# Common Core 2+2=5. Or how George Orwell was a prophet

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Deleted member 472633, Mar 19, 2016.

1. What's the largest number you can represent with 3 digits? Nope. It's not 999.

"This post is about my fight against "Standardized Testing" in math, and what later became "Common Core." It goes back to 2008 when my daughter was in grade school. I got a call to come to the principal's office. I was surprised, as this was a real first. Like all fathers I suppose, we tend to think of our little girls as angelic and saintlike. In my case, this was the absolute truth.

"Your daughter was being disruptive in class."

It was like an arrow through my heart. I looked over at her. There were tear-streaked marks all down her face. She looked down at her shoes when I shot a glance over at her. And she started sobbing again. The principal continued his monotone diatribe, while I walked over to kneel besides my daughter and hug her.

"Really, Mr. Trice, that's not appropriate..."

I continued to ignore him. "Are you OK?" I asked her. She looked up, nodded her head, and sniffled.

"Tell me what happened" was all I said as I tried not to stare through the principal's skull with my X-ray vision superpower.

"Your daughter tried to correct her math teacher. The teacher explained why she was wrong, and she insisted that she was correct."

I laughed.

I knew she was right and the teacher was wrong. I couldn't wait to hear this one.

"What was the question?" I asked as the principal was about to interject a rebuke to my outburst.

The teacher was also present, and he spoke up. "The question was, what was the largest number that can be represented with 3 digits. I said it was 999, your daughter disagreed."

I remember thinking "Uh-oh. What the heck was she thinking?"

That's when she spoke up, anger in her voice, "Oh yeah? Tell me what 9 raised to the 9th power raised to the 9th power is then??"

Holy crap! She was right! Technically, the problem is not asking for the largest 3-digit number, which is exactly where my mind went upon hearing the question. The question is asking you to represent a number using 3 digits, so exponentiation cannot be ruled out.

I looked over at her and smiled and said "Way to go! You're 100% correct!" And I gave her a high-five. She smiled. Then cried some tears of joys as she laughed. She knew I had her back.

"Well? What do you say now?" I asked them both as I rose.

"That is not the correct answer," the principal insisted.

"The hell it isn't!" I said.

"We have not covered exponents yet," explained the teacher.

And so it went. For 30 minutes I gave them hell. I asked for a compromise. My daughter was not to be marked wrong, due to the ambiguous nature of the question, and I won't insist that the rest of the class be marked wrong, because they did not learn exponents yet.

"You don't understand," the principal said, "This is a standardized, nationwide test. We don't have the power to change her grade."

I then asked them to factor into account her "real grade" if it was marked correct when it came time for them to compute her report card grade. Again, they declined. That got me angry.

You see, for 5 years straight, my daughter has had the same grade in math: 100%. She scored 100 on every test she ever took. Seriously. She has a unique mind. It was 4 years later that I was called by a math teacher again. This time it was for geometry. The teacher was going over how triangles added up to 180 degrees, always, no matter what. My daughter thought about this for a few minutes as the lesson went on, and she raised her hand. "I know how to make a triangle add up to 270 degrees."

And she did. All she had to do was stare at the globe in the corner of the classroom. When the teacher said it was "impossible" to have a triangle add up to 270 degrees, she corrected him with an incredible example. If you draw a triangle on globe, each angle being 90 degrees, you can connect the north pole to the equator, the equator line can go 90 degrees around the globe perpendicular to the first one, then then north pole can drop a 90 degree line to meet this line at the equator to complete the triangle. Triangles on curves can have more, or less, than 180 degrees, depending on convexity or concavity of the surfaces.

In the second instance the teacher called to congratulate me on raising such a brilliant little girl. Back to the first instance...

My real fight began when I got home. I looked up the formal procedure to request a third party review for a dispute over a national test question. It was laborious. I met with the superintendent of schools, who called the principal, who brought the math teacher to another meeting, this one at the state capital.

Their faces were no longer smug and arrogant when I walked into the room. In fact, I sensed fear. Real fear. They looked white as ghosts.

The tone was civil. The teacher began with a 2 minute prepared speech about how brilliant my daughter is, and then the inevitable conjunction showed up: "...but..."

The superintended nodded.

"Mr. Trice, the only way I can give your daughter credit for that one answer," (and he really put emphasis on one) "is to go to the national board of education and have everyone who took this test have their answers marked incorrect."

Amazingly, he thought that would make me want to back down.

"OK. Do it."

The three of them were mid-stance, not yet fully risen from their seats, and they froze.

"I said, do it. As in, make it happen. As in, execute that course of action."

They sat back down. The next hour involved them trying to persuade me against it. Finally, they started the concessions. My daughter would be given a score of 100 instead of 99, but the others would not be penalized. After all, this was two months later, etc. etc. etc.

"No. I gave you that option already and it was declined. I want every exam in the country marked incorrect that has 999 as the correct answer."

It took an attorney and another 3 months, but I got the result. My daughter scored the only 100 on the exam that year for her grade, not just in her class, but in the country.

I didn't care what it cost. I didn't care how much effort it took. I didn't care that an entire federal department was given tens of thousands of hours of work in addition to the demands placed on it.

I cared that an individual who had the ability to shape my daughter's future mind made her cry when she was right and he was wrong and he knew it. This could have been handled so much better by the overlords.

Forget about it being my daughter for a second. The truly sad thing is, look how a unique mind was mistreated for being brilliant. How many times does something parallel to this happen in our once great country? How many teachers squelch out the faint cry of genius from some shy personality sitting in the back of a classroom?

My daughter is now a sophomore in college, carrying a 3.82 in Biology with a leaning towards pre-med. I fought hard for her, and continue to do so. I remind her all of the time about a great quote from Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain.

"I never let schooling interfere with my education."

Don't let common core stand in the way of your own children's education."

What a great father. We need more people like this willing to stick it to the man. Even if it takes time and money and is a real pain in the ass. Usually by the time I'm finished checking my the news I'm either pissed or depressed but this story made me smile!

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2. I think you should take your daughter out of that school and find one that can zoom into her individual strengths and build them.
Basic public schools are set up to keep everyone the same. .kids do not excel in that environment

3. I bet the author made up that story based on a couple of math tricks he'd heard about. Cool story though, just fake.

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4. This is how I feel about that guy after reading the story

5. goss

6. Just wanted to clarify its not my daughter I don't have children. I just can't block quote anymore now that they've changed the website. The button doesn't work for me.

7. You can also just type [Quote ] [/quote ] without the spaces. Pretty sure that still works on the browser version.

8. I get being mad that his daughter was treated so poorly by the teachers. But if I was a parent I would use that as a perfect life lesson that the system is not perfect and to always be critical of people even your teachers because all humans/systems are indubitably flawed in some way. Also am I just dumb or does the triangle shit make no sense. I understand kind of what they're sayi g but it seems to me that they're misinterpreting the question. The question is obviously implicitly referring to a triangle in a two dimensional plane, but that's not going to be added into a question given to kids this young because they wouldn't have any fucking clue what that meant. I've seen some stupid new wave math techniques but this seems to have more to do with problems of ambiguity on multiple choice tests than it does to do with the actual curriculum of the school. Either way I get the guys point about how stupid bureaucracy takes forever to move on something, but I feel he's making a bigger deal out of it then it really is. It's not like anyone's checking your elementary school test scores when you apply to colleges.

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9. Can a math wizard explain this

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10. So I read some of the comments on the LinkedIn site where this story was originally posted. Seems quite clear that the whole thing is totally made up bullshit.

Here are a few comments from that site (I did not write these). Basically (a) his math is technically wrong given the ambiguous wording of the question and (b) there is no way the author ever took this legal fight about a "government national standardized test" because no such thing exists and no "national board of education" exists. Oops.

I have noticed a trend where James2912 likes to post outlandish propaganda like this that is so painfully inaccurate and untruthful, and he soaks this kind of garbage in like a sponge because it falls in line with his biases. And I've read some posts in which the OP talks about his constant uphill battles as a libertarian in an overwhelmingly liberal academic setting. I suspect these "struggles" are not because OP is being oppressed by liberal academics, but because he shows up to class discussions with these kind of garbage lies and propaganda that can be so easily dismantled and discredited by anyone who steps back and actually thinks about it. This is a common psychological mentality among libertarians...they claim to be the most intellectually discerning and logical, yet they are just as motivated by biased propaganda and lies as those that they criticize. This is why I was once a libertarian but no longer dare associate myself with them.

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11. Sweeping generalization, but I can see your point.

Aside from that, nice job investigating the story.

12. #12
Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
Based on a particular train of thought, oriented to arrive at round numbers while trying to calculate the total is my guess.
The wording of the problem is still poorly constructed. If the answer in black is "correct" then the problem should have read "Tell how to make 10 while in the process of adding 8 and 5", meaning more addition will follow to arrive at the final 13.

So...."to get us from 8 to the next round number, we'll borrow 2 from the 5. Now we're at 10 and throwing the remaining 3 on top is easy."

It's like they looked into the mind of one individual who just happens to think that way and made it standard for everyone else.

My gf's mom is a recently retired teacher, and generally an intelligent and optimistic person, and she thinks CC is atrocious.

13. I hate reading made up shit like this online. It's all fake. It all reads the same. Whoever writes that shit is as fucked as whatever cause they're trying to promote/demote.

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14. I find all of James's threads entertaining. He has certainly mastered the art of catching the eye.

It was a good story. I told it down the pub, the lads loved it. I jazzed it up a bit for them of course and let on it was an Irish family who had moved to the US.

Celebrating 100yrs of Freedom

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15. lol Hitler also "mastered the art of catching the eye".

There is nothing entertaining, useful or moral about spreading misinformation and propaganda. Which is what is going on here.

We are all dumber now for having read the OP's story.

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16. I could not agree with you more...

This is the inherent nature of OP's posts...

17. Common core is pretty much the most stupid fucking thing I've ever heard of.

Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Grasscity Forum mobile app

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18. It's worse than that

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19. TL;DR?

20. Common core is idiotic and deliberately dimming down or children as to make them easier to control in adult life.