NPR once dubbed him “the man behind Common Core math.” Some might metaphorically call him the “brains” behind the operation, though that seems a little generous.
His name is Jason Zimba, and he is advising parents to back off teaching their kids basic math because they’re not trained to properly do so. According to him, the only thing parents need concern themselves with is that their children have finished the homework.
Via the Daily Caller:
One of the chief creators of the Common Core math standards is warning America’s parents to stop teaching their own children basic math because, he says, public school teachers are well-trained experts who understand rudimentary arithmetic far better.
“The math instruction on the part of parents should be low. The teacher is there to explain the curriculum,” Zimba told The Hechinger Report, an education journalism website published by Columbia University’s Teachers College.
“The most important rule as a parent is to make sure it gets done,” said Zimba, who believes he himself is too busy to stoop to math assistance. “I may not have time to do an impromptu lesson on math but I can make sure everything is completed.”
Zimba admonishes well-meaning parents that it’s not their place to help children when the kiddies are struggling with the Common Core standards, even laying blame on helpful parents when they get frustrated.
In the past, Zimba has lamented that the Common Core standards he helped craft – the same standards that have led parents to complain about government overreach – simply weren’t overreaching enough.
These days, Zimba and his colleagues acknowledge better standards aren’t enough.
“I used to think if you got the assessments right, it would virtually be enough,” he says. “In the No Child Left Behind world, everything follows from the test.”
Now, he says, “I think it’s curriculum.”
Yes, the problem is that we didn’t build a powerful enough bomb. If we built a bigger bomb, then it would be used the correct way.
It isn’t simply the federal overreach – it’s the very real frustration children feel when they try to learn math in an unnecessarily complicated way. Zimba and the Common Core creators have taken basic math concepts and turned them into arbitrarily complicated processes.
My own child has suffered through hours of math homework only to be thoroughly relieved when he is taught the proper way to do things, a moment of clarity that reminds him that he isn’t stupid after all. A staggering 20% of students in New York have opted out of Common Core testing this past year.
Admittedly it’s not the standards alone but their application by teachers and schoolbook writers. Before Zimba opens his big yap to lecture parents on how great Common Core is, maybe he should have a look at this Common Core math problem one third-grader was given for homework.
Cross-posted at the Mental Recession