I’m going to provide some push back against the narrative that Common Core is designed for the lowest common denominator to make children more equal. I do not dispute that it is ineffective nor that it is insane,simply the purpose for which it was created or serves. While I cannot get into the heads of the people who support Common Core I can speak to the theories behind its creation.
The essence of the thought behind Common Core is the Cargo Cult.
Common Core was designed to imitate the way mathematicians think. It uses mental shortcuts that many mathematicians use as a way to teach children “critical thinking”. I have and still use many of these shortcuts myself. This is not to say anyone taught me, nor that I am amazing at math but that these are relationships that many people with a modicum of talent for math rediscover as they practice. The thought process went a lot like this: people who are good at math use these techniques, therefore if we teach children they will be good at math hence cargo cult. The problem will be immediately obvious to anyone who does not ascribe to Human Neurological Uniformity. It’s not the techniques (cargo) which make mathematicians good at math it is a combination of their innate genotypes and being exposed to enough mathematic material (perhaps a few good teachers).
Now if the Cargo Cult elements weren’t bad enough there is an extra layer of insanity added on top of it. What I just explained to you is not explained in the material provided in Common Core. It is a mind game in which the teachers, who are supposed to be exercising their judgement are not in on it. Now a few in tune teachers especially those who follow educational trends know what Common Core is about, but it is not common knowledge. Secondly, these teachers are in many cases not necessarily great at math themselves. That is they may be too stupid, or unpracticed to utilize these techniques themselves. Without training, an explanation or competency these teachers, even if the Cargo Cult actually worked, had no chance of helping the children. It is as if a plane dropped cargo on an island and a cargo cult built a straw plane. Then the first cargo cult dies off. Then a second one comes along sees the straw plane fetish and the cargo and builds an even cruder imitation of a plane on their own island. The saddest part about Common Core is not that it could never work in the first place, but that it was so poorly implemented that it demonstrates the carelessness with which the education system is governed. The education system as a whole is a Cargo Cult (trying to make dumb kids like smart kids) of a Cargo Cult (trying to copy the things dumb people do to try and copy the “methodology” of making kids smart). Occam’s Butter Knife strikes again.