Breaking the Spirits of the Best and Brightest

Six-year-old Latisha studied problem number two on her math test. She closed her eyes, scratched her head and then re-read the problem. Her face grew distraught, and Mrs. Jones could see tears forming in the child’s eyes.

“Don’t worry about that one, Latisha, just bubble it and move on,” the teacher encouraged.

girl sucking her thumbBut Latisha wouldn’t continue. She stuck her thumb in her mouth and concentrated harder.

“We haven’t learned this yet, sweetie, move on to number three. I know you can get number three,” Mrs. Jones encouraged.

The teacher knew the question was impossible for Latisha, and it wasn’t because the class hadn’t learned it yet. 

Developmentally, problem two was impossible for her entire first grade class. Mrs. Jones’ mind went back thirty years to her university days where she first learned Jean Piaget’s theory on cognitive development. Children’s brains develop in stages and her class hadn’t reached the stage where they could answer these questions.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Actual 1st grade question. This was answered incorrectly.

Trying to teach her 6-year-olds how to answer a fourth of the problems on this test would be a cognitive impossibility. It would be like reasoning with a newborn that a ball you showed her still exists now that you’ve put it behind your back. For the newborn, it no longer exists. Her brain hasn’t wrapped around the concept of object permanence.

Mrs. Jones walked around the room, noticing some children haphazardly coloring in bubbles, not worrying about which answers they got right or wrong. But her brightest students were reduced to thumb-sucking and emotional upset, stuck on questions that their little minds wouldn’t be able to answer for several more years.

The teacher’s heart ached for her children. She wanted to help explain the cryptic questions, but there was an observer in the room, insuring she could do no such thing. The Common Core tests had to be administered without assistance.

Mrs. Jones encouraged Latisha one more time to continue to the next question and wondered how much longer she would remain a teacher in the school system. Between the endless regulations and documentation, militant demands by school authorities and now Common Core testing that was breaking the spirit of her students, she didn’t know if she could take it much longer.

Many have addressed concerns over Common Core, but as I sat over my Thanksgiving dinner listening to this school teacher relate her first-hand account, I nearly broke down in tears. Why?

teacherchildBecause I felt sorry for little Latisha and the other children having an upsetting moment? Yes.

Because I felt for the teacher being forced to work under conditions that broke her spirit? Yes.

Because as a child I would have been like little Latisha, and I know what it would have done to me? Yes!

More importantly, I know the damage experiences like this inflict on people long-term. I spend my days helping the best and brightest break through fears, overwhelm, self-doubts and old programming from their past – most of it caused by small traumatic moments in childhood — like little Latisha and her thumb-sucking classmates just experienced.

In moments like this, the child mind grasps to make sense of reality. She’s trying to make sense of the world, how it works and who she is in it. Most likely, Latisha and her friends are forming opinions that act like core beliefs, driving their subconscious minds for decades unless they find some way to remove or counteract them.

Inside Latisha’s mind, she’s probably thinking and feeling with great emotion:

–          I’m dumb

–          Math is hard

–          I can’t learn

–          Tests are impossible

–          I’m a failure

–          There’s no use in trying

One-time traumatic events coupled with strong emotion can seed beliefs like this into a child’s mind until they become the person’s mode of operations. Her entire life filters through those beliefs and impacts her choices and outcomes.

With Common Core, the rising generation will be repeatedly exposed to this kind of abuse throughout their school years. Whether created in ignorance of basic child development or as a malicious attack on teachers and students, the results of Common Core on children are the same – the best and brightest are being demoralized and programmed for failure at a core level.

It’s time we started speaking out. If you have a story on Common Core, either post it below in the comments or contact me personally at and I’ll share your story with the world.

This is a great explanation on Common Core and childhood brain development by psychologist, Dr. Megan Koschnick


Note: The story I related is true, the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

About Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson is a best-selling author and marketing and social media consultant specializing in digital content creation and Facebook Ad Management. Get a FREE 20-minute strategy session with Marnie here.

Posted in Common Core, Overcoming Obstacles.


      • Thank You for being a voice for our children! I would love to contact you if possible and share with you videos of my 8 year old son.Its a heart breaker but the truth needs to be seen and shared .Again thank you from one emotionally broken mom Amanda Green

      • My grandson, now in 4th grade, then in 3rd, came home his first couple weeks of school with a list of questions and a study guide for the parents. The Question was, “What state is east of Louisiana.” The study guide showed a picture of La. and North, South, East and West. The study guide clearly stated “Texas” was the answer. I would send it to you if I could post it here. This was just our beginning. I posted it on FB and they called the next day for a meeting to EDUCATE us, on what THEY were doing. When we got there they tried their best to brow beat us and TELL us we would not speak out or post, I assured them they were once again incorrect. The excuse was they did not have time to proof read the assignment. I pointed out that had they been proofing rather then snooping on FB, there WOULD have been time. Keep up the fight, as shall we!

  1. I have a son who is a senior this year and has struggled through school from Jr. high on… he is probably one of the smartest people I know, but in this school system he has floundered. We are to the point of not being sure if he will be able to graduate. I blame myself for not recognizing all of this sooner and helping him find the right education for him instead of being one of the crowd.

    • Start doing his work for him. This is what I’ve been doing for my kids now that the CC has been part of the plan. I do everything for them that they need done just so that they will graduate.

  2. Thanks for this, Marnie! I can definitely relate to this traumatic experience and have also seen my children negatively affected by it. I have had a vision for a very different kind of schooling system for many years now… and will not give up on seeing this fully manifested! I fully support you in spreading the word!

  3. I have watched some of my son’s classmates struggle with standardized tests. In one case, a very talented girl lost out on the opportunity to attend a special summer program for the “best and brightest”. Another is experiencing the stress of getting into college with less-than-stellar test scores. It shouldn’t be this way. These kids are smart and talented and have so much potential, and politicians are drumming it all out of them, in the name of “improving education”, of which most politicians have zero experience! It’s nonsensical. My kids are lucky to be good test-takers, and old enough that the common core doesn’t impact them. And they’ve had good teachers – something I think will become more rare if we continue on this path, because teachers are fed up with being almost 100% responsible for their students’ progress, and nearly 0% in control of the process or curriculum. My niece, who will graduate with a degree in elementary education this year, is seriously considering graduate school in another field, rather than teach. And that is a shame, because she would be a good teacher – but I totally understand her reasoning. Sad.

    • But that is the point. No one should be exceptional. Everyone should be absolutely equal in every way, like in “Harrison Bergeron”. Big Government and Big Business don’t need independent, exceptional thinkers, they need uniform cogs for their plans.

  4. This past Monday I gave my school board an example of a math problem my daughter had to do “7+7=14….explain.” They stared at me. I repeated, “7+7=14. Explain.”

    Again, silence followed by, “What do you want us to do?”

    “I would like you to answer the question.”

    “What? You want us to explain..explain what? Why 7+7=14”

    “Yes please because that is exactly what my daughter had to do on her math paper.”

    Well, a board member stepped in who happens to be a LCSW and explained WHY math is being taught like this.

    “Oh you see, back in the 1900s this is how math was taught, you see.” and on and on she went about a book that was written by someone who studied how math was taught back in 1900.

    I just happened to have a math book in my bag copyrighted 1877 (yes, I am that type of person) and I pulled it out and opened it to the arithmetic portion and kindly asked her where it shows the “explain” part of 1+1=2, 1+2=3, and so on and so forth.

    She quickly sat back in her chair.

    I have YET to find any math books, and I own almost a dozen, dated from 1877-1920 that ask the student to “explain” their answer on arithmetic questions at that level.

  5. We must defeat this evil Common Core, it’s not education. it’s indoctrination and it’s making our children nervous and afraid. Stop this horrible Common Core.

  6. Common core is indeed a brainwashing study course. Welcome to socialism. That is what we get when we let Government get their hand in everything. It will get worse.

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  8. For God’s sake. Stand up and be parents. Take control of your own children. There is an answer. Home School. It is the only answer. If you want to you will; if you don’t you will make excuses. Stop whining and do what needs to be done to get your kids out of the public school system.

    • Homeschoolers need to be aware of Common Core too because many of the curriculum are including it. Your homeschool children will be required to take Common Core testing. And many college entrance exams are being reshaped around Common Core. This isn’t a public vs homeschool issue. It’s universal.

    • The American government never should of done this….they are taking our constitutional rights and stomping all over them.

        • Or work swing shift or night shift or weekends or do your homeschooling in the evenings or….. There are any of a number of ways to work full time year round and still homeschool.

          • You are clearly not a single parent, and you have no idea what us single parents go through. I work 2 jobs to make ends meet; my weekends consist of mowing the lawn or snow shoveling, grocery shopping, running errands, laundry, housework, etc. I don’t HAVE extra time to home school. I would absolutely LOVE to home school, but there’s no way I can do it. And further, what am I going to do with my child while I’m at work? You are so naive; it makes me angry that you post ignorant comments like this.

          • Well, you are right that I am not a single parent, however, I am not in the least naive. I personally know 4 single moms who DO homeschool and 3 of them have multiple children (one has 5 kids!). 2 of them work 2 jobs and one works 3!!! So that is just another excuse. Only 1 has a job she works from home. The others have outside the home jobs. 2 have family close by that watch their kids when they are at work (various grandparents, aunt’s, uncles, etc). One takes her kids to a daycare and the kids work on their schoolwork there just like they would if they had homework from public school. The other is fortunate that one of her kids is 16 and very responsible so he takes care of his younger siblings while mom is at work. One of them is allowed to take her son to one of her jobs (but not to the other) so he sits in her office and works on his school work when she is there. As for the housework, the kids in every single one of these families have been taught to do age appropriate chores and they ALL pitch in so the moms don’t have to do all of it themselves. Again, if you really want to bad enough, there are ways to figure it out. “I don’t have time” is an excuse that any of us can use for anything. i can say that I really want to do something and I may even mean it, but when I let every excuse win, it shows that it really isn’t a priority to me.

          • Janna Janna Janna. You are obviously interested in offering suggestions for how single parents can manage busy lives and homeschooling! Well, I think that’s great. You should share it. I think you’ve just misspoken, because your language is alienating people I think you actually want to help. Everyone here is worried about this horrible thing that’s been foisted upon us. Many people wish they could homeschool but let’s face it…it’s not for everyone. And it certainly is not as easy as simply saying it could be so or wishing that your circumstances were different when you’ve got a job you want to keep to support the family that you have. For some people that works and for others it’s a gamble they cannot bring themselves to risk. Telling parents who are just a worried about what’s going on that they’re just full of excuses isn’t at all what you mean, is it? You just want to say, “Looky here, busy mom or dad, here’s a way you might consider accomplishing your dream of homeschooling and working full time, as evidenced by real people that I actually know.” Am I right? I thought so.

      • I know several single parents who work full time AND homeschool. It can be done if you actually WANT to. If you don’t, any excuse will work as long as you use it and “but I am a single parent” is as effective as anything.

  9. Parents need to attend these board meetings and hold the member responsible !!
    I would assume board members are parents, and can’t honestly understand why they would accept this method of teaching (or not teaching)

    • this is not easy. as for parent/teacher conferences – only emails have been allowed since my son started high school because of teacher safety. this is south AL but it must be in most place.

  10. Common Core is not about education or enlightening the masses. It is about producing a group of dull peons just smart enough to work the machines and not cause any trouble. George Carlin was right. The Communist A-hole, David Coleman, who came up with this garbage; has close ties to Bill Ayers, which should alarm everyone who cares about this country.

    • You are very right. I fear more and more everyday. Common core basically cuts out Science and Social studies from education. Go ahead and look at the “standards” that we have to teach on the common core website. Look at the differences between Literacy and Science.

  11. My child brought home a first grade math page a few weeks ago. Most of it was okay. But there was one I thought was idiotic. There was a picture of a birdhouse with 5 birds on the house. You couldn’t see inside the house. The entrance was just a black color. The problem went:
    There are 5 birds on the birdhouse. How many are inside?
    Who the heck knows since there wasn’t a picture of the inside? There wasn’t even a bird peeking out the darkened entrance.

    • No birds in the house, just retarded politicans…I hope this Common Core gets overturned. I’ll fight before I see it imposed on my family.

    • This question develops critical thinking skills.
      There are no birds inside, but can the child identify that is so?

      A natural impulse is for a child to answer that there are 5 birds inside, because that is what the child sees on the outside.

      It takes a moment of critical thinking to decide that just because I see birds outside, it does not mean that there are also birds inside.

      Annoyed parent above must assume there are birds on the inside because they state: “There wasn’t even a bird peeking out of the darkened entrance.” That’s the point, and therein lays the critical thinking skills. There are no birds on the inside that could possibly peek outside. The skill is, can the child make that logical deduction.

      My question is: Can Annoyed Parent make that logical deduction?

      • Not to put too fine a point on it, but while it is true the question begs a critically thought out response, the correct response I believe the test/test creator are seeking is “The number of birds inside cannot be determined. More information is required to solve this problem.” It is NOT necessarily true that there are no birds inside–it is impossible to determine, and THAT is the point. All that said, Annoyed Parent has every right to feel the way he/she does–annoyed. CCSS will continue to present challenges to all–students, teachers and parents alike. Perhaps a less judgmental/condescending tone is in order when concerned parents share their frustrations? I am not a parent, so I’m only guessing there. However, I AM a certified special education teacher with concerns of my own about the new standards. I applaud any efforts that encourage higher expectations for all students–including (and perhaps, especially so) in the case of students with learning challenges. But I support such efforts only when those higher expectations are reasonable and legitimately achievable in accordance with students’ developmental abilities. Testing first graders on higher level, critical thinking skills they have not yet developed IS unfair. Just my opinion and I submit it with all due respect.

      • For a child to answer that— the door would have to have been open and not darkened so they could be able to ‘see’ inside. Empty door would imply empty house… Darkened door means Closed- shut off- your locked out… and frankly wasn’t there a study on the overuse of black in children’s learning materials?

  12. Close the Department of Education! Save a whopping 69.8 Billion Dollars per year! Return regulation, planning and supervision to our States where they closely reflect the desires and priorities of the community! Institute a Voucher system so that parents can choose where their children are educated and/or choose to home school! Church and Private Schools will flourish! The costs will be greatly reduced when we educate instead of Indoctrinate! By and large, our “dumbed down” educational system have NO COMPETITION! Their primary focus is INDOCTRINATION, NOT EDUCATION..

    Schools in America originally were established with the focus of Reading Writing And Arithmetic! Originally “Church Based” with the desire that Everyone could read the BIBLE! With a comprehensive voucher system giving parents the “choice” of where their children are educated, the current educational FAILURE of the government would see Private and Church Schools flourish and our children’s educational training Excel!

    • Exactly. Before the department of education the US was a world leader in science and math and put a man on the moon. Since Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education, it has been all downhill. He also created the Department of Energy to wean us off foreign oil. It now also gets billions and has failed.

    • NO! THAT is exactly what those who ARE destroying education want us to do! Destroy it further. You can not depend on states to create curriculum! Look at TX where they are putting LIES in text books, revising history to fit their views only and telling kids that evolution is not real! Relying on churches to move populations forward in science and math and reading is complete BS! I went to private school BTW and I was treated very poorly because I had Tourettte syndrome! What are other private schools going to do? Eh? You have people in govt that are destroying good programs just to “prove” they don’t work! They are doing this so they can redistribute all of the nations wealth to the top where it does NOT belong! Conservative policies are the real failure from both sides!

  13. I am a live in nanny for a 7yr old 2nd grader. I have been caring for her since before she began Kindergarten and I can tell you first hand that Common Core is crap! She did beautifully in Kindergarten then struggled some in 1st grade because they were teaching these kids how to read, write, tell time, count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, how to count money, addition, subtraction and pie chart fractions. In FIRST GRADE! She did pretty good and is an excellent reader but with all of the homework she had she started acting out more at home. Well now this year she is in 2nd grade, has even more homework and has been arguing with her teacher, interrupting the class and not doing her assignments when told to do so. She has been getting sent to the principal’s office almost daily, her father had to go have a meeting with her teacher and if she has more problems with her “bad behavior” from here until the winter break, they are considering expelling her from her school. Her dad has made an appointment with mental health thinking there’s something wrong with her. I think she is just frustrated, fed up and angry over all of the things they are trying to teach these young minds all at once. It’s over kill and they are not learning all of it because they don’t spend enough time working on just one task. I’m hoping he can get her into a charter school next year and that will help because the public school she’s going to now is against her best interest.

    • There is nothing wrong with teaching any of these skills in first grade. Children *should* know the basics of all these skills by the end of the year.

      They should know how to write all their letters, how to sound out those words in English that are phonetic (the weird words get some slack), how to put letters together to make words that can be read even if they’re not spelled correctly (again, English is a language where the spelling just isn’t consistent).

      Telling time is only to the hour and sometimes half hour in first grade–that’s not excessive, and it isn’t expected that they’ll be able to figure out the amount of time between two times until the higher grades. They only expect them to be able to tell the difference between, say, 4:00 and 10:00, and maybe 4:00 and 4:30.

      Counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s is a matter of rote memorization, which 1st graders *can* do–and counting by 10’s is essential in learning place value in math! The money they’re taught to count is simple coins, and they’re not taught how to make change, just to recognize what they’ve got. Addition and subtraction are *traditionally* taught in first grade, and it’s simple one-and-two digit problems that can be done on fingers or with tokens representing numbers, such as 10-3=7, 3+7=10, or 12+5=17.

      As for the charts, none of them are complicated–simple bar charts with every unit represented or pie charts with halves and quarters, usually only halves.

      I cannot say whether the amount of homework your charge has been given was excessive, but a page a day in math (usually about 6-8 problems), and 20 minutes of free reading should not be a problem for any first grader.

      • I do not think you have a complete understanding of what first graders are asked to do..This week alone I was asked to teach the following concepts (strategies):
        Making 10 to add 9 (9+7=10+6)
        Making 10 to add 8 (8+5=10+3)
        Decomposing a number leading to a ten (14-6=14-4-2=8)

        It is not enough that the students can add 9+7. They must be able to understand the strategies and pick the correct strategy on a CCSS multiple choice test.

        • Lisa— don’t forget- they don’t even give the correct answer as one of the multiple choices…. ALL OF THEM ARE PURPOSLY WRONG- for FIRST GRADERS! That’s just abusive!

  14. This is one reason I send my granddaughter to private school. Since integration in the sixties, Mississippi schools (where she lives ) has gone to shit. If the government had let them alone, integration would’ve worked itself out. I’m to opposed to any kid getting a good education, but I’m against how the government forced it on us. That was just the beginning of the end.

  15. Reminds me of a pre-employment test I took. The instructor gave us instruction on the test. He told us how many questions it had, what the questions were about and a few other things. His last words were you will be graded on how many questions you answer. When they started the timer I read each question and if I didn’t know the answer I guessed. I was one of the first to finish and the ones that answered all the questions passed. They didn’t care about the answers, it was a test to see if you were paying attention.

  16. Yep, I know this feeling for sure… it’s like dyslexia…I have it. Now I guess they are trying to get all children to feel this way if they don’t have Dyslexia…Most children who have it.. not all… will have problems with the many steps in math and algebra… I had to learn math and study for test such as fill in the blanks a different way… it was not easy… and I didn’t figure it out until I went to college that I just learned differently… i thought I was dumb too… but after learning the algebra differently in college, I finished second highest in class… not like in high school where I made very bad grades… if only minds were taught the way they learn…if only, if only, if only…

  17. Even before Common Core the “new math” was screwing things up. I would be doing homework with my kids and the simplest division problems would turn into these long-winded “stories” where “you borrow from the front and go around the back to set up shop. Then you give…” Ugh. Just calculate the math please! They didn’t even have the kids memorize their times tables! I had my kids do that.

    • I was helping my son with his math when he was in high school. The way he was supposed to solve the problems seemed way too long and added too many steps. I showed him how I did it, and that’s how finished his homework. His teacher told me I was wrong for showing him the easier way, because the point was to teach the kids to use reasoning or some such nonsense. I asked the teacher if the answers were right and he said they were, but he was marking them wrong because my son’s paper didn’t show all the steps that were required. I told him he was full of it. It seems it doesn’t matter if the answers are right as long as the steps used to get the answer fall into their little program.

      • Exactly! That is why if your child says 3×4=11, as long as they can show HOW they got 11 instead of 12 it is marked correct!! That will work well for them if they ever try to go into a field where math is necessary!(Rolling eyes!!) Ever try to tell a home builder that it doesn’t matter if the 3×4 closet is 11 square feet or 12 when they are trying to get the carpet ordered?!!

      • Correct answers don’t matter anymore- as long as they think they have the process. I have had homework papers come home with none of the multiple answers are correct. AND THATS NOT JUST FOR MATH EITHER!

  18. My daughter did fine in school until standardized tests started in the 3rd grade. It was so hyped up in school that the stress on these children was unbelievable. Now in 7th grade my daughter has an anxiety disorder. Though predisposed to this genetically, school has become a nightmare for her. So wrong….

  19. I believe this. I did a homework assignment with my daughter involving the periodic chart. I was ASTOUNDED. I had to do intense internet research to finish it. and it took hours. I was up late. AND I recognized one impossible question that was CLEARLY an error. No other way around it. but like this poor kid in the article, I kept at it. I kept thinking, “They wouldn’t give her such an error on this assignment!” But after a ton of frustration, I had to come to the only conclusion: it is an error. And I had to just give the ‘best answer’ based on the undeniable fact that it was an error. People who think well need logic and sense. And when something is pre-programed to make no sense, they will dwell and dwell and dwell. TRUST is automatically given to the teacher and the school. “They couldn’t make this error so it must be my own reasoning at fault.”

    Later, I found that this was a classroom assignment my daughter had missed and was trying to complete. The teacher basically walked the kids through it and just kinda gave them the answers. It was a very difficult puzzle based on the various elements and the reason for their placement throughout the periodic chart. MAYBE one adult in 20 could finish it to the end without giving up. I kept asking my daughter, “Are you SURE she didn’t teach you about this in class??? she vehemently shook her head. “NO!” she cried, “REALLY, she didn’t Mama!” What could I think? Was my daughter lying? I gave her the skeptical look many, many times. So, this assignment now pitted me against my own daughter! She felt so stupid and hapless. As would 99% of kids her age. And THEN, after all that work, the doggoned teacher didn’t even BOTHER looking at it the next day!

    Yes. I wanted to scream.

    I noted that they are now teaching algebra to kindergartners. Yes, you heard me. And then, once they get how to do problems one way, they switch it up and do it a completely different way. Both my daughters were sent into a tizzy. They were being punished for doing it the OLD way. Even though they got the answers right. This is because the entire point of the exercise was to teach number theory. The theory of equality, etc. ALL algebraic concepts. And the parents could not help. Because it was greek tho them. At that age, we all just learned columns (remember carrying the number, etc?). Now, it is about first breaking down a number into hundreds, tens and ones and THEN adding it all up in a systematic way. Nothing wrong with that- but EXPLAIN it to parents so they can help.

    To me, there is no reason to do this to young kids. Let them SUCCEED in math first. Let them get excited about learning first. Algebra can wait until 9th grade (as it did for me) and by then, you kid will feel like they can solve any problem. I went through the old curriculum and am very good at math at all levels. WHY torture kids when they are young? It only makes them feel incompetent and dumb. Very. Sad.

    • Actually, we were taught the basics of algebra when we were young-uns ourselves, only we weren’t told that that was what it was.

      One of the very first things I was taught in kindergarten (back in the early 70’s) was set theory–does this go into this set, that set, or both? We used Venn diagrams, but we just called them circles.

      Likewise, we were solving for variables in first grade, but instead of using X and Y, we were given addition problems with blanks or boxes to be filled in. They weren’t complicated variables, but variables they were.

      And when we were taught that it is okay to switch the numbers around before adding them, we were being taught the commutative property of addition.

      Many of the concepts of algebra are simple enough for very young children to understand, provided they have concrete examples to illustrate them. However, nobody should expect young children to understand the concepts *as* concepts, much less be able to know their official terminology. That is just developmentally inappropriate, both from a linguistic and an abstract-reasoning point of view, and if any school system expects that, it should be taken to task.

      • Yes, I remember much of that. But I am not talking about that. First graders are given a problem such as 128 plus 728. So far, so good. But then they are told to break it down. they have to say 100 plus 700 plus 20 plus 20 plus 8 plus 8. They write this out long hand. Nothing wrong with that except by the time they FINALLY get that way, they suddenly change it to columns and never revisit the old way. This threw both my girls into a tizzy. They then freaked out over ‘carrying 2 tens’ or carrying 3 hundreds’. It’s a good thing I am good at math because I could see what they were doing. But WHY cause a break in the confidence of two very smart girls? They both decided, at that moment, that they hate math and aren’t very good. This feeling of hate has been continually reinforced through the years. the other day, my daughter was asked questions about square roots. Instead of just letting her solve them, they wanted her to fill in a sequence of steps to solve it. Unfortunately, they didn’t tell her that this was all that was required. She wanted to just solve the EASY equation in the first step and was confounded that there were three steps. So, she sat there and thought, “What the heck are the other two steps??? It was so stupid. I looked at it and said, “Hon, they want to you just walk it through and fill in the blanks. ” She looked at me and said, “How stupid is that?” I agreed. By the way, I really don’t need a math lecture. I do think I know what I am talking about when I wrote the first post. Geeze.

    • My daughter (6th grade) was given an assignment to write to a company of her choice. I had to teach her the proper way to set up a real letter, salutation, body etc… not like the school taught it to her. I, however did not get instructions on WHY she was to be writing – so I told her- write what you want and allow your teacher to edit and redirect it properly. OMG! I should have walked into the school office and demand to she her teaching certificate after getting the ‘edited’ version back home to be mailed. I’m no wiz with the written word but even I know that in 6th grade you do not use a single sentence and twist the words around to make another sentence THREE TIMES IN A ROW! She had 6 OUTRAGIOUS spelling mistakes (in two short paragraphs that she didn’t have in the original letter as she had printed it on the computer using Microsoft 2010) The salutation had been removed as well as a proper signature.
      I wasn’t worried about the spelling- that comes in time and since they do not really work on spelling words at school… I try to pick up the slack with homework and in the summer months.

      But so so so glad that they were all over teaching my daughter the muslim alphabet, inventions, tales, and the wonder of their contributions for 2 weeks…. insert sarcasium

  20. As a kindergarten and first grade teacher myself I cringed as I read this piece. She’s me!!! I’ve been teaching for 26 years. I love my students and we spend every day laughing and learning together. And then test time comes… My happy classroom becomes a tense and anxious place. My darling children start to misbehave and act out. I see tears and frustration which I normally never see. My heart just breaks for these babies. They’re only 6!!!! I certainly didn’t take tests like this when I was 6!!! Sadly, I think this may be my last year in a classroom. My husband’s job is moving to another state and I just don’t think I have the heart to continue in this profession while starting over in a new school district!! Anyone want to hire an ex-first grade teacher?? I’m really good at tying shoes, solving disputes and teaching kids how to read. Oh, and I’ve been told numerous times I have the patience of a saint!!!

    • We have teachers who just could not handle the local school district, they all simply went to our local private schools, not all the bells and whistles but they love their job

  21. As Parents should be talking to them about what they
    learned from that hard time. Before school
    starts and when things are going well, sit down with your child, and say,
    “Look, there’s something that I think would be helpful to talk about. You can still have this conversation to know what ideally
    happen at the end.

  22. This exactly what I’m going thru with my third grader. He is very smart in math and does very well but I also have a teacher nice enough to work with him and who communicates very well. When he has math homework he looks at it and completely melts down and says he can’t do it and goes into complete shutdown mode. When he doesn’t have math homework he is a completely different child.

  23. Actually, Latisha couldn’t answer this question, not because it was developmentally inappropriate, but because NONE OF THESE ANSWERS IS CORRECT!

    Number 1 looks like it might be right, but it actually represents the equation 53+7+1=61, not 53+8=61.

    The correct graph would either have the starting point at 53, then 8 small unit jumps (to 54, 55, 56, etc.) until 61 is reached or there might be one large jump from 53 to 61, but the lines representing the intermediate integers would be shown.

    It is odd that this test has only four possible answers, none of them correct. In my experience, standardized tests usually have five possible answers per question.

    Make of that what you will.

  24. Pingback: Da Tech Guy On DaRadio Blog » Blog Archive » It Begins: Common Core Syndrome

  25. Pingback: I thought Texas said NO to Common Core~ | VOICES EMPOWER


  27. Pingback: #DM7 Article: It Begins: Common Core Syndrome | Lady Liberty 1885

  28. My son has shut down completely when it comes to the education system. My husband and I were at numerous parent teacher conferences and are told how well mannered and kind our son is, but that they have done everything on their part to educate my son. They went on to explain that as parents we must be failing to do our part. I told her my son will not be going to summer school or be held back because I really don’t care if he is getting the best grades because he is passing at life! It’s not about whether our children know how the wars started or when, but how to avoid wars in the first place. It doesn’t matter if our kids can find the square root of a number if they know how to get along with someone who is different from themselves. My son is in 6th grade and one of the largest life lessons I ‘ve ever learned happened when my son was 3 years old. I was at the zoo and a man was there with his grown downs syndrome son, many of the people were staring at this man because his son was fully grown and made many loud bursts of noise and could only say the word mum. My 3 older children knew he was different and sat closer to me, but my then 3 year old moved in closer to examine this grown child. He moved to sit right next to him and held his hand, He held his hand and smiled at this man-child. My son has always embraced people with differences and I truly do not care to break his spirit because the government wants drones of human beings instead of loving productive individuals who will make this world better!

  29. My 13 year old son who suffers with ADD and Type 1 Diabetes told me a month ago he was the dumbest kid on the planet. He said he hates Sundays because he knows he has to go back to school on Monday. Every weekday morning has become a struggle because he hates going to school. Common Core has done nothing but drag his self esteem down and has made him hate school. It breaks my heart. I truly can’t understand how anyone could think Common Core is a good thing.

    My son has an IEP but I have already been warned that the extra help my son is receiving this year will not be next year when Common Core is fully implemented in our state. I have joined the fight but am so discouraged and overwhelmed. I don’t know who cries more everyday my son or me. We both shed many tears.

    • I’m crying as well. They are implementing a schooling that does not work for everyone. It iss very apparent we are not alone.

  30. It is a NWO/UN plan to destroy the greatest nation to ever grace Gods creation. We need to stop these criminals. . .
    Close down the department of Education, as they are in cahoots with these corrupt entities.
    I just call it communism, which is a state where you got no rights, or possessions ever. . .

  31. When I was in 1st Grade, I already understood the concept of negative numbers. It made sense, that if something could be higher, it could also go lower. Opposites, mirrors, symmetry and balance were established facts in that 5-yr-old brain. I also knew that numbers went beyond 10, but we had 3 months of not going over 10. Math went from my favorite thing, to something I hardly tried at.

    Then, there was the horror of Dick and Jane. I was bored out of my skull. When I brought a beautifully-written book (big words, poetic form) from home and read it aloud to the class, the teacher was stunned. Even then, I never got into an advanced class (Daddy wasn’t rich, so how could I be smart?), and ended up thinking that school reading was supposed to be a dull and uninteresting chore.

    Back then, it was wrong to let a child run forward in subjects for which they showed talent/acuity. Don’t want to hurt the others’ self esteem, don’t you know… In Common Core, they have the pattern of forcing children to perform higher-order thinking skills before learning basics. It’s like showing a child a pile of bricks, a plumb-line, mortar and a trowel, and telling them to build a fence. using their imagination. Without showing them how to use any of the tools. Both approaches kill/discourage success. Kick the government out of schools, and let teachers teach!

  32. Pingback: #stopcommoncore-Breaking the Spirits of the Best and Brightest | Marnie Pehrson Unplugged | Defending Sanity in the Uppity Down World

  33. Pingback: Open Letter to NC Gov. McCrory On Common Core | Lady Liberty 1885

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  36. This is the most straight ford explanation I’ve seen for what is happening to our children.

    Isn’t this child abuse to force a child to do this, then judge and penalize based on something that is developmentally impossible?

    If this is child abuse, isn’t it a nation-wide child abuse epidemic that happens everyday and should be in ALL of our media?

    What can be done educate our media, get them to cover it and get our country to ACTIVELY fight this?

  37. Math, English, Problems, Complaints….nothing about the REAL danger Common Core represents. Once Common Core is “adopted” by every one of our schools, our Nation is not even History, as Common Core will even re-write, and then TEACH THEIR version of the true history of our Nation. Once we have ‘accepted’ Common Core, and there is no way to change the agenda, the curriculum, or the Socialism that is known as Common Core, education will ‘morph’ into what Washington D.C. wants our children to learn…Socialism.


    Even the CEO of Common Core testing consortium, PARCC, acknowledges that the GOAL of Common Core is DIRECTING the CORRICULUM…

    You see, the Trojan Horse of Common Core is it’s AGENDA…these children will be taught Social Justice, not Justice…they will learn “Global Warming Science”, not Science…and all of the Politically Correct sewerage that is flowing in a Big Stink out of Washington, D.C.
    After “learning” the New World Order of Education, these children will grow up, graduate, and go out and VOTE for every socialist and/or socialist idea that they have been “taught” is true.

    And America will End.

    Shout it to your neighbors, much as Paul Revere’s famous warning to his compatriots,


    Lacombe, La.

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  40. Pingback: Who will challenge abusive kindergarten testing? We were promised better for our babies! | stopcommoncorenys

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