Common Core

Kids React to Common Core: 'Mommy, Please Home-School Me'


Sad child
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Another day of school, another Common Core horror story. Parents in Royal Palm Beach, Florida complained to administrators that their children are languishing under Core-aligned instruction and standardized testing. One parent reported that her third-grade son comes home from school every day thinking he is stupid because he can't pass his tests. "Mommy, please home-school me," he begged, according to The Palm Beach Post.

Lest anyone assume the kid is the problem, keep in mind that some teachers don't even have access to textbooks that are aligned to the required tests, according to statements made by a teacher at the parents meeting last week. (Note: This is a common occurrence.)

The test themselves are wholly computerized, which presents a problem for the kindergartners required to take them:

Hours to prep for computerized testing of kindergartners. "I watched a student suffer for over an hour. They had no idea how to work the computer mouse."  Five teachers, working one-on-one with students got only 10 of 120 students done in one school day. "That night I went home and cried."  – Chris White, teacher at a Title 1 elementary school

Children don't know the language – what's 'drag and drop' to a child who's not worked on a computer? . The books were designed to go with one test, we're using another. – Karla Yurick, 5th grade math teacher

I can understand the desire to impose some amount of standardized testing on schoolchildren for the purposes of measuring teacher effectiveness. But there comes a point where the insanity of computerized exams for five-year-olds trumps any legitimate interest taxpayers may have in holding teachers accountable for their students' progress.

The best that can be said for Common Core is that it encourages home-schooling.

Hat tip: Eric Owens / The Daily Caller

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  1. What’s the big deal? Eggs, omelets etc…

  2. This home schooling must be stopped before all da chilluns turn into rogue anarchists who don’t love the government.

  3. Every child left behind.

    1. Well at least we made them all EQUAL!

      1. A depressingly accurate summation of the more extreme leftist views. “Tax and tax and tax some more, until the rich are rich no more.”

        Because equal poverty is better than unequal non-poverty.

        1. Capitalism spreads wealth unequally. Socialism spreads misery equally.

    2. No, looks like only 110/120. Which, to cut through the 20 minutes of bullshit Common Core would have you go through to reduce this, comes out to 11/12, or 92%.

  4. albo’s Axiom of Public School Futility: Federal government action, whether in the form of statute, regulation, or guideline, will never solve the problems plaguing US public education.

    Corollary: Every person in the federal government already knows this, but doesn’t care.

    1. You could just expand that axiom to include every single thing that the government does.

  5. The best that can be said for Common Core is that it encourages home-schooling.

    No, it doesn’t.

    Because you could homeschool your kid to the point where he knows calculus, and he’ll walk in to take some future standardized test used by colleges in their application process, and it will ask him to draw some stupid loop diagram “explaining” why 85 – 32 = 33.

    Since he won’t be able to do it in the precise way taught in the Common Core, they will declare him a moron with no math aptitude.

    The Common Core is designed to create a system of testing extortion where you are forced to send your kid to public schools just to make sure he’ll be familiar with the asinine methods being used to teach math in public schools. They want to rope kids back in to public schools, and they want to sell textbooks pushing Common Core methods. That’s its entire purpose.

    1. 85 – 32 = 33

      Yeah, I know. Joe’s Law strikes again.

      1. But, that question would still be on that exam in that form, given who generates the exams.

      2. I thought you were making an excellent point about the absurdity of the whole system. I’ll let it stand.

      3. I was thinking, that would be one hell of an explanation.

        Jethro Bodine cypherin’.

        1. Papaya, I saw that, and I thank you for looking for it for me!

          1. That was the one? Great.

    2. It’s certainly being used that way, whatever it’s original intentions. Don’t perform math in exactly the state-mandated way? You fail.

    3. Pretty soon, the test will be on iPads and you’ll just be shown the word ‘three chickens’ and be required to press the button that shows a picture of 3 chickens. That will pass the required math part.

      The only other 2 questions will show a picture of Obama with a multiple choice of how much you love the person shown here, and a picture of a donkey and an elephant and asks which of these 2 should you vote for. That will be it.

      1. Ha. Maybe all the instruction about endangered species will backfire.

    4. The problem is, every kid has a different style of learning and expressing how they come to logical conclusions. Outside of math proofs, I don’t see why it makes any difference if x=5 because if you don’t see that you’re a moron, or write it out in this exact method that we are pushing.

  6. They had no idea how to work the computer mouse.

    Now I know they’re lying.

    1. My two year old figured out how to use it in about 5 seconds. If these 5 years can’t figure it out, then they have no hope of passing this test.

      1. Agreed. Teaching a kindergartener to use a computer is probably more valuable than anything else they could have been doing.

      2. This is what I was thinking. My child was sending a text message as he was being born.

  7. I remember in the barber shop reading a TIME magazine article on the Common Core – it was very condescending – “you like educational reform, don’t you? You don’t like the problems we’re having with public schools, do you? Look, even conservatives in Kentucky are adopting Common Core! It’s nummy! Just open your mouth and eat it!”

    If I didn’t know anything else about Common Core, the behavior of its supporters would be a red flag – smarmy condescension, insulting parents, arresting protesters, etc.

    1. Plus Jeb Bush likes it and has promised a cramdown as an act of his future “leadership.”

  8. it will ask him to draw some stupid loop diagram “explaining” why 85 – 32 = 33.

    That sounds about right. At the minimum, he will be asked to explain why it’s NOT FAIR if 85-32 =/= 33.

    1. Is it because Patriarchy?

  9. I’m not linking to it because FYTW, but the New York Times made an incoherent argument that Common Core Good because American kids aren’t learning math, then mentions, see? Shanghai! Not much mention in the NYT article suggesting Shanghai is using common core. Here’s an article that studied Shanghai’s methods of teaching math… a snippet:

    Take calculators: Unlike most of China, Shanghai allows them in university placement tests. “The benefit of this method is to allow students to save time calculating and instead spend more time probing the math world and improving their thinking style,” Mr. Gu says.

    At the same time, teachers are working to decrease pressure on students. Shanghai schools have lately grown obsessed with whittling down homework, encouraging teachers to be more intelligent in the way they teach, and the work they require of students.

    At the Shanghai Luwan primary, several parents say their children routinely have no math homework at all. Chen Lili has her son, in Grade 5, play piano, guitar and drums.

    1. Chinese students “just work hard. That’s all,” says Ken Wang, academic director at UltiTutor, a Shanghai-based tutoring agency. “There’s nothing else to say. There’s no special tricks or gimmicks. We’re just hard workers.”

      1. Now, *that’s* not fair!

      2. Chinese students “just work hard. That’s all,”

        And if American kids got to choose between “study hard or work in forced labor at puberty”, they’d be great at school, too.

        1. That’s kind of it. the rest of the article goes on to explain the sheer volume of cultural differences between the Chinese and the West. Something like 71% of Chinese students head straight to a math tutor after school compared to 21% of Canadians. (Article was out of a CA newspaper). I’d imagine the differences are similar between Americans as well.

          Also, several Chinese educators discuss that not doing well in math (and school in general) is considered an affront to their ancestors.

          In addition to that, students must apply to high schools the way students in the west apply to universities. It’s a highly competitive system.

          The point being, that the NYT comparing the West to Shanghai and sliding in the implied “Common Core will fix it!” is disingenuous.

          1. Sounds like they have more of a charter school set up if they have to apply…

          2. In addition to that, students must apply to high schools the way students in the west apply to universities.

            Which was the American Way 80 years ago until the proggies wanted “Equal Access”.

  10. It just comes down to this. Our ruling elites do not want an intelligent public. That’s the thing they fear most. They probably don’t have much to worry about at this point though, the dumbing down is nearly complete.

    1. Correct – they want an INDOCTRINATED public…

  11. The state poisons everything it touches. But if we could just tweak it a little…

    1. By “tweak” you mean shower money on it, right?

      1. Money. Protests. “reform”. A “limited government” is always just over the next hill.

        1. Huh, I always thought it was just in the next galaxy.

  12. Every time I read a story like this, I think to myself, “Well, this is shitty, but I guess we’re just one step closer to the whole bureaucratic monstrosity collapsing under its own weight, and then things will change.” Then I try to remember if anything like that has even come close to happening in recent history and I laugh at the absurdity of my original thought.

    1. Yeah, we’re more likely to replay China’s cultural revolution than have a bureaucratic collapse lead to libertopia.

  13. In many states kindergarten is voluntary – not required.

    I’m sympathetic to parents who bitch about common core but still can’t help but wonder why they behave as if they’re powerless. Like Too-chili, make another choice and quite complaining, geez.

    1. What does voluntary kindergarten have to do with common core?

      1. One option, if you don’t want your kindergartener forced into testing – an example the article provided – choose to keep them home.

        1. But what happens for the other 18 years of public school which aren’t a choice for most Americans?

          1. Why aren’t the other 18 years a choice? Of course they are. Learned helplessness isn’t a positive personality characteristic.

            1. It’s 12 years of education if you choose a traditional route – something that’s completely unnecessary. I know 14 year olds currently taking community college classes for credit.

              1. Yeah, I was thinking of the age a kid graduates public school. My bad.

    2. To be very fair, single parents who don’t have strong community networks have little choice other than private school or public school for the six to eighteen months it might take them to transition. No they aren’t helpless but having extra time, money or family makes most problems easier.

      1. Yes, well everything is easier with time, support and money.

        Bottom line, you’re (general you) responsible of your child’s education. Plan accordingly.

        1. We are 100% in agreement there.

      2. No they aren’t helpless but having extra time, money or family makes most problems easier.

        It’s still their responsibility, but I would argue that the welfare state, prison system et all has made this much harder to do for a lot of people.

        1. but I would argue that the welfare state, prison system et all has made this much harder to do for a lot of people.

          No doubt. No doubt our current system makes it harder for people to take responsibility for many aspects of life. That doesn’t make attempting to do so is any less desirable – especially for a libertarian.

        2. The welfare state, etc. has made it much easier to make irresponsible decisions about becoming a parent.

          To the point where the state assumes all parents are irresponsible until a preponderance of evidence proves otherwise.

    3. It is not much of a choice when you’re forced to spend your money on taxes in a way that you disagree with.

      The 100k+ I spend on property taxes over my lifetime that goes to schools is not something to throw away lightly, and it also places an undue burden on me in my quest for choice. Use that 100k where we say to, or lose it completely.

  14. Common Core for common kids. Just like the teacher’s union, no one is better than another.

  15. If every kid is learning the same thing from the same materials, we should need far fewer teachers, right?


    Hello? Is this thing on?

    1. Why have more than one teacher for each subject? For every subject area, appoint a czar. This czar will conduct classes in every subject under his purview, which shall be the sole legal set of classes in that subject.

      1. Why have more than one teacher for each subject?

        This was the way it was done, at least in the primary grades, for the first 100 years of public education. The one room schoolhouse, I believe it was called.

        Many homeschooled children have only one teacher. 😉

        1. I meant everyone. For instance, Algebra I. Taught by one teacher for the entire nation.

          1. Like Khan Academy then?

            Bow before The All Powerful Czar Khan!!

            1. Khaaaaaaaaaaaan!

    2. Heh, your argument sounds eerily familiar to mine when Seattle griped about shrinking enrollment in Seattle schools.

      I wrote an email to the reporter asking, “Why all the handwringing? Uhh… smaller class sizes!”

      As I recall she wrote a snippy email back saying that’s not how to achieve it.

      Oh, I know that’s not how you want to achieve it.

  16. But this big overhaul of the education system will be soooooo worth it in the end. Just like switching to metric – the gains from that would have been so worth the disruption and money spent on changing signs, textbooks, and standards/measuring equipment.

  17. I can understand the desire to impose some amount of standardized testing on schoolchildren for the purposes of measuring teacher effectiveness.

    Unfortunately, this is a terrible way to measure teacher effectiveness. Since different kids learn different things at different times in different ways, any kind of “standardized” testing will necessarily fail a considerable percentage of kids. Combine that with the fact that even the best teachers have no choices in regards to curricula or ways of teaching these different kids, standardized tests don’t measure anything other than how many kids aren’t adequately served by public education.

    The best way to measure teacher effectiveness is to ask students and parents, “Are you satisfied with your teacher? Do you feel like learning is happening?” Parents and students who answer “no” to these questions should be free to choose another teacher.

  18. I got in late on the Common Core thread last Friday, on the long division problem. The example given was a poorly chosen as an example of the process, an the notation used was confusing. I find the method superior to that taught to us. It is properly explained and notated here.

    PS: Common Core as a federal mandate is an abomination. As is some of the addition and subtraction methods taught to my 3rd grader.

  19. I’ve said it before: these are NOT problems with Common Core. They are problems with public schools, they are problems with unresponsive bureaucracies, they are problems with specific teachers and administrators.

    The basic notion of Common Core is that there are a set of things so important in society that we should learn them: addition, subtraction, US history, etc. The failures of particular schools are not an indicator of the failure of Common Core, any more than a libertarian getting arrested for drunk driving is a failure of limited government.

    Common Core is a tool that is appropriate in certain circumstances. It is NOT a one-size-fits-all hammer to bend children into shape, and I would argue against it becoming a national standard. For my kids, I found a capable school that taught Common Core, because when done competently by professional, caring teachers, I believe it is an excellent system. (I would never force it on anyone else’s children, though).

    Reason needs to separate its legitimate criticism of school bureaucracies and one-size-fits-all standards from attacks on an interesting and promising education idea. The amount of misinformation surrounding Common Core, due to it’s political unpopularity, is astonishing, and I would hope Reason would be above the “piling on” fray.

    1. The basic notion of Common Core…

      .. is that a bureaucracy has to carry it out.


      1. No, that is NOT the basic notion of Common Core. That is the basic notion of bureaucrats who have decided we need a one-size-fits-all standard. Common Core says nothing about bureaucracy, nothing about national standards. It’s just a set of subjects to teach.

        People really need to educate themselves on this; there are lots of really embarrassing criticisms that have nothing to do with Common Core. If you want to discredit yourself, there is no faster way than to make false criticisms of something.

    2. The basic notion of Common Core is that there are a set of things so important in society that we should learn them: addition, subtraction, US history, etc.

      I think that’s a basic notion of education, in general. And I think even that notion is flawed. People learn things because they want to, not because it’s good for society.

      Maybe it needs a new name. The “Common” in Common Core strongly implies that its purpose relies on every student using it.

      Personally, I have no doubt that it’s a fine system for certain kids (as all systems are). And it’s awesome that you and your kids have found something that works so well.

      Common Core isn’t just politically unpopular. It’s educationally unpopular, too. It’s because Common Core is being forced on kids for whom it doesn’t work that Reason piles on.

      And that’s the problem with Common Core. On it’s own, it’s an effective teaching tool for many kids. But once it becomes part of a dysfunctional system like public education, it becomes just another thing that parents are told they have to adjust to for the good of their children.

      So, I do see your point that CC being misused by a dysfunctional system is a more interesting story than what’s wrong with CC. Any decent educational tool will become a bad thing when it’s forced on all kids.

      1. Yep, I agree with all of that. Common Core was created as a response to all the “experimental” curricula through the years, such as the ones that skipped spelling and phonics.

        The idea behind CC *used to* be a basic notion of education in general. It doesn’t seem to be any more. So Common Core said “there are things that people should know: how to add, who the president is, how many states there are, who Jonathan Swift is, etc. Not everyone will know all of them, but these are the things that make up a large part of the discourse in society, so teach as many as you can”.

        Then politicians discovered it, and made it mockable. I have no problem with criticizing the system that is making Common Core fail. I just wish people would get the facts straight and make the criticisms land where they belong. Common Core is not the problem — although it would be if it became a uniform national standard.

        So we are getting a good result from an erroneous argument. I guess I should be half happy?

  20. Computerized test brought to us by the same people who gave us the Obamacare website? Kids are smart, 5 year olds can use computer technology, my 5 year old does all the time. He figured out his mom’s ipad password for crying out loud… he regularly self teaches himself how to play new games on his kindle – but that kind of intuitive GUI is from the private sector. I imagine the government system is equally bad. I’ve never had to sign up for Obamacare, but as an employer I have a monthly date with the IRS EFTPS website… that looks like it was done by my 14 year old self in the 90s sometime.

    1. He figured out his mom’s ipad password for crying out loud

      Reason #1 you don’t let your kids know when their birthday is.

  21. Common Core is simply a Trojan horse for extensive testing and tracking of kids for their entire educational careers. The methods of teaching are irrelevant, which is why they suck. Anyone who read Richard Feynman’s account of reviewing textbooks knows that textbook publishers are constantly wrong, and no one has ever cared. Common Core simply amplifies existing absurdities in the public school paradigm.

  22. The test themselves are wholly computerized, which presents a problem for the kindergartners required to take them:

    What does Core have to do with that?

    It does not mandate computerized testing, or any curriculum.

    Complain that a district made incredibly stupid curriculum choices and testing choices, sure. But you can’t legitimately blame Common Core for that.

    I expect better of Reason, though perhaps I should just re-evaluate my expectations these days.

    1. Why did all of this new curriculum and re-designed state tests suddenly come into being in multiple states at about the same time shortly after common core was adopted? Our school switched its math curriculum last year to a new (horrible) common-core aligned curriculum, the state test has changed, the language arts curriculum has changed to include computer programs for testing, tracking, and even instruction, and the new state test in math tests very specific methods of finding the answer to math problems, methods that were not used in previous years. Did all of this just suddenly happen at about the same time in multiple school districts and states across the country without any requirement to do it? How and why did it happen?

  23. online homeschool is non-Common Core

  24. End Common Core in Pennsylvania:…..e_petition

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