The PJ Tatler

Common Core Math: 3x4=11?

This is stupid.

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“Even if they said, ’3 x 4 was 11,’ if they were able to explain their reasoning and explain how they came up with their answer really in, umm, words and oral explanation, and they showed it in the picture but they just got the final number wrong, we’re really more focused on the how,” August says in the video.

When someone in the audience (presumably a parent, but it’s not certain) asks if teachers will be, you know, correcting students who don’t know rudimentary arithmetic instantly, August makes another meandering, longwinded statement.

“We want our students to compute correctly but the emphasis is really moving more towards the explanation, and the how, and the why, and ‘can I really talk through the procedures that I went through to get this answer,’” August details. “And not just knowing that it’s 12, but why is it 12? How do I know that?”

We’re talking about mathematics here, not one’s interpretation of a James Joyce novel. What the instructor is advocating is either ignorance or sophistry, neither of which will help a kid nail down the basics of how to compute. Sophistry is great for coming up with tortured nonsense to explain wrong answers, though.

That this is coming from the same government that is wrecking our health care system in the name of insuring very few actually uninsured people, and which stopped calculating the national debt because, well, it doesn’t feel like calculating the national debt, is not at all surprising.