Common Core Weapons of Math Destruction

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Stop Common CoreFor those who are concerned about the new Common Core Standards and the continued dumbing down of education, here is an excellent demonstration of what your kids are not learning in school – a demonstration of investigations math.

Although this strategy is not exclusive to Common Core, it is a reason why today’s students aren’t ready for Algebra in the 7th or 8th grades, as in the past. In fact, in Utah, for most students, Algebra isn’t required until the 9th grade now.

Investigations math illustrates the lack of common sense that exists in the consultant environment, always peddling new wares – the “new and improved” math, when in truth, some things just never change. Most frustrating is that, parents themselves cannot do investigations math, and so they cannot help their children at home.

calculatorNo wonder a calculator seems like a much better option! If your child is bringing home assignments that you cannot help them with, or that look unfamiliar, cutesy, clever or creative, using cartoons and pictures in place of actual math problems, take a second look. If they are working a lot of word problems and only a few actual computational problems lined up across the page in table form, be very worried.

What they ought to be learning is the basic computational skills of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing with time against accuracy drills. And they ought to be doing at least 100 of these problems DAILY.

math drillsOh, but do NOT mention the word “drill” or “rote memorization” to your math teacher or school principal. That’s a no-no. So outdated. Boring.

What every parent needs to do is to enroll your child in an after-school Kumon Math course. We did with our children. When one of our children didn’t do as well on the math section of the ACT exam, we took him to Kumon. They tested him and sent him back to the second grade level for review to get back up to speed. In a matter of weeks, our student re-took the exam and scored much higher. It worked for each of our children at different stages of their learning.

Here are some examples of Kumon worksheets.  Notice there are no pictures.  Just simple black and white numbers and symbols.  kumonsheetsKumonfractionreduction

I have seen children excel beyond belief in this program.  Here is an extraordinary example of a seven year old’s work:


“But today’s children don’t have long attention spans.”

Baloney. I’ve raised four boys and one girl. No child has a long attention span. But if you want to develop one, don’t put them in front of the TV all day long, and do get them into piano or violin lessons at a young age. Anything that requires concentration. It will be a struggle at first, and you will want to quit – but don’t.

Notice these Kumon worksheets were copyrighted in 1987. They’re the very same sheets that my kids used in Dallas back then. Some things never change, but they still – and always will – work. Trouble is, consultants would go out of business if parents and teachers knew this little secret. Instead they hock expensive full color, glossy paper text books that cost over $100 or more when all they need is a little pad of Kumon worksheets.

Let the art, music and creative writing classes develop the Right side of the brain. Too many adults today lack common sense and reasoning skills from atrophied Left brains their education never developed.

As evidence, today’s students are entering college and taking remedial math at alarming rates, forced to go back to the basic computational skills of 2nd grade in an attempt to elevate to at least an 8th grade Algebra level.  Parents should be outraged. Not only have their taxes been wasted, their children’s minds have lost many productive years. Either bring your child home in a positive environment or expect more of the same.

If you agree, sign the petition and donate $25 today to help us defeat Common Core, not only in Utah, but across the nation.