“Oh no! What day is it,” my 13-year-old set down his fork, suddenly panic-stricken while eating pancakes. “It’s Thursday.” He took a deep breath, cupped his face in his hands and said, “That means we have to do Carnegie Math on the computer.” It is another part of the “Common Core State Standards.” Forty five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the new curriculum. The standards are more challenging for K-12 students. What’s wrong with that? Every teacher must revamp their style of teaching to match the new standards. They are given binders with scripted lesson plans. The lessons are boring. Many teachers say they have been told to limit free time. My 6-year-old came home from school several times this year complaining, “My teacher played a trick on us. She said we could go on the playground after we did our work, but we didn’t.” They ran out of time. There is no time for fun. A simple project to make applesauce in the Fall is frowned upon. It is not part of the ‘Common Core.’ Teachers are forced to sneak in arts and crafts during lunchtime. Field trips aren’t part of ‘Common Core’ either. I understand my child is going to school to learn, but do you think Number Bonds motivates a child to learn? No, it’s playing a silly game to master counting by tens. It’s the science experiment where you make a tornado out of a plastic soda bottle. Forcing children to sit through ridiculously long scripted lessons is insane. (What the hell is a number bond anyway? I don’t even know how to do first grade homework.)
‘Common Core’ is an experiment. There is no proof this way of teaching is any better than what we have done for decades. We are taking 5-year-old children and demanding they learn what used to be taught in first or second grade. The stress we are putting on these children is disgusting and will no doubt lead to greater problems. This is what the ‘Common Core’ expects of kindergartners:
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Kindergarten
10 Counting and Cardinality
•Know number names and the count sequence.
•Count to tell the number of objects.
Operations and algebraic thinking
•Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from.
Number and operations in Base ten
•Work with numbers 11–19 to gain foundations for place value.
Measurement and data
•describe and compare measurable attributes.
•Classify objects and count the number of objects in categories
•Identify and describe shapes.
•analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes
I have heard the argument for making changes, “Other countries, like China, are far more advanced than we are.” They are also lead by barbaric dictators. China still has a one-child rule. Women 7, 8, even 9-months pregnant are injected with a chemical to kill their unborn baby because they cannot afford the fine for having a second child. We are far more advanced.
Administrators will tell you the ‘Common Core’ is “to ensure that schools prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their careers.” Ask any teacher and they will say ‘Common Core’ is depriving our children of the chance to just be children.