Is Common Core Really the Answer?


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Is Common Core Really the Answer?

Common Core is a new (controversial) Education standard for K-12

It has been “voluntarily” implemented in all but 5 states
FYI: Teaching Common Core qualifies states for the $4.35 billion Federal Race to the Top program.
The New Math standards in particular have caught flack from parents and press.
“Complicating simple 7+7 with something called ‘number bonds.’”
“Forcing students to make visual representations”
Why Does Uncle Sam want our children to cry?

Basically, the US wants to remain innovative relative to the rest of the world
Thus America needs to produce more STEM workers
Science Technology Engineering Mathematics
Key subjects for innovative thinking in a competitive future.
– Understand complex problems
– Pick them apart
– Rethink them
– Build solutions
– In a way nobody has ever done it before

Yet today’s US rankings relative to the STEM world:

5th (and declining) in overall global competitiveness
27th among developed nations in undergraduate degrees in science or engineering
52nd in the quality of mathematics and science education

Yikes, thus Common Core
Steering teaching methods to be “rigorous,” and “aligned with college and work expectations”
1. Understand problem solving
2. Approach from multiple directions
3. Simplify before solving
i.e. Crying children

Decoding the New Math Changes

New focus is understanding, not memorization:
3×4 is not simply “12” anymore
3×4 = who, what, when, where, why, and how you got 11

The process is graded as well as the answer
The answer is only the last of many equally important steps to understanding real world application for math.

Multiple Approaches
Every student has a different optimal learning style
Real world applications of math come in many forms
So why should a math formula be taught in only one way?

Simplifying for real world application
Which is easier to solve mentally?
198 + 257 -or-
200 + 255
Same equation, rearranged for easier computation
Introducing this concept requires an extra step in simple math

Adults often use new math simplification processes without realizing it.
Lunch special: $5.95 with 4 people eating, what’s the bill?

Do you write this out
-or- think this:
“Almost $6 x 4 people = $24 minus 20 cents = $23.80”

When written it looks like new math is “complicated”

Subtraction using Cashier’s math
Costs $17.68 paid with a $20, What’s your change?
32 cents makes $18,
2 dollars makes $20, Have a nice day!

New Math looks different than when we grew up, but the good news is, your kid is going to grow up and solve all your problems.

common core


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