John Owens left out an important point [in his column “Mastering Math Shouldn’t Be Optional”], and one that I made at a recent school board meeting.
I asked if this Common Core curriculum was going to improve the ability of our children to make change at the check-out counter or anywhere else. The answer was “No”.
I have had several incidents where clerks (and this most likely represents the population as a whole) make mistakes (that is, for those who have no automated cash register, though even that was an issue once). If you cannot add and subtract correctly, how can you do math?
How many can estimate the total of a column of simple numbers and come close without that electronic item? They do not think in numbers, only in punching keys. Yes, they will pass the tests, but what will they do when the power goes out?