Common Core VS Texas

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I have to say that when we moved back to Texas, I was really excited to be leaving the Common Core behind. I know that some of the concepts have spilled over to states that haven’t adopted it, but my hope was that the worst parts of it would not. I do see some similarities with the curriculum, and that’s fine with ┬áme. I don’t hate the concepts that Common Core emphasizes, I just don’t think the way that they are being implemented works.

I do think that spelling under the Common Core is better for kids. Instead of rote memorization of words, they teach words by word part. If a child is learning how to spell “might”, then shouldn’t they also learn to spell “light”, “bright”, and “fight”? Makes sense to me. I think math under Common Core is a total disaster. The premise that kids will be better at math if they understand why things are done a certain way sounds good in theory, but in practice is a nightmare. For example:

Solve 8×8. Instead of teaching them to add 8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8, they teach them this…

8×10=80, 10 is two more than 8 so multiply 8×2 to get 16. Then 80-16=64 so 8×8=64. Really?!?! How is that anything but confusing?

I don’t really have a frame of reference as to whether Common Core math has spilled over to Texas because they have been working mostly on telling time, measurement, and word problems since we moved here. Those are pretty universal things and I don’t think they are taught differently under Common Core.

For me, the most irritating part of Common Core is the evaluation of both students and teachers. I’m fairly certain that you need a Masters in Education to decipher a second graders report card. This is Luke’s first report card from this year (if you click on the pictures, you’ll be able to read them better).

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Confusing right? If my son was reading at a third grade level when he started second grade, then is it even possible to achieve a 4? Is my son a B student? What can I do to help him achieve higher grades? Those were my thoughts. After speaking with his teacher at conferences, I was even more confused. She said that he was a wonderful student who was excelling in all academic areas. So, why all the 3s??

The way I understand it is that students need to show progression throughout the year or it reflects poorly on the teachers. If they hand out 4s at the beginning of the year, then there is no room for improvement. Basically, it’s not what they are achieving right now, but where they are now compared to where they will be at the end of the year. Luke wasn’t achieving 4s because he wasn’t exceeding end of the year standards. I could care less if he’s receiving 3s or 4s, but I do want to understand the whys and hows so I can best help my child to be successful. This system of grading and high stakes testing is failing not only our students, but our teachers as well. They want to nurture our children, and dare I say it, TEACH! They don’t want to spend their existence jumping through bureaucratic hoops and preparing our kids for high stakes testing that is not a reflection of the child’s abilities just to keep their jobs. But that’s a topic for another day.

This is Luke’s fourth quarter interim report card. The only difference between the interim report card and the end of quarter report card is that it doesn’t include comments from his teacher, or gym, music, etc.

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Maybe I’m just “old school”, but this makes much more sense to me.

-Moving Mommy

 

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