I'm sorry, perhaps the title is unclear. Allow me to restate it, in the largest available font:
I refer, of course, to just about everything going on these days this item in the WaPo, and in particular to the test mentioned, whereto a PDF is linked from the article (for those too lazy to find the link, it's here).
Go on. Look over that test. If your reaction is anything other than
I can only surmise that you hold an advanced degree in a subject that doesn't involve math in any way*.
Apparently, just for the purpose of the early-grades Core Curriculum, there's been a proliferation of friendly-non-mathy-sounding terms, such as "number sentence" and "subtraction story." Oh, and "Use cubes to solve**."
I can see, offhand, just three problems with such terminology:
- They're nonstandard, and will be of no use later on.
- It's not at all clear what these terms are supposed to mean.
- They add unnecessary complexity to the problem at hand.
I can see how these might be considered advantages in some regards.
For example, it greatly reduces the advantage of choosing one's parents to include STEM types, as no one with a STEM background will be able to make heads or tails of the new terminology. This makes it all fairer, right?
Also, as with nonstandard file formats, it promotes vendor lock-in. Which is good, right? Like standardizing on Microsoft Word, or nonportable Bronze-Silver-Gold health plans?
Not clear, from the information presented, how much of this is really due to Common Core per se, and how much is test-and-curriculum-vendor interpretation... but that test and the teaching materials which must be behind it were clearly created by a team of imbeciles.
* Nor communication. Nor any skills amenable to objective evaluation.
** Actually, I can think of a couple of things that could mean, in context. First, it could mean "Use little cubical tokens to represent the items in the problem," and, second, it could mean "Roll the dice to choose an answer."