'Common Core' Math: Wrong Answers Acceptable

As an example of how the new "Common Core" math system will work, a curriculum director recently noted that even if kids get the wrong mathematical result, as long they can "explain" how they arrived at their answer, then that is still a good outcome for the Common Core teachers.

Speaking on the evening of July 17 to a room of administrators and interested citizens at Grayslake School District 46, in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Curriculum Director Amanda August said that in the new system the correct answer is less important than "the procedure" of arriving at that answer.

In response to a question of how the new Common Core math teaching system will work, August said that "the reasoning" is a main goal, not just correct answers.

August is seen on the video explaining the new system: "But even under the new Common Core," she says "if even if they 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 words and oral explanations and they showed it in a picture but they just got the final number wrong; we’re really more focusing on the how and the why."

August was asked if kids would be corrected if they gave the wrong mathematical answer. She said they would, but there is more to it than just the "right" answer.

"We want our students to compute correctly," she assured those gathered, "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?'"


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