Bill Alexander: No rush to judgment with Common Core |

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.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Gerald G. Doane: What real leadership is about


The Afghanistan conundrum, from the beginning when we went there to kill terrorists who killed many of us to 20 years of nation-building and finally to a disastrous pullout, encourages the question about political leadership…

See more