MUSKEGON, Mich. – Elementary math is supposed to be challenging for the students.

But under Common Core – the experimental math and English learning standards that are taking root in some 45 states – even basic math concepts are proving too challenging for parents. And that includes parents with advanced engineering degrees.

One such dad recently vented his frustration on his son’s math homework sheet.

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The man’s son, reportedly a 2nd or 3rd grader, was unable to answer the following question: “Jack used the number line below to solve 427 – 316. Find his error. Then write a letter to Jack telling him what he did right, and what he should do to fix his mistake.”

When the student left the Common Core-aligned question blank, the teacher returned it to him with question mark.

That prompted the anonymous parent to solve the simple subtraction problem the old-fashioned way, and to offer this letter to “Jack,” the fictitious student:

Dear Jack,

Don’t feel bad. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering which included extensive study in differential equations and other higher math applications. Even I cannot explain the Common Core mathematics approach, nor get the answer correct. In the real world, simplification is valued over complication. Therefore,


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The answer is solved in under 5 seconds – 111.
The process used is ridiculous and would result in termination if used.

Frustrated Parent.

The father’s letter was posted online, and is being commented on by other parents who also find Common Core math to be an exercise in madness.

“Why are we using math to test a kid on their writing skills! Makes no sense,” wrote Laura Gartung, a member of the “Parents and Educators Against the Common Core Standards” Facebook group. “If the student can solve the problem, why do they need a writing assignment to explain it?”

That’s a question many frustrated parents would like to hear addressed by the Common Core proponents who’ve foisted this untested approach to education upon the nation’s K-12 schools.

But given Core supporters’ reluctance to engage in a candid discussion with parents and taxpayers, it appears these types of questions won’t be answered any time soon.