Decoding Common Core Math

, Malcolm A. Kline, 2 Comments

If the Common Core education reforms introduced by President Obama and supported by big-name Republicans were subject to peer review, they might become a “whatever became of?” question.

“Take, for example, my first-grade son’s Common Core math lesson in basic subtraction,” David G. Bonagura, Jr., writes in an article which appeared in The Education Reporter. “Six- and seven-year-olds do not yet possess the ability to think abstractly; their mathematics instruction, therefore, must employ concrete methodologies, explanations, and examples.”

“But rather than, say, count on a number line or use objects, Common Core’s standards mandate teaching first-graders to ‘decompose’ two-digit numbers in an effort to emphasize the concept of place value. Thus 13 – 4 is warped into 13 – 3 = 10 – 1 = 9. Decomposition is a useful skill for older children, but my first-grade son has no clue what it is about or how to do it. He can, however, memorize the answer to 13 – 4. But Common Core does not advocate that tried-and-true technique.”

The Education Reporter is published by the Eagle Forum, an organization founded by conservative attorney, author and activist Phyllis Schlafly. Bonangura’s article was reprinted by permission from National Review, in which it originally appeared.

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.

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    I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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