1. Funny, but misrepresents the actual CCSS Math Standards and Practices. But might be something Pearson would dream up.
    Of course it’s pretty hard to separate the actual standards fro implementation.


    1. @Peter: you’ve hit on one of the things that has stuck in my craw with increasing frequency about criticism of the math common core: yes, there are serious issues with the entire CCSSI which have virtually nothing to do with what’s in the actual standards. And there are specific problems with particular math content standards. Frankly, I have no real problem with the Practice Standards for Mathematics, other than I don’t believe the vast majority of K-12 teachers of mathematics actually get them, accept them, believe in them, or are sufficiently well-prepared to implement them even if they do support them. Nothing peculiar to the CCSS with that: it’s an issue that has plagued math education in the US at LEAST since 1989 with the release of the first volume of NCTM standards. Of course, that is a DEEP problem, one that the Common Core Initiative made no attempt to address, as if they either were utterly ignorant of it (which I doubt is the case given the folks who actually drafted the math standards) or hoped that if they ignored the problem, it would magically disappear (a possibility) or somehow got distracted by other issues from how utterly foundational this particular problem really is (a very likely possibility given the political and economic pressure swirling around the CCSSI rollout).

      On top of that, we have huge distortions on the part of critics from both sides of the political spectrum that, I must assert as a mathematics educator, reflect real misunderstand, ignorance, or willful misrepresentation of what the educationally-progressive ideas that inform the Practice Standards call for. Part of that likely is due to specific texts for various grade bands. No matter how wonderful or horrid a particular pedagogical idea is in math ed, it’s common for a author team/publisher to crank out material that butchers the letter or spirit of the idea, if not both. Then, critics jump on the original idea as if the bad implementation IS the idea. And that is like saying that the basic design of the human species is horrible because we get mutations, prenatal conditions, etc., that produce parodies of that design which result from factors beyond the control of the “designer” of the original idea. Not sure if that’s the best analogy, but it resonates for me in a lot of ways. On a less lofty level, it’s like saying that iPads are trash because in any given production run, there are some duds. And to extend that analogy, what happens next is this: all Apple products are bad because I found some flawed iPads in a run of 10,000. For the Standards, that would be, “I found a bad example of how to present a specific (content or practice) standard in Book X; therefore, the entire set of math content and practice standards are horrible, worthless, and must be rejected not only in the context of the CCSSI, but wherever they may appear in the future!”

      It’s that sort of gross generalization that worries me. Because there are critics who are using aspects of the Common Core that they object to on various grounds, not all of which I find have merit, to reject a lot of very good ideas that, frankly, many of those critics already rejected in the ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s, even before there was a “Common Core” for mathematics of any kind on a national basis.

      And I know that things are out of control because when I make these kinds of statements on both extremely right wing blogs and web pages AND on “progressive,” ostensibly liberal sites, I get totally slammed as a heretic, a stooge in the pay of Pearson, ad nauseam. To which I can only respond with referring to my track record in math education and the emptiness of my bank account. Would that Pearson, the USDOE, or some other entity with deep pockets would pay me for saying some good things about the Common Core Math, even as I continue to rail against the overall Common Core Initiative, something that isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future. I hate the Common Core Initiative, the profiteering, the sleazy politics, the lack of equity, the lying, the dissembling about motives, the concomitant high stakes testing monster, and much else. But none of that will make me pretend that a given idea in math education is bad just because it’s in some part of the CCSSM. And indeed, this satirical post, while definitely funny on one level, is a gross misrepresentation of reality, one that could have appeared in 1994 or so from the keyboard of repugnant right wingers like Wayne Bishop. When I find myself in agreement with the typical members of Mathematically Correct, NYC-HOLD, etc., on something, I immediately have to check for what I misunderstood to wind up in that position.


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