Do the math: Common Core math question ‘worst in human history’?

Do the math: Common Core math question ‘worst in human history’?

Dunce capWe’ve all heard lots about the Common Core educational standards as they pertain to social studies (“If you ask to speak with the manager of an institution such as a bank, a retail store, or another place of business, how likely is it that you will meet someone of your ethnic background or gender?”), civics (“The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation”), and reading (“Before dawn each morning, Barry [as in Obama] rose – his mother’s voice driving him from dream land. ‘Time for learning English grammar and the Golden Rule. Be honest, be kind, be fair,’ she taught him.”)

But there has been precious little about the all-important subject area of math. Until now. The problem below was first reported by Twitchy and has since been cited by the Daily Caller, which maintains it is “the worst math question in human history.”

Common Core math problemThe DC also traces the problem back to its source:

The problem comes from a Houghton Mifflin Assessment Guide. It appears among a larger set of basically similar math problems here. The problem involving Juanita appears on page AG102, nestled among some other problems that are similarly weak and crappy — though not nearly as harrrowing [sic] as the problem above.

The DC authors go on to note that Houghton Mifflin is part of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt educational publishing cartel, providing a link to the company website, which advises that the Common Core State Standards represent “a fresh opportunity for students, teachers, leaders, and parents.”

So … were you able to solve the problem? Twitchy applauds the problem because it has no wrong answers, which means no one’s feelings get hurt, which after all is the most important takeaway from modern education.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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