‘higher standards’ is actually lowering the standards and preparing students for a 2 year college instead of a 4 year college – if students choose a higher education at all after losing their love of learning to Common Core.
Test taking is very different in CC. Kylan came home one day and said “Mom, I got a 105% on my math test!” I commented that he must have gotten all the extra credit, or bonus questions right too. No, there was no extra credit. He then went on to explain how the new testing works.
The test has weighted questions that are worth more in grading point value and some questions deemed “not as important” are worth less points. Meaning you can miss more lower point questions and still pass. Or, like the twins did, get all questions correct and end up with a 105%. Getting into that fuzzy math again. Looking at this grading system closely, technically a student can still meet the “standard” but without full comprehension of “lesser concepts”. I found experience with this with Gavin. He has a 95% in math-an A grade that meets all the standards in math. But he didn’t do as well as he would have liked on his engineering test because of some math skills deemed “not as important” that he didn’t fully understand. Liberals don’t like consequences and CC is a Liberal-pushed agenda so the fallacy in this grading concept is overlooked.
One last thing I will point out about the math in CC then, I will stop and take a deep breath, I promise. The CC approach to problem solving is infuriating at best. It defies all logical thought process. To teach problem solving to your child you would give that child all the tools, skills and resources necessary to help them. They would practice using their tools and new found skills in situations that had little consequence, then build up as they become more skilled to new, more challenging situations. Then, as a loving parent, you realize they reach a point where you can step back and say “I trust you to make good choices. To use the skills you have learned to solve this problem on your own”. Not Common Core. Common Cores idea of problem solving is to throw the student into deep water and say “sink or swim!” and walk away. Some figure out how to swim really fast. Other don’t and sink really fast- losing all motivation to even try. To expose students to problem solving skills, students in CC are exposed to math problems that are far beyond their current level. Without the proper tools and set of skills to accomplish these problems students are expected to “problem solve” to come to a reasonable answer. I had three boys come home from school furious with the stupidity of this concept as they experienced “problem solving” on their final State Common Core math test. This one test was worth 25% of their final grade and it had very little to do with the concepts they had discussed and practiced all semester in class. The twins, having more math experience were able to swim better than others. Gavin, however, being in his first year of algebra didn’t have any skills necessary and sunk. His A grade plunged and with it his self-confidence. The futility of working so hard to get an A only to have it taken away in the end.
In this next coming school year (2014-2015) the PAFCC tests will be implemented. No one really knows much about these test as they are being written by an unconstitutional federal team and they are not accountable to the people. We, the people, were able to get some information about these tests when the results of an internal survey were leaked out that 72% of the test writing team felt they were on the “wrong track”. We also know that these tests will take 8-10 hours of testing every month. Not much hope for the future. And where is the media in this keeping us informed? MIA.
Ultimately, Common Core is set up to fail. The goal was actually to create an educational crisis. When the curriculum was released expectations were listed as such “…to expect enraged parents” and “…expect scores to be low and students to fail.” This is a strategy by our government to herd the people into a socialist educational plan that normally would never be considered unless there is a crisis. You see this same strategy with Obamacare. Set up a system that will fail, put the people into a crisis and the resulting desperation will lead the ignorant people to give up their freedoms and allow the government to step in with “the only solution”. Before you know it, we will be in over our heads with a socialist society indoctrinating our children. Who knew that “changing math” would have such consequences?