Louis C.K. Went On An Amazing Twitter Rant Against Standardized Testing and the Common Core

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Louis C.K.
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).

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:

Mid-rant, C.K. got emotional about watching his daughters' enthusiasm for school turn into dread:

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."

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11 comments
Viktor Burovsky
Viktor Burovsky

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classic53174
classic53174

Louis sounds like a little bit of a whiner here.  I don't see what the big deal is.  I think the questions force the kids see math problems in a different light, which may help them solve more abstract problems down the road.  Maybe attitudes like his are the reason this country is getting its ass kicked in education by the rest of the developed world.

Rayne Macy
Rayne Macy

we had a certain way we had to write out everything..i didn't work like that...if my dad, from eastern europe, could've taught me i would've got it..but not the way we had to learn!! maybe that's why i don't fit..or choose not to now..into 'regular' society

Marco Gil
Marco Gil

Lawrence Evans Patricia Lazo

gynnady
gynnady

I can't say I see why the frustration is any different than what our parents faced with the "New Math" of the early 60s. We learned it and it worked for most of us. I've read the examples and I can't answer the questions because I'm not a 3rd grader but I have no trouble understanding what they're asking.

mattwoodford
mattwoodford

@classic53174  The beauty of expressing arithmetic in numbers is it's the simplest and most elegant way of doing so. It's much easier and better for 5-year-olds to understand '7-3=4' than ugly, inelegant language on 'subtraction number sentences' or other such age-inappropriate bureaucratese.

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