Common Core Curriculum (CCC) like it or not is taking over as the new curriculum across the nation. One of the former members of the Common Core Validation Committee is Dr. James Milgram (http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/09/01/Common-Core-Blockbuster-Mathematician-Dr-Jim-Milgram-Warns-Common-Core-Will-Destroy-America-s-Standing-in-Technology ). He is not happy because he is a specialist on the idea of what we will need in mathematics to compete with China, Japan, and Korea and so on. He was raised in Indiana and that state repealed CCC based on his testimony. They instituted new standards based upon his credentials – he is a Stanford Professor of Mathematics and the only professional mathematician and expert on content on the review committee.
He was “incredibly disappointed that the draft I was reading of Indiana’s new standards looked so much like Common Core”. So he reread the pre-calculus, calculus, trigonometry standards and realized they had not been changed. He’s concerned that American kids are not getting the kind of education that will help us to regain the lead in technology.
Here is a little of what he said “How can you have a mathematics problem that doesn’t have a single answer, or correct answer or any answer is correct? Of course, mathematically you can’t. All of this is exactly a repeat of what went on in California 20 years ago but this time it is national. This time I don’t see any uniform or systematic way of getting rid of it. The only way to get rid of it is state-by-state and parent group by parent group.”
I don’t know whether you have examined the curriculum in your children’s school but you should, because it’s going to be unrecognizable to you. Well maybe not, I’ve already discussed some of that in: https://larryemarshall.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/high-school-biology-hasnt-changed-in-50-years/
The math part is very troubling because it’s a way of teaching critical thinking. For a lengthy example of sample math problems take a look at this link: http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/common-core-math-problems/
Now, ladies and gentlemen, critical thinking is important particularly as you get into college. What is important to ‘critical thinking’ is to have a background of facts. Now you can critically think about Columbus discovering America in 1492, and think critically of all the possible ramifications to the native population if you know all the facts of the event. If you haven’t been taught to memorize the facts in your earlier grades then you won’t be able to fully define the problem. With math, you have to memorize your times tables, if you are going to do any other kinds of math later on. Critically thinking about your times tables is not going to help you learn geometry or calculus.