A photographer was working with her camera and trying to help her second-grade daughter with her math homework, which was Common Core aligned. She happened to catch a now famous photo of her daughter’s frustration.

Math, the hard way.

The original photo is here: https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/1902803_714460471932456_838701478_n.jpg

The write-up at this link is worth your time to understand the photo:

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/02/14/photo-the-heartbreaking-face-of-common-core-100613

Another mother, a teacher, expresses her frustration here, http://teachersletterstobillgates.com/2014/03/21/five-hours-of-gates-led-kindergarten-common-core-map-tests-testhearingsnow/, specifically addressing the Gates Foundation and some other contributors to the Common Core State Standards. She addresses five hours of baseline testing for five-year-olds. Her open letter to the Gates Foundation is a bit emotional, but she makes the case that CCSS and the mandatory testing that is being implemented with it are more of a corporate takeover of education, rather than the latest honest effort at reform. Ms. DuFresne sees these testing requirements as child abuse.

Even if you support the Common Core State Standards, you must stand up and ensure excesses as described above are not allowed. These fuzzy math examples may be exceptional, but they are in line with the “think outside the box” attitude built into the implementation efforts. It is also certain that too much is being expected of those under 11 years of age.

The big problem is coercion and externally imposed requirements. Requirements must start with consideration of the child and the parent, individually, case by case. The more steps above the child and parent from whence the imposition is foisted, the more perverse will be the results. Coercion is always immoral. Perhaps CCSS isn’t the root of the problem, but it certainly is exposing problems that it cannot hope to fix.

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