Our girl Jennifer Kabbany at the College Fix is just three weeks into first grade with her daughter and she’s already about to storm the school and yank the Administrators out by their common core’s. In short, the Federal Education Standards program known as “Common Core,” which California has chosen to foist upon students, parents, teachers and local education officials is a nightmare. I’ll let her tell it:
Hat tip: Jennifer Kabbany–
I am a work-at-home mom and parent volunteer inside the classroom. When I volunteered in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom last year, I bit my tongue when I was told to call vowels “stars” and not to help students sound words out.
Now, three weeks into first grade, and it’s the same thing.
Sight words – that is how they are teaching kids to read now. By memorizing sight words.
“They need to know them quick as a snap, not sound them out,” my daughter’s friendly, smart and dedicated teacher told me on how to go over the sight words with students.
So, instead of teaching kids how to sound words out, and instead of breaking words into clumps, let’s say: the, then, them, they; it, is, in, if; at, an, all, call – you know – the way it makes senselogically – they just give kids and parents a big, long list of words in no particular order or organization and tell them to have their children memorize them.
I’m fine with a few sight words, but when it’s the main method of learning to read – instead of phonics – that’s when I get angry. So, at night, I’m frantically teaching my daughter to read by sounding words out, knowing she doesn’t get this emphasis at school and trying to counteract this craziness.
Let’s move on to math.
When I was growing up, first we memorized basic addition, then subtraction, then multiplication, and so on. I remember getting these handouts with essentially 100 math problems on them – 1+2, 4+6, 7+8, 3+4 – problems like that. And we’d solve them, over and over again, until it became second nature.
But no, Common Core gets all philosophical with math. My daughter is bringing home worksheets that don’t even SAY THE WORDS addition and subtraction on them…
Jennifer Kabbany is Editor of The College Fix – run by veteran journalists for the benefit of beginning journalists, identifying and supporting college students who seek to improve campus journalism, explore careers in the media, and commit themselves to the principles of a free society.
Sign up to get alerts from Joe!