The Water Cooler – Common Core – Is It Good Or Bad?

February 20, 2018 12:00 pm · 53 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

In your opinion, are the common core standards good or bad for children? Also, do you think your child’s homework is more challenging than it used to be?

Talk about it….

Mr. John February 20, 2018 at 12:06 PM

Like most things, it is both good and bad. My preference is to compensate, train and treat teachers like professionals – and move away from standardization and mass duplication. Also, give them reasonable class sizes. Then we can allow them to specialize the education they provide to the students in their class. We’d end up with a much higher quality of education.

Serious? February 20, 2018 at 7:18 PM

That would be awesome and actually even affordable, if we didn’t have to educate the citizens of other countries.

MadMom February 21, 2018 at 1:53 PM

Mr. John, I understand what you’re saying and I completely agree

Parent February 20, 2018 at 12:06 PM

So bad. Get rid of it.

Jerk February 20, 2018 at 12:39 PM

Well – This is a response to half of the children being autistic by 2025, so how are they going to be in the workforce? You have already seen who grocery stores are using for baggers.

I guess 8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8 = 64 is easier than just learning 8×8 = 64???
I don’t get it, but it’s a response to an INTENTIONAL dumbing down of society.

The Mamba February 20, 2018 at 1:10 PM

Nobody knows! We’ll find out in 25 years, our kids will either be winners or losers.

Reality says... February 20, 2018 at 1:43 PM

Mamba, every kid is a winner nowadays, didn’t you hear? That’s why every kid gets a trophy in sports, because like in life, we’re all winners!

ME February 20, 2018 at 1:12 PM

Its too much. Its so restrictive–there’s no freedom in the teaching or learning. Kinders are doing weekly math tests and doing 1st grade level work. That is way to much pressure for 5 yr olds. And too much pressure for teachers–the number of standards they have to assign grades too is dizzying!

There’s no time for teaching or learning independence, creativity, thinking outside the box, etc. Everything has to fit into a tidy little box so all of our kids (and teachers) will grow up to be little robots that can’t think for themselves.

MadMom February 21, 2018 at 1:58 PM

I understand your perspective, but what I’ve witnessed is if you challenge the students, they usually rise to it. People want to succeed. The jury is still out on common core. I quite frankly can’t seem to grasp it, but I’ve been schooled on more than one occasion on “new math” by a first grader :p

chuckie the troll February 20, 2018 at 1:23 PM

If the same people who managed to lower student achievement are behind ‘Common Core’, why would anyone support it? So now mom, dad, or a tutor need to learn a new way to do the same old problems?

The problem is not curriculum, it is dysfunctional families, poverty, drugs, lax/zero discipline, celebration of low achievement, acceptance of too much media in the lives of children, etc…

ALF February 20, 2018 at 1:41 PM

Its ridiculous. teaching our kids to take the longest route to find the correct answer. And when they do it the “old Fashioned” way they get marked wrong even with the correct answer.

ME February 20, 2018 at 2:29 PM

We ran into this EXACTLY. My son wasn’t understanding the math so I taught him how I knew to do it. He got all of the answers correct on the next math test, yet still got a bad grade.

Xennial February 20, 2018 at 3:49 PM

Former math tutor, the answer isn’t the point. The point is to try to teach problem solving as a process and teach logical tools. Most teachers teach this poorly because like everybody else they were taught with a focus on the formulae to get the correct arithmetic answer. However, math is supposed to be about so much more than merely arithmetic – it is also supposed to teach logic, reasoning, and spatial (geometric) skills, etc.

Unfortunately, most teachers lack the training to re-focus their teaching in the way which was the intent of common core and they aren’t given enough (paid) time to dedicate towards curriculum planning. The result is the poor teaching and poor grading that you see with parent’s confused about the changes.

Xennial February 20, 2018 at 4:09 PM

Which is not to say there aren’t other problems with the implementation of common core – there definitely are.

Pyrrhus February 20, 2018 at 4:22 PM

Who cares if you get the right answer if you don’t understand how you came to the answer. That’s the difference in Common Core math versus the old style. Old style you just memorize while the new style it encourages problem solving.

Yes, it looks absolutely ridiculous on how long it takes to get the same answer. However, you are looking at it from the perspective of understanding and comprehending the concept. If you are taught in this manner from the beginning it will make sense to you and you are supposed to build off of those concepts.

Again it isn’t about getting the right answer but understanding how to get to the right answer.

OverWhelmed February 21, 2018 at 11:02 AM

What about those kids who do not excel at logical and process learning? They are going to be left behind. I think if a child can arrive at the correct answer in as few steps as possible they should not be penalized for it. That is what high level math classes such as trig and clac are for.

ME February 21, 2018 at 11:09 AM

Xennial and Pyrrhus–what you are saying is the exact opposite of our situation. The kids are asked to memorize before they ever fully grasped the problem solving component. My child wanted to learn the how and why, so I taught him. He was tested on the speed of his answers. He couldn’t do 10 problems in less than 2 minutes….because he WAS problem solving and thinking through the answers to get them correct. I would prefer he think it through at this stage. But one of the “standards” is a timed component.

MattfromConcord February 20, 2018 at 1:47 PM

Was grading on a curve good or bad in the 1980s????? Depends who you were and what kinds of grades you got then.

Cellophane February 20, 2018 at 1:50 PM

When I was in my middle school years the big math trend was Base 7.

I learned Base 7 math instead of the common multiplication and division tables.

I can still to Base 7 math very well. but I am very slow at regular math unless I use a calculator. Calculators did not exist until I was a long time out of college. And to this day, in my profession, I have never found a use for Base 7 but I have found that no knowing my basic tables has been a hindrance.

The 3 “r”‘s need to be taught along without experiment.

Those skills are basic to achieving success in the world today.

LGdaJuiceman February 21, 2018 at 12:08 AM

“calculators did not exist until I was a long time out of college” how old are you 100??? The big math trend from 1818 isnt relevant to this conversation Cellophane

TIFOKCIS February 21, 2018 at 6:38 AM

LGdaJuiceman go do your steroids and leave this topic for the grownups.

Mariner February 20, 2018 at 2:10 PM

And this kidnd teaching is why we home schooled both our kids and they did the GED. Both of them in early 30s making well into 6 figures. You do not need a public or private school education to succeed.

Sam February 20, 2018 at 2:23 PM

The Federal government (obama) adopted common core even though the five year pilot failed in New York. It is set up to either drive the student into complete boredom (ex. Five days of showing all the different ways of 5×5) or a problem that is not grade level appropriate (ex. An algebra 1 problem in 5th grade) which then frustrates the student. Language works much the same, easy first grade reading assignment one day a sixth grade level the next in a fourth grade class. Teaching teachers how to teach CC is not the answer. States have the choice to get rid of it. Obama and his people aren’t around to threaten states anymore. This was an effort to further dumb down America. It’s stupid enough as it is..

missy February 20, 2018 at 3:59 PM

Unfortunately, Sam, your information from Fox news is, as usual, incorrect. Common core is neither a federally mandated nor a federally created program. It was designed by a few educators and lots of corporate people and states are free to adapt it or not.

mtzman February 20, 2018 at 5:49 PM

And, Sam, before you start touting the states who have since rejected Common Core, note that their so-called replacements are for the most part simply common core with a different name.

G. February 21, 2018 at 7:46 AM

That pesky Obama!!! How did we let him get away with this ?!?!?!?!

Ano February 20, 2018 at 2:25 PM

As a teaCher and a mother it’s horrible. Think about this, there was not 1 Developmental specialist or teacher involved in the making of common core. That is why we have 5 year Olds doing 2nd grade work and why if you don’t read chapter books at 5 you have to go to a special reading class aND are told yout are behind. This is crazy. All this will do is make more children take anxiety meds

mtzman February 20, 2018 at 3:37 PM

The idea that no teachers or developmental specialists were involved in the development of the standards is simply ridiculous.

Original G February 20, 2018 at 3:58 PM

Career politicians and their unelected and unaccountable bureaucrat minions know best.

Would like to see if that same group could pass this 1912 Eighth Grade test.

Or this one from 1931.

Serious? February 20, 2018 at 7:26 PM

That is just not true. Our local school districts are just passing students along without meeting their standards. They expect kids are NOT reading and they don’t do anything to remedy it. Thankfully, I taught my 5 year old to read, because THAT IS WHAT 5 YEAR OLDS SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO. Other children are just learning the alphabet , and still are not reading well into 1st and 2nd grade.

ClayDen February 20, 2018 at 2:56 PM

From what I have seen, it’s very bad. A good way to fix it is to get rid of the federal Department of Education. Let the states be incubators of excellence and decide what is best for their students. There is too much control by the educrats from DC. Education should be a state or local issue.

AlwaysBePositive February 20, 2018 at 3:28 PM

Yes allowing the states to decide what is best for our nations students is a great idea. Maybe desegregating classes in Arkansas wasn’t a good idea. It’s only right that creationism should be taught alongside evolution. Some states think it is…

mtzman February 20, 2018 at 3:33 PM

Funny you should mention that. Common core WAS an initiative of state governors and state school officials in partnership with industry. The federal government later provided incentives for states to adopt standards. Each state also adopts their own specific standards based on the common core.

Dorothy February 20, 2018 at 3:48 PM

Maybe Common Core needs to have some old fashion teaching techniques added to it. Reading with actual comprehension comes to mind.

RANDOM TASK February 20, 2018 at 3:55 PM

another scam to make people believe schools are performing at normal level
the truth is they are way under funded and lack any direction or purpose just free daycare for liberal voters
since they enacted it amazingly scores have raised to above the districts now lowered standards and most parents I know don’t use the school system they use private school or actually teach their kids after they get home from so called school and teach them so they don’t become below average statistics

G. February 21, 2018 at 7:49 AM

Free daycare for liberal voters? …So Republicans get special schools or ????

Sam February 20, 2018 at 4:27 PM

Missy, never said it was federally mandated. The federal government pushed it on the states. And I didn’t get my information from Fox news. I did my own research on it. Yep, one of the CC founders heads up the SATs now.

Sam February 20, 2018 at 4:45 PM

Missy, never said it was federally mandated. The federal government pushed it on the states. And if you would have actually read my post I said states have the choice to get rid of it. BTW, I didn’t get my information from Fox news. I did my own research on it. Yep, it was the brain child of educators and corporate people. One of them heads up the SAT program now.

Jack's Fan February 20, 2018 at 5:19 PM

If you look at other countries that have far surpassed us in academic standards and performance, their curriculum has similarities to Common Core, but executed much more effectively. IMHO it was designed to make textbook and testing companies a lot of money, and encourage kids who can’t afford a private education (or tutors) to embrace a trade or technical skill instead. The world needs ditch diggers!

The Fordham Institute had a report a few years ago which showed CA’s curriculum in place before CC was implemented had better standards and less confusing teaching methods.

Always Right February 20, 2018 at 7:47 PM

Exactly. Every decade or so a new set of educators try to make a name for themselves (and money) by coming up with new unproven methods.

By the time we realize we have been hoodwinked, millions of kids have been deprived of a good education. Then the cycle repeats.

Add into the toxic mix the greedy teachers unions, and we have been in a downward spiral academically for the last 50 years.

AlwaysBePositive February 22, 2018 at 3:45 PM

What exactly are you referring to when you say ‘greedy teachers unions’?

Teachers are not going to benefit from the new tax bill, their incomes are far too low.

Lambie February 20, 2018 at 6:14 PM

Students have been dumbed down for too long!
Sadly, it is very unlikely anyone will be able to reverse the trend.
Private or homeschooling may be the only answer.

Wheel February 20, 2018 at 8:50 PM

Does anybody know a about the bacon block building history?

Mika February 20, 2018 at 8:53 PM

Show me the test scores!

Jeff February 20, 2018 at 9:07 PM

Neither it sucks!!!!!!

mtzman February 20, 2018 at 9:14 PM

Students have been dumbed down, you say? We have been in a downward spiral academically for the last 50 years? Well, consider this:

Clayton Valley High School opened on September 2, 1958. A student attending CVHS that year was required to take 3 years of English, 1 year of science, 1 year of 9th grade mathematics (among other requirements) to graduate. PE had more requirements for graduation than any other subject, namely 4 years. There were no Advanced Placement classes, no honors program, and the graduation rate in California around that time was roughly 65 percent.

Fast forward to 2018 graduates of Clayton Valley. They will have taken 4 years of English, 3 years of science, and 3 years of math (among other requirements) just to graduate. There are tons of AP and honors courses and a wide variety of subjects and courses that hadn’t even been invented in 1958. College-bound students will likely take a 4th year of math and a 4th year of science, and the graduation rate is in the high upper 90s.

The CV story is typical of high school programs. And you want to tell me today’s students are being dumbed down?

Rob February 21, 2018 at 7:56 AM

Yup – heck – just getting into a competitive college is FAR ahead of what was required in past generations.

biggus thinkus February 20, 2018 at 10:29 PM

holy cow. i was gonna post but … damn. this is all over the place…

Rob February 21, 2018 at 7:55 AM

The homework is far more challenging than when I was school. They are doing more and harder homework than was in place when I was in school.

BOBinWC February 21, 2018 at 8:11 AM

At inception, common core was designed to show deficiencies in public education, and establish new, lower “test scores” that fall below “requirements”, which then would allow for-profit educational firms and large data firms such as Microsoft et al to enter the classroom. Through the controlling of taxpayers school funds, it allows the state to intervene, for a type of tracking of our children, so that they can be categorized and better prepared for what businesses say they require in the future. Please, let’s keep big money, big data and profit OUT of our school system.

Stater of the Obvious February 21, 2018 at 8:44 AM

Old math.

8×8 = 64

“why”? asks the kid.

“because I said” answers the teacher. “Just memorize it”

Common Core math

8×8 = 64

“Why”? asks the kid

“because 8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8 =64” says the teacher.

“Ohhh now I see”, says the kid.

AlwaysBePositive February 21, 2018 at 9:44 AM

Rote memorization versus critical thinking.

Which will serve the student better outside of school?

ME February 21, 2018 at 11:16 AM

That’s not what we’re finding out. Memorize first, learn later in the standards based grading. You get a grade based on how long it took you not how you got the answer. Makes me furious.

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