I am experimenting with a new application for producing blog posts from my smartphone that integrates with WordPress. I find I have little time these days to sit behind a computer screen at home and pound out some posts and I have thoughts throughout the day I would like to share on various issues. I now have 30 minutes I have to wait in a doctors office after receiving allergy shots so it seemed like I should start using that time more productively than playing scramble or candy crush.
Here is an example of some of our latest Math Homework for my second grader from Houghton Mifflin. As you can see (assuming the image imports correctly) the wording and font choice for the last problem is atrocious. 1s, ls and Is all look the same and this problem makes no sense as written. I had to rewrite the problem based on reviewing the rest of the worksheet to see what they were angling for. Here is what I came up with.
p style=”text-align:left;”>Unfortunately my daughter still didn’t understand the purpose of the assignment…and wrote a correct answer (14 tens does equal 14 tens) …that I imagine is not the answer the writers were looking for.
Eureka, EngageNY, and HM are not the only problems here; curriculum-wise. Clearly simply choosing another provider won’t fix all the problems. I have minor to major issues with almost any math homework assignment I pick up. Granted, some could be fixed with better proofreading. But some of this content appears tragically flawed in that even the answers they are looking for are overly contrived, unhelpful seeming, or confusing to children (and sometimes parents).
I have been mulling some ideas or how we can rebuild our own standards and curriculum. I hear some other folks are working on some substitute ideas as well. I am eager to start rolling back the most destructive educatuon reforms and failed Coommon Core experiments once I get elected to BESE. In the meantime hang in there and continue bringing this fight to your local school boards, parents groups and media. We are making headway and the CC, at least the math side, is on the defensive.