The Common Core in Cleveland

Ok, so I know I haven’t written on here in a very long time.     There are so many fun things I would love to write about.    Like last year’s fun trip to Mr. Kringle’s Inventionasium which I think I just saw now has tickets on sale.    Or the really cool leaf wreath we are making with my 3 year-old’s class at school.    Or the things I have learned over the course of three childbirths, because our third son was born on New Year’s Day this year, which helps to explain my absence from this blog.

But, what I am going to write about, very briefly, is my limited experience thus far with the Common Core.    And I am writing this because it is unfortunately very difficult to find a non-political conversation about this topic.     I would like to open up a conversation here, for those living in and around the Cleveland area.     I want to hear, whether you are a teacher, or a parent, what you think.   

My current concern is basically this.     My son goes to a good public school.   We moved to our particular suburb for the school district.   In my son’s second grade class there is a boy who has been tested to have a 140 IQ.    He clearly isn’t dumb.    To test “addition and subtraction fluency” they have been required to take timed tests since the beginning of the school year.    On the first test, an addition test with 100 problems, the boy scored a 75/100.    On a subtraction test a few weeks into the school year, the boy scored a 65/100.     My son had similar scores.    On both my son’s tests and this boy’s the teacher wrote, “Keep practicing.”    What this actually means is, keep practicing at home, as with weekly homework they are expected to practice addition and subtraction facts at home.      My husband and I now have to do flash cards at home, which neither of us ever remember having to do with our parents when we were kids. 

My husband has several very well educated, intelligent colleagues in similar school districts.   With children in different grades.    And all of them have said the same thing.  “We are signing our children up for Kumon because they are not learning their basic facts at school.”

I am really hoping this isn’t the experience people are having everywhere, but it has come up in conversation often enough that it concerns me.     If it now falls on the parents to teach their children basic math so that the Common Core test requirements can be taught in school, I’m fine with teaching my kid.     But what happens to children in the Cleveland Public Schools, or other urban areas, or even in the suburbs, where the parents aren’t supplementing their children’s educations, either for a lack of interest or a lack of time?    We are doing these children a huge disservice by trying to “raise the bar” with the Common Core.

What have your experiences been?    I think some of the Common Core teaching has been implemented long enough for many of us to have an informed opinion now.   Positive or negative, I would love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Lorelei

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