Who is teaching the teachers?

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I am a certified high school math teacher. One of my kids is working on her doctoral degree in math. I don’t understand this check.

I am sure I can figure it out, but that’s not the point. The country that put its astronauts on the moon had a very different approach to elementary math in the not-distant past. Why do we believe this new approach is better? Who says so? Where’s their proof? What will adding this level of complexity to the mathematical process, especially in elementary school, gain us in the long-run?

The check’s silly, but the idea is not. Even if elementary kids master the math of our time, they are learning a system that the rest of the world does not use. And I believe we are confusing the heck out of them. I spent years as a bilingual teacher and here is an observation that I feel compelled to share: Recently arrived students from Mexico who had lived in urban areas often seemed much better prepared for middle school math than their American counterparts.

Let me add one last question that came to mind when I saw this check. Who is teaching the teachers this new math? In addition to the big $$$ from all the new textbooks aligned to the Common Core, I can only assume Pearson and others are garnering hefty consulting fees as they send out coaches to explain how to write the silly checks inspired by their math new books. Learning Common Core math must require a fair amount of training.

I hope Melridge Elementary got its money.