By Christopher Danielson

Part of Common Core Math For Parents For Dummies Cheat Sheet

A lot of misinformation is available about the Common Core Standards. These standards guide the math your child learns in school each year. In order to advocate for and to support your child, you need to be well informed. Here are some important facts that counter some of the common myths about the Common Core Standards.

  • The Common Core standards are only for math and English language arts. The Common Core doesn’t have science, history, or sex education standards. You may have heard of a set of standards called the Next Generation Science Standards, but they aren’t part of the Common Core.

  • Common Core includes the standard algorithms that you probably studied as a child. The old-fashioned way of solving addition and subtraction problems hasn’t gone away with Common Core. Students build up to those algorithms in the Common Core by exploring number patterns, by using the relationship between operations, and by representing their thinking with pictures and equations.

  • Common Core classrooms value the ways that you probably think about numbers. You can probably solve a problem such as 1001 – 2 in your head. You probably do it without borrowing from the thousands place. Maybe you count backward or compare this problem to a similar one such as 1001 – 1. Students develop these ways of thinking and use them to solve problems in Common Core math classrooms.

  • High schools may still offer precalculus and calculus courses. The Common Core standards outline three years’ worth of math courses for all high school students. Hence, it leaves a free year for precalculus for students who need it for their college majors. Schools can supplement this precalculus content across the other high school courses in order to prepare students for calculus courses in their senior year. Supplementing in this way requires creative program coordination, but the standards don’t prohibit it. Schools have had similar programs for many years because parents and students have increased the demand for Advanced Placement (AP) courses.