Letter to my son’s teacher about Common Core math

obama core quote

Once again, the ugly Common Core math demon has reared its disgusting head in our household. Here’s the letter I sent my son’s math teacher. (Name changed to protect the innocent.)

Ms. Doe,

We have a problem. Cody got so frustrated and upset over the math homework last night that he broke down sobbing and even came close to vomiting several times. He does not understand this new way of doing math. Quite frankly, neither do I. And I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting.

To help him get through the homework, I showed him how to do it the only way I know, which is the “old school” way. With Cody being autistic, he sees everything black and white. He needs a concrete way to learn math. This new way is not working for him. He likes and understands the concept of the old way.

I will never understand why it’s necessary to take a math problem that using the old way, may have taken 2-3 minutes to complete, and now using this new math, takes five times longer and many more steps. How is this teaching our children to be efficient and correct in their work?

Please know that I understand that you are teaching it the way you have been instructed to do so. I am not upset with you, but rather, the logic and ideology behind this new math.

If the parents are supposed to help the kids with their homework, how about sending some kind of instructions or a tutorial home for the parents? I do not want him to fail math because of this new required way of learning. Is there anything that you can do to help us here?

Is there someone within the school district or on the state level to whom I can send my concerns with the new method? If I need to become the “poster child” of the anti-Common Core movement, I will do it happily.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Email from his teacher:

Dear Mrs. Graham,

Thank you for your letter.

I understand the “new way” of doing math is frustrating for parents because they are not familiar with the procedure. I experienced this frustration myself when I first began teaching it. However, I do believe this method has value because it promotes student understanding. Common core doesn’t promote a certain algorithm, but rather wants the students to understand what they are doing rather than merely memorizing the algorithm. Eventually, the students will be exposed to various algorithms and may choose which one makes sense for them. Therefore, if Cody wants to use the “old way” he is allowed.


Ms. Doe



Apparently, I am not alone in the frustrating math situation, click here to read more!

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