Common Core: 5+5+5 Does NOT=15

In the stupid world of Common Core, third grade math, 5+5+5=15 is a wrong answer ( http://www.businessinsider.com/why-55515-is-wrong-under-the-common-core-2015-10 ).

We who have not had our brains baked by Common Core know that the equation is correct. But Common Core is trying to teach multiplication via a “repeated addition strategy,” which requires the kiddies to rephrase 5 X 3 as 3+3+3+3+3=15 instead of 5+5+5=15.

What’s the difference?

The use of the repeated addition strategy, 3+3+3+3+3–get this!–is supposed to come in handy when the kiddies are in high school learning multivariable calculus.

Multivariable calculus? Are you for real? We’re talking about kids who can barely write their own names, think Switzerland is an island in the Pacific Ocean, and are not quite sure that Star Wars isn’t real. Has anybody who has anything to do with designing Common Core ever been inside a classroom?

One is led to wonder whether anyone at all involved in the higher strata of public education is a total blithering idiot.

We used to memorize the multiplication tables. The question of why 5X3=15 is of no practical use to anyone and need not be considered.

Public schooling: making America a little dumber every day.

10 comments on “Common Core: 5+5+5 Does NOT=15

  1. Well, I wouldn’t say that the ‘why’ is of no practical use to anyone, but I would say that Common Core seems to be ridiculous. At that age, the kids can have it explained to them in a much more concrete way (for example, drawing five groups of three grapes or something). I’d say memorization is important, but also knowing the principle behind the multiplication tables. Of course, arbitrarily saying that 5+5+5 is wrong, while 3+3+3+3+3 is right will only confuse and frustrate children (that kind of thing always frustrated me as well). Instead, the curriculum should allow for either answer, because both are correct.

    1. In what way is it useful to anyone but a mathematics professor to know *why* 5×3=15? I would rather know that 5×3=15, and not know the principle behind it, than know the principle but not know that 5×3=15.

      But now I have to run off and do some multivariable calculus.

    2. I’d say it’s useful because then you understand the principle behind it. I’ve had a lot of ‘Bingo!’ moments when the simple memorization and the explanation behind it came together. When I started Algebra, I began to enjoy math a lot more than I ever had because I started really ‘getting’ it. Everything made sense, and I didn’t feel like I was just going through the motions.

    3. Fair enough–but 5+5+5 still make 15, and I would say there are many things more important for a third grader to know than why it makes fifteen.

  2. I never understand why Commie Core tries to make things more complicated than it needs to me. What are they trying to achieve? Are they trying to change the way people think about things? It doesn’t make sense.

    I’m talking math now and it’s my least favorite subject. Math to me is a bit like brain surgery, either you have an aptitude for it or you don’t. I’m in the latter category. And let’s face it, advanced math is pretty much useless in the real world, unless your going to specialize in a field that requires it.

    1. Personally, I think they are trying to train people to be subservient to a certain kind of authority, represented by themselves.

  3. This is the kind of thing that made me crazy when my daughter was in public school. Teaching things either in an overly complex way, or a dumbed down way, with their screwy method being more important than getting the right answer. Parents who taught their kid the “old fashioned way” at home when the kid got confused doing homework were reprimanded and the kid’s answer marked “wrong”. Totally infuriating. The schools claim to want (even demand) more parent involvement in education…but only on their very narrow terms. The public system has become way too rigid and more about keeping control and following rules than it is about learning and teaching kids to think and reason in their own.

  4. When I went back to college after I retired to train to be a substitute teacher, I had to study the Common Core standards as part of my grade. I had the hardest time figuring out what the standards were saying because it was all in legalese-type language. I hated it. Fortunately, our State has done away with Common Core, but like Lee’s post says, it’s damage still lingers in the educational curriculum. You should see how they now teach elementary students to do division – it is bizarre and much harder.

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