Common Core Math Standards
An article in The Atlantic written by Barry Garelick and published on November 20, 2012 explains how the math standards of the Common Core State Standards appear to be stringent and demanding, yet really end up trying to make kindergarten through sixth graders think abstractly before they are physically and mentally ready to do so.
As Garelick states in the article, “Let’s look first at the 97 pages of what are called “Content Standards.” Many of these standards require that students to be able to explain why a particular procedure works. It’s not enough for a student to be able to divide one fraction by another. He or she must also “use the relationship between multiplication and division to explain that (2/3) ÷ (3/4) = 8/9, because 3/4 of 8/9 is 2/3.
“It’s an odd pedagogical agenda, based on a belief that conceptual understanding must come before practical skills can be mastered. As this thinking goes, students must be able to explain the “why” of a procedure. Otherwise, solving a math problem becomes a “mere calculation” and the student is viewed as not having true understanding.”
It’s also my understanding that reading and English are to be learned from dry non-fiction texts instead of colorful fictional stories. Rote memorization in both disciplines is totally frowned upon.
When I was an elementary student larger school districts were experimenting with the New Math, and that fell by the wayside because students did not learn math as expected. In the 1990’s, whole language learning was extremely popular; young students were expected to learn how to read through being read to and having the entire text before them. All of a sudden as 2000 approached, phonics and sight words became important again.
This is what happens when government, especially the Federal government, gets involved in education. Ever since Jimmy Carter started the Department of Education in the 1970’s, government has made every effort to destroy learning in a natural, proper way. If schools were allowed to be run by local districts and parents, like some charter schools are, education in the United States would be at the top of the stack, instead of somewhere near the bottom.
Lynne L Harris