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This “Simple” Common Core Assignment Confused An Electrical Engineer

Posted on March 25, 2014

One purported father’s response to his child’s Common Core math assignment is making waves around the Internet.

Posted to a popular conservative politically-oriented Facebook page, a fed-up dad appears to have authored a hard-hitting note to his child’s teacher in the space given to provide an answer.

“Jack used the number line below to solve 427 – 316. Find his error. Then write a letter to Jack telling him what he did right, and what he should do to fix his mistake,” the assignment instructed.

That seemingly perplexing question prompted a response to the fictitious “Jack” character from the parent.

“Dear Jack,” the upset parent wrote. “Don’t feel bad. I have a bachelor of science degree in electronics engineering which included extensive study in differential equations and other higher math applications. Even I cannot explain the Common Core mathematics approach, nor get the answer correct.”

“In the real world, simplification is valued over complication,” he added, signing the letter as a “frustrated parent.”

Since posted online, the response has been widely circulated on the Internet and shared thousands of times.

It’s not clear who authored the letter and where the homework was assigned.

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23 thoughts on “This “Simple” Common Core Assignment Confused An Electrical Engineer

  1. It's 111, or I don't get it either.

  2. If this is what passes for education in our public schools, the future of our nation is in BIG TROUBLE!

  3. rblacket says:

    I have a degree in Broadcast Electronics Technology, Hold an FCC License and have no idea what they are talking about.

  4. Jeanne Stotler says:

    Remember "New Math", is this history repeating itself?? Kids that took the new math could not make simple change from a dollar w/o a calculator. Response was this is suppose to make kids think, better they know basic math in Elem. school and proceed to Algebra, trig, etc. They can "Think" about other problems, like how to earn enough money to buy gas, or to pay rent, buy food, this BS is only preparing them for the Liberal Arts degree, which will get them nothing

  5. We have IDIOTS running our education system!!!!!!!!!

  6. That old time education like "that old time religion" was much more effective than what passes for education today. The problem may be that many of the teachers can't handle the subject matter, especially math, that they are supposed to teach so they try to manufacture short cuts so rote memorization is not needed. It doesn't work. It never did work. I never will work. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  7. No, we don't! There is a method to their seeming madness! They know exactly what they are about – the destruction of a thinking population and its replacement by Sheeple whose only ability to function comes with the States hands on their shoulders! Once that is fully achieved there will be no challenge to the power of the State over any area of peoples lives!

  8. There are a bunch of brainless morons that are called democrats that have picked up on Mooochele's plan for teaching bthe kids in school. She has no clue about what she has done. She only thinks of herself and how much greif she can bring to a country that she hates. She has even taught her girls that they want nothing to do with us. So put it all in a bag, shake it up, and dump it out and what do you have ? Common Core. Even SHE doesn't know what it's all about. These are the kind of people we have running our country. Thanks to the moronic Democrats !

  9. I heard a report that Moochele was kidnapped in China. Da poor thing ! Wouldn't that be interesting ? Maybe, if it were true, it would be a good thing !

  10. That's another Common Core lie: "State Sponsored Initiative". It's all federal policy, no input from the states, imposed from above. Our government is full of pathological liars who cannot tell the truth about anything.

  11. Any parent that puts their child in public school has no basis for complaining. You are getting what you ask for.

  12. olderguy says:

    The parent and the author of this article have entirely misunderstood the intent of the math exercise. The exercise was not done on paper. The child was to do it in his head. Now, you do the subtraction yourself, not on paper, but mentally. You will find the methodology is correct. The exercise is done over & over so students can learn number relationships. Of, course, if it's done on paper, that's another thing, but is for sure that both the parent and the article's author completely misunderstood the exercise.

  13. I've been reading about communist core all day -have yet to see anyone defend it– to me it seems that kids rant supposed to get it- just feel inferior

  14. ken1lutheran says:

    I remember when they brought in the "New Math" when I was in grade school. I really didn't learn much of anything from it; on the other hand, I can still, at 61, do arithmetic the old-fashioned way.

  15. If you look at the curriculum used in private schools and that which is available for home schooling, you'll find that it is aligned with common core as well in those states where it has been adopted. At least with home schooling and private schooling, parents have the opportunity to teach their children the RIGHT way!

  16. quidnuncsimcha says:


    First, I applaud the electrical engineer for obtaining his degree[3]. Like chemical engineering, the math of electrical engineering is quite complicated. Sadly, I, as a chemical engineer, have forgotten most of what I learned.

    From what I can see, the problem takes into account a method of problem solving that would be quite beneficial for engineering[3].

    I am sure the teacher gave examples of how to use such a number line to solve problems. I believe it is beneficial that a problem encompasses as many mathematical concepts as possible. The number line is a common concept.

    I was not in the class when the teacher educated about the process, but, knowing number lines, I would think that "Jack" made a mistake by not "thinking" to start at "427" and number to "0". Since he would be subtracting 300 + 10 + 5+1, Jack could have divided the beginning portion, starting from 427, of the number line into sections that included 3-100(s); 1-10; 1-5; and 1-1. As an example, 427 to 327 to 227 to 117 to 112 to 111. In other words, start from 427 and work backwards, which is common in reverse engineering. The 111 could have had 1-100; 1-10; 1-1.

    As you can see, such an analysis, if that is what the teacher intended, could eventually lead to a basic education on bases[1].

    Finally, I tutored in college. It is often said, that tutoring and teaching allows a better understanding of the fundamentals. For this reason, I think the requirement of constructive criticism is valuable, which we all know is a benefit as working professionals.

    I believe that memorization should be minimized, and math such as 200-100=100 is memorization. If not, it is an application of the number line concept.


    [1] Utah. Math4010 Midterm 2. math.utah.edu[online]. 2014. Available from: http://www.math.utah.edu/~macarthu/spring11/math4

    [2] Harding, Chris. Chemical Engineer, Biological Scientist, and 100% Total and Permanent Disabled 1991 Gulf War Veteran. chrisbharding.wordpress.com[online]. 2014. Available from: http://chrisbharding.wordpress.com/

    [3] The Patriots Post's. Common Core Baffles Father, Mar. 21. 2014. Facebook.com[online]. 2014. Available from: https://www.facebook.com/PatriotPost/photos/a.821

    [4] Alter, Charlotte. Dad’s Rant About Common Core Math Problem Goes Viral, Mar. 26, 2014. time.com[online]. 2014. Available from: http://time.com/38816/dads-rant-about-common-core

  17. I am very glee by reading this content of you which is very essential to me as well. Really it is very informative information which was very needed to me as well. I know that little learning is a dangerous thinks. I must come to you to know more details about this. Thanks a massive for you….

  18. I am very glee by reading this content of you which is very essential to me as well. Really it is very informative information which was very needed to me as well. I know that little learning is a dangerous thinks. I must come to you to know more details about this. Thanks a massive for you….

  19. Electrical Engineer is very essential person for getting the best electrical plan, electrical item which is very informative to me as well. Keep it up.

  20. It was need to know me which is very informative to me because i am electrician. who are related with the work whose must take the opportunity to make a good electrical service.

  21. Electrical engineer are taking the good job on the electrical department. I am working on the electrical department. So, it is very important to me.

  22. This is very common issue. Sometime very simple and common core assignment make confused electrical engineer and good electrician can able to overcome the situation. Is not it?

  23. Algebra Tutorial says:

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