Another week has gone by and, like clockwork, some more hilariously awful Common Core math lessons have oozed out of the woodwork.
This time, reports EAGnews.org and Liberty Unyielding, the culprit is Illuminations, an outfit created by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and financially supported by the Verizon Foundation.
The Common Core-aligned lessons on offer at the Illuminations website are nothing if not illuminating.
Take, for example, the lesson plan entitled “How Could That Happen?” This math lesson for middle schoolers requires a math teacher to “engage students in a class discussion about whether or not they feel the results of” the 2000 presidential election were “‘fair.’”
A related lesson called “A Swath of Red” instructs teachers: “The election of 2000 was politically charged, so you should be prepared to address the issue. The merits of the electoral college [sic] are called into question during each presidential election, and some people have strong opinions.”
A similarly related lesson called “Why Is California So Important?” links students to a “CNN Student News” fact sheet that makes the incredibly dubious claim that the Electoral College exists because “some of the Constitution’s authors did not trust the ability of the common voter to make the ‘right’ decision.”
The actual math to be imparted in these lessons includes ratios, averages and “number sense.”
Another lesson is called “There is a Difference: Histograms vs. Bar Graphs.” This perfectly innocuous-sounding lesson — deemed appropriate for students ranging from third to eighth grades — covers the summary and presentation of raw data.
Math teachers using this lesson are supposed to begin by engaging their math students “in a discussion about the Presidents of the United States” including party affiliation.
The lesson plan then offers three websites for obtaining information about American presidents. The “recommended” site is a page entitled “Presidents” at the website Infoplease.com.
The page links to a biography of each president and provides some key facts about each president including their home states, their ages at inauguration and their religions.
Abraham Lincoln’s religion is listed as “Liberal.”
Any math student who surfs over to the Infoplease.com biography of Ronald Reagan is in for a treat. The page duly explains that Reagan’s “‘supply side’ economic program” of “tax cuts and sharp reductions in government spending” led to “the worst recession in 40 years” and a “constantly growing budget deficit.” The roaring economy and the huge plunge in both inflation and unemployment that ensued rate nary a mention.