Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Common Core Questions Meant To Confuse

Take a look at this math question from the 3rd grade Common Core test in NY State and the comments made afterward by various commenters on Michelle Malkin's Twitchy blog:

If you’re wondering why the scores were so bad, check out one of the questions for third-graders from the New York State Common Core Sample Questions (page 8):
There were 54 apples set aside as a snack for 3 classes of students. The teachers divided up the apples and placed equal amounts on 9 separate trays. If each of the 3 classes received the same number of trays, how many apples did each class get?
A) 2
B) 6
C) 18
D) 27
We’re all for rigor, but we are talking here about a test for third-graders, most of whom probably have not even mastered their times tables.
Here are some comments posted by Facebook users in response to the question above:
“Horribly confusing. Even I want to say 6 were on each tray, instead of 18 per class.”
“That’s a really confusing way to get to 54 divided by 3.”
“Ridiculous!!! Trickery or testing? Borders on sadistic”
“What was wrong with old fashioned arithmetic? Basic, straightforward, and easy to learn. Why did that go away?”
“that is hilarious because when taught I had 9th graders who couldn’t divided 10 by 2.”
“I am a teacher and I think the 2nd sentence and the 1st part of the 3rd sentence is unnecessary. Who cares about trays!! Quit confusing children”
“Absolutely ridiculous!!!!”
“the whole point is to get them frustrated, cry and just give up, they then feel like a failure, hate school, start acting angry at home, depressed, and you watch your child change before your eyes.”
We wish we could tell you Common Core math gets better as children get older. Unfortunately, as Twitchy reported, Houghton-Mifflin’s Common Core-aligned Algebra 1 textbook is a mess, too.

The whole point of that question is to confuse students.

As some commenters noted, it's purposely overwritten, with more information than is actually needed, in order to obfuscate what is really being asked.

The critical thinking skills these kinds of questions ought to build in students?

These tests are horse@#$%.


  1. The part of the problem describing the trays is absolutely superfluous. What's being tested here? Is it analytical reading skills above the 3rd grade level, or arithmetic skills? This is cruel and also irrelevant. If this is an arithmetic question, it's incompetently written. How awful for children.

    1. Maybe it was very competently written to confuse children and lead them to respond incorrectly. Michael Fiorillo always says it's hard to know where the incompetence ends and the malevolence begins with these people. I think this math question is great illustration of that. Incompetence, malevolence, a little of both?

  2. It's definitely malevolent as they have had decades to improve and refine their teaching methods for optimal results; they are purposely confusing the children to bring their scores down in order to waste more precious time in the classroom so they may be more easily brainwashed(in many respects) and prepared to become dependent on the state.

    Basically, the schools can very easily teach children how to find the correct answers and provide them with the right tools to succeed, but that would eventually threaten society's true masters. They have decided for us all that it's better to be frustrated and dependent rather than confident and intelligent. The latter state of mind compatible to the parasites of the legislative world.

  3. -should have read as "incompatible"

    It is so worth repeating: Being a confident and capable person is incompatible with the parasitic legislative world.

    Common core's purpose is to transform confident and capable children into frustrated losers-that the state needs to survive. It's as simple as that.