It's frustrating to hear so many people with megaphones... whether on Facebook, YouTube, or email, toss their opinion in to the mix without really doing their research. Yes, the questions in math are different -- but too many times they don't look at the WHY. Or WHO come up with these ideas. Or HOW it is supposed to help the students... I read this article (http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2014/12/29/371918272/the-man-behind-common-core-math), but I think this passage sums up the problem pretty well...
Hung-Hsi Wu, a mathematics professor at Berkeley and one of the expert advisers in the Common Core process, blames the Common Core's problems on bad — and ubiquitous — textbooks that the publishing industry is reluctant to change. "Publishers don't want to bother with writing anything because they've gone through too many sets of standards," he says.
This made me think about the real issue, which isn't the Common Core or what the math problems look like, but the culture in general. We're currently stuck in a system where students are expected to turn out exactly the same -- it's heartbreaking to see on a personal level. Kids with fabulous imaginations like Sonja are subjected to "standards" then rated according to a "standardized test" which doesn't measure their creativity, resourcefulness, innovation, etc. All important factors I hope to see in her, and my students, as they grow and consider which ways they will improve our country, and our world.
If you aren't good at testing when it comes to Math/Language Arts (which surprisingly, I am not. I scored exactly "average" on the GRE that I had to take for grad school -- someone w/ Highest Honors from UNC and went on to earn a 4.0 in grad school)... the problem, I believe, is a testing atmosphere in our schools.
Teachers are seen as 'effective' based on how their students score when it comes to rating their "commonness" - ugh! It does nothing to quantify their effect on making a student feel loved, important, or worthy. You and I both know from experience the best teachers aren't ones that help you score the best on a test... it's about the relationships that ultimately empower students to achieve in the "lane" that suits them best (be it French, language, math...).
The first part of this article explains the environment that testing creates in our schools and classrooms, and might make more sense to you: http://www.nea.org/tools/fighting-stress-teaching-to-Test.html - another article that gives a clear picture of standardized testing is here: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar99/vol56/num06/Why-Standardized-Tests-Don't-Measure-Educational-Quality.aspx
Even better, this cartoon from teacherthings (instagram):
I love you --- hope you take this knowing I'm just very passionate about education, and hope you can help me change the negative conversation that pervades our country right now!