Common core books inadequate guidance




Throughout nearly any Roseville High School student’s career, they have most likely experienced the true horror behind the recently implemented Common Core learning standards. During its tenure, Common Core mandates that students explain every single nuance of their work and answers. Although the creators argue that it better prepares students for college, they’re more focused on the future of the students, rather than the learning capabilities of students currently.

The new math textbooks posed a major problem too. Before Common Core, students received the basic bulky textbook that had various problems, as well as reviewed how to approach them and explained different ways to solve each problem.

With the disposable Common Core books, students like myself are forced to use in the CCIM pathway, students seldom learn how to solve problems. Instead, students have to read through it and find the solution themselves.

The book offers limited help, such as student “hints” in the margins and occasional examples, but the lack of explanation makes it extremely difficult for a student to understand a concept without the teacher guiding them in the correct direction. It’s commonly understood that it’s the teacher’s job to help students and offer support, yet a big flaw in the standards manifests itself when either a student or teacher is absent.

If a student or teacher is absent from school, the students are often told to read the next section and then they’ll magically be able to understand it and do the homework. In reality, the Common Core book explains little to nothing.

Within the last few weeks, my teacher was gone for three days during a relatively difficult unit. While my teacher was gone, he obviously was not teaching us, so he left warm ups, answer keys to the warm ups, sheets of papers trying to explain what we were learning, and that day’s homework.

He did as much as he could in an effort to help us understand the lesson, yet it still wasn’t helpful enough. I did everything we were told to do before starting our homework – attempted to solve the warm up problems, read the assigned section, and asked others for help – but it still wasn’t helping me understand. I then resorted to reading the book two more times through, but each time I ended up getting even more confused.

If the book had done what it was supposed do and actually explain things to the student, I wouldn’t have been so confused. Upon reading the book, I was only told to solve problems, and though I got examples of solving problems, they were extremely vague and confusing.

Because the new standard is for students to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing, it forgets the main responsibility of a textbook – explaining what the student is doing. Even though my teacher came back days later and filled in all the blanks for me, it took me longer than it should have to grasp what I was learning.

I’m not an underachieving student, so this was an entirely new experience to me not understanding what I was doing, but I feel particularly held back by the new, unhelpful, and problematic common core textbooks.