Parents frustrations wiht Common Core math: It’s insane

Jun 17, 2018 by

When Veera Sinha was a little girl in India, her father asked his kids to solve math puzzles in their heads during dinner. That fond memory is one reason she grew to love numbers and got an MBA in finance. Yet when Sinha sits down to help her seven-year-old daughter Nevya with homework, she’s often stumped.

“My math background is entirely useless when trying to help my first grader with her homework,” says the Fremont mother of two, her voice thick with frustration. “I have to Google all of it.”

Eight years after California adopted new standards designed to boost students’ critical thinking and analytical skills, it’s become clear that a critical group was left behind in the push to implement Common Core: parents.

The good old days of memorizing math formulas or multiplication tables are gone. Instead, Common Core math requires students to show how they reason their way to the right answer. As a result, many parents say homework is far more complicated than it used to be. For example, the right answer to 3×5 isn’t just 15 anymore, as one popular social media post noted. It’s 3+3+3+3+3. And it’s 5+5+5. The new methods leave many parents baffled.

A common core math problem that went viral on social media.
A common core math problem that went viral on social media. 

“I despise common core math,” says Katie O’Donnell, a pediatric respiratory therapist who lives in San Jose and often uses math at work. Though she loves volunteering in her son Nima’s class, she admits she sometimes ducks out early because she’s embarrassed that she has no explanations for students who ask for help.

Source: Parents frustrations wiht Common Core math: It’s insane

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