A math worksheet is bringing up the question of how valuable Common Core State Standards really are.
Twitter user Sherri C tweeted a photo of “more Common Core ‘math,’” in which third grade students are shown the sum of two numbers and then taught that “front-end estimation” can be used to check that each answer is “reasonable.”
The problem with this approach, the Daily Caller says, is that it allows students to be off by a large amount in their estimation. In this specific math example of “354 + 291” students would be off by more than 22 percent.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, which outlines what K-12 students should be learning in language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade, has received a lot of criticism. The Daily Caller reported last summer on a Chicago educator who said “Common Core allows students to be totally right if they say 3 x 4 = 11” as long as they provide good reasoning.
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Bill Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation backs the initiative, says unfortunately, “conversation about the standards is shrouded in myths.”
“Common Core also has the benefit of consistency,” Gates said Wednesday. “Americans move more than 10 times over the course of a lifetime. Inconsistent standards like the ones we’ve had until now punish students who have to switch schools.”
As testing season approaches, educators and the government are at odds because the new tests that accompany Common Core won’t be ready until next year.
While some states will resort to using their old tests, some are not so sure.
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“Holding students accountable for old exams that don’t measure where you want to go, there’s a disconnect there,” Deborah Sigman, deputy superintendant with the California Department of Education, told the Washington Post.
Sources: USA Today, Daily Caller, Washington Post