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NBC Reports on ‘Confusion Over Common Core Math’

Girl doing math homework with calculator and ruler

As Education World recently reported, teachers are split when it comes to their views on Common Core state standards. NBC’s chief education correspondent Rehema Ellis shared that many vocal parents still have issues with homework—especially math homework—that is required under the standards.

Some parents are uncomfortable with their children using multiple methods to solve math problems. For example, one way to figure out 34 minus 9 is to use a number line where children can see that 9 is one away from 10, which is 20 away from 30 and 4 from 34. 1 plus 20 plus 4 = 25 and 34 minus 9 is 25. Many parents would rather have their children use the traditional method where they carried the 1 over and be done with it. 

“There are lots of ways to figure out 34 minus 9. And who is to say who is the best way for any particular kid? It’s my job to show them different ways to do it,” said first grade teacher Susan Grodek to Ellis.

Teachers have been put in the position often of either defending or explaining Common Core, or both. Parents complain that the homework their children receive is too time consuming.

Chris Hovan, fourth grade teacher, said “We have a long way to go to make sure we are all speaking a common language in terms of the standards. Once we get that together, I think it’s going to be really positive."

View the full segment.

Corrie Kerr, Education World Editor

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