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Common Core Grading: Touchy-Feely

Written by Gary North on January 27, 2015

Common Core is about making sure that incompetent students do not feel bad about themselves. “A for effort!” “College try!”

So, they will be graded on how well they cooperate. The old grading system is being scrapped.

It’s the worst of both worlds: they won’t make the objective grade, but they will be told, “There, there. Don’t feel bad. Big Brother will kiss it, and make the hurt go away.”

The parents are being misled. But when the annual state exams are imposed and graded, millions of kids will flunk. Parents will wonder: “What happened?”

I’ll tell you what happened. Common Core.

Here is what is happening now.

Outside Harry Dewey Fundamental Elementary School in Fair Oaks, Amanda Christensen recalled the first time she saw the detailed report card for her three children.

“At first it was very complicated,” Christensen said. “You see all these new things and you don’t understand quite what they mean.”

Case in point: Her kids are now graded on their level of grit.

“What does my child have to do to get a grade in that?” she wondered.

Across the state, report cards are undergoing a sea change in how students are measured for academic performance. Where teachers once graded students on traditional math or English skills, they now judge attributes such as grit, gratitude or being sensitive to others.

Districts are changing their report cards to reflect the new Common Core State Standards, which are intended to move students away from rote learning and memorization. Rather, critical thinking and analysis geared toward deeper understanding of academic subjects are the goals.

In English language arts, third-grade teachers evaluate students in at least a half-dozen areas including complexity of text, story structure, types of writing and presentation of knowledge. In math, teachers grade for algebraic thinking, problem solving and geometric measurement, among other categories.

This will be taught by Mrs. Jones, who got a B.A. in education in 2001, who never took a math course in college, and who got a C in high school algebra I and a B- in geometry in the mid-1990’s.

This experiment will fail, just as the New Math failed 45 years ago. That disaster went down academia’s memory hole. This one won’t.

A generation of kids will be ruined. I hope yours will not be among them.

In about ten years, the educrats will tell us this: “Oops. Sorry. But we’ll try again with their kids.”

It will never end. The federal government has the reverse Midas touch — the anti-gold standard in every field.

As for New Math, Dr. Tom Lehrer, a mathematician, explained it well. In the late 1960’s, this was funny. Why? Because it really was the way the kids were taught. “Parents need not apply.” Call it pre-Common Core.

This is why the Ron Paul Curriculum does not use Common Core.


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