Louis C.K. Went On An Amazing Twitter Rant Against Standardized Testing and the Common Core
Everyone hates the Common Core, a set of "educational standards" that 44 states have adopted for their K-12 students. Really. Everyone. The ultra right hates it because it's a sinister Obama-controlled conspiracy designed to enslave our children and turn them into Communist Socialist hivemind robots, while the rest of the country despises it because of common sense. Common Core questions take happy subjects like math and reading and turn them into strange, contorted, logic- and linguistics-defying puzzles, designed to leave your fourth-grader weeping in frustration over a wadded-up page of fractions. (Take a look at some sample math questions for New York state's third graders, if you'd like to feel your stomach clench in vicarious anxiety).
Image via Wikimedia Commons Louis C.K.
Legions of frustrated parents are tired of struggling to help their children understand absurd word salad like "Which is a related subtraction sentence?". Louis C.K. is among them; the comedian has two grade-school age children and a deep, festering, entirely understandable rage towards how they're being asked to learn.
We know that because C.K. spent most of Monday tweeting angrily about his third grader's absurd math homework:
My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
A huge amount of my third graders time is spent preparing for and answering questions like this. pic.twitter.com/WU5tEo8JRO— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
This is one of my favorites. Also for third graders. Who is writig these? And why? pic.twitter.com/xUBVIxE6WU— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
Look at 4 of part a. And the point isn't that it's too hard. Just read #4. Please. pic.twitter.com/5bnUlaXG5b— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
"Why night you want each picture to stand for more than 1 balloon?" Yet again I must tell my kid "don't answer it. It's a bad question"— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
Mid-rant, C.K. got emotional about watching his daughters' enthusiasm for school turn into dread:
Sorry. I sit with my kids as they so their HW they devour knowledge. When it's hard they step up. Their teachers are great— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
But it's changed in recent years. It's all about these tests. It feels like a dark time. And nothing is going in anymore.— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
It's this massive stressball that hangs over the whole school. The kids teachers trying to adapt to these badly written notions.— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 28, 2014
these questions btw were not written by her teacher. they were on a standardized test. written by pearson or whoever the hell— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 29, 2014
Okay I'm done. This is just one dumb, fat parent's POV. I'm pissed because I love NYC public schools. mice, lice and all.— Louis C.K. (@louisck) April 29, 2014
On a related note, the State Board of Regents spent Monday engaged in a bitter debate over whether the Common Core-aligned tests here are, as Capital New York puts it, "developmentally inappropriate or ambiguous."