Now I just rant and rave and flail my arms and opinions.
However. When I see misconceptions spreading like pubic lice among my intelligent friends, FLAIL MY OPINIONS I MUST.
Here. These are the common core standards for math. Grade by grade. You should totally read them! I think you will be pleasantly surprised to discover that they are neither evil nor liberal-scented. They are actually rather sane. And, yes, rigorous. But that could be a good thing--if we'd let it.
Here's the deal: The common core establishes the WHAT (what do our children need to learn?), not the HOW (how do we teach it?). A shitty textbook that says "Common Core Math" on the cover is doing a huge disservice to the Common Core, no doubt. But try to think of it in the same way you'd think about a shitty text book that says "American History" on the cover. Are you angry that your kids are learning American History? No. You are not. (Or maybe you are. People on the Internet are crazy!)
Common core is not a "kind" of math, nor is it a method of teaching it. It's simply a set of common math (and literacy) expectations to ensure that all schools--regardless of where they are in the country--are teaching kids the same things. It's an effort to achieve equity. It's not tied to a political agenda. It wasn't developed by the federal government. It's not coming to take your guns away. The common core was developed by educators, based on international research and best practices, and as far as I can tell (and as far as my educator husband tells me) it really does have our students' best interests at heart. I agree that the curriculum (text books, worksheets) and test questions are sometimes (REALLY) awful (and highly variable). We need to find ways to effect change in that arena, so kids can meet the common core standards. We don't need to throw the standards away.
I want people to stop squawking about The Common Core and start squawking about the asshats who get paid (in actual currency!) to create stupid f*cking worksheets that make no sense. My kids had dumb worksheets in their backpacks long before the common core was implemented. It makes perfect sense that the more rigorous Common Core standards would further confound the "writers" who couldn't write a decent text book in the first place.
Part of what the common core "expects" of students is an understanding of the underpinning concepts of mathematics, as opposed to them just memorizing a fact or formula. It would behoove us as parents to gain a similar understanding of what underpins the common core before we kill it with our ignorance and misguided rage.