Common Core Explained


Problem: If you try to teach children reading, writing, and arithmetic, People of Color will underperform. Thus teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic has disparate impact.

Solution: Yo Stop teaching dem dat racist whitey sheeit what ‘chew thinkin’ man?

A child who has been educated with common core is a child who cannot do maths, cannot spell correctly, nor write grammatically. He is cut off from the past two thousand years of civilization.

44 Responses to “Common Core Explained”

  1. glenfilthie says:

    Gabba gabba weebeejabba.

  2. Dave says:

    No need to teach the three R’s any more, we teach the three S’s: sex, self-esteem, and social justice!

  3. Salger says:

    I’m sure that public education is the issue. It’s been getting lower and lower over the decades.

    Even among White America, the majority have no major need for the public education we have today.

  4. Koanic says:

    Do they still teach Lowest Common Denominator?

  5. Funny how egalitarianism leads to the hardest, most entrenched aristocratic elitism – as the richer parents will find ways so that their kids are well educated, anything from private schools to private tutors.

    It was understood not so long ago that tough and high quality public schools are an egalitarian measure, providing social mobility for smart kids of the lower classes, the way Margaret Thatcher had put it: “People from my sort of background needed Grammar schools to compete with children from privileged homes like Shirley Williams and Anthony Wedgwood Benn.”

    When everybody deserves an A for showing up the kids of the rich with all the private education they get will face no competition from below.

    On a more philosophical note, it sounds a lot like the total sum of inequality is constant, and all you can do is to shift it around. A tough, quality public school can reduce the inequality between smart lower-class kids and upper class kids at the expense of increasing the inequality between smart and dumb lower class kids. A shit public school treats smart and dumb lower class kids alike while creates a huge inequality between them and upper class kids.

    And what will the occasional smart lower class kid do when they find the curriculum unchallenging? Become a criminal mastermind? Is that a thing now i.e. is there an increasing number of non-dumb criminals?

    • SFC Ton says:

      There are always a number of non dumb criminals.
      Not masterminds but guys who do it for a living while managing not to do much time, guys who laundry money etc but aren’t the hands on kind

      Plus all of Congress

    • Johan Schmidt says:

      Hey! That’s THE VISCOUNT Anthony Wedgwood-Benn to you, pleb.

  6. R7_Rocket says:

    Grammar n’ punk-shoo-way-shun beez racisss n’ sheeeit.

  7. I think a more likely explanation is Gates and other powers that be have simply decided they want stupider peons to rule, and are deliberately dumbing them down. As further evidence of this alternative hypothesis (to yours which seems to be that it just follows from PC which the rulers follow as well as impose) I point out that the amount of aluminum in the early vaccines has been ramped sharply *up* since Bishop et al reported in 1997 NEJM that early aluminum made recipients stupid in a placebo controlled test.

    • peppermint says:

      Do you know how Common Core math was devised?

      (1) There are a lot of women getting math degrees these days. Women need math degrees like fish need bicycles, but they need to get pushed through the program thorough a combination of intensive tutoring and lowered standards for ideological reasons. When they get those degrees, they are tracked to either become “educators” or HR and testing engineers at tech firms.

      As educators, they make educational policy while listening to the various ideological rants that the men who taught them math like to impress them with. I should know because I was one of those men.

      Lockhart’s Lament is very popular among this crowd.

      (2) These men show them various simple tricks to solve special cases of problems, both to impress them, and to get them to feel like they understand a proof of something or other so they can move on with their homework. They then write up these tricks into the curriculum, and say that the curriculum was designed by mathematicians.

      But mathematicians who go along with the Lockhart’s Lament thesis would design the curriculum that way anyway.

      The problem is that math is not like music, in that it will only ever be fun to a few people, and even fewer want to see performances of math. Therefore, it makes no sense at all to teach math the way music is taught in school, through play – but wait, music isn’t taught that way either, music is taught through constant drilling of pieces which are graded on accuracy.

      (3) The root of the problem is that mathematicians and scientists have entirely too high status in society, so that idiots want to pretend to be mathematicians and scientists, and other idiots are willing to go along with pretty much anything as long as some scientist or mathematician signs off on it being a good idea. And there are plenty of trained scientists or mathematicians willing to sign off on Common Core.

      • jim says:

        The theory behind common core maths is somewhat plausible, and doubtless many competent mathematicians sign on to it.

        But when the actual application of that theory is driven by goal of equalizing scores with protected groups, no matter what theory you use, the actual outcome is the same.

        If the goal of the theory was a high yield of great mathematicians, from 0.001% to 0.002%, the practice would be completely different.

        • peppermint says:

          sure, the goal was to change stuff in order to fix the broken educational system and close the gap. And the stuff was changed along with the general consensus of the mathematical community, which was full of social signaling about how fun and beautiful math is and how drilling it in school is boring and not all that useful for people who will become mathematicians since they’ll drill it themselves slowly anyway.

          No one will say that students with high IQs should be filtered out of the general populace of the schools and given special classes in the fun conceptual stuff like the set theory and group theory that was tried on the kiddies last time math education was turned over to the mathematicians or whatever – that’s not just racist, it’s classist, and it’s the only way to get a high yield of great scientists, and it’s probably the reason the vaunted female Fields Medalist is a blue-eyed Iranian instead of a blue-eyed American.

          • jim says:

            For the mass of kids, teach them to make change and figure out how many cans of paint to cover a wall.

            For the slightly smarter kids, double entry bookkeeping.

            For the really smart kids, algebra, graphs, calculus, trig, set theory and stuff.

            When you go through the motions of giving everyone set theory and calculus, you are just pretending.

            • Learner says:

              I agree with both of you on this one. The idea that education makes people employable is laughable; education’s main purpose is, and has always been, to filter out the dumber. I mean, the real, socially positive purpose was that; the real purpose now is brainwashing.

      • pdimov says:

        “The root of the problem is that mathematicians and scientists have entirely too high status in society”

        Mathematicians having too high status sounds pretty odd to me.

        It’s probably more like them starting to have relatively high status due to lack of women in their field… and the obvious difference in mathematical ability between women and men.

        There are other disciplines that are IQ tests such as programming, but the difference in programming ability is not immediately visible.

        “Lockhart’s Lament is very popular among this crowd.”

        There is ironically one objection in the otherwise not-so-non-stupid Lockhart’s Lament:

        “One time we had a chromatic scale problem and I did it right, but the teacher gave me no credit because I had the stems pointing the wrong way.”

        that describes Common Core pretty well. CC discards the outdated white male way of doing math and replaces it with a strong female PoC way, then tests the poor students that they use the latter but not the former.

        Trouble is that math is a pure IQ test and the white male way is optimal. So replacing it and making students jump through extra hoops makes the test harder, not easier.

        “The root of the problem is…”

        … the Department of Education.

        • peppermint says:

          Everyone knows they’re supposed to look up to the scientists who are theoretically the source of progress. They want to be told how to live by scientists, so they believe economists, nutritionists, and psychologists. The reason these charlatans haven’t been driven out of the universities with whips is that there is plenty of prestige to go around and universities exist to massage the egos of the scientists just enough to keep them where they’re needed generating legitimacy.

          The way you know Lockhart is a masturbating monkey and not a mathematician is that he wrote his Lament in Microsoft Word instead of LaTeX. Here’s a summary of Lockhart’s Lament:
          * Everyone should be taught in the way that I would have preferred to have been taught
          * You can’t teach teaching, it’s an innate talent that should be celebrated (but, somehow, you can teach being receptive to smart people math)
          * High school geometry proofs are bad because Lockhart is too smart to have to justify his manipulations or whatever
          * Kids need to focus more on coming up with reasonable definitions and then proving things about them or something else that’s fun and engaging and totally possible for the average kid to deal with instead of only a few special geniuses when confronted with the problems of their day

          Abolish all schools and universities permanently.

          • pdimov says:

            “Everyone knows they’re supposed to look up to the scientists who are theoretically the source of progress.”

            Scientists, maybe. Mathematicians? Which mathematician is high status? I can’t think of a name.

            The way you know to stop reading Lockhart’s Lament is when you encounter this:

            “To tell you the truth, most students just aren’t very good at music. They are bored in class, their skills are terrible, and their homework is barely legible. Most of them couldn’t care less about how important music is in today’s world; they just want to take the minimum number of music courses and be done with it. I guess there are just music people and non-music people.”

            Newsflash, there _are_ just math people and non-math people.

            He does have a certain point though later on; in some cases, teaching a formula’s elegant proof is indeed better than just teaching the formula. Not that this has anything to do with Common Core.

            • Oliver Cromwell says:

              According to wikipedia, Lockhart failed in academic maths, and is now a high school teacher.

              His essay reflects the thought processes of high school teachers, not much that of academics in maths.

              • peppermint says:

                So, basically, he’s exactly the person designing Common Core. While everyone agrees that something is wrong, the only academics who are interested in doing something write textbooks around these fashionable ideas about numeracy and that we should be teaching estimation or whatever.

                I’m assuming that the academics who aren’t interested in doing something are aware that no politically acceptable solution will help, and these may well be the majority, but I haven’t really been hanging around a representative sample of departments. These will keep their mouths shut while trying to tutor female students through so they won’t have to suffer as much humiliation from having to pass them.

                • Oliver Cromwell says:

                  I am not sure any of this really matters.

                  I had traditional instruction in maths that simply moved far too slowly, being aimed at IQ90. This wastes as much time as a duff curriculum, when you can learn a whole year’s worth of IQ90 material in one day.

                  Collecting high IQ kids in accelerated schools would probably help, but that also gives the government far too much control over high IQ kids. Is it really a good idea?

                • peppermint says:

                  obviously the high IQ kids should be given to special schools in exchange for giving them many years later to companies that need high skill workers. Parents or the government will not be allowed to pay these schools, since they must maintain their reputation for reliably churning out high skill indentured servants to faceless megacorporations

                  and the low IQ kids should be forced into sweatshop factories and forced to recite negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus four a c while repeatedly writing multiplication tables and told that by doing this holy work they will bring about the apocalypse

                • pdimov says:

                  Re -b±, you teach the derivation but only ask about the final formula in the exam. Smart kids remember the derivation, not so smart kids just remember the formula. Everyone wins. Except womyn of color.

                • peppermint says:

                  The fact that a formula exists and has the form it does with conjugate roots where the coefficients are real is more interesting than any particular derivation, and the formula itself is more interesting to applications.

                • pdimov says:

                  When teaching, the derivation is interesting for two reasons. First, there are people that can remember the derivation (or the method employed by the derivation) more easily than they can remember the final result; they can re-derive the formula when needed.

                  Second, this particular derivation is representative of a class of proofs in which at the beginning one manipulates the input seemingly at random – in this case multiplying by 4a and adding/subtracting b^2, in others constructing a rectangle here, drawing a circle there. This is interesting to smart kids because it surprises them.

                • Dave says:

                  I love how they spent months teaching us several different ways of factoring quadratic polynomials. Then they say, oh by the way, here’s a formula that solves all cases. (sound of head hitting desk)

            • peppermint says:

              you’re not supposed to be able to think of a name. Scientists have been inducted into an order capable of performing minor miracles and should be given deference, though severely punished for heresy since they could lead others astray. Scientists should be relatively chaste, live modestly, and be obedient (ever notice how STEM professors, except for the niggers, get in trouble for the slightest hint of the kind of sexual misconduct humanities professors regularly engage in?).

              Mathematicians are a special learned brotherhood within this order, with the authority to chastise anyone. No one knows their names and everyone fears them and is glad if they don’t meet them outside of parties.

              Do you think this is a game?

              To extract all the resources from the Boomers and GenXers and give those resources to niggers while telling Boomers and GenXers not to reproduce, the government needed not just power, which comes from the barrel of a gun, but legitimacy, which, especially among Whites, comes from the perception of telling the truth.

              Since the 19th century at least, the people holding legitimacy have been scientists.

              The primary function of the university as an institution is to trade resources to scientists for legitimacy. The secondary function is to directly promote degeneracy by indoctrinating Whites while keeping them in the dating market and out of the marriage market.

              • pdimov says:

                “Mathematicians are a special learned brotherhood within this order, with the authority to chastise anyone. No one knows their names and everyone fears them and is glad if they don’t meet them outside of parties.”

                Mathematicians the Gestapo of academia?

                Makes a certain sense (because p-values and so on), but still, do they really have status outside of academia? Normal people were afraid of Gestapo. Are they afraid of mathematicians?

              • Oliver Cromwell says:

                My impression has been that no one cares about natural scientists, and they have no real connection to the power elite, and natural scientists just go nuts when a scrap of power elite attention (like a film crew from a local station) shines upon them.

                I am sure in a controversial field – I’ve never worked in one – you can be destroyed for saying the wrong thing. That doesn’t suggest scientists are gatekeepers.

                If a large number of natural scientists decided to oppose the conventional wisdom… no, that’s not how it works. You don’t get large accumulations of scientists unless they’ve been hired by a powerful grant-winner, and a powerful grant-winner has been ruthlessly selected to be someone who won’t go off the reservation, and to only hire people who won’t go off the reservation.

                Politics skews science, and the people who do science, and may do science. Science does not much skew politics.

                Just look at IQ results. Racial IQ gaps – generally, the reality of races and the validity of racial science – is Victorian in origin, and has never been refuted, and just keeps getting confirmed by all new evidence. No one is interested and hardly anyone, even working scientists, even knows about it. Even if you don’t want to touch the third rail of race, it’s clear that classes are racial sub-structure too, so this sort of work would have blown up the old socialist ideas just as it blows up the new identity politics ideas. There were plenty of people and was plenty of money, including private money, in opposing old socialist economics. No one ever touched genetic heritability of earning potential.

                • peppermint says:

                  …but without natural scientists, no one would give deference to sociologists and psychologists and economists and political scientists and the universities and accreditation.

                • Oliver Cromwell says:

                  Yet natural scientists mock all those professions.

                  I think that universities would exist without natural science, and probably consider natural science departments a bit icky.

                  The gentry would still have sent their young to finishing schools, the ruling faction of the gentry would still thereby have attracted a lot of prestige to its finishing schools, and others would still have sought social promotion by imitating those finishing schools.

                  Even if they taught Latin recitation, or how to play polo, or nothing at all.

        • peppermint says:

          By the way, good mathematicians, like Doron Zeilberger, like to troll about educational policy too: in , he says that fraction manipulation is passé and students just need a calculator capable of picking a fraction close enough to the decimal they get by dividing it out on a calculator. Some educrat is actually going to take that seriously.

          The fault is excessive prestige. No one would let Michael Phelps tell everyone how they should teach children to swim. People let Bob Ross talk about art because he was entertaining, and then went back to school where they learned to color in the lines.

      • So you hold with the theory that Gates actually thinks Common Core is making kids smarter and vaccines are saving lives. I expect he’s a lot smarter than that.

  8. jim says:

    The only way ordinary kids are going to get rithmetic is to drill it into them so that they can make change and figure out how much paint they will need to cover their wall. You really need IQ 105+ to do bookeeping, which is just addition and subtraction with a bit of multiplication and a whole lot of knowing what needs to be added or subtracted.

    People below 115 have no use for all fun conceptual stuff, and pretending to give it to them just winds up faking it.

    • The country lost its top end in the 1970’s, even more than the overall decline. According to Murray and Hernnstein, 40% more over-650 scores on the verbal SAT were recorded in 1970 than in 1980, even though lots more kids took the test.

  9. Pseudo-chrysostom says:

    The funny thing about all the innovative new pedagogical tricks that have been pioneered over the years to ‘close the gap’ (which provide fabulous cash and prizes to those who manage to shift the needle), is that when the same measures go past the studies and are employed unilaterally to all students, high achievers and low achievers all, the achievement gap actually increases *even more*.

    Our best and most talented educators are wasted out of a perverse fascination with trying to turn shit into gold. If there is any benefit to studying how to turn shit into gold, it is only to draw lessons that can then potentially be applied to real humans. In the ancient world it was understood; the best should teach the best; the best *benefit the most* from the best.

    Socrates should teach Plato; Plato should teach Aristotle; and Aristotle should teach Alexander.

  10. Robert Guiscard says:

    As a data point, my girlfriend is a teacher in a wealthy, high-performing school district and as far as I can tell, common core is still just a set of testing standards. The curriculum is developed independently by her district (most of which she ignores.) The district receives no demands or direction from the state or federal government regarding how to teach to the standards, though, since adopting the standards they’ve adjusted their curriculum to try to teach all the material that will be tested. (I say “try” because the standards are actually quite demanding compared previous American elementary school expectations, at least for math.)

  11. […] Lawrence Glarus has a brief essay: Common Core is not what you think. His feature image alone is worth the click over. And what’s true of Common Core is true of mainstream education generally… so don’t bore us with plans to reform Common Core. Jim offers his own irrepressible thoughts. […]

  12. Hank says:

    Someone didn’t read Lockhart’s Lament very carefully.

    Lockhart, pg. 8: “There is surely no more reliable way to kill enthusiasm and interest in a subject than to make it a mandatory part of the school curriculum. Include it as a major component of standardized testing and you virtually guarantee that the education establishment will suck the life out of it. School boards do not understand what math is, neither do educators….”

    Do those sound like the musings of a Common Core apologist?

    Lockhart, pg. 11: “In particular, you can’t teach teaching. Schools of education are a complete crock.” Something tells me the education establishment won’t be amused by that one either.

    Read the whole thing:

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