Bill Alexander: No rush to judgment with Common Core
The Megan Ross piece on Common Core (The Union, Oct. 10) struck a nerve. Her defense of Common Core methodology demands that parents have patience, that we “won’t know the real success or failures for a few years.”
All I hear is alarm bells.
We live in a time when half the politicians in this country are pushing for an end to public education. A time when the newest fad in education is a big moneymaker for new textbooks. When did two plus two not equal four?
Teaching students to prove their work is not an issue. Proving your method has been in the curriculum of any math class I ever took, and that dates back to the ’50s.
Easy to correct, multiple choice tests may be a different story, but classroom work, quizzes and homework all demanded that students show their work.
My alarm bells come from personal experience. My daughter, now 31 years old, was taught “whole language.” This was supposedly far superior to the old Phonetics system.
She still struggles with spelling. She will not write anything that cannot run through a spell-check program. It hurts me deeply that I trusted the system and now see the long-lasting effects of an experiment.
Raising the science and math skills of the next generation is unquestionably a worthy goal.
It is my opinion that any program that cannot be understood and supported by parents is doomed from the outset.
Children do not stop learning at the end of the school day. When they see that their parents have succeeded in life without these “new math” skills, how many will question the value of learning the method?
Worse yet, if that’s the only method being taught.
Bill Alexander lives in Penn Valley.
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