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Jan 08 2016

Common Core Mastermind: Parents, Don’t Teach Kids How to Do Math

When it comes to making sure that kids don’t develop proper math skills, meddling parents only get in the way:

One of the chief creators of the Common Core math standards is warning America’s parents to stop teaching their own children basic math because, he says, public school teachers are well-trained experts who understand rudimentary arithmetic far better.

The directive to leave children submerged in confusion as they try to do homework comes from Jason Zimba, who was part of a trio that originally wrote the Common Core math standards.

“The math instruction on the part of parents should be low. The teacher is there to explain the curriculum,” Zimba told The Hechinger Report, an education journalism website published by Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Zimba says that the role of parents should be limited to making sure children do whatever federal bureaucrats tell them to do through control of local schools.

The entire story by The Hechinger Report strongly urges parents to avoid attempts to help their struggling children with Common Core math homework and implicitly blames parents for getting frustrated.

[The piece also suggests that] parents should only demonstrate methods of adding and subtracting numbers which have worked very well for hundreds of years — such as carrying numbers — if they emphasize to their own children that the exotic methods currently taught in schools are just as good.

Actually, they are not just as good. They are insane. The evident purpose is to guarantee that students do not even learn math, on the grounds that the less educated we are, the more helpless we are, the easier we are to control.

Either that or the moonbats running education from the Beltway are just nuts.

Common Core Math
Math education under federal control.

On tips from Henry and Torcer.


    The greatest form of control over a people is to convince them that they know nothing and that only “experts” with their years of instilled propaganda training can do anything. It is why the trade unions exercised such controls over society for centuries. Where each trade was a secret that no one could learn outside of the union.

    This is a new application where the population is being told that they are too unskilled, untrained and illiterate to understand 2 + 2 = 4, by Common Core. It is the penultimate manifestation of Orwell’s prophesied dystopia: “Freedom is the freedom to say 2 + 2 =4, If that is granted, all else follows.”

    Anyone else see this for the malignancy that it is, in telling parents that they cannot even be allowed to instill rudimentary Math in their children? Only a common cored mass could not question the next step in Orwellian math: the Chocolate ration has been increased from 4 grams to 2, something that far too many already absorb without question.

  • RKae

    We have a place-value numerical system for a reason.

    Common Core finds it… problematic… or something.

  • formwiz

    Good forbid we teach kids to think.

  • Katyn

    I tutor mathematics part time and have high school students in their final year taking the advanced math courses intended for those going into University science and engineering programs the following year who were never taught the times-table and cannot do basic fractional arithmetic. And these are genuinely bright kids. It’s just they’ve never been taught.

  • Henry

    See, all those parents homeschooling their kids are doing it all wrong… if they want their kids to fit in with all the other academic competition losers, they need to be teaching them to the Common Core standard.

  • TED

    STUPID votes LEFT.

  • Lentenlands

    The important thing is that the Rockefellers and other elites get their so-called “new world order” of Godless, depraved morons to rule over. This is why “public education” has been hijacked by them and turned into a system of destroying and preventing education.

  • TED

    THE biggest threat to this nation!

  • Wilberforce

    All being done for the same reason that there’s a push to eliminate teaching cursive altogether. Wouldn’t want the King’s subjects to be able to read old, out-dated parchment…

    From the N.Y. Times: “Let Cursive Handwriting Die”

  • fredrickbarbarossa

    I also believe common core serves the totalitarians social justice agenda by creating equality in academic outcomes for students. It holds the smarter students back, it allows the slower students ample opportunities to catch up. In the social science curriculums their are several examples of opinion questions leading to desired answers through a “critical lens”.

  • TED

    Life in the OBAMAZONE…

  • fredrickbarbarossa

    Many people don’t realize that the way grades are computed for assessment tests are rigged. It used to be grades were determined by a simple procedure, for example if there are fifty questions on a test each question is worth 2 points each. Ten wrong answers on a multiple choice test gets you an 80. Not now, their are now things called conversion charts that manipulate grades. In some instances a 35 or 40 percentage grade gets you a passing grade of 65 or 70. It is also harder to get higher than 95 in some tests, the closer you get to 100, the less room for error there is.

  • rambler

    Well, the dumb children of the elites can’t stand up to the competition, so those in the public schools will have to accept getting no education.

  • Got rope? Lock and load. These people have got to go. Now. By any means necessary.

  • Let the NYT die. Might I suggest assisted suicide.

  • MAS

    OK mom & dad please finish the following sentence for me; “I still have my children in government schools because _______”.

    Really people how much more obvious do they need to make it for you that you are abusing your children by allowing these idiots access to their developing minds?

  • Marylou

    Oh, I am SO sorry, Mister Administrator, for having disregarded your supreme authority in this matter. As a gesture of my repentance, I promise to send my children to you first thing in the morning so that you can undo all the errors I’ve made over the years and try to salvage them into some sort of useful clones who will understand jibberish but not actual logic.

    (First thing in the morning): Oh, sorry again, Mister Administrator, but this isn’t working out. You see, my kids, who still think along the outmoded lines of 2+2=4, are now over 30 years of age, stand up to 6’2″ tall, and just flat refuse to get into the envelope. So I suggest you go try your mind games on someone else. [Parent over and out.] /sarc

  • ELLO

    Everyone knows 2+2=5.

  • TheChaoticStorm

    The trouble with CC math is that in many cases, it is not age appropriate. I get what they are trying to do, but for a struggling learner you’re just going to lose them.

    Kids need to understand the basic methods of doing mathematics before learning all the “tricks” in CC math. Many of the CC “tricks” are things to help you do mental math rapidly, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, a student needs to know the basics of mathematics before attempting these mental shortcuts.

    That being said, most parents were not taught these tricks in school, or if they were, have likely forgotten them, so that’s probably where this guy is getting his logic, flawed though it it may be. Teachers do not have time for individualized instruction for struggling students, and it’s not their fault either. I have many relatives and friends in public education, and the nonsense they have to put up with is ridiculous. Testing, testing, testing all the time.

    I homeschool my two boys and their math workbooks are CC-aligned to an extent. However, I am also able to give them the individualized instruction they need, and at their own pace. Math happens to be their favorite subject and I hope it stays that way.

  • NotKennedy

    You don’t suppose that Jack’s number line is going the wrong direction, do you? If that was MY bank account, I would want the numbers going to the left of the decimal point, implied or otherwise. Money is about the only time when moving to the left is a good thing.

  • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

    Both my kids did much, much better when they stopped trying to learn math from their teachers and started using Khan Academy. Their teachers get paid in the neighborhood of 80 K a year, with extremely plush bennies and a wonderful retirement program they keep raising our property taxes to pay.

  • JeffersonSpinningInGrave

    Many are paying for public schools whether they use them or not, and may not have enough additional money to pay for private schools. Also, they may be spending too much time outside the home making a living to home school.

    The other approach is to look at what your kids are learning, especially in history and “humanities” classes, and make sure they understand that much of what they are taught as fact is either highly debatable or objectively incorrect. It really doesn’t take too long to tune their BS meters appropriately.

  • Patti

    Even back in the 90s, there was a government official in GA who let it slip out that they considered parents just a layer of interference to get through. We homeschooled for 27 years.

  • Cyber Liberty

    Aren’t these the same people who bitch constantly about parents that don’t help their kids with their homework? Thought so.

  • KHarn

    It’s whatever they say! Please! It’s whatever they say!

  • grayjohn

    The creators of Common Core should be in jail and never allowed near a school again. That goes for the proponents too.

  • KHarn

    Yeah, but they’re going to be screwed when they discover that they’ve made “the masses” too stupid to work in their factories and banks.

  • KHarn

    We built skyscrapers and moon rockets with the old teachings, maybe it shouldn’t have been screwed with in the name of “progress”?

  • KHarn

    Same as the police in the ’60’s who demanded “Let US handle it, stay out of it”; and then, after a few years of this, complained that people “didn’t want to get involved”.

  • Eddie_Valiant

    As much as I hate providing a link to the NY Slimes, this story details a significant case brought by a teacher and being heard by SCOTUS next week. If the court rules correctly, every state could become a right-to-work state. Public unions will have lost much of their power.

  • Eddie_Valiant

    No, it’s how you feel about 2+2. It might be four today but when your mood changes, it might be 5 or 6.

  • Henry

    “There are 2+2 lights!”

  • John Knoefler

    I actually do it that way also. I minus in my head the three hundred from 427. This leaves me 16 from 127 and then 6 from 7 and 1 from 2 to leave me 111. This way I can do it in my head very easily in a second. I use similar tricks to add things up in my head as often at work I don’t have a pencil or paper handy as I am a steel worker and often working under very low light conditions plus suffering from vision problems. So it’s handy to do things in your head.

  • Gypsy

    Bill Clinton It Depends on what the meaning of the word is is

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  • Peace Love Bunny

    This is a purposed overcomplication. The desire is to make American children less capable in math, which will bring America down from our present lofty position as engineering leaders.

  • Daniel

    The common core is intended to educate even the lowest IQ students. In theory, by focusing on “process” rather than simple memorization+process (you know, like memorizing multiplication tables or knowing that 2+3=5) they are attempting to remove intellectual capacity from the results of the students to the point that being more intelligent inhibits the ability to do common core based work. It’s hard to imagine, but when you realize the nature of intelligence, which is in part the ability to predict outcomes based on pattern-oriented conceptualization, the fact that common core looks like so much nonsense is a HUGE problem for children.

    I actually wrote email to my son’s teacher complaining that common core literally interferes with my ability to parent my child as I cannot help him with his homework. In case no one else realizes this, not only are the methods very weird, but the learning materials themselves are controlled and restricted. They work from workbooks which the schools agree not to copy (because educational exemptions ordinarily apply but contracts with the schools prohibit it or they would be sued for violation of contract even if they are within their rights to copy materials.).

    This stuff isn’t just insane functionally, it’s a MASSIVE profit scheme where books are procured EVERY year instead of every 5+ years.

    And we don’t have to talk about the “political indoctrination” that is part of the common core. We’ve all heard too much about that… and it’s true.

    I don’t mean to go on too much but there is no end to my issues with common core. I can tell you the teachers don’t like it. When it is exceedingly visible that the teachers agree with the parents about the problem and make it CLEAR they are not allowed to talk about it or to agree with us? We’re dealing with a MASSIVE conspiracy here and that’s no joke.

  • chuck_in_st_paul

    CC Math is just like the disastrous whole word language instruction for primary school. It displaced phonetics and destroyed learning for hundreds of thousands of kids while bankrupting Hooked On Phonics.

    Years later this incompetent fad was dumped and phonics quietly reintroduced into the classrooms causing reading scores to skyrocket.

    This is what happens when you have Ed. majors instead of subject experts in the educational system. They have to make a mark by creating a *new* and *improved* learning method. Of course it pretty much always causes a disaster which is quietly covered up.

  • It was called “New Math” in 1966. By third grade (1969) it had given me a math deficit that lasted until I was in my late 20s. I credit a short chapter in Robert Heinlein’s 1980 book “Expanded Universe” for showing me how to work around government math and get the right answers. If you can still find a copy, that book may help older kids, too.

  • Whole language, once known as ‘look-say,’ goes back almost a century. Its most famous victim was Andre Norton, grande dame of SF and fantasy. She told me that look-say had permanently destroyed her ability to spell without recourse to a dictionary. Good copy-editing allowed her to succeed despite this issue.

    I can’t help but wonder if Rotten Core is right now depriving us of the genius of the kid who would otherwise grow up to invent a FTL spaceship engine, thus preventing our descendents from ever escaping from moonbats and the oligarchal collectivism they long to impose.

  • And the taxpayers should pay for their hots and cots why? Lots of ropes and trees around, at far less expense…

  • Harry D Dullard

    Since the Part line is infallible, any instance of failure must be due to SABOTAGE! Children, report your parents’ rightist tendencies to your neighborhood Happy Funtime Ice Cream and Re-Education Wagon. Free vanilla cone when both parents are disappeared!

  • grayjohn

    Lol, didn’t want to go there, but as long as you are, I’ll tag along.

  • I guess I’m pretty cold-blooded, but the psychopath test says no };^)}

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