Common core in the United States

(9 Posts)
claig Thu 03-Apr-14 14:35:17

Just read something about this. Does anyone know about it?

siouxcityjournal.com/ap/lee/common-core-causes-division-among-iowa-lawmakers/article_76733d8e-43d7-5e9a-bc14-539f0d8a49e8.html

It seems like a good idea, standardising syllabuses across the entire States. it has testing per year as far as I can see, and will involve assessment of teachers, I think.

But it seems to be becoming a huge political hot potato as Republicans in particular seem to rebelling against it and some States have pulled out of the programme.

Might we one day get the same type of thing here?

Can anyone thow any more light on what it is and whether it is as bad as opponents to it say it is.

They are saying that it confuses kids (and some people think it has been done deliberately to dumb down America etc).

mummytime Thu 03-Apr-14 16:00:21

All I've heard is that it is a good thing - that is from educators. But unlike the UK the way they teach and what they teach really hasn't changed much in the US. Parents are worried that this new measure will harm their children's education.

I can't imagine Gove ever going for something like it.

petmyunicorn Thu 03-Apr-14 16:02:57

Admittedly I don't know much, but all my family and friends in America (including educators) have very strong feelings the common core is bad. It really does dumb down math, to the point of being not understandable. It involves testing kindergarteners (reception) for FIVE to SIX hours in one go. Everything I've read sounds absolutely awful, and I don't know anyone in favour of it.

mummytime Thu 03-Apr-14 16:11:19

A lot of Math educators are very excited and positive!

claig Thu 03-Apr-14 17:57:13

Yes, I have read stuff that the way it teaches maths is over complicated and is confusing the children. They seem to want to overexplain it and it is making it unnecessarily complicated. It seems like a good idea in theory, as long as they get the practice right.

Here are some examples

twitchy.com/2014/03/02/see-the-math-problems-that-set-off-this-ny-djs-anti-common-core-rant/

www.nationalreview.com/article/373840/ten-dumbest-common-core-problems-alec-torres

HolidayCriminal Sat 05-Apr-14 09:00:29

um, doesn't England already have the same thing = National Curriculum?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 06-Apr-14 00:57:44

Pretty much, Holiday. It isn't needed here because we have a National curriculum. In the States, each State had their own set of State Standards so what was being taught in California might be different to what was being taught in Florida. Now I think they sign up to the Common Core and each state can add what extra standards they like to them.

The maths pedagogy is heavily based on the Massachusetts curriculum and Singapore maths curriculum. Both of which score highly in international tests. It's not really experimental. It does move towards both understanding and knowledge of facts, rather than just rote learning, which is why some parents may have a problem. I don't think it's different to parents on MN complaining that they find the 'new maths methods' hard.

I haven't seen anywhere that suggests testing kindergarteners for 5-6 hrs at a time. So I can't really comment on that.

The Republicans don't like it because they're Republicans.

TheNewStatesman Sun 06-Apr-14 14:18:33

No. The Massachusetts state standards and the Singapore maths curriculum are pretty much universally classified as "traditional" maths curricula, and are not at all like the reform maths/discovery maths idea which is currently being promoted by Common Core. So no, the CC approach is not at all like Singapore maths or the kind of maths that the Massachusetts state standards emphasize.

educationnext.org/anamazeingapproachtomath/

Reform/discovery maths methods have a dismal history. They are NOT new; they have been tried out, repeatedly, since the 60s. Wherever they are tried out, it is the same story; a couple of years later, and Kumon (and similar outfits) start making a fortune because all the parents are starting to realize that their kids are simply not learning maths property. A few years after that, and test scores start bottoming out.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 06-Apr-14 16:19:10

Are these not 2 separate issues? As far as I know the CCSS don't suggest a particular pedagogy, it just states what to teach. The choice of curriculum is an issue that comes from individual states, rather that nationally. The debate about methods in maths pre-dates the introduction of CCSS. It was going on when I was teaching 'Everday Math' over 10 years ago. It, along with a couple of other things, seems to have got mixed up in the Core standards debate.

At least one state I know of has chosen to teach CCSS through Singapore Math. Some have chosen other programs, some of which may be reform/discovery. The examples of new style 'nonsense' maths that claig linked to use a lot of examples from NY's own 'engage' program, which from what I've seen over the last year does draw a lot from Singapore Maths, in terms of methods used.

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