30 December 2013

Guidelines for My Children While They Endure the New Common Core Curriculum

A Guest Post by Gwendolynn Britt, copied from the facebook Common Crud group with permission.

- Math is a LAW, it is not subjective. If the final answer is wrong, then it’s wrong. It doesn't matter if everyone feels good about the steps you took to get to that wrong answer.

…By the way, ‘Mental Math’ is done in your head. Don’t write out your steps, I don’t care what the assignment says, I’ll deal with the teacher if need be.

- Once you've learned cursive, you will continue to write in cursive, regardless of your teacher’s instructions.

- You will only take tests that measure your skills so that the teacher may review your progress. That’s it! You will not waste time on tests that are meant to measure others.

- If you see the word ‘Citizen’, you are being manipulated.

- There is no such thing as global warming or climate change, it has been dis-proven. Any references to these are attempts to manipulate your behavior.

- Do not allow anyone to take ANYTHING from your body, finger prints, hand scans, eye scans, saliva…and anything else I didn't think of.

- The Constitution is the supreme law of the land (not the United Declaration of Human Rights). It’s not there to feel good or to ensure fair results. It is there, in part, to make sure no one takes away your God given rights (or natural rights of man).

- Do not reveal personal information about our family, it’s nobody’s business. This includes things like our political affiliation, whether or not we possess firearms, our religion and so on.

- If you see anything that you think is strange, wrong or inappropriate, bring it to my attention immediately.


  1. So setting up your kid for trouble at school to justify your own political views is ok? How will your child assess the test to determine if, by your rules, it should be taken or not? Recall that while you might see your kids teacher at school for an hour or two per month, your kid sees that teacher eight hours a day, five days a week. When you mock the teacher with asinine personal rules and make work, you should realize that any blow back or resistance from the teacher will... Do what? Hit your kid first. But hey, at least you'll have your political purity to cling to.

    1. Hello, Snertly. I don't think my guest is setting up her children for "trouble," as you call it. Good parents issue guidelines to their children and hope the child errs on the side of caution, which to my mind in this case means calling the parent when she's not sure how to proceed.

      One guideline during a disagreement, unspoken but I'm sure assumed here, is to be polite. How about trying that next time you want to make a point? First off, you're being rude to me and my guest and second? Any point you might have made won't be taken to heart with a tone like that.

    2. Having seen the process in action, telling your child to act contrary to school rules or teacher instruction is not a good thing. The only possible positive result depends on how much you value feeling justified over how much you care about singling your child out in front of his or her peers. I don't believe I'm being rude, but I am using rather simple language to make sure points don't get lost in amiable niceties.

      If the teacher wants children to show their work, then they should show their work, or the assignment is incomplete. How hard is that to understand? Similarly, the most concrete issues above are not related to curriculum, but to the author's language issues, specifically word definitions. For instance, math is not a law. I would say math is a set of methods for manipulating symbols in a consistent and repeatable fashion. But I wouldn't try to tell that to an elementary student. Like making a cake, it's important to go through the right steps even if the cake turns out wrong. This increases the odds you get it right the next time.

      The list above is like a recipe for wrongness that goes on and on. Perhaps the author cannot hear the word "citizen" without thinking of the perils of communism. That's not a good reason to turn the word into some sort of land mine under the feet of her child. Same same with the author's opinion on the weather.

      If a child were to diligently attempt to live by these "rules", I'd expect that child to become a social pariah, subject to scorn from other students and teachers alike. (I don't think that would be right, but it does seem most likely.) Child complains to parent. Parent feels justified and sees child as being punished by school system's shortcoming and/or political beliefs, but the truth is that parent set the child up to fail by trying to implement rules which require discernment and knowledge beyond any elementary student's ability or authority.

      All of which is topped off by the contradiction of presenting this as if it has some bearing on Common Core, when the only real connection is the use of the phrase in the title.

    3. I can see your point that at any time we give our children guidelines or rules that are different than what other people do/believe, we may encounter conflict. But that is true of EVERY family. If you don't allow R movies and your child is over playing with my children (as an example), you would hope your child would bring this rule to my attention. I could decide to make other arrangements at that moment, or I could call you for special permissions, or whatever.

      Perhaps you think she has too many rules, or that her rules would expose her children to a significant amount of conflict in a public school setting. But my perspective is more one of, we pay quite a bit of money (by force) to these stinkin' schools, and it isn't too much to ask that our children not be subjected to some of the fuzzy math (hence the "show your work" comment), overtesting and indoctrination that happens at far too many - if not most- public schools. We shouldn't have to pay $10,000 per student and then shut up if the schools don't meet our needs.

    4. There's a significant difference between making sure your child sees age appropriate movies and telling your child to disregard or disobey classroom instructions on how to work math problems.

      I didn't say she had too many rules. I said her rules show problems with her conception of the world and she does her child a disservice by forcing the child to adopt her idiosyncrasies of word usage and political fears. Further, I said this has nothing to do with Common Core.

      Also, we, citizens, do not pay for education "by force". That's your own bit of insupportable political spin. Through the democratic process, we citizens collectively agree to undertake these obligations for the sake of ourselves, our children, and our future. We agree to pay the taxes in the amount we agreed upon. That is not force. That is democracy.

      Perhaps you, like the author of the list, don't understand what estimating means, or don't understand that, in the early stages, learning the process is more important than getting an exactly correct answer every time. Same way they teach typing. They get you to go fast, then you start improving accuracy.

      That you are paying your share of taxes, just like everyone else, does not mean you get special say so or rights of refusal in the school. There are many ways for parents to be involved with their children's educations. Schools, as a rule, appreciate parental involvement.

      But again, all of this has nothing to do with Common Core, yet the author of the list refers to this page as a supporting argument against Common Core, which is how we came to have this conversation.

    5. "Perhaps you, like the author of the list, don't understand what estimating means..."

      This is exactly the sort of nastiness I let go earlier. As I said, any legitimate point you might have made isn't going to be listened to with that sort of attitude. Any further comments from you will be immediately deleted. Go troll somewhere else.


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)