My Special Needs Son’s First Day Of Common Core Division & This Is His Homework

This was my son’s math homework tonight.  My son with special needs.  This was his first day of division.  Can someone, in the name of all that is holy, tell me exactly what the hell this is?  I know what it’s supposed to be.  But it is not.  It is a confusing, prime example of the agony that is Common Core.  Students should not be subjected to this.  My son is in tears right now, missing his 4th grade teacher and he hates 5th grade.  This isn’t what school should be about.  It shouldn’t be this hard.  It should be about learning at an appropriate grade level.





This isn’t even 5th grade level work with this kind of math.  This is 7th grade or 8th grade.  Really?  Delaware and any state that is using this curriculum needs to be ashamed of themselves.  And you want to test my special needs student on this material?  OVER MY DEAD BODY!!!!  I will not subject him to this hell.  Parents, we need to wake up and open our eyes to this reality.  This isn’t making our children ready for college.  It’s a curriculum that our own Secretary of Education Mark Murphy already expects 70% of our students to fail on the state test next Spring.  What will that do to students confidence?  They will be made to feel like failures.  With that comes rejection and isolation in their perceived view of the world.  This is a sin beyond proportion.

Parents, I have only one more thing to say: Opt-out of this and demand your legislators immediately ban this torture being inflicted on our children.  The ONLY reason schools aren’t against this is because they feel they have no choice.  But parents do, and it is our time to rise up and take back our children’s education.

30 thoughts on “My Special Needs Son’s First Day Of Common Core Division & This Is His Homework

  1. It’s very sad, to put kids through agony over homework. I’m very lucky that my kids are almost out, but I am active in the fight against Common Core. I just wish more parents would stand up. I “excused” one daughter from PARCC last year. The administrators made her “sit and stare.” But I will still “excuse” my other daughter this year. I cannot go along with the madness.


  2. I think this is the most ridiculous 5th grade assignment that I have ever seen in my entire life! What is the purpose of this assignment? To destroy a child’s self esteem? To destroy their confidence? Their love of learning? To confuse the heck out of them? Our entire state leadership including Governor Markell and the entire DOE should be completely ashamed of themselves. Every parent in the state should be picketing outside of the schools. Delaware tax payers need to speak up and claim their rights to a FREE APPROPRIATE EDUCATION! THIS IS NOT APPROPRIATE.


  3. This must be Go Math. My kids did this lesson last week. I taught them the partial quotient method of dividing which gave them the distributive property answer. Ridiculous for 10 year old kids.


  4. It asks what I would do to solve the problem and it gives four multiple choice answers…why can’t your son explain? why do they have to use a specific way? Why can’t they teach them all the ways and then choose one that best suits their needs as a thinker and a learner? I just don’t understand.


  5. I am currently a special education honor student doing research to change the common core and to help students with disabilities learn with the proper resources and tools. The research entails gathering information on the pro’s and con’s of the curriculum used within the schools in our special education resource rooms and general education rooms and help develop a better plan to help students achieve both academically and socially. If anyone is interested in submitting a personal narrative of their own experience surrounding the lack of resources, tools, or appropriate curriculum for your special education student please feel free to email me at All information submitted can remain anonymous when submitted into the research and development of improving current special education curriculum in resource rooms and general education rooms. Change can happen one parent at a time, one educator at a time, but we can achieve the change which is necessary and appropriate so our students and children can learn in a cooperative environment where they can succeed. I look forward to hearing from parents and educators soon. This is an issue which is plaguing our school systems and our voices will matter.\


  6. Here’s my take on this nonsense. I don’t personally see how the assignment accomplishes the standard that is listed. The standard itself isn’t the problem. I think the publisher has warped a fine standard – perform operations with multi-digit while numbers….- into some mess. Teach a kid how to do 70÷5 and that standard is met. It’s not the standards, it’s the publishers.


  7. I don’t support the Common Core. However, I =can= explain what’s going on. They’re trying to teach overall number theory. A lot of people actually solve math problems this way. Instead of multiplying 5 x 14 in their head, which is often hard to do, they multiply 5×10. That’s easy–50. There’s 4 left over from 14, so now they multiply 5 x4. That’s easy–20. It’s also easy to do 50 + 20–the answer is 70. It’s kind of like the way people also count change. When you need to make change for $1.86 and someone hands you $2.00, few people do the actual subtraction. They go, “Let’s see, 100-80 is 20. 20 – 6 is 14. The change is 14 cents.” The trouble is, a lot of teachers don’t know how to TEACH this yet, especially to special ed kids. If you don’t know how to do it and your son doesn’t, write a note on the homework: “We don’t understand how to do this. Please help.”


  8. Oh..but I wait. Wait till you hear the parents ( who probably couldn’t do 5th grade math to save their life but some how gave birth to Einstein) wail over the injustice of kids who can’t keep up and yet have to drag their child down to their level… Oh son should not be allowed to even pass if he can’t get it like their Darlings.. yep..that’s what I got to listen to when my son couldn’t keep up in 1-7th ( which is now).. He has jumped leaps andbounds. The medicine gives him stomach aches…or makes him tired but it helps him in school. There are days I had the school system and the elitist parents…and some days I know we will survive…good luck. Your not alone. Don’t make your kid do more than he can handle. I have told many a teacher…” No. I said no more”. It’s worked fine so far


  9. First, it seems like the teacher may have dropped the ball in explaining this homework assignment to parents. Having said that, it’s actually a good strategy for solving division problems mentally. 70 divided by 5 might be tough, but if you take 70 apart and think of it as (50+20), you can make two much easier division problems: 50 divided by 5, and 20 divided by 5. 50 divided by 5 is 10, and 20 divided by 5 is 4. Add the quotients together and you get 14.

    It must be really frustrating as a parent when you don’t understand your child’s homework, and you are certainly not alone–I think contacting the teacher is usually a good solution. I’ve been teaching for nine years, and personally I like the Common Core Standards. I think generally it’s good for kids to have more strategies for approaching math problems–but teachers need to provide support and rationale for parents. I always tell parents that if their child doesn’t understand the homework and the parent doesn’t know how to help, don’t panic: just let me know. It tells me that I didn’t present the material clearly and I can reteach the next day.


    • I do not disagree that this may be a good way to teach math. And I totally agree with the idea that we should give students as many tools as needed to solve, reason, learn, and reach next level ability.
      The problem with Common Core, and if you can not admit this then I can not find it in me to believe that you truly understand common core as an educator, the problem is that common core is it doesn’t give students “more strategies” it forces every student to do the work in the exact same manor. the method is a dictate. It is a solve using ONLY this method.
      Teachers are supposed to be advocates of learning and they are supposed to support in full ALL LEARNING STYLES. Common Core is a one size, one method, one way or the high way fits all.
      My content is usually the most flexible and even now I find that CCSS is starting to restrict methods, especially the ones I must use to reach the difficult students.
      This homework should have been given, with several different examples of how to solve and the students should be allowed to pick and use the method witch most fits their learning style.


  10. My concern thus far about my Christina SD first graders’ CC-aligned math & ELA homework has been that the questions/tasks are often either convoluted or absurdly constraining. I assume all of this is to “prepare” kids for answering certain kinds of standardized test questions–but the approach often sucks the life & interest out of the subject matter. Simple examples: students are given a fairly uninspiring black/white image and told to describe it using 5-6 “word bank” vocab/spelling words that have nothing much to do with the picture. My son can do this, but it’s neither interesting nor enjoyable. If too much of his “writing” assignments follow that model, he will reasonably conclude that writing is uninteresting, certainly not a means of self-expression.

    I have wondered whether what is happening is roughly this: the test-writing company can sell preparatory textbook curricula if it “aligns” those with the tests, by making the tests’ question format sufficiently unusual that only their textbooks will adequately prep kids for the tests. That is, ensure that the children can only succeed on the test if they understand not simply the material but also the type of exercises to be presented on the tests (math questions like “what is the same as 3+4?” answer among choices “5 + 2;” my son’s frustrated response–“they’re not really the SAME, but they both equal seven. Why don’t they SAY that??”) Maybe we need an independent body of educators, non-profit, to write the CC standardized tests, and then let textbook publishers design curriculum around that–rather than having the tests themselves designed by sellers of textbooks (Pearson, yes?). The latter arrangement incentivises convoluted test questions, and thus the need to learn test-taking itself. A useless skill, beyond high school, and mind-numbing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “it should provide us with a larger market opportunity, a more resilient business and stronger financial returns in 2015 and beyond” and a nation of child drones. We’ll never out-drone our competitor countries in the global economy. Culturally and historically, U.S. strength has been creativity & innovation. Any national curriculum should aim to generate & enhance that.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Send a letter of the ultimate “opt out”…notify the district of your intent to homeschool. There are a multitude of parents of special needs children who are taking control back and bringing their children home to educate. I’ve been reading story after story of children with ADHD, ODD, Autism…etc. that have been brought home from failing schools and they are now thriving. At home they can be educated…not tortured to death with common core nonsense and standardized test anxiety.

    It really is the ultimate opt out…the ultimate assumption of control and power back over your child’s life. And it sends a very strong message that our children are not for sale.


    • I certainly understand your point from the family and child’s perspective. But as a political statement–does it really bother districts to have families homeschool, esp. for their special needs children? I would think districts might welcome that, since it represents less cost to them without a loss in revenue.


  13. To solve this try thinking like this…..How many times does 5 go into 7? Answer 1. Since the 7 is in the 10’s place, multiply 5 by 10. 5 x10 = 50. Then subtract 50 from 70. 70 – 50 = 20. 5 times what = 20? Answer 4. So now add 10 + 4 =14 . So the answer is 14. 5 x 14 = 70 Let’s try another problem. 102 / 6 = ? How many times does 6 go into 10? Answer 1. Since the “0” is in the 10’s place, multiply 6 by 10. 6 x 10 = 60. 102 – 60 = 42. 6 times what = 42? Answer 7. Now add 10 + 7 = 17. So the answer is 17. 6 x 17 = 102. I think this way of dividing is trying to get the student to think in terms of 10’s and 1’s. It is also trying to get students to use mental math. However, I really prefer the old fashioned way….paper and pencil.


  14. Homeschooling may be the answer for the relatively few parents who can do it, but it is not the answer for the vast majority of school age children.


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  16. They must have failing students so that they can fail the teachers and districts. Then take small county schools such as we have in Ross County and force consolidation into one big school. I thought it was telling that they changed the % to get the point in report cards on OGT/OAA scores to 80 instead of 75. Always fair to move the goal post in the middle of the game.
    I have taught for almost 30 years, seen many reform movements but this is the worst; big money grab for Pearson and others, and for charter schools who take millions of dollars out of the school fund but do worse than the public schools


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