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post #31 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 09:59 AM
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Re: Common Core

The mathematics that Common Core curriculum uses is called Singapore math. It actually works very well, as long as your brain works that way and you're not trying to implement it with kids who have started learning math the traditional way. I think it's likely fantastic for children who aren't easily frustrated with trying to integrate the method on top of traditional Western teaching methods. So long as their parents do not try to help them with their homework. I'm one of those parents. In my mind, that there are 11 steps in solving a simple multiplication problem, just isn't workable. There's a simpler way. But Singapore math uses no memorization of math facts - like the multiplication tables. The children aren't asked to memorize anything, or taught the simpler way. In fact, the simpler way will be marked incorrect, despite resulting in the correct answer, because they aren't concerned with the correct answer, but with the method of getting it. The idea is to promote deeper understanding of how math works and why it does - so as to build critical thinking skills that will be useful in later lessons. Our school system began using it when my child was in 6th grade. He found it maddening. He had, still has, trouble wrapping his brain around why anyone would want to do anything in such a convoluted manner to show why the answer is X, when the answer so very obviously is X. Kids who math in their heads, and/or who are frustrated by being forced to use 15 steps to find an answer they've seen immediately, are the ones who don't deal well with Singapore Math.


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post #32 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Common Core

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Your kids turned out fine for reasons not related to common core...
Dug's genes, for sure.

John, do you understand my skepticism? Here I am, using the same traditional math (though spiral) and science (religious, even!) textbook series for all my kids, less than a thousand grand total investment for 5 kids (!), and I am turning out present and future engineers. All without Common Core!

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #33 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:09 AM
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Re: Common Core

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...Here I am, using the same traditional math (though spiral) and science (religious, even!) textbook series for all my kids, less than a thousand grand total investment for 5 kids (!), and I am turning out present and future engineers. All without Common Core!

In my experience, bright, capable, driven kids are always going to do well academically and will be able to compete with top students from throughout the country. My tiny, rural, high-poverty rate, public high school - in Podunk, GA - has graduated a rather decent number of successful physicians, attorneys, professors, financiers, scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and other successful folks. And not just "successful" by our local standards, but people who are now working on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, teaching at top national and international universities, performing research you might have read about in well-known publications and scientific journals. And all that before Common Core. Because those kids were always going to do well.

And, frankly, because before No Child Left Behind - may it ever rot in hell - schools actually taught those children at a higher level than their less-gifted peers without being forced to slow the bright kids down to wait for the rest of their classmates. The idea that every child is naturally capable of performing academically at the same level - if you want that level to be high - is idiocy in it's purest form.

I actually have no objection to having national standards for education. What I do see as a problem, though, is that somehow in implementing that plan, the nation as a whole has managed to screw it up rather spectacularly. A combination of mandates from both Common Core and other directives have meant that the common core we're required to implement is in many ways much more middle of the road than what some school districts had before. Why not teach to those higher standards, then? Well, because the rules of Common Core require that you teach A, B, C and D in grade 7 and those children will be tested on and must be proficient in A, B, C and D. There's no incentive, and plenty of disincentives, for teaching anything that's not on those standardized tests. The tests that determine whether that teacher keeps his or her job and whether that school keeps it's federal funding. So, the curriculum becomes locked into conforming to whatever will be tested each year. There's little time, no money, and no apparent benefit to the teacher, school or system, for covering any other material. Your school can't lag behind, but it's also discouraged from jumping ahead. It requires that some schools up their game to keep up. But it also seems to require some schools who were previously high-performing to lower their game so as to match the national standards. This problem seems to equalize out a bit once the kids get to high school - with it's honors, IB, AP, and duel-enrollment courses - and we stop having to pretend quite as insistently that all of the children are the same intellectually and academically and we let the bright ones loose on more challenging material.

You'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view. - Obi Wan Kenobi
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post #34 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Common Core

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The mathematics that Common Core curriculum uses is called Singapore math. It actually works very well, as long as your brain works that way and you're not trying to implement it with kids who have started learning math the traditional way. I think it's likely fantastic for children who aren't easily frustrated with trying to integrate the method on top of traditional Western teaching methods. So long as their parents do not try to help them with their homework. I'm one of those parents. In my mind, that there are 11 steps in solving a simple multiplication problem, just isn't workable. There's a simpler way. But Singapore math uses no memorization of math facts - like the multiplication tables. The children aren't asked to memorize anything, or taught the simpler way. In fact, the simpler way will be marked incorrect, despite resulting in the correct answer, because they aren't concerned with the correct answer, but with the method of getting it. The idea is to promote deeper understanding of how math works and why it does - so as to build critical thinking skills that will be useful in later lessons. Our school system began using it when my child was in 6th grade. He found it maddening. He had, still has, trouble wrapping his brain around why anyone would want to do anything in such a convoluted manner to show why the answer is X, when the answer so very obviously is X. Kids who math in their heads, and/or who are frustrated by being forced to use 15 steps to find an answer they've seen immediately, are the ones who don't deal well with Singapore Math.
Ok. Thanks for explaining this, Rowan. I have heard some homeschoolers talk about Singapore math. Some really seem to like it.

Can't say that I am convinced it is better than traditional math, though. My daughter is not the only engineer I know who grew up using Saxon.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #35 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:14 AM
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Re: Common Core

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Opt out? That is an option? Had not heard that.
Yes, that is an option I believe for everyone. The principal/teachers/administrators actually push the parents very hard to opt out, and it seems like where I live there is a massive push.
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post #36 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:14 AM
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Re: Common Core

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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
The mathematics that Common Core curriculum uses is called Singapore math. It actually works very well, as long as your brain works that way and you're not trying to implement it with kids who have started learning math the traditional way. I think it's likely fantastic for children who aren't easily frustrated with trying to integrate the method on top of traditional Western teaching methods. So long as their parents do not try to help them with their homework. I'm one of those parents. In my mind, that there are 11 steps in solving a simple multiplication problem, just isn't workable. There's a simpler way. But Singapore math uses no memorization of math facts - like the multiplication tables. The children aren't asked to memorize anything, or taught the simpler way. In fact, the simpler way will be marked incorrect, despite resulting in the correct answer, because they aren't concerned with the correct answer, but with the method of getting it. The idea is to promote deeper understanding of how math works and why it does - so as to build critical thinking skills that will be useful in later lessons. Our school system began using it when my child was in 6th grade. He found it maddening. He had, still has, trouble wrapping his brain around why anyone would want to do anything in such a convoluted manner to show why the answer is X, when the answer so very obviously is X. Kids who math in their heads, and/or who are frustrated by being forced to use 15 steps to find an answer they've seen immediately, are the ones who don't deal well with Singapore Math.
I was in a school for gifted children,big deal.When we did math most of us could do the equations in our heads.We had to be taught to put it down on paper.This was maddening until our math teacher explained that the person marking our papers wasn't as smart as we were and they needed to see how to solve the problem themselves.I know now that was bs but it worked.I know nobody wants kids to be computers but when you go into a shop and an eighteen year old can't add the cost of three sodas at seventy nine cents each without a calculator then it is time to worry.

Last edited by Andy1001; 01-24-2017 at 01:23 PM.
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post #37 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:17 AM
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Re: Common Core

The basic advantage of common core is that children are taught the same general ways and at the same level so that they can transfer schools anywhere in the country without an interruption (i.e. a standard type of education). However, for this to work there would have to be a better allocation of financial and teaching resources so that the schools would all be on an equal playing field. However, this is not the case. My kids go to one of the best schools in the state and they have better student/teacher ratios, more involved parents, and better funding that other schools, so they are getting a better educational experience. By going common core the schools are limited in what/how they can teach. Some of the methods/textbooks are not optimal and the way they teach is not beneficial for all kids. The absolute best way to teach is on a customizable/individual basis since not all kids learn the same way. Unfortunately, this is not practical unless you are homeschooling or sending your kids to a private school. So instead we need to do the next best thing and that is to give the schools the flexibility to educate based on whatever their individual restrictions limit them to. By forcing things to a standard and one that is not universally tailored to each school's individual problems/challenges the educational system is being hampered.
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post #38 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:23 AM
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Re: Common Core

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Dug's genes, for sure.

John, do you understand my skepticism? Here I am, using the same traditional math (though spiral) and science (religious, even!) textbook series for all my kids, less than a thousand grand total investment for 5 kids (!), and I am turning out present and future engineers. All without Common Core!
I do. But wearing my social sciences guy hat, I would only be convinced if you taught half your kids using your materials and the other half with common core... and compared results.

Both my girls did Kumon math for years. If you think Common Core math is weird you haven't seen Kumon. Yet both girls did well.

The homeschool methods work for many subjects. My girls, by virtue of attending one of the best school systems in the Midwest did well in non traditional courses they took (one focusing heavily on art, drafting, CAD, and hands on construction and the other on humanities, French, and biological sciences).

The science labs at our highschool were way better than community college, and not too far off compared with smaller LAC type colleges.
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post #39 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:28 AM
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Re: Common Core

I have a friend who teaches grammar school. She sometimes asks me for help in understanding the common core math. My impression is that its provides a very nice way to get students to really understand math, not just do route mechanics (which they can to in Excel anyway), BUT.... it only works if the teachers really understand what they are being told to teach. In this one case it seems that teachers were very poorly trained in how CC math is supposed to work.

Most people know that A x B = B x A, but understanding *why* that is true is interesting an an example step in exercising real mathematical thought. I think understanding that is more important than knowing multiplication tables, because if you need to multiply you have tools to do that.

Then understand why roll followed by yaw isn't the same as yaw followed by roll.
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post #40 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Common Core

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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
In my experience, bright, capable, driven kids are always going to do well academically and will be able to compete with top students from throughout the country. My tiny, rural, high-poverty rate, public high school - in Podunk, GA - has graduated a rather decent number of successful physicians, attorneys, professors, financiers, scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and other successful folks. And not just "successful" by our local standards, but people who are now working on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley, teaching at top national and international universities, performing research you might have read about in well-known publications and scientific journals. And all that before Common Core. Because those kids were always going to do well.

And, frankly, because before No Child Left Behind - may it ever rot in hell - schools actually taught those children at a higher level than their less-gifted peers without being forced to slow the bright kids down to wait for the rest of their classmates. The idea that every child is naturally capable of performing academically at the same level - if you want that level to be high - is idiocy in it's purest form.

I actually have no objection to having national standards for education. What I do see as a problem, though, is that somehow in implementing that plan, the nation as a whole has managed to screw it up rather spectacularly. A combination of mandates from both Common Core and other directives have meant that the common core we're required to implement is in many ways much more middle of the road than what some school districts had before. Why not teach to those higher standards, then? Well, because the rules of Common Core require that you teach A, B, C and D in grade 7 and those children will be tested on and must be proficient in A, B, C and D. There's no incentive, and plenty of disincentives, for teaching anything that's not on those standardized tests. The tests that determine whether that teacher keeps his or her job and whether that school keeps it's federal funding. So, the curriculum becomes locked into conforming to whatever will be tested each year. There's little time, no money, and no apparent benefit to the teacher, school or system, for covering any other material. Your school can't lag behind, but it's also discouraged from jumping ahead. It requires that some schools up their game to keep up. But it also seems to require some schools who were previously high-performing to lower their game so as to match the national standards. This problem seems to equalize out a bit once the kids get to high school - with it's honors, IB, AP, and duel-enrollment courses - and we stop having to pretend quite as insistently that all of the children are the same intellectually and academically and we let the bright ones loose on more challenging material.
Thanks for explaining this, Rowan. I appreciate it.

Dug has said testing should not drive the curriculum. He said it should just be used to measure the system.

My daughter has done so well, Rowan. She won a national science research competition a few years ago. She, a public university student, beat one kid from Yale and another from Berkeley to get first place.

She never did AP classes, nor an IB program. Just homeschooled herself. And now she is graduating summa cum laude in chemical engineering, and got a great job with a major corporation. All that from our little homeschool--where we do no standardized testing!

I have heard teachers say that teaching is not fun anymore. Maybe we should drop all these standards and just let teachers loose in their classrooms. Let the kids loose, too, to grow at their own pace and develop their own interests.


One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #41 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:43 AM
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Re: Common Core

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Thanks for explaining this, Rowan. I appreciate it.

Dug has said testing should not drive the curriculum. He said it should just be used to measure the system.

My daughter has done so well, Rowan. She won a national science research competition a few years ago. She, a public university student, beat one kid from Yale and another from Berkeley to get first place.

She never did AP classes, nor an IB program. Just homeschooled herself. And now she is graduating summa cum laude in chemical engineering, and got a great job with a major corporation. All that from our little homeschool--where we do no standardized testing!

I have heard teachers say that teaching is not fun anymore. Maybe we should drop all these standards and just let teachers loose in their classrooms. Let the kids loose, too, to grow at their own pace and develop their own interests.
Absolutely agree. We should do away with all the curricula and standardized testing. It's wrecking our school systems. It's also biased against those who aren't good test takers.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #42 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Common Core

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I do. But wearing my social sciences guy hat, I would only be convinced if you taught half your kids using your materials and the other half with common core... and compared results.

Both my girls did Kumon math for years. If you think Common Core math is weird you haven't seen Kumon. Yet both girls did well.

The homeschool methods work for many subjects. My girls, by virtue of attending one of the best school systems in the Midwest did well in non traditional courses they took (one focusing heavily on art, drafting, CAD, and hands on construction and the other on humanities, French, and biological sciences).

The science labs at our highschool were way better than community college, and not too far off compared with smaller LAC type colleges.
We don't even do science labs, john, unless the kids feel like it. My daughter says we don't need them. She has done great in her college labs without them.

She told me the important thing is to read, read, read and do math. With that, she says, our boys will do fine in college.

Everything I hear about K-12 schools--public, private, and parochial--just affirms my gratitude that our kids are not in them!

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #43 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Common Core

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Absolutely agree. We should do away with all the curricula and standardized testing. It's wrecking our school systems. It's also biased against those who aren't good test takers.
I bet we could save a lot of money, time, and frustration that way.

Wouldn't it be nice to have joyful schools, places where kids could learn useful things that they were interested in? And teachers could teach what they love, and mentor kids?

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #44 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:47 AM
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Re: Common Core

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Given I have 2 children that are in 4th and 6th grade and I work extensively with them on their homework, I have somewhat of knowledgeable view on it. I actually like the math component (which I tend to help the most with). It has given students a different way to look at math and seems to help overall with basic understanding.

A lot of parents hate it, because it changes some ways math is taught. I find that ironic, because if you are not capable of figuring it out with your kid, you were likely taught poorly to begin with. Math has been taught for years to focus on the answers, and that has left us behind. Focusing on the methods is what our kids need and understanding how to do things multiple ways is very beneficial.
Yup.

And instead of learning a little bit about a lot of varying math concepts in a hurried frantic manner they pared down the standards to essential concepts and mastering just that rather than surveying subjects.


And teachers don't like it because the tests are and have been demonstrating that it isn't/wasn't just our inner city schools that are struggling; and, though they were given standards, the materials and how to achieve those standards had to be developed and taught locally requiring lots of time and re-education of teachers. Not liking change is understandable.


Common Core was the natural progression to uniform concepts, teaching and testing born out of the "No Child Left Behind" policies implemented by Bush. It was developed outside of the federal government but implementation into the 48 states adopting it took money the feds and private foundations provided {the states were broke in 2008-2010. Fitingly, only Rick Perry in Texas and Palin in Alaska opposed it.

The only way to measure whether the kids in Paducah, KY are being taught as well as the kids in Andover, MA is if they are taught the same/similar concepts and then given the same tests. As a parent, I find holding teachers accountable for their performance refreshing actually.


Although Trump promised to get rid of Common Core on the campaign trail it seems my fears of him keeping his promises are misplaced a bit as I just looked and Trump has nominated someone named Betsy DeVos (of the Amway Devos family) to be US Education Secretary and she's a champion of Common Core standards. Donald Trump Announces Pro-Common Core Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary - Breitbart

Here's a decent September/October 2014 {prior to this political season} article from Mother Jones {yes, a liberal biased magazine} describing the history and issues surrounding the common core controversy. INSIDE THE MAMMOTH BACKLASH TO COMMON CORE ~ Mother Jones

I wish I could say everything in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end. ~ Leonard Cohen

Last edited by Quality; 01-24-2017 at 11:55 AM.
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post #45 of 198 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Common Core

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Yup.

And instead of learning a little bit about a lot of varying math concepts in a hurried frantic manner they pared down the standards to essential concepts and mastering just that rather than surveying subjects.


And teachers don't like it because the tests are and have been demonstrating that it isn't/wasn't just our inner city schools that are struggling and, though they were given standards, the materials and how to achieve those standards


Common Core was the natural progression to uniform concepts, teaching and testing born out of the "No Child Left Behind" policies implemented by Bush. It was developed outside of the federal government but implementation into the 48 states adopting it took money the feds and private foundations provided {the states were broke in 2008-2010. Fitingly, only Rick Perry in Texas and Palin in Alaska opposed it.

The only way to measure whether the kids in Paducah, KY are being taught as well as the kids in Andover, MA is if they are taught the same/similar concepts and then given the same tests. As a parent, I find holding teachers accountable for their performance refreshing actually.


Although Trump promised to get rid of Common Core on the campaign trail it seems my fears of him keeping his promises are misplaced a bit as I just looked and Trump has nominated someone named Betsy DeVos (of the Amway Devos family) to be US Education Secretary and she's a champion of Common Core standards. Donald Trump Announces Pro-Common Core Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary - Breitbart

Here's a decent September/October 2014 {prior to this political season} article from Mother Jones {yes, a liberal biased magazine} describing the history and issues surrounding the common core controversy. INSIDE THE MAMMOTH BACKLASH TO COMMON CORE ~ Mother Jones
So they were basically held hostage to the money?

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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