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Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 11:34 AM

Some of you may remember my rant about Common Core math from last November. Well, this article on the results of the New York Common Core Algebra Regents test justifies all of my feelings.

I struggled all year to try to help my daughter with her Algebra 2 common core math. No text books, teachers who had no idea what they were teaching or how to teach it, no help at all for a parent who took algebra over 35 years ago (thank God for the internet). Apparently the kids didn't get this common core crap either, as a grade of 25 will be rounded up to a passing grade of 65 for this year's regents and a raw grade of 50 will get you an 80. What a wasted year. Somebody PLEASE tell me what is wrong with the old way of teaching math? You know, when the math said that a 25 was a failing grade. Amazing! So these kids are going to "pass" the test, but did they actually learn anything this year?

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#1

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 12:20 PM

The article also has a copy of this year's Regents test so you can actually see what the kids had to deal with. My daughter's first words after taking the test were "I failed". Well, maybe not. Apparently this must have been a common feeling. How defeating is it for these kids to go to class all year and then get hit with something like this at their final exam?

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#2

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 12:24 PM

don't worry kids don'tt know how to sign their own names anymore, no one will know who's test is who's

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#6
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 1:10 PM

theys done no no mo grammer neither nor punktuashun

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#31
In reply to #2

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 10:05 AM

Dats cuz they got dem new fangled emoges to communicate with.

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#59
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 9:21 AM

I am in Ontario Canada.. in the 80's I hired a chap with grade 12 and to my surprise soon found out he could not read, from that time forth I had a book on my desk and if someone wanted to leave a resume I handed them the book and said " start reading any page" 60% could not read a book.

On or about 2010 I operated a small restaurant and the two grade 12 students I hired part time could not make change without a calculator. Another was not able to tell time with an analogue clock needed a didgital one.

Back in my High School days I was very poor in math especially trigonometry, average grade was 20/100 I left high school after grade 11 went to night school for machine ship training and our teacher showed how to use trig and I was getting 90+ easily. There is a lot to say on how a topic is taught and if possible how the subject is related to life and work.

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#3

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 12:39 PM

A year or two ago I tried to figure out what common core was. If you posted about it before then it may have been after your post. I couldn't make sense out of the mess.

My common rant about math is that math is a tool and we hurt ourselves very badly by being so afraid to use the tool. When I was a kid there were very few "story problems" until junior high school, and then most of them were only in advanced math classes. Expecting kids to learn math but never apply it to science, physics, checkbooks, grocery shopping lists, sports stats, etc. is like learning English but not being allowed to read a book or write a paragraph until you are in junior high school.

I think we are 30th or 40th in world rankings. By itself that statistic does not prove that I am right but I think it does prove that they are wrong.

For most of us math has very little value unless you use it to do something useful in the real world. Perhaps school should teach kids the skills necessary to do something useful in the real world.

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#7
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 1:23 PM

"For most of us math has very little value unless you use it to do something useful in the real world. Perhaps school should teach kids the skills necessary to do something useful in the real world."

It's not just applied mathematics. I got out of public school 23 years ago and even back then I had strong suspicions that very little of what they were teaching had any relevant application to the reality of life.

After covering the basics of +-X and / by 4th grade, I felt that pretty much everything after that was nearly useless and irrelevant to day to day application. Heck Most of it wasn't even relevant to my basic science physics or shop classes let alone basic life application.

From about 4th grade up to seemed like all the math they were obsessed with teaching us was how to do totally irrelevant unrealistic BS problems and how to solve them with the friggin alphabet and a 5 pages of complex gobbledygook that could easily be replaced with basic math if person had the least bit of brains and rational sense in their head.

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#10
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 1:45 PM

Really??!! How do you get through a week without algebra or trigonometry? I know I have to use each at least once / week. My wife, who is an RN / DON agrees completely with you. Guess it depends on your chosen vocation. I even use them in my hobbies occasionally. Now, vector analysis and surface integrals, well, haven't used them since advanced math courses in college. Although, I have had an occasional use for differential equations and integrals, although always simple and based on time as the variable.

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#21
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 4:35 PM

From my point of view, you are making things way more complicated than necessary.

I rarely find things I work on or design that can't be reduced down to basic math, geometry and applied common sense/reasoning if a guy stops and thinks about things for a bit.

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#22
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 4:37 PM

when was the last time "common sense" was taught??

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#26
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 5:57 PM

We replaced "common sense" with "common core". Its kind of like a Windows upgrade.

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#32
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 10:06 AM

RightO!

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#36
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 2:04 PM

Phys, good point. I use math all the time, here are some examples:

1. For my day to day tasks, I work on financing and leases. Most times I have it on my computer, but sometimes I'm on the road and I have to do it with a basic calculator (something I keep in my work bag).

2. When I'm working on my properties (or the few times I get to work on my own home), I'm cutting drywall, plywood or studs. Maybe aligning something or cutting odd ball angles.

3. A couple times a month, I'm at my board meetings. Sometimes it's simple finance, while other times it's doing some calculations on a development (grading slopes, tonnage calculations, lines of sight, etc) or water flow through different pipes for our water supply or water treatment plant.

Most of the times I "see" the solution in a graph, equation or visually see flow in and out. Then I transfer it to paper and solve the problem. If I didn't understand the principles of calculus, trig, algebra and geometry, I wouldn't be able to see the solutions.

Thank you.

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#37
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 2:48 PM

I use math all the time outside of work as well.

  • When I'm driving I try not to go 10 mph over the speed limit. I always calculate my average MPG.
  • When I'm buying stuff I figure out percentage off discounts, coupons, financing deals.
  • When I'm buying meals and have to split the check and calculate taxes.
  • When paying off my bills and investing in my retirement I have to take into account compounding interest.
  • When I cook with recipes I have to use all sorts of measures with different units.
  • When I play cards or dice games I'm calculating odds.
  • When I'm reading the temperature and trying to figure out what kinds of clothes I'll need when I go hiking (higher elevations are cooler).
  • When I'm exercising and trying to figure out how many calories I've burned.
  • When I need to know how much paint to buy when I'm painting a room (insert tons of other stuff).

Stuff like that and lots of other stuff. I think we just take math for granted. I'm pretty sure if we'd look we'd find a correlation between innumeracy and wealth management (unless you can afford to higher accountants, then you can be bad at math).

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#38
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 2:56 PM

You could hire a higher editor, too.

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#39
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 3:32 PM

I kind of think that all these educators don't see your examples as "math" even though they are. Most of us do math everyday in the same way you cited, and others, but being "taught the old way" we just automatically do it. Even buying groceries you look at the "per unit" cost and compare.

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#40
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 3:51 PM

I can't agree with you more. I too at 81 use math not only every day, but all through the day. I can't imagine not having some math expression going through my brain every waking hour. I even think math when in bed trying to sleep. When I go to a supermarket, I can still add up the prices in my head as I go and come up with the total before checking out. It may seem to be a waste of energy for most, but I think the more your brain is processing numbers, the more aware you become to your surroundings. It amazes me that cashiers cannot calculate the change from a dollar bill; add a penny or 2 and they are totally lost.

The purpose of common core was to put all school kids on the same level so they would not feel left out of the system. There were kids who couldn't learn and more who just didn't want to learn. Those who wanted to learn were burdened by the non-learners thereby bring the overall math scores down. CC grades on the curve. Even if a kid gets a 0, it is bumped up and that becomes the passing grade. When I went to school many years ago, a 95 on a test was my grade, not downgraded on a curve. If I got a 20, that too was my grade. We know what the problem is and what the answer is, but it can't be expressed due to political correctness.

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#41
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 4:01 PM

It all makes me wonder, what kind of education are the current generation getting. It's all going to come back and bite them in the a¢¢ at some point.

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#98
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/30/2016 1:27 AM

I am among other things a professional Math Tutor/ private teacher. I have encountered many student dismayed with basic algebra as it is currently taught. Most of them also have their math basics out from as far back as grade school, such as holes in their multiplication table; never were taught Short Division; don't know how to factor numbers into their prime numbers; can't handle fractions; confusion about exponentials; can't plot equations; etc. This is true all the way up thru college student that I tutor.

I have a series of pamphlets from the NAVY from WWII that cover all of these basics and more in a few small booklets. These students get the subject immediately when tutored from this basic material.

Looking at the two Core exams posted here, the first one , Algebra one was not too bad, however the second. Algebra II is ridiculous, and seems to be devoted to Statistics, a college subject which is not appropriate to the subject of algebra II.

Missing are basics of logarithms, exponents, synthetic division, conic sections etc.

It seems that no child left behind has evolved into all children left behind. We need to take back the education of our children from the government.

There are some successful alternative such as the Khan Academy on line and Applied Scholastics online that are doing the job well.

I suggest those who are concerned with their children succeeding in life, look into these alternative sources.

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#99
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/30/2016 10:51 AM

There is always the navy.

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#118
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 3:29 PM

It appears that what they're trying to find out is how much the students understand of arithmatic and algebraic operations. Those of us who managed - I had a lot of trouble - to memorize the operations themselves wouldn't necessarily and often didn't (count me one) understand what we had memorized actually does. This can be a life-long disability whose workarounds are not always obvious. Oddly enough, I seem to have "gotten" physical and electronic principles well enough, and better than many.

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#112
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 1:41 PM

Being politically correct and making sure nobody's feelings get hurt are things that brings us down as a society. We're not all created equal, so why do they keep trying to put everyone in the same box?

I've said it before; the kids have to know that they aren't doing a good job, but they still get a pat on the back. In their heart, they know they're being lied to.

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#51
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 8:30 PM

I consider that applied mathematics being it actually applies so something most anyone would see in day to day living and that sort of stuff is my strong point.

Still, I can't say much of it can't be reduced down to basic math and geometry to figure any part of it out and what can't easily be done always has an online calculator that will else you plug in the basic numbers and find out what you want to know from there.

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#83
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 5:33 PM

Did your punctuation keys quit working? No, there is a comma; keys must be sticking...

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#62
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 10:48 AM

In my experience you need to be very good at maths if you have to use an accountant.

They might help with company law and tax law - but you need to Know how to do the arithmetic - especially when you get their invoice.

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#77
In reply to #37

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 2:45 PM

I agree for the most part, but just to play the devil's advocate: The one's I'm not being a smart-a$$ to I agree with you.

  • My car tell me MPG at the moment, last tankful, and life of the car. (I do check it also, usually very close.)
  • I'm strange, tip percentages come to me naturally; and our taxes are 9.9%, so that's just cheating.
  • I just get the plastic do-hickey it tells me to when coking.
  • I like Texas Hold'em; more face cards showing. :)
  • I think to most people knowing how to dress at 30C and 15C is common sense. It's the knowledge to look or to think about the possible differences that isn't so common.
  • Exer-what?
  • Agree, however I cheat and tell the paint store my room dimensions (still math) since different paints give different coverages. (nit-picking)

My sister is a music teacher. She does use math, but it's the same formulae each time it's needed. She couldn't care less that her roof has a 4/12 pitch.

I guess my point is that most people only use basic math. (+-*/) Most don't need to know .70711 or what Pi is. And yes, there are people that can't even add very well.

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#48
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 5:00 PM

Autobroker: "...Most of the times I "see" the solution in a graph, equation or visually see flow in and out. Then I transfer it to paper and solve the problem. If I didn't understand the principles of calculus, trig, algebra and geometry, I wouldn't be able to see the solutions......."

It sounds as though you are in a scenario that also requires a knowledge of 'engineering' science as well - flow, pressure, area, volume, temperature, power, amps and volts etc, etc.

Coupled to which is the limited knowledge (or total lack of knowledge) of the audience you are trying to address - thus making it harder for you to get your message across - whereas your opponents (with private agendas of their own) rely on the ignorance of the audience to get their own opposing messages across.

I know the feeling well. I have served on technical standards committees for BSI, CEN and ISO.

You have to be well versed in your special subject - and be able to give explanations using one or more routes to the correct answer.

I can easily imagine a scenario where if the audience was new-schoo-common-core-math-taught, then your old school methods would have to be translated by you into their 'language' (they won't do it for you) or your arguments would fall on deaf ears (possibly deliberately because you are not 'one of them).

Us old un's have to keep up - learn new ways - or we get left behind.

Personally I understand common-core math enough o follow it, but I don't use it as a method, but unwittingly have used some of the principles long before they were introduced 'officially'.

Silly analogy I now, but I drive on the left in the UK. I know lots of good reasons why driving on the right would also work, but it is easier to keep left.

In USA I tend to drive on the right rather than trying to convince everybody to keep left is a proven alternaive way of reaching the destination.

But to be versatile, I have to learn, and become proficient, both methods, if I want to drive around both countries.

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#49
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 6:26 PM

It helps if the steering wheel is on the correct side of the car for the roads being driven, so that you can see where you are going.

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#113
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 2:38 PM

The times when I'm sitting on one of my boards, I'm usually the one being presented to. A developer, county employee, utility company, resident, etc. makes a presentation to our board and based on the description of the project and input from residents, I use my experience and judgement to recommend or deny the project.

A recent example is when a developer presented to our town council. They were trying to downplay a huge mistake they made, which caused one of our protected ridge lines to be damaged. Their engineering and geology reports were faulty, which allowed the county to give them a permit to expand the project too close to the base on the hill. When they were grading (at the bottom of the hill), they made the hill unstable (caused a landslide). To fix the landslide and to keep the square footage of the development high (their economic gain), they chose to do major grading at the top of the hill, to reduce the pressure on the lower part of the hill. An option could've been to reinforce the hill at the bottom and move the buildings away from the hill. It would've cost them less money, but that would've lowered the square footage of the project. As a councilman, my job was to find out if the solution they chose was best for the town (damage a protected ridge line vs more industrial park sq footage) and to come up with a recommendation to the county. The ridge lines in our town are a huge aesthetic draw and adds to the value of our properties. We live in a rural community minutes away from the hustle and bustle of suburbia and we chose to buy here because of the natural beauty. The ridge line looks terrible now.

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#28
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 8:03 PM

Never did get that algebur. One day they tell you X is 2 and the next day they say its 5!

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#67
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 12:20 PM

That's why it's called a variable

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#75
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 2:12 PM

I have my doubts being the Romans figured out X had a value of 10 some 3000 years ago when they were still stumped with defining what 0 was.

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#33
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 10:14 AM

You use math all the time and even when you least expect it some geometry equation or trigonometry equation comes into play. You use trigonometry to figure the run on the pitch of a roof or layout of a set of stairs. My brother, while in the Air Force was part of a team that had to line out cones at 90 degrees and they were standing around trying to figure out how they could make sure the cones were lined out straight and at 90 degrees. My brother was no very good in school, just average and did just enough to get by, comes up with using the 3^2x4^2x5^2 right triangle formula. Then there is always the trying to figure out how much you'll be paying in interest on a credit card compounded daily.

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#60
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 9:59 AM

There is no need to square the 3, 4, and 5 to guarantee the right triangle. Squaring them does show that those side lengths agree with the Pythagorean theorem.

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#123
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 3:44 PM

I think he meant that you can tell if it's a 90 degree angle if the sides are 3,4,5 or a multiplication of them. Remember that the military has some really good basic concepts that they teach their enlisted men.

The proof that it works is taking the square of each side and adding the ... you know what I mean.

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#69
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 12:40 PM

My wife is Chinese. The study habits used in China even today are far beyond what we do in the US.

We tried to visit her nephew in China in high school one evening about 5pm. In their region the students live at school after the '8th' grade. We weren't allowed to see him as he was in his 'before dinner' study group. My wife had told me that we would be lucky to catch him with any free time during the school year.

She remembers in high school having classes, study group, dinner, study groups, lights out (study groups under a blanket with a flashlight), then Real lights out about 10pm.

Oh, with a Bachelors in Business from an upper university in China, she thinks Common Core math is "ridiculous".

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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 12:53 PM
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#47
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/28/2016 4:58 PM

Other than the length, it doesn't seem that bad some 50 years after high school algebra. I suspect the lower grades may have been due to many unfinished tests. I don't know that I'd have finished this 50 years ago, and I was the geek who always tried to be the first done with a test. Now if they are teaching it in a different method and that must be shown, then my results would also be pathetic. The old way, I still should be able to pass this. It's math = logic. Some can be solved just by looking at it. Some take some figuring.

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#54
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 1:05 AM

I agree, that test looks similar to ones I took in HS. Graduated HS in '72 and was taught the old method and the "new" method. Old method based on logic and reasoning, new method was more relationships and comparing.

Went on to get BS in Chemistry and Math in '76.

Fast forward to mid-late 90's and working 12-hr rotating shifts so I became a substitute teacher for local school system on some of my off days. Once Math/Science teachers found out I could understand the subjects and do the work, I was in high demand for the advanced classes. On many occasions when a student struggled to understand how to solve problems by the method presented I would go "old school" for the method and you could see them light up with understanding. Best moment was when over half of a class was baffeled by the new method and when I finished working it old school, almost in unison, they commented "oh, thats how to work it". Best thing for students was that no teacher asked them to show their work, as long as the answer was correct they received the points.

"Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good." Thomas Sowell

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#57
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 8:25 AM

Best thing for students was that no teacher asked them to show their work, as long as the answer was correct they received the points.

That's a bit surprising. Back in the "old school" days in the late 60's, my Wife failed a math course final because she could just look at the question and see the answer. She put very few equations down near the answers. The math teacher said she cheated and she ended up taking a summer make up course.

With the electronic abilities even in the 90's, making cheating easier than when cheaters had to actually peek at other test papers, you would think that the equations would have to be shown somewhere.

I showed my Wife this common core test. She hasn't used math like that in 50 years, and she said she couldn't do most of the questions anymore.

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#68
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 12:26 PM

I think the thing you are missing is not that the test does or doesn't look that difficult, it's that the common core methodology obviously isn't succeeding in actually teaching or preparing the kids. My school district is listed among the best districts in the country and does very well when it comes to standardized test sores. The fact that the majority of kids struggled with this test speaks volumes. Does the test look fair or easy to you? That's fine, but why did the overwhelming majority of students in NY State do so poorly on it? You can't just say it's a bad teacher here or there. It goes much, much deeper than that.

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#71
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 1:21 PM

No - I didn't miss the point - I didn't express myself well. To an old school student, even 50 years later, it looks quite do-able. That says a lot about the current method of teaching, doesn't it? Or, possibly, other factors as mentioned below.

Yes it looks fair, but as I also stated, a bit lengthy. I still wonder how many ever finished this test in the time allowed. Who decided what content, and how much content was to be included? Reminds me of an SAT, as I remember that test. Just looking at the length was a bit intimidating, even to a smart alec geek in the late 60's who thought he was better than the competition academically. I got done in time, but many others left unanswered questions in their tests. Fear of running out of time can cause the mind to falter.

Were there pressures on the students over these tests? That changes the outcome as well. That's one thing I never had much of a problem with, but many others I knew were quite intimidated by such a test, because so much depended on the outcome. It's like my Wife and her friends who became nurses. Some who had done quite well in school, couldn't pass the "boards" because they choked. I think I remember hearing about pressures on this test being applied to students because their teachers fate hung on it. (I get Buffalo news) I think some teachers have been found to teach mostly how to pass this test,

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#73
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 1:33 PM

So, there may be some logic here.

I think this is really stupid!!!!

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#76
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 2:18 PM

Estimating numbers would be more reasonable to me. 2.9 becomes 3, 3.5 stays as is. Estimate is 650.

Using the front end estimate, 295 + 385; 500 would still be reasonable for 680?!

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#81
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 4:45 PM

In my world, close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.

An almost right answer is still wrong, unless you are predicting the weather.

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#82
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 5:14 PM

The weather is another matter subject to the 90/10 rule.

90% right,, 10% of the time

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#84
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 5:41 PM

And vice versa.

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#90
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 7:38 PM

If there's a 20% chance of rain, it means there are eight other places where it's not raining.

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#124
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 3:54 PM

Lyn, you're being too rigid. Here are a few examples:

1. The Hubble Telescope mirror. It was close and even though the images weren't clear, a new mirror was made and installed - afterward, it worked perfectly, right?

2. St Francis Dam. Mulholland was close enough and at first, it seemed to be a huge failure, but was it? Some will argue that it cleared the way for the Santa Clarita Valley to become what it is now.

3. Current example: Takata made a miscalculation in regards to their air bags. It was close enough and the error has caused millions or hours of work to employees of both Takata, Honda, Chrysler, BMW, etc.

So, you see that close enough isn't just for horse shoes and hand grenades! or the weather.

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#115
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 3:08 PM

Ummmm. If you say 354 is close to 350 and 291 is close to 300, then an estimate of 650 would be much more accurate.

I'll put it in perspective of an auto lease (something I do for a living).

Salesman: Sir, your monthly lease payment is broken down into $354/mo in depreciation plus $291 in interest. How does that sound to you?

Customer: Let me see ... (thinking in his head $354 is close to $300 and $291 is close to $200, so $300 + $200 is $500 - wow, that's less than the $645 figure he emailed me - wow, I better jump on this before he finds out his mistake!) - I"LL TAKE IT! Just make sure the papers I sign say $354 + $291, okay?

Salesman: Done deal. And let me add that I was only able to give you this screaming deal because I went to school with your uncle's brother in law and even though I'm gonna get in trouble with my manager, I'll do it for YOU. Now how about that paint protection and LoJack system to protect your investment?

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#5

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 1:10 PM

I just glanced through the test. It's been longer than I'm going to tell you since I took high-school algebra, and I didn't have the world's best Algebra 2 teacher (well, he told us that we were the stupidest "smart" class he'd ever had, so I guess he was as disappointed in us as we were in him). That said, I'm confident that he taught us, using old-fashioned methods, enough to have passed this test with a 65. We had a textbook and homework that got graded every day and we could generally understand Mr. Palmer's explanations. If I was still lost my father could figure out how to explain the problem. He had a degree in accounting, not math or anything that technical.

It's not fair to the current crop of students to keep this common core stuff entrenched in high-school curricula. How many otherwise talented kids are being turned off of math while everyone's promoting STEM education?

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#8
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 1:31 PM

Here's the link to the Algebra 2 test - http://nysedregents.org/algebratwo/616/algtwo62016-exam.pdf

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#11
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 2:02 PM

I totally agree with you. My daughter is in accelerated math and has always been a very good math student. She was switched over to the common core method of teaching until this past year (her junior year). She is so turned off to math now it's really a shame. That's another thing that isn't fair, dumping this on kids in high school. Maybe kids indoctrinated in this new method of teaching at a young age (if it's still around) will yield better results in the future. Still, it's hard to justify telling a kid (or me) that something is wrong if the answer is correct but the methodology used to get it is different than what was taught.

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#55
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 1:39 AM

My company was asked by the local school system to supply someone to speak on "Math in the Workplace" to HS teachers several years ago, and I was volun-told to represent us. At the time we were using PSP exams to determine who would be a good candidate to hire. If applicants score was not higher than the average score of those already employed then they weren't considered.

I put together two short 20 problem tests based the math sections of our entry test and supervision/management tests. I started the presentation by instructing them to clear their desk and get out a pencil, then handed out the entry test and gave them 2 - 3 minutes to work on it. I then asked them how many of the students they just promoted/graduated could work that test. Responses were only some could work it. I then explained that if the student couldn't pass it then we wouldn't consider them for a job. I then repeated the process with the management test. They commented that very few students could work it and they were the ones that took the most advanced classes. We went on to discuss how math was used in our plant and shared observations of the understanding of some of the recent hires. The hope was the teachers could better understand why the students needed to be able to construct the equation to solve the problem not just be able to get an answer if someone else set up the equation for them.

BTW: most of the 20+ teachers in attendance struggled with answering the problems as well. They couldn't explain how to work problems to the students because they did not understand how to do it either.

"The problem isn't that Johnny can't read. The problem isn't even that Johnny can't think. The problem is that Johnny doesn't know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling. Thomas Sowell"

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#116
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 3:20 PM

Great story and it tells me a lot about why the system is failing. If the teachers are having trouble with the test, then how can we expect them to teach? They say our kids are one of our most valuable assets, yet we accept sub-standard results?

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#9

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 1:35 PM

I went through a similar scenario with one of my sons about 15 years ago. I helped him with his high school algebra homework until he came home with a big red "incorrect method" across it. "What happened?" I asked, he said the teacher told him that although he had the right answer, he didn't solve it the way she taught it therefore it was wrong.

After a two hour meeting with her the next day (where she couldn't explain the logic of her "method"), she reluctantly agreed to grade his answers and not how he arrived at them.

ps- he proceeded to excel in honors math and graduated magna cum laude with his BS in math and computer science. Have faith that your child will get through this nonsense.

Here's the latest Regents test, it doesn't look like anything I was ever taught in HS. I defy anyone to answer all the questions in under 8 hours!

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#12
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 2:06 PM

When did math become a subject focused around interpreting word problems? I get it, they're trying to make it about real world problems. The problem is that they didn't learn the fundamentals through repeated calculations and now they get totally confused by the word problems and don't know how to apply what they should have learned.

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#13
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 2:08 PM

Yeah, but if you only need to get 30%, you can probably answer in 4 hours.

I looked at the test, but because of slow download only got to about 15 questions. I thought the language was ambiguous in one, but had no difficulty with the others.

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#18
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 3:48 PM

I used to get in trouble in college algebra due to using the wrong method. Somehow the college filled in the algebra teacher's position with someone that was totally worthless. I had honors algebra, trig and calculus in high school and found myself totally unable to pay attention to this boring person in the front of the classroom. He would get mad at me for my insistence to use chapter 12 methods for chapter 3 homework. I would get mad at him because I got the problems right without reading any of the book. I had no idea what was in chapter 3, chapter 12 or any of the other chapters.

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#14

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 2:09 PM

Here's something else ironic about this. The school has the results of the regents tests in-house, but due to the curve, it's going to take them a while to figure out what the corrected scores need to be. I love it. Now they need to apply new common core math to figure out the test scores.

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#16
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 3:16 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Hoist with their own petard! I love it!

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#15

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 2:22 PM

They might have changed the trig identities,..oops, too bad, this is algebra.

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#17

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 3:38 PM

What has changed in Algebra, Trig, basic arithmetic, or Calculus in the past 50 or 75 years?

Schools are always complaining they need more money for supplies, salaries, etc.

Here's an idea, save money on text books and curriculum - use 50 year old text books.

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#20
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 4:29 PM

They are saving money, at least for now. There is NO common core text book. This was one of the biggest frustrations. They have this new method of teaching and there is no text book to refer to. If we were lucky we had a copied handout. it's really just a giant mess. And I say "we" because I felt like I was relearning algebra along with my daughter.

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#174
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/11/2016 1:42 PM

Same with my daughter. In advanced math, taking algebra 2, with no text books. She relies only on the notes the teacher writes on the board during class.

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#175
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/11/2016 2:31 PM

I can't imagine taking any math class without a textbook!

I was never able to both pay attention and at the same time copy notes from the blackboard, other than an occasional equation or key phrase.

Is there at least an online reference of some kind?

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#176
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/13/2016 8:49 AM

No online resource specifically for common core that I have ever seen - another source of frustration. There are lots of math sites out there as resources, as well as some online calculators that give tell you how to solve a problem step-by-step (but not necessarily in the common core method). There are even apps that let you scan in the problem with your smartphone. I'm not suggesting that the student (or parent) should use this to get the answer, but if you are stumped (or can't remember) the step-by-step solutions can help.

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#24
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/27/2016 4:42 PM

That only works for certain subjects.

When I was in high school we had books like that.

The last chapter pertaining to current events in my social studies book related to things like how Hitlers actions may start a war any day now.

My English books still used words like 'thy' instead of 'the' and my science books referenced to alchemy and pegan ritual to solve some chemical reaction formulas.

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#58
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

06/29/2016 9:18 AM

I'm going to date myself, but I remember the science textbook I had in the late 70's in a very rural area. It speculated about how someday man was going to land on the moon! No way! Back then it was years between grade school textbook changes.

Other side of the coin, I hate taking college courses where the professor is also the author of the textbook. No-win situation.

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#102
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/01/2016 2:34 PM

"Here's an idea, save money on text books and curriculum - use 50 year old text books."

That's fine for the Math classes, multiplication tables don't change over time;

not so good for the Science classes, 50 years ago, they were still handling mercury with bare hands in school;

and a complete disaster for Social Studies, "Civil Rights: Trouble Ahead" is not a chapter I'd want my kids being tested on.

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#128
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/04/2016 11:27 AM

I wasn't recommending using older texts for other subjects. The first line of my comment was regarding Algebra, Trig and Calculus.

Use common sense, make changes where it's necessary. But why spend money on something that hasn't really changed?

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#122
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 3:40 PM

Re: "Here's an idea, save money on text books and curriculum - use 50 year old text books".

Probably out of print!

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#129
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/04/2016 11:35 AM

That may be true, but wouldn't it be less expensive to convince the publishers to bring them back into print than to print new material and have to pay for whoever wrote the new text?

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#131
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/05/2016 9:25 AM

The textbook publishers need to appease the Texas Board of Education, so 'old' textbooks won't sell, since they'll still have the info the Texans want changed/removed.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2012/06/21/how-texas-inflicts-bad-textbooks-on-us/

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#132
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/05/2016 11:34 AM

Maybe the solution is to change the make up of the Texas Board of Education.

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#133
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/05/2016 12:00 PM

That'll never happen.

Those people still believe that the Stork brings babies and that slaves were just volunteers in the plantations.

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#134
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/05/2016 12:03 PM

That WOULD be a solution, but the board member elections are staggered, and scheduled in 'off year' elections. Whether that means the elections are in 'midterm elections' on the even years between presidential elections, or in 'odd-year elections,' completely out of step with the federal elections people normally turn out for, I'm not certain. But Texas is such a low voter turnout state, it almost doesn't matter, get ten friends to vote the same as you do and your chosen candidate dominates at the polling place.

We need some way to keep one state from dictating terms to the other 49. Texas and textbooks, California with their Prop 65 'scary label' mandate, we've got a minority of loonies dragging everyone else along with them.

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#139
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/06/2016 3:48 AM

We have some pretty good laws here in CA! Check out Prop 13. One not to follow, Prop 47!

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#142
In reply to #139

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/06/2016 10:26 AM

Or how about Prop 8? That even got more recognition that Prop 65, despite the fact that Prop 65 labels are seen nationwide. Now that we've got the Supreme Court ruling that protects Gay Marriage across the nation, it's a good thing Prop 8 failed, that saved the state from having to nullify it after SCOTUS laid down the law.

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#163
In reply to #142

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/09/2016 3:47 AM

If you ask residents, they know Prop 13, because it has a direct effect on them. Prop 8? I had to do a Google search to see what it was about. Prop 65? That's about clean water - I had to look it up.

Prop 47 stinks. A friend of ours ordered a laptop computer. Came to their home and the UPS guy left it at the front door. Someone came up to the house and stole the computer - my gut feeling is that the son told his friend about the computer coming. Even though the family knows the person who stole it - they have a clear video of the person on their security camera. They sent it to the sheriff's dept and they were told that due to Prop 47, it's considered a misdemeanor (before it was felony grand theft), so the police don't put much priority on writing a ticket for misdemeanor theft.

I have a friend who is a sheriff deputy and he told me that shoplifters are calculating the cost of things they steal to make sure it doesn't go over $950. The thieves know that they can get away with it and that the police won't arrest them.

For me, Prop 13 and Prop 47 are the ones I'm the most interested.

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#164
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/09/2016 3:59 AM

I once had a $40,000 art work purloined from me, but I couldn't get any lawyers or law enforcement people interested in the matter. If I were fully cynical, I would say that the police are good only for shooting black and brown persons.

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#167
In reply to #164

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/09/2016 4:32 AM

Did you know who took it? If so, I'd think the police would go after them - that would be a nice feather in their cap if the DA gets a conviction.

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#169
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/09/2016 5:14 AM

That is a complicated matter, which follows a complicated story. The work in question is M.C. Escher's "House of Stairs", 20/40 (signed lithograph). Unless somebody has changed it since, it can be further identified by a security feature I added.

I purchased it from the Vorpal Gallery in San Francisco ~1981, by "trading up" from a "Concave and Convex". I still have a "Flatworms" (1/53 II).

Sometime in the early 1990s, I consigned "House" back to the gallery, hoping for a sale. Shortly thereafter, the gallery owner went through a bad divorce, requiring him to sell off much or all of his Escher inventory. Despite notification, two incompetent courts included my consigned piece in that inventory, so I lost it. In the gallery's ensuing bankruptcy proceedings, the gallery owner helped me greatly to recover about 60% of my loss.

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#178
In reply to #169

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/14/2016 7:16 AM

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Back in college, I was introduced to Escher and I thought his work was ingenious! Very cool stuff!

I'm having trouble with a client (or former client) who filed a fraudulent BK. She put the wrong lienholder on her BK, so my company was never notified of the BK. As cut and dry as this should be, the BK court may do anything about it. Next step will be the DA's office, if I need to.

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#170
In reply to #164

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/09/2016 2:10 PM

"If I were fully cynical, I would say that the police are good only for shooting black and brown persons."

Similarly, I would say that the media fails to report, or at least only glosses over the coverage of ALL victims of shootings.

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#172
In reply to #163

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/11/2016 9:53 AM

"Prop 65? That's about clean water - I had to look it up."

Had to look it up? I thought everyone in the US knew about California Prop 65, due to the ubiquitous warning "This product contains chemicals determined by the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects and/or reproductive harm."

It's on everything, from food, to toys, to play sand. California has mandated scary Prop 65 warnings on SAND, what composes 98% of the state!

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#173
In reply to #172

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/11/2016 10:40 AM

Don't forget the mud police. Prop 65 allowed third parties to file suit for supposed violations and has spawned a new round of ambulance chasers who don't even need to chase an ambulance. There are several legal entities created just to file suit against any and all manufacturers or producers for anything that doesn't rigidly follow the letter of the environmental regs. One of the outcomes is the "mud police" who swarm construction sites looking for mud puddles from which to collect samples to file law suits. They get to keep any money from the settlement and are not required to show that they have suffered any damages.

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#179
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/14/2016 7:19 AM

I know about the warnings, but had no idea it was Prop 65. I'm guilty of remembering the Props that have a direct effect on me. Prop 13 has saved me a lot in property taxes and I'm glad it was passed.

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#180
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/14/2016 10:23 AM

Personally, I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes, as long as I know the money is going to the places its supposed to. In Illinois, for example, property taxes help to fund the public schools and the emergency services (Firemen, Police, Paramedics (typically 'attached' to a firehouse, to save money on logistics and shorten response time, firehouse locations are chosen for quick access to the neighborhood)). So the people who can afford to live in the wealthier areas can also afford a few extra bucks(1) to keep the supply room of the school from running out of dry-erase markers and keep gas in the fire trucks. That's the key point of a community; people helping other people. When everyone is only looking out for themselves, we don't have a community, we don't even have anarchy, what we have is Chaos.

Do I ENJOY paying property taxes? Of course not, NOBODY enjoys paying taxes. However, I understand it's one of the 'traditions' that make society function, much like the tradition of wearing pants(2) when walking around outside.

Notes:

  1. Obviously, there should also be 'tax discounts' for seniors and those on a fixed income. If you've lived in a place for fifty years and paid off the mortgage, you shouldn't get forced out just because the area around you is improving after your retirement.
  2. Or skirt, or kilt, etc. The point is, society says "nobody wants to see your undies," so, as members of society, we are polite and cover them up.
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#181
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/20/2016 12:55 AM

My mom still lives in Chicago (actually a suburb north and a little west of the city). I believe she gets her money's worth out of the property taxes she pays. The mosquito truck comes by to spray during the summer. She has a really nice library. The roads are in good shape (considering the damage from freezing). The snow plow clears her street and they throw salt to melt the ice. There are two swimming pools, a public golf course, numerous parks with clubhouses, senior programs, kids programs, excellent schools, a nearby Junior College, police that actually show up in a reasonable time, etc.

Here in LA County, we pay less taxes per dollar of real estate value, but we get killed with all the "extra" that are added from voter electives. For instance, one of my properties is taxed at 3.60% of the value of the home. The General Property Tax rate is 1.00%, so for that house, I pay 2.6% for things like low income programs, people who don't pay their hospital bills, homeless support, drug rehab programs, failing schools, etc. The renters vote yes on all "freebies". The property owners are sick of paying for the them.

To put things into perspective, if you have a moderately priced house in a decent suburb in Chicago, your house is worth lets say $600K. If you got hit with a 3.60% property tax, that comes out to $1,800/mo. Your mortgage with a 20% down payment and 4% APR is a little less than $2,300/mo. So, why should you pay almost as much in property tax as you pay for your mortgage?

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#182
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/20/2016 10:05 AM

"The renters vote yes on all "freebies". The property owners are sick of paying for the them."

Are your properties 'rent controlled' like in New York? If not, then when the renters vote 'yes' on a 'freebie' that raises property taxes, send out a notice that "Due to Prop X raising the property tax on this property from $Y/year to $Z/year, starting on <date>, all rents will be increased by $W/month." That will show them that A) You are only increasing the rents enough to cover the new tax rate, you're not 'gouging' them for more than their fair share; and B) their actions have consequences.

If the properties ARE rent controlled, then when you feel it is no longer profitable to hold on to the property, you just sell it to a developer who will probably knock the building down to put up a new mall, or a parking lot for a newly-built mall. If the property is becoming 'more hassle than it's worth,' it's time to get rid of it.

My family used to own income properties, but we got out of that mess; with all the 'complaints' from the tenants (The floors aren't perfectly level? NO building has perfectly level floors, especially 75-100 year old buildings like this one. (and by the way, the floors were fine, if you set a ball down on the floor it would stay where you put it, who cares if the bubble level isn't dead-center between the marks.)), as well as the constant damage they were doing, (You don't wash babies in the kitchen sink, the modern sheet-metal double-basin sinks and the modern plastic drain pipes aren't designed for kids to be jumping around in, *THAT'S* why the pipes are leaking), we, as live-in landlords practically needed to have a live-in superintendent to keep up with all the nonsense, on a simple 4-unit apartment building.

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#183
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/20/2016 11:18 AM

"The renters vote yes on all "freebies". The property owners are sick of paying for the them."

The observation I forgot to make in my previous post, but alluded to, is that the property owners, by not adjusting rents to account for tax increases, are letting the renters get away with not paying THEIR 'fair share' of the taxes.

My family got out of the income property 'market' before I looked at the balance sheets, however, I was under the assumption that, for multi-unit rental properties, the combined rents would cover the mortgage and tax costs, and still leave a small profit for the building owner. Otherwise, the building is operating at a net loss, and what sort of business model is it to have expenses outpace income(1)?

Notes:

  1. Government is a notable exception to this rule, since the point of government is not to make a profit, but to protect the country and maintain the infrastructure. In times of lean economy, the government will be accruing debt to 'keep the engine of the economy running,' and in times of prosperity, the government will be 'paying down the debt.' Granted, that model only looks at 'local debt,' not at 'international debt,' such as trade deficits and loans from other nations, that gets really complex, and the government doesn't have much control there; trade deficits depends on what is being traded where(2), and foreign loans are usually made because of trade deficits.
  2. It was easier in Ye Olden DaysTM, when trade was slow, dangerous, and expensive. Back then it was only luxuries that were being traded, since commodities could more cheaply made locally. Now that trade is so cheap, fast, and safe, it's direct competition between international labor pools for manufacturing, and the country that underpays and mistreats the workers the worst 'wins' the 'lowest labor cost' award.
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#143
In reply to #139

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/06/2016 10:31 AM

That reminds me, why are there no big 'friendly' Prop 65 warnings up and down California's beachfront, or in their desert parks? Both those areas contain vast quantities of sand (silica dioxide) and, as anyone who looks at the packaging of 'play sand' in your local 'we got toys' store can tell, sand is on the Prop 65 list.

Perhaps we should get a petition going again to add Dihydrogen Monoxite to the Prop 65 list. It almost passed last time.

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#165
In reply to #143

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/09/2016 4:11 AM

Someone wanted our Town Council to send a letter to our County Supervisor with a list of materials they wanted to be banned from a local landfill. One of the items on the list was ionizing radiation. When I told her that it's energy, she told me that allowing the landfill to accept ionizing radiation would cause residents to have cancer.

I asked her if she would rather have them ban materials with plutonium or uranium in them, she said that would be good too, but she said we have to fight to make sure ionizing radiation is kept out!

Her list also had things like carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, nitrogen oxides, radon, etc. When I told her they are gasses, she said that makes them more dangerous, because they can get into the air around our homes if the landfill is allowed to accept them.

Luckily, we voted her down, but we did offer to re-visit her list if she did a better job vetting it. She told us we were wrong and her list was vetted by an engineer who knows about health safety. I'm still stuck on who would bring a truck with carbon monoxide to the landfill, then dump it there???

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#171
In reply to #165

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/09/2016 2:15 PM

Surprised dihydrogen monoxide wasn't on her list.

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#126
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/03/2016 4:05 PM

How do you expect kids to learn how to use the calculator program to solve math problems on their iPhone or Galaxy 7 using a text book older than 2016?

Anyway, all the 50-75 year old textbooks are in the ghetto schools now and you know they can't be used by suburban kids.

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#130
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Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/04/2016 11:42 AM

I assume you're being facetious.

It annoys me to no end that schools allow kids to use calculators and even internet in doing much of their work at an early grade. I have no problem with them learning to use the internet to do research, but so many only use the internet for research, they don't learn how to do non-internet research (i.e. going to a library, looking through magazines, encyclopedias, newspapers, books, etc.).

It's difficult to quantify, but how much is learned along the way while by seeing other articles searching for the assigned topic?

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#138
In reply to #130

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/06/2016 3:39 AM

Of course I was!

A little over a year ago, I went to our school board retreat. A speaker gave a very interesting presentation about the difference between my generation and the current generation. I'm not in 100% agreement, but he came pretty close. He said that my generation rewards people who had a lot of knowledge and facts. Experts got better jobs and were paid more. Today, people have all the information they need at their fingertips (smart phones), so knowing facts isn't important. What is important is how you process the data to solve your problem at hand - he called it Critical Thinking.

Like I said, I'm not 100% in agreement with him and I do believe that people who have specialized pieces of information and data + are critical thinkers = The employee of the future.

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#141
In reply to #138

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/06/2016 10:12 AM

"What is important is how you process the data to solve your problem at hand - he called it Critical Thinking."

But Common Core does not TEACH Critical Thinking, it teaches rote rule-following while at the same time DISCOURAGING any Critical Thinking about the Rule of the Day.

The good news is that we have all this raw data available on the internet, the bad news is that we have ALL this RAW DATA available on the internet. We don't need to teach Rule-Following, we need to teach REAL Critical Thinking, which starts by drilling kids on their 'times tables' then showing how the different equations relate to that, so they now UNDERSTAND how multiplication works, and can ask questions such as "If three times five is fifteen, and five times three is fifteen, does it matter if we think of it as three fives or five threes?(1)" Common Core, unfortunately teaches NONE of that, and is dooming a generation of our youth to a life of not understanding the world around them and an inability to make their own critical thinking decisions(2).

Notes:

  1. To which the answer is "Of course not, education is like painting a large room. You need to put up some scaffolding so you can paint the entire wall, but once the wall is painted, you don't need the scaffolding any more. You've shown that you understand what multiplication means, so you don't need the 'scaffolding' of making rows and columns."
  2. Then again, that might be the goal of the politicians to set up this 'anti-intellectual' Common Core system. Empty-minded sheeple are easier to lead around by the nose, and easier to fill with unfounded fears.
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#162
In reply to #141

Re: Common Core Math - An Engineering Dad's Nightmare (Take Two)

07/09/2016 3:37 AM

I'm not an expert in Common Core education. I do know enough about it to understand that it's not the solution we need for our kids.

At our local charter school, they don't use Common Core teaching. What they do is teach using project based learning. The first time I stepped into the school, I was very impressed. No only by the teaching method, but also in the way they send subliminal messages to the kids, stuff like posting Steven Covey's Seven Habits on the walls.

Project based learning does work. You see, back in grade school, we were given a Bi-Centennial project. We were each given a state that we had to do research and make a report. I somehow got Vermont and to this day, I can tell you that the capital is Montpelier, they are known for maple syrup (which they tap the tree to get the syrup out - they put a bucket under the tap) and they were the 14th state in the Union in 1791. If I can remember these facts some 40 years later, that tells me that project based learning does work.

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