The Common Core curriculum was introduced in 4th grade as far as this old parent can remember. At the time I thought it was odd as the reading levels for elementary and middle schools in NYState had risen two times in five years. Educational standards were already being increased, I was confused.

Then I wondered if this was all part of longer range plan. I started to remember a Math meeting the year before where the teachers and the Principal started talking about teaching the kids “concepts.” This had never been taught to me or my nephew, and we are both math whizzes. I listened and felt that this change in teaching methods would only serve to confuse students, not increase their understanding. I can tell you 3-4 years later, this new system did nothing for my son or any of his friends. The concepts I am referring to is trying to get the students to understand groups of tens, hundreds, etc. More work, but no extra time for the increased work load. Additionally, parents are frustrated because they do not understand the complicated new system of teaching math so they cannot help their children in elementary school, you know, where the basics are taught, material we should all know.

The other unanswered question I have is this: Is my son learning a sixth grade Common Core curriculum designed for a student who started learning in the Common Core method from day one in Kindergarten? Or is he being taught the Common Core as if he were someone who just started with this educational method three years ago. It seems pretty clear that one way could be the reason so many students are unprepared for today’s school curriculum.

So I began to wonder. Had anyone talked to any parents. Had anyone talked to any teachers? I mostly see are articles written by supposed “experts.” An expert is the person teaching 100 students a day and the 1-2 parents/per child that do the homework with their children on an almost nightly basis, not anyone else.

Any expert that has not sat with the kids affected by the Common Core is not an expert. They are theorists. Case in point. My son had a Math quiz two weeks before Christmas vacation. Only one child scored over 70. Some new material for this quiz was taught the day before the quiz. Students are told, there is not enough time for teachers to teach all the material they have to teach, so they suggest students go on the computer and watch videos about the various subjects on youtube and other Math oriented sites. (Too bad for the poor people without a computer.). Do the “experts” know this? Seems to me and every other parent I talk to that they have no interest in this type of feedback.

Where are the Common Core creators when this is going on? When there is more material than time? It is not like the students in Middle School don’t have homework in two, three or more subjects the night before this Math quiz.

I’ll tell you where they are. Nowhere near a class room. Nowhere near a parent who could tell them the truth about the actual implementation issues with Common Core and the material therein. They are nowhere to be found.

And they don’t seem to care. I will use the example of the NYState Education Commissioner. When I last checked, his children were in a Montessori private school. They are not taught the Common Core curriculum. To me and many others in New York State, this is mind boggling. I am reminded of the old expression, “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.” He didn’t and the vast majority of his ilk, don’t. His children do not use the public school system that he is in charge of. That’s faith in your work, correct?

I have the time to work with my son, I have the money to hire a tutor to help. I see many lower income people without these extra help opportunities and I wonder if this is not a set up for them to be held back. Because it sure is not preparing them for college as we are being told is the purpose. College that we read daily that less and less can afford. You know they will never let Obama get away with free Community College.

In conclusion, I want these folks involved on the ground level, in classrooms, talking to parents and teachers. Although every teacher I have spoken to asked to remain anonymous because they fear for their job.

That’s where the Common Core has taken us. Fear, anger, rage, etc. Other countries with better education standards did not get there this way.

Shell says

My biggest concern is for the kids who were already in school when these standards were implemented. It’s not as bad for my kindergartener, who started with them. But for my oldest, who was in second grade… all of a sudden, instead of starting the school year at the right reading level, he was 3 reading levels behind. He’d ended the previous year on track, but b/c of the new standards, he was suddenly behind.

Heather Kelly says

My 7 year old is in 1st grade. He’s been doing this CCSS junk since he was 4, and I had no idea to be honest. I didn’t even know what Common Core was until he hit kindergarten. There was no real mention of it then. But since then, and since speaking with you and some teacher friends, I have come to learn that it’s a BAD thing. My son is so BORED relearning the same junk every day, day after day. He isn’t learning anything new other then spelling and vocab words every week. They keep doing the same math day after day after day. Nothing new is being taught. He isn’t learning how to add and subtract in double digits. Yet at home, I am teaching him how. I did see that they are learning how to subtract finally with numbers 20 and under, finally! We have been working with him at home on this since he was 4! Probably why the kid is bored. BUT, if we wouldn’t have worked with him, and if he didn’t take 2 years of PreK, how much would he know by now???

Then there’s my 5 1/2 year old kindergartner! I am letting her learn what ever her teacher teaches her. I am showing her how to pronounce words and read. But I am letting her become a product of this JUNK to prove to my husband that we’d be much better off homeschooling our children. As she might fail at this point! My 7 year old son might fail too. As his report card was way worse then during the 1st quarter. 🙁

Sucks that I have had to let them go this year to prove to my husband that the schools are failing them. I feel like a failure as a parent some days. But, if this new system is supposed to be so great, then my children should be learning all of this great stuff this new way that it’s being taught. They aren’t learning much of anything compared to what I learned in kindergarten and 1st grade.

Laura Collins says

I have no kids however I find its easy on my granddaughter cause thats all she knew . I call it common crap I was with my niece she was a six grader She had a problem in Math .I told her I knew the answer .I wrote it down .She did it commoncore got it about 10 minutes later.I showed her my answer she asked me how I got it so fast .I told her their was a time when we had to learn our multiplication by writng it down more than two times After a while it just goes into your head.She tells me you must had have mean teachers Like I say common crap

Donna Jacoby says

I have found that public school is not teaching children what they need to know. After trying to help my son–now 19–through school, I found this new way of teaching is frustrating for all involved. Math alone was a nightmare. I tutored algebra in college yet couldn’t help him with homework because the steps involved did not match what he was being taught. How can we expect children to learn when they aren’t being taught things like multiplication tables and other basic skills such as these?

Grace says

My feelings exactly Mitch and this system leaves so many burnt out on school.

Bicultural Mama says

interesting perspective and some good, rational points. My little one is just starting in the system so I haven’t experienced what you have yet. I hope since she’s starting from the beginning that her journey will be much smoother and who knows the system may change again.

Melissa Shirley says

I work in a school and the new way they teach math is confusing and really confusing for the little girl that I work with that is special needs. I understand that they are trying to teach the kids to understand that there are number inside numbers like there is a 10 inside 11 etc, but the way they are doing it is just ridiculous . Last year they were teaching them the say 10 way where they had to count like 10..1….10…2. I was like are you serious???

The Future Mrs. Vines says

All I know is that the new method of teaching some of the subjects I was taught at my son’s age (15), a mere 20 years ago is completely different than what I know and remember. When I try to help him, I can’t because he says that’s not the way they do it. It’s extremely frustrating, but he’s got a 3.0 GPA. Could it be better? Heck yes, but I find myself to be very successful considering the fact that I carried a similar GPA and lack a “college education”, not just in terms of dollars, but in terms of being recognized for exceeding at my duties or any other task I’m faced with.

clenna says

I often think that when a ‘new’ and ‘better’ concept is sold to the schools – it’s not new or better for the students but very financially better for the developers. I cringe that Principals and/or Superintendents can be sold this bill of goods. When you said that the scores had increased in NY and yet they brought in this Common Core to improve the scores – that just doesn’t make sense. How then, do we(someone) bring this newest idea in to the schools/. I just don’t get it.

Linda Manns Linneman says

I really agree with you about this Common Core. I am not really liking it. Thank you for sharing this great article. I am sure there are many parents who agree with you