Read These Louis CK Tweets If You’re Confused About Why Parents Hate Common Core
My children are not school-aged yet, so I have honestly not done a lot of research on Common Core, the standardized testing practice that many parents are rallying against. All I know is that it is broadly hated – by parents on each end of the political spectrum. Hearing a parent – in this case Louis CK – claim that his kids who used to love homework are now crying over it is making me wary.
The Core’s intent is to make sure our kids are performing at the same level as kids internationally. Many think the standards are rigorous and stressful for students and incredible difficult for teachers to implement. Some states have begun to formally withdraw from the program. Many have called the tests confusing. Louis CK provides some examples from his daughter’s homework. See what you think.
If my kids eventually start bringing home homework like this, I may cry. As he points out, number four is kind of tricky nonsense. I hate math.
The Common Core standards aim to impart number sense. Although the standards don’t tell teachers how to to teach or what materials to use, they say that students need to understand how to solve problems and why those methods work.
Other nations whose students have stronger math skills focus their education on problem-solving and understanding underlying concepts. But there might be other factors in play; research found a popular American math textbook is more challenging than South Korea’s textbook, but South Korean kids still are much better at math.
A key question is whether elementary school teachers can learn to teach the conceptual side of math effectively. If not, number lines and area models will just become another recipe, steps to memorize in order to get an answer.
Sounds like it’s frustrating students, teachers and parents. The aim is good – I just hope we can find a successful way to implement it that doesn’t drive everyone crazy. You can’t just expect teachers and students to catch on to this without providing teachers with the appropriate amount of training. And with teachers already overworked and underpaid – I can understand why the prospect of meeting these standards is totally overwhelming.
(photo: Getty Images)