Rethinking Public School

As a Public-School teacher, I never thought I’d be saying…. I’m rethinking Public School Education for my son.

I am 41 years old and I cannot figure out 3rd grade common core math. I know I am not a genius when it comes to math, however one would think I should be able to figure out how to work out 3rd grade math problems!  As an educator, I understand and can appreciate rigorous academic assignments because I see it’s benefits. However, what I don’t understand is why the school system has kindergarteners doing what is technically work for 2nd grade, and 3rd graders doing 5th grade work.

I thought I was the only parent struggling with common core math until I asked my friends how their child was doing in school. When I asked that 1 simple question I was met with frustration, tears, and discouragement. Who knew I was going to unleash such strong emotion? When an adult must look at YouTube videos, and get tutored on how to multiply which seems like a billion steps, is a problem. Apparently just memorizing multiplication isn’t enough. Common core math expects children to know 10 different ways to come up with the answer to 5×6.

Please don’t just think this problem is exclusive to math, have you read some of the test questions that’s being asked in common core reading?! My son (3rd grader) brings home questions I ask my 10th grade reading students. I’m amazed by the complexity of the questions that are being asked on these tests. I am all for making students think critically, however when you have to continue to rephrase a question in order to answer the original question is problematic.

My son not only has autism but is language delayed. He has trouble with complexed questions. He’s that student that need his questions rephrased. Although I’m grateful for all the support he gets in school I often wonder how is this “support” and the “rephrasing” of questions going to help him pass the standardized test that’s required in 3rd grade? How is all this complexed testing applicable for him in the real world? Is he memorizing for the moment or does he truly grasp the concept. I must admit, I sometimes worry if I’m putting too much pressure on my son. Do I want him to reach the dream I have for him or should I simply meet him where he is right now…? Although I love my son’s teachers and the school he’s in, sadly I don’t think the public-school system is for my son. This summer my husband and I will be looking for an alternative; something that will meet his language impairment and his academic needs.


A Parent’s guide in surviving common core:

Donique RolleComment