Once kids learn how to read all they need to know they can find out on Google. Math problems can be done on the calculator that is in every computer and phone. In the near future only first grade teachers will be needed and that just to give the little buggers a human touch to learn to read. After that all teaching will be done by robots.

We've come a long way since Classic Comics. They were a great study shortcut http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classics_Illustrated

Anecdotes. Look, I was in grade school when "New Math" was instituted in the 1960's. My dad had trouble understanding what I was being taught. Instead of just being drilled on arithmetic and memorizing multiplication tables, they stared introducing elements of geometry, algebra, matrices and boolean logic. But, you know, the curriculum was for me, not for my dad. The kids all got it because we were being instructed in it. It prepared us better for high school math and most of us aimed to go to college, unlike my dad's generation. In college, we were prepared for computers, FORTRAN, and programming. Kids today don't need to memorize multiplication tables and do arithmetic. They all carry powerful computers in the pockets to do that for them. What they need to know is how math works, how to solve problems, and how to make logical expressions, which is how we instruct the computers to do the grunt work. They will be solving problems by creating formulae in spreadsheets. Turning back time is not raising standards.

Sure, kids should learn how math works but they still need to learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. That is something you carry with you for the rest of your life. When you go to the grocery store you shouldn't need to pull out a calculator to figure out what the best price per ounce on different sizes of the same item. Some kids will grow up to become engineers, programmers and rocket scientists. Others will do other jobs where advanced math isn't necessary. Even an accountant doesn't need to know algebra or trigonometry.

It doesn't take 12 years to teach arithmetic any more, but it is still taught. And yes, calculators and computers have largely replaced the need to physically do arithmetic. Live with it, it frees up much time to learn more important things. To figure out the best price per ounce requires understanding what a ratio is. That is algebra, amigo. Everybody needs to know basic algebra and geometry. If you can't understand and know how to utilize a simple ratio, you are a fucking cave man. Any accountant who doesn't know algebra will never get any business from me. If you don't understand geometry, you will never know how to read a graph or know how to calculate how much carpet you need for an odd-shaped room or how much of your yard a bag of fertilizer will cover. Every time you need to problem solve a situation that involves money, time, distance, perimeter of a fence, volume of something, comparing prices when you shop, rent something - cost versus time, other situations you are using algebra. Algebra teaches you logical reasoning and problem solving skills when it comes to most every situation in life. You have to logically think your way through something to obtain the best results. When kids finish school and start applying for jobs their possible future employer may give them a test with some math problems on it. They want to know if they can use mathematical skills to solve a problem and the problems will include algebra - problems with variables. Most employers that pay well will not hire you unless you can solve algebra type problems to prove that you have logical and reasoning problem solving skills. Not just engineers, but nurses, carpenters, landscapers, restaurant managers, small business owners . . . an endless list.

How many "anecdotes" are you willing to dismiss? I picked that one because it was local to La. It would be simple to find many, many more. I live this shit every phucking school day of the year. I'm not stupid and I did well in school. The methodology for common core is near retardation level. I've watched my kids draw endless bubbles and dots just to find answers to simple questions. Verbiage is not clear and in fact, is sometimes counter-intuitive. My son is slightly ADD and I don't believe in using meds....he fares far better at memorization because it's singular in focus. You tell me, what kid does better....one who gets help from a parent or one with a parent who can't help? I'm not suggesting that there is ONLY one way. I'm suggesting that common core was foisted on unsuspecting parents who had no say in it's organization or implementation. The roll-out was clumsy and ineffective. Parents still get little to no communication on what's going on. Public schools are being forced into single-provider contracts for devices (gee, I wonder what) which is never a good thing IMO. "Success" is tied to federal funding which has a proven history of cheating and falsifying test scores. The feds are all over this program and teacher unions just want to protect jobs and pensions. As usual, the kids are getting little benefit and parents are caught in the middle. Signed, One very unhappy anonymous internet poster/parent in CA.

That is highly dependent on the teacher. Thank God CA recently had a judge rule against tenure for public school teachers. There are far too many older types who hate their job, hate the kids, hate the parents, are completely useless in the classroom. If anything, public education needs to foster in younger, enthusiastic teachers who have grown up in a technology era and have a better understanding of what's going on. Most teachers I know are more interested in their paycheck and their pension, not so much about program effectiveness. The ones who are great teachers hear from me often and I make sure to let them know the importance they play and how appreciated they are.