What in the world is the big deal about Common Core, particularly the math part of it all? Every single day, somewhere on Facebook, the tv, or the radio, I see someone bashing the new system. Whether it’s used as the butt of a joke, a complaint, or a satirical statement of vehemence doesn’t matter, it’s all negative. People say all the time- if it’s broke, don’t fix it. But the system was broken!!!
The largest country in the world was ranking at the bottom of all comparable nations for education standards and performance scores. Especially in math. The very foundation of almost all jobs centering around the growing advances of every major industry field. How could we, as the largest country in the whole world, combat this issue of a broken education system with the same mathematical teaching system used for at least the last half a century or so? The same exact system that was used to earn that poor excuse of a ranking! We needed a change. Desperately!
We all know that change is difficult to do, and harder to maintain, until the new habits/routines/expectations sink in. No one likes to change. No one likes the discomfort of change. Certainly, no one likes the adjustment period that happens with change, either. There’s no denying, though, that once the worst is over, change can be the best thing for the situation at hand. In this case, it involves our children. Those children that will one day be left to run this country for their children’s children. Our namesakes and legacies, our precious little bundles of joyful, unconditional love. Their quality of education and their future as successfully employed citizens, to be exact, depends on change and Common Core is that change, like it, or not.
It seems like such a no-brainer to me- I want my kids to be successful throughout their entire lives. I want them to have the greatest foundation to build their futures upon. If that means getting rid of the old and bringing in the new, then I’m ALL for it! BRING IT ON!
First of all, everyone thinks that Common Core is an entirely new mathematical calculation system. That’s so not true, not in the very least. When us parents were students, back in the olden days of rotary phones and tin-foiled, rabbit-ear tv’s, math was divided up and taught by topics in an order perceived as easiest to learn to hardest to learn. Basic math systems were slowly taught over the entire course of elementary school, when kids are capable of absorbing knowledge at a higher rate than the rest of their lifespan combined. Then, as they passed into higher grades levels, during puberty, nonetheless, when their body’s are more preoccupied with changing on a cellular level than increasing brain mass, the more complicated subjects of math are crammed upon them. This it’s why so many of us gave up during Algebra or Geometry. Preoccupied by hormones and overwhelmed with higher doses of learning expected from every area in school, tweens and teens give up on anything that takes effort to accomplish in lieu of social butterfly syndrome.
The biggest problem with this subject by subject approach, is that math isn’t easily cut up into subjects, where you can just pick one aspect of it to learn and forget the rest. Every one of these math subjects tie in together. You can’t multiply without being able to add first. You cannot successfully complete a Geometry lesson without first understanding the parts of Algebra where equating values of unknowns and property rules for solving equations are mastered. Calculus wouldn’t need to be slang for Smarty-pants-Teacher’s Pet-Bookworm-Geek’s-Wet Dream. Common Core has thrown out the subject labels and reorganized the system so all levels of mathematics are taught together as they are needed, right alongside the basic functions of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.
There’s also more focus on exploring different methods of calculation to accomplish the same result, so each individual can find the system that works best for them. Parents are balking over this new approach all over Facebook, because it’s not the one-way-must-fit-all they’re familiar with, which landed us in the education crisis we are now facing. Common Core is designed for the individual brain, not the average brain of the whole nation. The new system also takes full advantage of those little brains being thirsty for knowledge in elementary school and challenges them to absorb all that they can while they’re actually able to and willing. By the time they get into middle school and high school, they’ll have the skills to explore math in a way that we never thought possible before, helping them qualify to compete with much higher educated foreigners.
The tried and true has crippled and died. It’s time to unite as parents for the betterment of our children’s futures. When we throw tantrums because we just might have to take the time to open our own minds a little to a new way of doing things, maybe having to learn something just as our children are, what example are we setting for them? To cry over spilled milk? That’s all it is! Change will never be simple, or else there would NEVER be any sense of familiarity or hard work known to man. But familiarity isn’t going to pave the way for the future. It’s going to hold us back, limit our potential, cut our opportunities. That’s what we think is best for our children? It’s not what I want for mine.
I want my kids to be able to mingle with peers from every nation in the world and feel at home-neither inferior nor superior. Five years ago, it finally dawned on our country that our nation’s brightest, most talented students were finding themselves feeling inferior amongst the crowd. The largest nation in the world was failing at raising it’s children! But, nevertheless, here the citizens are, complaining left and right that their children’s homework is too hard for US to help with, that the broken, outdated WINDOWS ’95 program running prior to the upgrade was working just fine!
This world is growing in technological advances quicker than we can Netflix marathon watch an entire season of our favorite show. Being well-spoken and well-written are not enough to carry our children through life successfully, win them the job over another equally qualified candidates from foreign countries, as it was for our generation. We have failed to grow our education system alongside the growth of technology and our world ranking shows as such. Math is the foundation for this technology and it needs to be as fluent to our future generations as the English language they speak.
Common Core may not be a perfect system. It’s got it’s flaws, on a compository departmental level, but it’s change! Change is always a good thing. So PLEASE, for the love of all things good, STOP complaining about Common Core! Our system was failing and someone actually had the guts to do something about it, and that alone should be an effort applauded by all! It’s not, though. Because, we parents, still see math through the rose-colored glasses of the past. An unnecessary annoyance preceding recess and the day’s scheduled extracurricular class. Nothing more, nothing less.