Common core education has been a bigger failure than Microsoft Office Clippy

Bill Gates and Gates Foundation were one of the main backers of the Common core education program. The US education system had been bad before Bill Gates, George HW Bush and Obama and No child left behind and Common Core. However, the last 17 years have been continued failure in improving education in the USA.

The Gates Foundation has spent $3.4 billion on public education in the United States. They spent a lot on the development and implementation of the highly controversial Common Core State Standards – Gates now says that 60 percent of his new investment will go to public schools and about 15 percent to the development of charter schools.

The Common Core standards were sold as a way to improve achievement and reduce the gaps between rich and poor, and black and white. But the promises haven’t come true. Even in states with strong common standards and tests, racial achievement gaps persist. The development of the Common Core was funded almost entirely by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2001, George W. Bush administration had passed the No Child Left Behind act. This promoted standardized testing, school choice, competition and accountability (meaning punishment of teachers and schools) as the primary means of improving education.

In 2009 President Obama announced Race to the Top, a competition for $4.35 billion in federal grant money. To qualify, states had to adopt “college and career ready standards,” a requirement that was used to pressure them into adopting national standards. Almost every state applied, even before the specifics of the Common Core were released in June 2010.

Bill Gates observes –

OECD data that shows lagging performance of American students overall, the national averages mask a bigger story.

When disaggregated by race, we see two Americas. One where white students perform along the lines of the best in the world—with achievement comparable to countries like Finland and Korea. And another America, where Black and Latino students perform comparably to the students in the lowest performing OECD countries, such as Chile and Greece.

Clippy as in microsoft Office 97 as a digital assistant. Just seeing the image of it, you can see why it was a failure.

I have had children in school where they were taught Common Core for several years.

My observations are:
1. Common Core uses multiple methods to teach basic math and english. They reteach multiplication and division. They add an emphasis on the concept of grouping. I know basic math very well. I can understand what they are trying to do but find that it merely complicates and confuses the learning of basic math. Getting kids bogged down in what are garbage approaches means there is less time for moving on to more advanced topics.

I knew Common Core was garbage from the first times I had to look and help with my kids homework. It does not help the smart kids and helps very few of the kids who do not get an understanding via the first “regular” approaches to learning those subjects.

2. For more well off parents, getting to Finland and Korea level academic achievement is only possible by either supplementing public school with extra private programs like Russian Math or sending kids to better private schools. Either that or achievement is made in spite of poor public school.

Finland is cited as an education success story but not enough is done to copy what works in Finland’s education system.

Finland put more resources and focus on improving the capabilities of teachers. All Finish Teachers have masters degrees. Teachers are viewed as scientists and the classrooms are their laboratories. Every teacher has to have a masters degree, and it’s a content degree where they’re not just taking silly courses on education theory and history. They’re taking content courses that enable them to bring a higher level of intellectual preparation into the classroom.

1. John Dewey’s philosophy of education forms a foundation for academic, research-based teacher education in Finland and influenced also the work of the most influential Finnish scholar professor Matti Koskenniemi in the 1940s. All primary school teachers read and explore Dewey’s and Koskenniemi’s ideas as part of their courses leading to the master’s degree. Many Finnish schools have adopted Dewey’s view of education for democracy by enhancing students’ access to decision-making regarding their own lives and studying in school.

2. Cooperative Learning

Unlike in most other countries, cooperative learning has become a pedagogical approach that is widely practiced throughout Finnish education system.

3. Multiple Intelligences

he overall goal of schooling in Finland was to support child’s holistic development and growth by focusing on different aspects of talent and intelligence. After abolishing all streaming and tracking of students in the mid-1980s, both education policies and school practices adopted the principle that all children have different kinds of intelligences and that schools must find ways how to cultivate these different individual aspects in balanced ways. Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences became a leading idea in transferring these policy principles to school practice. Again, the 1994 National Curriculum emphasizes that school education must provide all students with opportunities to develop all aspects of their minds. As a consequence, that curriculum framework required that all schools have a balanced program, blending academic subjects with art, music, crafts, and physical education. This framework moreover mandated that all schools provide students with sufficient time for their self-directive activities.

4. Alternative Classroom Assessments

Without frequent standardized and census-based testing, the Finnish education system relies on local monitoring and teacher-made student assessments.

5. Peer coaching—that is, a confidential process through which teachers work together to reflect on current practices, expand, improve, and learn new skills, exchange ideas, conduct classroom research and solve problems together in school—became normal practice in school improvement programs and professional development in Finland since the mid-1990s.

53 thoughts on “Common core education has been a bigger failure than Microsoft Office Clippy”

  1. How sad but true… when you rank top 1% in 6th grade and you can’t understand long division…Common Core??

  2. The common core education system was not tested, and there were not enough educators involved in creating the program. One math professor, Dr.James Milgram, who was involved from the beginning had concerns and criticisms
    about the methods in teaching the math was kicked out of the review board.

    When it comes to education, it’s not race that is the deterministic factor for IQ, it’s the parents, instructors, students, education system, and cultural values. If you want the kids to do well in school, motivate, tough love, and help them. Education is tool. The tool is useless when it’s not used or valued.

    Most common core math books are joke that I had to buy and use online resources to teach my kid math for years.

  3. Common core is garbage. My kids are going through this. As GoatGuy illustrated with his experience, there are methods of teaching and text books that are found to be tried and true. It has worked over the decades. If we are going to replace this, we should try this out and objectively measure the results before national roll out.
    As is, the smarter kids are confused and we are already seeing a declined in math scores for U.S. kids from the PISA 2016 results. I predict that this decline will continue as the students fully immersed in the program turned out to be deficient. This does not bode well for the future of our country.

  4. Common core is garbage. My kids are going through this. As GoatGuy illustrated with his experience, there are methods of teaching and text books that are found to be tried and true. It has worked over the decades. If we are going to replace this, we should try this out and objectively measure the results before national roll out.
    As is, the smarter kids are confused and we are already seeing a declined in math scores for U.S. kids from the PISA 2016 results. I predict that this decline will continue as the students fully immersed in the program turned out to be deficient. This does not bode well for the future of our country.

  5. My son’s going through Common Core math right now, in 3rd grade. Fortunately, he’s very, very bright, and has a math nerd engineer father and a Phi Beta Kappa mother, so he’s doing ok. Just ok, though, because even the advanced track they have him on isn’t very challenging.

    I’m seriously thinking of home schooling him through Algebra next summer, just to get that out of the way, before they ruin him with math lessons which are at the same time absurdly easy AND over-complicated.


    Helpful chart of 2015 PISA scores which breaks out American results by race.

    Relative to other countries this demonstrates that there is no unique problem with American education. Each American racial group is doing well relative to its peers abroad.

    The biggest issue here would appear to be that Asian-Americans lag several Asian countries. However, Asian-Americans includes numerous ethnic groups from Southeast Asia which could account for the difference.

  7. “Without frequent standardized and census-based testing, the Finnish education system relies on local monitoring and teacher-made student assessments.”
    I don’t know what local monitoring entails, but just the teacher assessment without any hard data to underpin it, probably works in Finland but everywhere else it is open to abuse.

  8. Reading a history of the Pacific air war in WWII, I ran across one of the reasons given for why American pilots surpassed their Japanese opponents: “Back then, American high schools were very good.”

    “Back then.” So why don’t we try going back to “back-then”?

    • Such a simple question.
      Such a necessarily complicated answer.

      Ultra short form: Tûrds floating in a big punchbowl ruin the punch. AND… apples, oranges, pineapples, bugs and tûrds are all equally accepted to the bowl.

      Short form: Public schools must accept all students, whether they’re studious, indifferent, wildcats or rubber chickens. The wildcats coöpt the indifferent to disrupt all meaningful lesson presentation and interdependent scholastic work. The studious become disaffected, even tho’ they might doggedly try to remain in track. The rubber chickens range from comatose to ‘rabble’, easily lead by wildcats to nefarious end. Stooges. In the end, the need deeply overlapped year-to-year reëducation loses the bright, is ignored by the wildcats, the indifferent and entirely misses (anyway) the rubber chickens. After 12 years, with nearly mathematical predictability, overall educational achievement must be called out for what it is: largely a failure.

      Concise form: I’m 58. My primary and secondary school years were therefore 52 (1st grade) to 40 (12th grade) years ago. I went to a fairly liberalized Catholic 1–8 and 9–12 pair of schools; teachers were not allowed to whack knuckls with sticks, or similar ‘corporal’ punishment. Did not matter, actually: the 1 thru 8 was the absolute epitome of what is held out (today) as The Problem of the Old Way and why (it worked?)

      Every class had 30 to 45 students. There were 8 classrooms, 8 teachers, one 1–3 teacher’s assistant and 1 extra teacher that kept up with a few independent courses, the library, the study groups, the after-school activities and so on. The teachers did NOT move around. They did NOT specialize. We had 6 ‘periods’ a day, 4 in the morning, 2 after lunch. 2 classes, a long recess, 2 more classes, a nice lunch, 2 more classes, and off to home (or after school extra cred work.)

      The teacher was Judge and Executioner. Every parent was bound by a signed and verbally uttered oath to uphold the teacher’s sovereignty and authority. The teachers were old, sturdy, not given to flighty politicism. Their books of study were updated only so frequently to take the tattered ones out of service, and bring in a new program every 5 years or so. Like a machine. The books were neither very pretty nor very avante garde. We just learned what was given to be the optimum for kids “our age” at every grade.

      The School had a right to ask parents to take their kids away, if they failed to honor the standards of the school. The process wasn’t democratic; it wasn’t a panel, a council. It was The Principal, who dealt with the issues as they were trotted into her office. The personality of the kid went a LONG way to forgiving sins. But she also kept notes about events and talked to teachers about “progress”. Yes, I spent a least a couple of afternoons in the principal’s office every grade from 1 to 11. Just that kind of Irish kid. Its harder when you have red hair.

      But the point was also this: as the school found rubber chickens amongst the fold, they were asked to leave. When we had wildcats, within a year or two, they were caged and shipped to public school. The indifferent got the majority of the “oil”; all attempts were made to keep them more engaged. The scholastically inclined were largely left to excel – as they did – and if they were really gifted, they were recommended to skip a grade. Or two!

      We sometimes got “imports”, new students that’d enter the grade (for whatever reason – parents moving into town most commonly, but frustrated parents of public-schooled kids being the other big reservoir.) Most were pre-chosen to either be indifferent but pliable, or scholastic. No wildcats. No rubber chickens. And mostly, they worked out.

      But as to the curriculum? It could have been straight from 1940 or 1950. With science-y wrinkles and pushing rather more advanced math than those 1940s grade-school students might have plugged thru.

      We had Venn Diagrams, upside U and V and other logic symbols. I don’t believe anyone ever got anything out of ’em, but had them we did. We had diagramming the parts of speech of a sentence. Understand: my minor in university was Linguistics! And I never did understand those diagrams as a kid. However, we also had some teachers who taught advanced rote learning. I found it fascinating: learning the 250+ prefixes and suffixes that had meaning, derived from Greek and Latin, in use in our language. Further, a couple of the teachers taught “new word lists” the same way. It was hugely effective. The whole class would shout out the “right definition” upon hearing random choices from the ever growing vocabulary. It worked. As antique as a wind-up grandfather clock, but hey… it worked.

      We had Lots of Simple math each year. About 30% of it repeated every next year to “catch up” or “remind” what had been learned before. Then off to the new stuff. Being home-encouraged (like taught, but less formal) in math, I did quite well, and asked (in 2nd grade!) to skip ahead. Was allowed to. By 3rd grade, they suggested skipping to 5th at the end of the year. It worked out poorly at first, but turned out OK anyway.

      In any case, to wrap it up: We were NOT allowed to have tûrds ruining the punch. They were cut out and ejected. Gently once, then forcefully a second-and-final time. We were required to be orderly most of the time. We were required to participate in discussion, unless otherwise preoccupied on a special project. There were no hall monitors making sure we didn’t get exposed to peanut-butter sandwich fumes, or deep-fried pork rind crumbs. We ate, laughed, scraped knees, learned stuff, got middling-to-inspired grades, took SRA then SAT tests, confirmed (or some of us surprised) our parents and teachers with our progress. And moved to the next grade. Same friends. Different summer vacaciton stories.

      POINT IS? The point is that this system worked. Our high-school class of 90 Freshmen whittled down to 77 graduates. 4 of us (remarkably – even for then) 4 of us got into U.C.Berkeley. Some into St. Mary’s. Just as hard. Some into Santa Clara, some Stanford. Maybe ⅓ the class chose something easier – Junior College, or direct-to-work. But ALL of us had grades, honors, SAT scores to go to just about any college in the nation.

      If this story doesn’t contain obvious enough clues as to how “real education can work”, well … just read it again. In the end, it was about getting rid of the wildcats, the rubber chickens, about requiring parental support for teachers, for discipline, for results, for requiring at-home study and projects actually get done.


      • Work, discipline, meritocracy and supportive parenting work? how surprising!

        Sometimes I’ve got the impression modern public school systems are run by clowns that have not even a little bit of common sense.

        That’s why schools you mention still exist, but they are outside the pay grade of many parents.

      • Pareto: 20% of the kids cause 80% of the trouble, 4% cause 64%, slightly selective schools can go a long way just by excluding the 20% or even the 4%, but they’re still mostly salvaging students who don’t have the raw ability needed to excel while holding back or at least not doing much for the students with the best expected return on investment.

        Finland’s system is absolutely terrible, the exact opposite in every way of what any country should be doing. They get away with it because they have Finnish kids, just as our even our lousy system succeeds with White kids. The quality of educational results depends 90%+ on the quality of students, which is why tracking has to be mandatory. You can’t be slowing down your best students to match the dumb ones, it’s a power-law, Pareto thing: the top 20% of students have ~80% of the expected value, the top 4% have 64% – and the bottom 64% of students have 4% of the value. Spending most of the budget to salvage that 4% of the value is irresponsible, especially because it doesn’t work anyway, but to hold back that top 4% of students to the average level is sixteen times as great a waste. Tracking on the basis of ability is an absolute requirement for national prosperity.

        • What all these Finland cheerleaders always fail to mention, is that migrant children have awful test scores

          Keep in mind the migrant crisis didn’t happen this year, it started 20 years ago but only became a became newspaper worthy 2 years ago when the numbers became too large to manage

          The Finnish PISA results reveal: Young people with an immigrant background clearly behind other students in mathematics

          Many do not reach the minimum skill level

    • I’m extremely skeptical of the idea that allegedly superior American high schools were the reason for better American pilots.

      First of all I’m skeptical of the idea that American high schools were any better than Japanese high schools. I doubt there is really any data we can use here other than national high school graduation rates from the time (about 25% for the USA, no idea what it was in Japan).

      To the extent any cultural-educational factors were involved I would submit the much greater spread of machinery, in particular internal combustion engines, gave American pilots (and others) more aptitude in managing mechanized weapons.

      But really, the conventional story seems to explain this just fine.

      Japan front-loaded their aviation with instructor pilots at the beginning of the war to get an extra offensive punch. This resulted in Japan losing its best pilots and having no reserve with which to bounce back from. Simultaneously, the USN interdiction campaign meant little fuel was available for flight training.

      America on the other hand rotated experts back to instructor duty and continuously increased flight training time throughout the war as more instructors, aircraft, and spares became available.

      None of this seems to have much to do with high school. “Education” is a cargo cult. We’d probably be fine simply getting rid of public education (note: not better, just “fine”).

    • Test will expose the rotten applies in the barrel of teachers, the incompetence of teaching profession and the real ugliness of the education ecosystem; it just can’t be done, it is not allowed and not even over my dead body.

  9. By no means you should conclude that blacks and latin people are dumber than the rest.
    Because that would be to rational. It must be because some racist machinations in the background, that fits the propaganda.

    • The problem isn’t race its its culture and home life largely.

      And really MZSO if your gonna pull out the racist bit wait for more people at least.

      • >its culture and home life largely.

        I suggest you read about Walter Pitts

        High School dropout

        Tradesman father who physically abused him

        Physically Beaten by other kids and bullied

        Yet at age 12 Walter Pitts was doing PHD level mathematics work, and he later earned a honorary PHD from MIT despite never completing highschool

        This story isn’t even uncommon either

        Read about Eric Schadt, who was raised by religious fundamentalists who encouraged him to drop out of community college to join the military

        Ended up scoring off the charts in the army intelligence test, Army sent him back to school and ended up getting a PHD in bioinformatics now hes a director at the most prestigious medical institution at Mt Sinai and is considered to be one of the top researchers in the field

        Ramanujan is another one the list goes on

    • Taking you seriously (I get the ironic tone), I think at this point whether it is politically correct to admit it or not, it is generally recognized that different socio-ethnic groups have different levels of scholastic aptitude (and its alternative, physical activity aptitude, or musicality, or other such.) Its OK. We’re different.

      We’re culturally different; we may be ‘talent-different’ in fairly substantial ways. Or, perhaps we’re social-narrative-of-a-good-future different. Several studies of separated identical twins, moving into disparate family situations demonstrates how pliable the growing kid is, but also how strong innate-talents are. So many separated twins have turned out as “doctors” when raised by families headed by a doctor. And their other twin as a master cabinet-maker when exposed to a family whose Pa was a carpenter. Mastery – the latent talent – is highly correlated. Actual enterprise though? Seems that the growing-up narrative has a HUGE impact on the outcome.

      Noting that as it is, it is entirely reasonable to attribute different large-scale “sociological group” proclivities and outcomes. When one grows up with a latent talent for mathematics, but whose early-child-to-young-adult educational experience is marred by disrupted classes, gang pressures, dysfunctional home order and eating opportunities; when one’s morals are jerked about by the unchallenged lure of quick money, quick booty, gambling and unmoderated risk-taking, well … is it a surprise that mathematics just doesn’t ever blossom? Not to me. No surprise whatsoever.

      MZSO, keep your eye on the Big Ball. Perhaps if you have time, take a gander at the longer response I posted herein. I think I’ve encapsulated how education CAN work. Without fads, without funky math, without reinventing everything on great promise but lackluster result.


      • >When one grows up with a latent talent for mathematics, but whose early-child-to-young-adult educational experience is marred by disrupted classes, gang pressures, dysfunctional home order and eating opportunities; when one’s morals are jerked about by the unchallenged lure of quick money, quick booty, gambling and unmoderated risk-taking, well … is it a surprise that mathematics just doesn’t ever blossom? Not to me. No surprise whatsoever.

        Goat guy

        I suggest you read about Walter Pitts

        High School dropout

        Tradesman father who physically abused him

        Physically Beaten by other kids and bullied

        Yet at age 12 Walter Pitts was doing PHD level mathematics work, and he later earned a honorary PHD from MIT despite never completing highschool

  10. You need only look at someone doing a math problem with a method employed by Common Core to identify it is rubbish. The real world does not reward making something more complicated with unnecessary steps and dissection. It rewards effectiveness and efficiency.

  11. Common Core is the latest of many kinds of snake oil peddled by the equalist lobby in an attempt to square the circle.

    The previous scam was called the No Child Left Behind Act, which as a matter of law stated all racial gaps in educational attainment would be eliminated within a decade. The law was quietly eliminated through DoEd waivers granted to the various states by the Obama Administration.

    The stated objectives of these programs are not possible. The gaps in educational attainment between races, and to a lesser extent classes, are primarily the result of genetic differences in IQ. The black-white IQ gap in particular is one of the best studied subjects in social science and there has been no change in the past century.

    Holding up Finland as a model is quite silly when one considers that Finland has the lowest non-white population in Western Europe. US whites do about as well as Finnish students on assessment tests. The American average is simply dragged down by the growing weight of black and hispanic students, and high-achieving Asians are too few in number to offset that effect.

    No doubt much could be done to improve education in America (results would be primarily seen on TIMSS tests, which are less g-loaded and more attainment oriented), but first it would require rejecting equalist dogma root and branch.

  12. I love it when people compare countries with homogeneous population
    (same ethnicity, culture, race, values… i.e., Finland.)
    with diversified immigration countries such as the U.S.

    Then, say ALL of the difference in the gaps is due to better educated teachers and more funds
    in Finland compared to the U.S.
    Sure, these help, but are far from a magic solution…

    • True, but several big studies showed that biggest factor determining success of education system is teacher standing in the society. It can be high salary, high respect or both and teacher qualifications.

      • …biggest factor determining success of education system is teacher standing in the society.

        That’s what I meant by “values”.
        If your entire population puts education high on their value list,
        then a high enough salary will indeed both get bright people to pursue a career in education,
        and make teaching a respect evoking job.

        (High salary by itself is not sufficient, otherwise being a high class escort would be
        a highly respected and sought after job…)

        The problem that Finland doesn’t face, but here in the States we do,
        is a multicultural society of people with more diversity in their values ladder
        than in Finland. (Which also somewhat follows ethnic lines.)

        Therefor, we in the U.S. have to also fix that gap in the level education is on
        on different people’s value ladder.
        Just paying teachers more, while important, won’t fix the entire gap.

        Also, common core has to change.
        A better paid, higher degree holding teacher won’t be enough if the kid has to be individually taught arithmetic at home + how to then translate it into “common core”

        • Let’s be clear here–teaching is a JOB. It’s a job, like any other job, that should be taken seriously. Janitors are important as well, but nobody suggests that we as a society need to lionize janitors and pay them more in order to get a cleaner society.

          And really, most of teaching is simply not that difficult…or at least isn’t that difficult if the teacher is allowed to enforce discipline, remove unruly students from class, etc.

          You lecture students, assign & grade homework, and answer questions. Up until secondary school most of this is very simple. Once you reach secondary school them STEM education requires more specialized, skilled teachers–and those teachers are typically paid more accordingly.

          The main problems with education in this country are really:

          *The impossible obsession with closing the racial gaps
          *That schools are increasingly not allowed to enforce discipline
          *Bird-brained leftist theories like the idea that rote education is bad

          These are all simple to solve.

      • “high salary” is like drug or bribery, the addicted always wants to come back for more, they will never happy what they got regardless how reward/effort ratio is out of whack. “high salary” will not earn teacher respect but attract jealous, resentment and hostility from the public paying their “high salary” with their own meager income, at the same time “high salary” breed arrogance, greed, and compliance, which make teachers on the other side of the society, the worst sort of people you entrust them to mold the mind of your children, and the future citizen of the nation.

        Integrity, well informed, balanced, caring, ethic, and just one of us are the quality make teachers respected, wanted, and loved.

        Equating money “high salary” to respect is the capitalism’s worst toxin that has polluted human minds; greed is the holy grail, challenging greed is the worst kind of crime one can commit, you are a commie the West will label you.

        • Wow! Although you have put WAY too much passion into this scathing synopsis of our flawed educational system, I agree with a lot of what you say. Your wicked command of English, which is probably your second or third language is very impressive. You are always chock-full of well written harsh criticism on non-technical subjects. It is interesting that some guy in HK thinks he has some valid perspective on American life because he reads the international news. I don’t understand why you comment on a technology blog, since you are clearly more of an anthropology or political science type.

      • >True, but several big studies showed that biggest factor determining success of education system is teacher standing in the society

        Nope it is the opposite, studies have shown that educational success is primarily genetic in origin, same with IQ

        The Non Finnish migrants are underperforming despite having supposedly the worlds greatest education system

        The Finnish PISA results reveal: Young people with an immigrant background clearly behind other students in mathematics

        Many do not reach the minimum skill level

        • All 5.5 million Fins can kiss my American arse.

          That aside: Public service jobs should have modest salaries that discourage job seekers. We should not encourage people to work for the state as teachers, police, court employees, administrators, social workers, etc..

          There aren’t a lot of jobs in post-agrarian, post-industrial America, so we get a lot of bloat (mostly women) working for the public schools (and other public service). The bloat are also the vote and they are union organized; they effectively resist fiscal cutbacks. The bloat only grows, like it does in every established field; now the high schools have a principals for each grade and every small town has a superintendent. Combine this with people treating pedagogy as a science instead of an empirically developed tradition of best practice and you get this Common Core debacle. Schools are not laboratories; stick to old-school reading, writing and arithmetic; transition to college prep by 10th grade when the students have fallen into their natural bins with respect to mental abilities.

  13. The performance gap between the ethnic groups can easily be explained by IQ differences between the groups, or races.

    There is a limit to what education methods can do to overcome those innate differences.

    • Oh and what about whites in inner city schools who grew up in basically the same cultural sphere…they do poorly on the same test.

      • This is incorrect. The poorest quintile of white students do better than the highest quintile of black students.

        We know have over a half-century of data to this effect.

        There is no longer any excuse for being a race denialist.

        And incidentally, there are very few whites in any “inner city” schools because integration resulted in white flight. There are of course plenty of poor whites, but they mostly do not live in cities.

  14. It ain’t the material. It is the method. Throwing information at children doesn’t work well. Their brains must be engaged. Try having them teach each other instead. It may sound inefficient but I bet that it will work a lot better than the current method.

    • Actually, get all parents to agree to an Oath of Teacher Sovereignty. See my other posts. Seriously.

      The largest factor negatively impacting so many public schools at everything from the First thru Twelfth grades … is in-classroom discipline. And that teachers have neither Administration support nor freedom to demand discipline in the classroom.

      If classes are in a state of pandemonium, how much concentration (absolutely required for learning) can happen? No matter what an individual’s scholastic talents, every student is negatively impacted by pandemonium. Negatively impacted to such a degree that the “Common Core” multitudinous methodologies are just confetti in a hurricane.


  15. Education should be about the reward. Do the tasks proficiently *and* demonstrate you are well behaved… Get rewarded with free time. Some kids liked to play DnD. I got into chess. It was amazing how well that class functioned.

  16. Obama (2008-2016) was immediately preceded by George W Bush (2000-2008) not George HW Bush (1988-1992)
    America’s public schools are rubbish – private schooling is the only way to go in the US.

    • “America’s public schools are rubbish”.

      Not exactly, SanMan. There ARE very good ones. Mostly they’re in communities where the parents have agreed to support the disciplined classroom; they’re in communities that have raised their attainment standards beyond “the basics” or “the minimum”. Communities that are a bit pricey help: it pre-selects parents who have attained themselves, and who value attainment. Who will back the SCHOOL for disciplining their cur bears. And who have home-lives built on a “worldly influenced family narrative”.

      My friends (who did quite well) all had parents who were lively and inquisitive hobbyists “of world stuff”, whether that was science-y stuff, or medicine-y or lawyerly. Or craftsman-y or whatever. Who talked over – sometimes railing pointlessly – about political malingering, about how traffic planning works, who brought up absolutely random interesting stuff.

      The girls and boys of these families did quite well.
      A few became pointless sociopaths and ideologues.
      But most did really well.

      And THAT is a problem, if it is prescriptive.

      You can’t prescribe “worldly interest pills” to families who have a stunted attainment narrative. You can’t even necessarily do much to influence this at school. We can try, but how much of it sticks?

      And that’s a problem.

      • GoatGuy, that may have been the case when you went to school – but times have changed. Now the educational system is a jobs program which mainly attracts those who are looking for job security more than for a chance to enlighten others. This fact is increasingly reflected in the behavior of those who work in public education. The quality is long gone, and has been replaced by something else – self interest.

    • Reading about US public schools it’s always baffling that they then turn out to have such a tiny % of private schools.
      Here in Australia we have about 40% private schools, and that is with a public system that seems to have none of the USA style horror stories.

  17. Public schools were worse for my kids than they were for me, and that is saying a lot.

    Look for core subjects to be taken over by individual instruction from AIs that will know and remember every question the child has ever been asked, and how they answered.

    Then maybe teachers will have time for the important subjects such as: how to contribute to a team, how to select and cook healthier meals, how to balance a checkbook–excuse me–manage an online account, how compound interest works, how to manage your finances, the importance of living within your means, goal setting, how to shop for the basics when you are out of work or have a very low income, how to avoid being conned, citizenship, etc.

    • If your plan for education includes teachers teaching things that they themselves show no sign of knowing then you might want to rethink things.

  18. I think the biggest problem in the US is we are too cheap to pay teachers what it would take to actually get a quality education. I’m not saying some parents aren’t willing to shell out a small fortune to see that there kids get a good education. What I am saying is the average person is unwilling to pay enough taxes to see that other peoples children get even a decent education. You talk about arts and music education being an important but the only scared cow that can’t be cut when the budget gets tight is the football program!

    • We already spend more money per child than any other country on the planet. Ask where all that money is going,

  19. Common Core – another act of outright ideological warefare inflicted on
    America by the Libtarded Left.

      • I’m not sure that any of the schools or teachers of Classical Antiquity qualified as “leftist”.

        Are you referring to universary, compulsory education? That debuted in the Kingdom of Prussia…that not-very-leftist land of bayonets, jackboots, and spiked helmets.

        • In America Leftist basically just means Communist or Socialist. Which considering the US education system, especially the collage system was basically stocked, controlled, and serviced by those with major communist leanings for years its not actually wrong to say a lot of the problems are from Leftist politics.

          I had a older relative who taught school for decades. She said that pretty much all the stupidest idea’s would roll into the schools here in the south from California.

          • This is a New Deal – Cold War definition which is rapidly disappearing. In Europe such a definition was always considered absurd.

            But yes, the education system is largely staffed by left-wing parasites who poison the minds of our children.

  20. Common core math is a mess. My kids are going through it and it is a mishmash of various ways of teaching addition and subtraction. About the only good thing to come out of common core math is a heavier emphasis on word problems.

    In the end kids with two parents who are invested in their education will make it work. Kids with a single parent who doesn’t understand common core math will be set further back as mom won’t be able to make sense of the nonsense problems.

    Given that it is a government program it will never go away.

    • That is exactly what I gripe all the time. I have my second rolling into common core and my third just starting. It is one of those horrible jokes people do were they just way over complicate a minor task, except common core is not a joke but seriously how they want it done.

      After fighting it I just quit and started identifying the lesson goal, showing my kids the old way for that process, then showing them how to write the answer in common core form. It sucks because it makes the parent the teacher and the teacher a lesson order syllabus and a negative process habit influence.

      Like Combinatorics mentioned the real losers in this is every kid that doesn’t have a parent with the ability, time, patience to teach math to their children. We are going to have an entire generation with a very limited math ability in the not to distant future.

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