When Karen Lamoreaux’s advanced placement children suddenly went from A’s and B’s in school to C’s and D’s, she couldn’t figure out why.
After looking at their homework, Karen realized the answer wasn’t anything the kids did different, it was the introduction of Common Core.
She took her concerns to the Arkansas Board of Education in December 2013 and put on an epic demonstration of the failure that is Common Core, by telling the board members to pull out their pencils and solve this homework problem:
Are you smarter than a Common Core fourth grader? Let’s find out. The problem is: Mr. Yamato’s class has 18 students. If the class counts around by a number and ends with 90, what number did they count by?
When Karen asked the board if they knew the answer, one member quickly answer’s five and says she got there be dividing 18 into 90. Karen agreed with that answer and the method:
You know why? Because that’s what makes sense, right? That’s the way we were taught to do it in the fourth grade level.
But then she showed what the Common Core curriculum is telling kids to do and exposed it for the sham that it is.
This, however, is what the Common Core Standards expect our fourth graders to do. If they solve it in those two steps they get it marked wrong. They are expected to draw 18 circles with 90 hashmarks solving this problem in exactly 108 steps. Board members, this is not rigorous. This is not college ready. This is not preparing our children to compete in a global economy.
Karen explained that she and other parents will fight to stop Common Core because the curriculum is “dumbing down our kids.”
I encourage you to listen to us when we send you our emails despite the comments that were made by our chairperson here today. Our concerns are not based on hysteria or propaganda. They are based on fact and we are prepared to present those facts. Can you see the trembling in my voice?
She wraps up with a damning condemnation of the program and said that, while the parents will fight their battles with the legislature, it was on the Board of Education to stop teaching to the lowest common denominator:
This is not working. And it’s not what they told you it would be. We will save the privacy concerns and the testing concerns for our legislature. But when it comes to standards, that’s your ball court. And we need you to help us with this because this program is dumbing our children down. Thank you.