WV 6th Grader Makes Plea to Legislature

Filed in Helpful Articles, News, Uncategorized by on February 22, 2015

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February 21, 2015

Dear Legislature,

I’m a child in West Virginia schools. I heard that common core is an issue coming up in the WV legislature shortly. A lot of the good stuff that people say about common core is not true. If you want to hear the real truth listen to the school kids.

This is a day in my math class. First we have a very short refresher about what happened the previous day. Then we do like 1 page of each lesson and take a test. My teacher is always praising my math book. She says she is so happy that they implemented these standards, and she thinks that we will all do better on our Smarter Balanced. I’ve always had a hard time in math, and although she seems to like it, I hate it and don’t feel like I’m learning anything.

We have to work in pairs some, and she gives us problems to work on together. She doesn’t help us until after we’ve already messed it up. Sometimes it is totally new and we don’t know where to start. It is very frustrating.

When I do homework and need help from my mom or dad, it is really hard because the work is so strange. A lot of the time we have to go online and my mom will look up videos of how to do the work.

Somehow I always eek by with an A, but I still don’t feel like I’m learning anything. It seems like just a bunch of busy work to get through the class period. Most of the math problems are really long and complicated. Many times I just don’t know what to do.

Even the people in honors classes don’t like it. My whole grade wishes we still had traditional math. Traditional math is so much easier. The topics in common core are so exhausting it makes us not like math anymore. I don’t understand how this math is supposed to help us. The book breaks things down so much it’s not even understandable.

My mom is always trying to find books to help us. She recently found a book called The Life of Fred. This is a christian book for all grades and lots of subjects. I only have the math book, but I researched it and found out they have books like fractions, pre-algebra, trig, calculus. I have the fractions and my brother has the pre-algebra book. We tried many other non-common core programs but they were boring, The Life of Fred is far from boring. It’s a shame my mom has to spend so much time finding ways to get us what we need.

I’m currently a 6th grader, but when I was a 4th grader I started having trouble especially in math. Every night I came home and did my homework. By the time I was done I felt stupid, frustrated, sad, and angry. Many times when my mom and I would do homework, I would cry. I thought I would never be good at math. Children should never feel that way.

Almost half way through the year my parents started taking me to Sylvan Learning Center. I had great teachers and programs. My report cards were much better after that.

Common core reading is a lot different than what we did before too. I have the same teacher as my brother did when he was in 6th grade. I really like my teacher and think she tries really hard to do a good job. When my brother was in her class 3 years ago, they did a lot of creative writing. He wrote short stories, essays and all kinds of things. But now under common core, everything is structured so that there isn’t time for creativity. Basically, we read a story, prepare an outline, study guide, and write a couple of paragraphs about the main ideas in the stories. I wish that we could write our own short stories and not just read all the time.

In conclusion I don’t like common core. Before this common core craze we had Houghton Mifflin math, it was much better and more understandable. And in reading, there was so much more time to explore creative writing, not just re-writing what I read. I hope you get rid of common core.

Sincerely,

WV 6th grader

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