From the article “Help for Homework Help: Teaching Parents Common Core Math,” by Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press, I offer the following food for thought:

Any adult who has tried to help a second-grader with homework has noticed math is not what it used to be. Now schools are unlocking the secrets of Common Core math for mystified parents.

They’re holding special classes or giving out materials designed for adults so they can help children with their math homework. After parents learn the strategies, educators say, they’re more willing to get on board with Common Core math amid criticism from some politicians, from fellow parents, on social media and from celebrities like Louis C.K., who complained Common Core math made his daughters cry.

…

Eduhonesty: So now we are tutoring the parents. Damn it all, this is getting so crazy. When you invent a system America’s parents cannot do without special, outside tutoring, how is this supposed to work? Did anyone coming up with latest version of the new math stop to think about the implications of introducing a system of mathematics that parents could not understand? Who did they think would help kids with homework?

I feel compelled to note that the Common Core math seems again to favor the fortunate. Stay-at-home moms can fit in tutoring easily. Couples with money to afford sitters can set aside tutoring time. Single-parents, with or without jobs, will be at a serious disadvantage. Parents who were successful at math while in school are likely to take a whack at learning this latest math. Parents who struggled with math will more likely opt out of tutoring, fearing embarrassment and perhaps having to confess to their kids that they don’t get the Common Core math either.

Honest, the old math worked. I used it to brute force my way through two-thirds of an analytic geometry textbook in one day — admittedly without understanding the fine points — when a community college refused to give me an extension on a self-paced class I had been ignoring. (I got a B.) That math got Neil Armstrong to the moon.

Common sense has fled these lands, I fear.

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