Michael Schaus | Aug 19, 2013
[Ed, if the report itself isn't enough to make you hurl, Mr. Schaus's report At the townhall link has video too.]
Apparently, under the new Common-Core standards, correct answers don’t really matter. At least that’s according to a “curriculum coordinator” in Chicago named Amanda August. “Even if [a student] said, ’3 x 4 was 11,’ if they were able to explain their reasoning and explain how they came up with their answer really in, umm, words and oral explanation, and they showed it in the picture but they just got the final number wrong, we’re really more focused on the how,” said the common core supporter and typical liberal, Amanda. Off course this reasoning explains quite a bit regarding our nation’s 16 trillion dollar debt, and Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that Obamacare was a “deficit reducer.” When you consider that our finest economic leaders in the Federal Reserve, and the White House, thinkspending more money will result in fewer deficits, teaching that 3 x 4 = 11 (if you explain it well) isn’t really much of a stretch.
The left has long sought to bolster self-esteem by downplaying wrong answers in education. Everyone gets a ribbon; a truly disastrous lesson to teach when not everyone is capable of getting a job. And while the how is important in any lesson plan, in the end, the answer should still be correct. Amanda’s students are going to be in for a world of surprise when their first employer decides that doing the job correctly is more important than demonstrating “with words” an employee’s fundamental failure to grasp the concept of their task.
To the credit of the presumably leftists audience, someone asked if teachers will still be correcting students on math tests. The simple fact that someone had to ask the question should demonstrate the atrocious nature of American education reform. The question “are we still going to correct wrong answers” would seem incomprehensible in a system of honest instruction. Amanda, however, stumbles through a very entertaining non-answer:
“We want our students to compute correctly but the emphasis is really moving more towards the explanation, and the how, and the why, and ‘can I really talk through the procedures that I went through to get this answer; and not just knowing that it’s 12, but why is it 12? How do I know that?”
Well. . . Amanda, if they answered “11”, my guess is they won’t be able to answer “how do I know that” to a satisfactory degree. Well, 3 + 4 = 7, and both 3 and 7 are prime numbers. This leaves only 4 left, so we add it to our answer of 7 which is, of course, 11. Another prime number. . . How’d I do? Do I pass? What kind of world do we live in when math becomes a philosophical essay, and not a system of numbers, arithmetic, and simple truths? Well, it’s the same type of world that gives ribbons out to “honorary mentions” and lets every child star in the Christmas “winter” musical.
And this is at the center of Common-Core. At its heart is not an intent to better our failing school system (after all, you don’t do that by praising kids who get basic multiplication wrong) but to instil an altruistic sense of self-worth and liberal flexibility. To the American left, school should be an instrument to instruct children that they can be anything they want, and that the most important thing is life is that you get an “A” for effort.
Of course, I wanted to be an astronaut. . . And it doesn’t matter how hard you try, if you can’t answer the multiplication problem “3 x 4”, you’re not very likely to move into the highly competitive world of extraterrestrial exploration (although you could run for congress as a Democrat).
Amanda’s purported concentration on making sure children understand what they are taught certainly has its place in the classroom. . . Right behind getting the right answer. But don’t worry: People like Amanda will soon be writing up your child’s lesson plans.PS: It makes you think: Would Abbott and Costello pass Amanda's math test?
Thank You Mr Schaus and Townhall.