Daily Mail: Common Core Math 'Satan's Handiwork'

What’s an Iowa mom calling “Satan’s Handiwork?” What’s making moms in California break down in tears? Or causing parents in Pennsylvania to feel their “blood boil?” Why, it’s nothing less than Common Core math.

Norman Rockwell-type scenes of parents patiently helping their young children with math homework seem light years away. Since the implementation of the Common Core standards, commonplace arithmetic problems have become as complicated as calculus.

According to the Daily Mail, parents are “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 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.”

Even comedian Louis C.K. tweeted recently about his children’s complicated homework, writing that his daughters, who once loved math, now are crying about it.

The comedian also supplied one of his third grader’s math problems:

As Fox News reports, Common Core supporters admit parents are frustrated, but they blame the problems on local school districts that have “botched” the standards’ implementation.

"The homework can appear ridiculous when it is taken out of context -- that's where the biggest problem lies," said Steve O'Connor, a fifth-grade math teacher in Wells, New York. "Parents don't have the context, nor have they been given the means to see the context."

O’Connor has set up a website to help parents with their frustration over homework. In addition, many schools across the nation are holding therapy groups for children who are suffering from severe cases of anxiety over the schoolwork and the increased testing associated with the Common Core.

Stanford University mathematics professor James Milgram calls Common Core a “complete mess,” because it is developmentally inappropriate, i.e., too advanced for younger students and not nearly rigorous enough in the older grades. In addition, Milgram, who refused to sign off on the centralized standards when he was a member of the Common Core Validation Committee, says that teachers are ill prepared to apply the standards in the classroom.

“You are asking teachers to teach something that is incredibly complicated to kids who aren’t ready for it,” Milgram said. “If you don’t think craziness will result, then you’re being fundamentally naïve.


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