WRAL Finally Publishes Piece On ‘Botched’ Common Core

WRAL finally has an article that talks about parent frustrations with Common Core.

An Iowa woman jokingly calls it “Satan’s handiwork.” A California mom says she’s broken down in tears. A Pennsylvania parent says it “makes my blood boil.”

What could be so horrible? Grade-school math.

As schools around the U.S. implement national Common Core learning standards, parents trying to help their kids with math homework say that adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing has become as complicated as calculus.

They’re stumped by unfamiliar terms like “rectangular array” and “area model.” They wrestle with division that requires the use of squares, slashes and dots. They rage over impenetrable word problems.

Stacey Jacobson-Francis, 41, of Berkeley, California, said her daughter’s homework requires her to know four different ways to add.

“That is way too much to ask of a first grader,” she said. “She can’t remember them all, and I don’t know them all, so we just do the best that we can.” – WRAL 5/15/14

I noticed this article is in the “Lifestyles” section, not the education section. It’s also written by an AP reporter, not WRAL staff.  One or two more snippets to drive it home that Common Core is fundamentally flawed and overly convoluted:

“If we are sitting there for 20 minutes trying to do a simple problem, how is an 8, 9, 10-year-old supposed to figure it out?” she said. “It’s incredibly frustrating for the student and the parent.” – WRAL 5/15/14


Stanford University mathematician James Milgram calls the reform math-inspired standards a “complete mess” — too advanced for younger students, not nearly rigorous enough in the upper grades. And teachers, he contends, are largely ill-prepared to put the standards into practice.

“You are asking teachers to teach something that is incredibly complicated to kids who aren’t ready for it,” said Milgram, who voted against the standards as part of the committee that reviewed them. “If you don’t think craziness will result, then you’re being fundamentally naive.” – WRAL 5/15/14

The article fails to mention Milgram was the only mathematician on the 30 person Common Core Validation committee and that he refused to sign off on the standards. The proponents also blame it all on ‘botched implementation’ and old problems that were there before Common Core. Seriously? What geniuses came up with this excuse?

Common Core advocates acknowledge parents are frustrated, but blame the problems on botched implementation, insufficient training or poorly written math programs that predate Common Core. – WRAL 5/15/14

Yeah, yeah – roll out was bad… because the standards are bad. There was no support for the ‘standards’ in terms of curriculum, because that comes later. Teachers scrounged for what they could find, often plucking it from ‘freebie’ websites or snagging matching items from other grades. In the case of elementary kids, one teacher told me she took from 4th grade curriculum to fulfill 1st grade standards. That’s horrifying.

Also, the bad roll-out is no one’s fault but the owners of the Core. They rushed it. You see, there was no time, the Federal money was coming! This is what you get when you rush a fundamentally flawed, untested experiment written by people who haven’t set foot in a working classroom into place because you’re using Federal stimulus money funneled through the Dept. of Education to suck states in with.

One last hit to drive home the age/developmental inappropriateness touted as ‘critical thinking’ by the creators of the Common Core:

“She gets frustrated because I can’t do it the way they are supposed to do it,” Lienhard said. “To me, math is numbers, it’s concrete, it’s black-and-white. I don’t understand why you need to bring this conceptual thing into math — at least not at this age.”  WRAL 5/15/14

But.. But… Common Core is “just standards”…

Tell me again how Common Core is ‘just standards’ when kids nationwide are complaining of math being taught in the same overly complex and convoluted manner? Why would that be if it’s ‘just standards’? Because standards dictate curriculum, tests and materials — and it would seem some of that curriculum is the same from state to state.  Somehow, to Common Core supporters, this is evidence of ‘creativity’ and academic ‘freedom’. Yeah, ok. Whatever.

Related: Flashback: ” identifying common standards is not enough”

Just a quick reminder on the way out…

This article is a bit step up from local reporting done by WRAL. I remember all too well the demonization and hackery of Laura Leslie & Co.  the last time around. She ignored 2/3 of the 60 speakers who opposed Common Core at the public comment hearing of the NCGA’s Common Core Legislative committee in favor of painting us as religious zealots by focusing on the one guy who showed up with an over-sized Bible.

WRAL even doubled-down on using that as their icon of the opposition in their update by making the picture take up half of the page:


About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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1 Response to WRAL Finally Publishes Piece On ‘Botched’ Common Core

  1. Nate says:

    The roll-out was botched. Where have I heard that before?
    Oh, yeah: ‘Obamacare advocates acknowledge people are frustrated, but blame the problems on botched implementation, insufficient training or poorly written computer code that predates Obamacare.’
    It’s like they’re reading from the same script.


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