Dad's 'Common Core' Check to School Goes Viral

But some say he's doing more harm than good
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2015 1:40 PM CDT
Dad's 'Common Core' Check to School Goes Viral
Doug Hermann's post.   (Facebook)

Last week, a frustrated Ohio dad posted a picture on Facebook—and now it's been shared more than 27,000 times and he's semi-famous. Doug Herrmann posted a picture of a check he wrote to his kids' elementary school which, he said, used Common Core math. Instead of writing in the amount of the check using numbers or letters, he used little boxes, Xs, and 0s. "Wrote a check to Melridge Elementary using common core numbers. I wonder if they'll take it? #YouFigureItOut," reads the caption. The photo went viral, Herrmann went on his local Fox station (he told Fox 8 he never actually sent the check to the school) and Fox & Friends ("I can't help my second-grader and my first-grade daughter with their math homework, and it's very frustrating.") But not everyone is on his side.

"To people like him, ignorance is hilarious," writes high school math teacher Hemant Mehta on a Patheos blog post titled "The Dad Who Wrote a Check Using 'Common Core' Math Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About" that describes the "ten-frame" Herrmann was attempting to use, why it's a better way for kids to learn math, and why Herrmann's check actually makes no sense. "Common Core isn’t the problem here. The problem is all the parents who immediately dismiss better, more effective ways of teaching math because it’s 'different' from what they learned." At Education Week, Dave Powell agrees. "What you're actually doing if you let this joke continue to circulate is promoting reactionary, simplistic responses to things that you probably don't know enough about," he writes. Common Core math is "not a conspiracy to make your kids dumb; it's actually a conspiracy to make your kids smart." (Some parents are going to school themselves to learn the new methods.)

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