I’d like to consider myself pretty smart — in college I took an IQ text and scored in the low 130’s. So, I’m not a genius, but I have a reasonable level of intelligence. Forgive the rant, but I’ve had my fill of this Common Core/new math crap.
Math has never been my strongest or favorite subject. In fact, I often joke that the only math I need is to count my money. I’m only halfway joking, but I do believe that those of us who are going to be teachers, scientists, or mathematician, don’t need much math past Algebra and Geometry. Take me for example, I knew early on that I was either going to be a corporate lawyer or a marketer (I ended up being a marketer). The power of words, storytelling, ingenuity and good old-fashioned hustle, were the skills I was going to need — and to this day I still haven’t used used the Pythagorean theorem since 10th grade. I’ve never gone into a board meeting, or talked to a CEO, or pitched new business — with a slide about obtuse triangles or formulaic expressions in a PowerPoint presentation.
My son Travis, on the other hand, wants to be a scientist…a bio-mechanical engineer/Tony Stark. He’s already on the fast track. He’s a genius. He’s into robotics. And, it takes less than an hour for him to put Lego sets with several thousand pieces together — and ever less time to create custom mods. He loves math and science, and he’s going to need it.
My daughter Chloe, however is a theater kid. She writes and acts in school plays, she writes original stories and screenplays, and she’s in both Advanced Theater and Advance Choir (both of which require intense audition processes). She’s also really good at graphic design, video editing, and web design. She hates math, and while every other subject comes easy to her, math requires a lot of effort, just to get a C.
Travis is extremely good at math, which means that he understands and excels at the new way. Chloe’s mind doesn’t work that way. My husband is constantly showing her old-school techniques to solve problems, and that’s the only way she understands it.
I don’t blame her “new” math, Common Core, TEKS — whatever they’re calling it, is stupid and convoluted. There are lots of ways to solve problems, but I am a firm believer in doing it in the simplest and most efficient way. That is not the Common Core way. I believe in showing you work, but I have a problem with drawing stupid ass diagrams for a simple word problems. Back in my day, we set up and solved equations, not do chart and diagram for 2+2 = 4. Showing your work meant showing how you solved the equation, not pondering the meaning of life for 5 hours every night and writing a mathematical thesis on it. Trav gets it…fine. Chloe doesn’t, so we teach her the same way we learned it.
New math is stupid. There, I said it.
Where I Stand
At every parent teacher conference, Is tell both Chloe and Travis’ teachers, that “new” math is stupid and I’m not doing it that way. I tell them, that I am happy to work with my kids si they can learn and excel, but I refuse to learn “new” math. I have education and career that has allowed me to provide a good lifestyle as a former single mother. My husband has a career that allows me to stay home and pick and choose the work I take on. All in all, our family is happy, healthy, and well provided for, and you know what neither of us EVER uses?! NEW MATH.
Unemployment is high and we’re raising our kids in a world where unless they create their own jobs, they’ll be stuck living paycheck, and they’ll be broke and unhappy. The debt most kids have coming out of college, is so overwhelming, many of them have to work multiple jobs just to come up short paying bills every month.
We need to teach our children, about paying bills, credit, smart spending habits — and how to they’re gifts, skills, passions, and talents to create the income and — not show them a lengthier way to add, subtract, divide and multiply.
WTF is New Math?
Somebody at the Department of Education, had a buddy who owned a curriculum company, and they greased their pockets or donated a shitload of money to their campaign, to change the curriculum standards across the country. Old math worked just fine for our parents and us, so what’s the point in creating yet another more-difficult-than-it-has-to be process?
The whole thing is so disgusting that I’m seriously considering pulling them out of school and revisiting homeschooling. It’s ridiculous.
What do you think of “new” math?