Monday, December 30, 2019

Common Core Math Goes to the Betting Window

Before I begin let me say that the objectives of Common Core Math sound good, especially to people like me who need to understand concepts before proceeding to mechanics:

Greater focus on fewer topics

The Common Core calls for greater focus in mathematics. Rather than racing to cover many topics in a mile-wide, inch-deep curriculum, the standards ask math teachers to significantly narrow and deepen the way time and energy are spent in the classroom. This means focusing deeply on the major work of each grade

  • In grades K–2: Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to addition and subtraction
  • In grades 3–5: Concepts, skills, and problem solving related to multiplication and division of whole numbers and fractions
  • In grade 6: Ratios and proportional relationships, and early algebraic expressions and equations
  • In grade 7: Ratios and proportional relationships, and arithmetic of rational numbers
  • In grade 8: Linear algebra and linear functions

This focus will help students gain strong foundations, including a solid understanding of concepts, a high degree of procedural skill and fluency, and the ability to apply the math they know to solve problems inside and outside the classroom.

This approach, in the abstract, greatly appeals to me as I was never good at memorizing and never “got” math until I understood it conceptually (which I had to figure out on my own as none of my teachers ever taught it that way).

Unfortunately like everything else entrusted to the well-meaning liberal world of academia they failed miserably in the implementation.

Hence we get frustrated parents

and a generation even less proficient in math than previous ill-educated kids.

And now here comes Michael Bloomberg, a man who clearly understands math, speciously announcing his plans for the War on Poverty 2.0.

“As president, my job will be to move all Americans ahead, and that includes committing our country to new and innovative ways to combat poverty. There has to be a war on poverty,” the New York billionaire said while campaigning in Stockton.

What a good idea, especially since the last one worked out so well. After 50 years and $22 trillion the country’s poverty level is only slightly lower then it was the year LBJ launched the first War on Poverty. And that slight drop is due to President Donald J. Trump’s policies, not any of the Washington give-away programs. So using the powers of extrapolation, which you won’t learn in common core math, my suggestion - if we really want to lower the poverty rate in this country - is to reelect the President.

Either that or just give a million dollars to all 40 million poor people in America and save money by cutting out all the middlemen.