Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What People THINK is Common Core ISN'T - It's Misunderstanding, Poor Training, Politics

I swore to myself I wouldn't do my next post on the Common Core, but I just get so irritated by the postings I see out there about it, I can't help myself!

On Facebook, I see silly things like this:

And then the current huge controversy about the math quiz and the teacher grading the problems wrong:

Let's not forget the multitude of articles and storylines on the news talking about parents being angry and states opting out.

Thank goodness there are some people who are trying to bring reason back to this madness about the Common Core. Great response here to the quiz example above by Andy Kiersz. Or this one in response to a parents obnoxious use of what he calls "Common Core Math".  I have already written my own response to my nieces and sisters hatred of what they perceived as Common Core math in a post last year, Common Core: It's Not the Devil.

The problem with all these pictures and stories and examples of problems that are "common core" is that they are taken out of context, or are comparing the wrong things or showing processes wrong, and come from a place of ignorance about the Common Core.  The teacher in the quiz example clearly did not have a good grasp of what the standards were asking or perhaps doesn't know the math well enough herself to help the student make that commutative connection.  As Andy Kiersz points out in his article,
"While this worksheet does present a frustrating situation, it has nothing to do with Common Core. Common Core lays out a set of objectives for what students should be learning in each grade level. It's still up to the states, districts and teachers to come up with the specific curricula and lesson plans to achieve those objectives".
It was bad math on the teachers part, not Common Core. That's lack of training, a lack of mathematical knowledge on the part of the teacher, lack of understanding the building blocks of the common core, and a lack of correct implementation which is what I believe is behind all of this bad-mouthing of the Common Core. People don't really understand it and latch on to ridiculous examples that are not at all Common Core (as in the example on the left above) but are more likely a 'standardized' version or a publishers version or a teachers incorrect perception of Common Core.

I don't know how to stop this seemingly endless and inane bashing of the Common Core. It will only get worse as the Presidential election gets into full swing. And test results coming back showing a drop in scores - forget the fact that that is an expected result anytime something new is implemented.  It's called the implementation dip. Change TAKES TIME and persistence....which if this keeps up, will be a moot point because our culture expects immediate results, expects it to be easy, and doesn't allow for real change or real learning to take place because it's takes too long to see results. It makes me sad, angry, and frustrated since I can't single-handedly knock sense into these people. But - I will keep trying and thankfully there are plenty of other people out there who have educated themselves and are trying to correct the inaccuracies that are out there about the CCSS.

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