Common Core and Standardized Testing

The problem with standardized testing is that there is no such thing as a “standardized” child. Attempts to standardize them — no matter how “well intended” — only serve to mediocritize them, stifle individuality and creativity, and turn erstwhile carefree playful kids into obedient compliant little automatons incapable of thinking themselves out of a simple addition or subtraction problem — let alone anything more challenging — thanks to the inscrutability of common core.

I have no math degree, but I’m no math dummy. I get it. Still, I had trouble understanding the common-core math problems of a 12-year-old friend. I could not believe what I was reading in that boy’s math book! It seemed insane. I wondered if they tried to find the most difficult, most round-about way of solving problems. The explanations were neither straightforward nor intuitive. There was a tortured logic to it, but not approachable useful logic. None of it seemed useful in real-life situations.

My young friend was understandably frustrated by his math homework, and this is a smart kid! I offered him a simple method to solve one of the problems, but he said he didn’t have time to do both and he had to turn in the common-core stuff. Not only is common-core math unintelligible to regular people and not useful in actual life situation, it also effectively serves as a distraction from alternatives that are intelligible and useful.

One wonders what, exactly, could be the real motive behind this common-core push?

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