Common Core Math: Unicorns & Magic

3x4is11Last week I wrote about part of a presentation given to guests in a Parent Led Reform Oregon hosted Common Core informational meeting.

These meetings tell you the real story of Common Core and how it works. Most parents are relieved to finally see the things they’ve been experiencing with their children’s homework actually talked about openly and explained to them like the adults that they are.

Many district informational meetings talk about college and career readiness, equity between knowledge and resources (aka: money), and a lot of really flowery language that give you no idea of how the Common Core looks on the ground, in the classroom.

Our two PhD’s, Don Crawford and Chana Cox were joined by Joseph Cox and they presented a well thought out, easily understood PowerPoint that showed the differences between “traditional learning” and the new “rainbow and unicorn saving the world from all of its educational ills” Common Core.

I’m sure everyone has heard the stories of children working together in groups of four, collaborating on how to solve problems and then coming to a consensus as to the correct answer. The teacher basically facilitates these math classes and kids teach themselves for the most part.

There are also crazy worksheets sent home that make no sense to some parents:










When it comes down to the bottom line, kids will be assessed on these things they are “learning” in math. Regardless of how nonsensical the actual math they may be working on in class is there’s an entire new assessment coming out called the Smarter Balanced Assessment. You can go and take a sample test here. Here is a screen shot of one such math question:


Dr. Crawford now has us suppose the child is unable to answer this question correctly. Here are some common sense reasons as to why the child may come up with the wrong answer.

Is it because:

  • He or she doesn’t know how to read?
  • He or she doesn’t know basic math (e.g. calculating the area of a rectangle)?
  • He or she doesn’t know how to use the computer (to draw the lines)?
  • He or she is confused by the poor wording of the question?
  • He or she doesn’t know how to reason?

And now we have the same problem as we did with the reading assessment. The teacher will not know why the child got it wrong, just that they did.

Back at square one with standards that lack content. Vague guidelines in the Common Core like this:

“Developing understanding of addition, subtraction, and strategies for addition and subtraction within 20.”

Rather than actually setting a bar or a specific point at which to aim, they’re all over the place with crazy curriculum.

Instead of learning something as basic as times tables or stacking, they’re coming up with four different ways to draw what 3 x 3 looks like…without words or numbers. Or writing their own story problems.

I would much rather have my child spend 20 minutes in math working on stacking and multiplying then 20 minutes writing out a convoluted story problem to figure out 5 + 1.

Macey France

Oregon PolitiChick Macey France is co-founder of the Stop Common Core in Oregon and is working with parents across the state to educate and help them to learn how to advocate for their children's education. Macey has spoken at many Common Core informational meetings across the state of Oregon. Macey's articles on Common Core have been picked up by various news outlets and she has been a guest on many radio shows across the nation. Macey's article about The Bluest Eye was featured on a panel on Al Jazeera America and was nominated for a CPAC Blogger Award for Best Sunlight Post of 2013. Macey is a strong conservative with libertarian leanings, making her more of a "conservatarian." Preserving the constitutional and moral values of that this great nation was founded on for her children is her priority. She is a stay at home mom of two boys who are now in elementary school. As a mom who has always been interested in politics, religion and all of the taboo subjects, she has always had a lot to say about the state of the nation. When she realized the Common Core Standards were not only bad news for children but a government coup over education, she decided to fight back and is now considered one of the nation's leading experts on all-things-Common Core. When she's not having uncomfortable arguments with strangers on Facebook she can be found spending time with her husband of 15 years and two sons. Find Macey France on Facebook and Twitter: @MaceyFrancePC

Related Articles

Back to top button

Please disable ad blocker.

We work hard to write our articles and provide you with the content you enjoy. The ads on the site allow us to continue our work while feeding our families. If you'd please whitelist our site in your ad blocker or remove your ad blocker altogether, we'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!