Going Viral: Dad Reacts to 'Ridiculous' Common Core Math Homework
byKaitlin StanfordMar 26, 2014
If you're not a fan of the Common Core, you're certainly not alone. The new grade school teaching approach has sparked quite a heated debate in the last year, as teachers, parents and education officials argue over whether the new practices are helping kids to better grasp certain concepts ... or just confusing the heck out of them.
Indiana dad Jeff Severt seems to think it's the latter. And for the record, he'd like to share that it's confusing the heck out of him, too. He recently posted a Common Core worksheet to Facebook, which presents a seemingly simple math formula: 427 - 316, in a rather elaborate and convoluted manner.
For starters, it tells a story: “Jack used the number line below to solve 427 - 316. Find his error." Then it asks the student to write him a letter. "Write a letter to Jack telling him what he did right, and what he should do to fix his mistake.”
In the old days (aka, when we were kids), the same math problem would have simply just asked kids to subtract the smaller number from the larger number and ... voilà. But the Common Core—which proponents say is all about "developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills students will need to be successful"—takes a much different, roundabout approach to arriving at that same answer. And, unfortunately, that requires kids (and their parents) to actually understand the CC program—which doesn't exactly seem to be happening.
In his now-viral response to little Jack's math conundrum, Severt responds with hilarious frustration parents everywhere can relate to:
It reads: “Dear Jack, Don’t feel bad. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering, which included extensive study in differential equations and other higher math applications. Even I cannot explain the Common Core mathematics approach, nor get the answer correct. In the real world, simplification is valued over complication. Therefore, 427 - 316 = 111. The answer is solved in under 5 seconds — 111. The process used is ridiculous and would result in termination if used. Sincerely, Frustrated Parent.”
Severt's post has already been shared, liked and commented on thousands of times. But here's a spot of good news for the Indiana dad (besides becoming a viral sensation): On Monday, news broke that his home state of Indiana became the first state to formally withdraw from the Common Core program. Looks like those awful math problems will become a thing of the past. (At least at the Severt house.)