Is this Common Core math question the worst math question in human history?

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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has promised to improve education quality vastly by pushing for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

This year, 45 states and the District of Columbia have implemented the Common Core standards and curricula based on those standards.

Duncan doesn’t much care for the people who criticize Common Core, either. He has insisted that it’s all a bunch of “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary.” (RELATED: Arne Duncan blames irrational angst of ‘white suburban moms’ for Common Core pushback)

What, exactly, is the content of this Common Core that’s going to make American kids so much smarter? So far it appears to be a slew of worksheets and tests involving various, incomprehensible arrays of squares and circles. (RELATED: EPIC FAIL: Parents reveal insane Common Core worksheets)

There are also traditional word problems. Twitchy has found a word problem that may be the most egregiously awful math problem the Common Core has produced yet. Take a look:


According to the Twitter user who posted it, the vexing problem came from a friend who is a teacher.

The problem comes from a Houghton Mifflin Assessment Guide. It appears among a larger set of basically similar math problems here. The problem involving Juanita appears on page AG102, nestled among some other problems that are similarly weak and crappy — though not nearly as harrrowing as the problem above.

Houghton Mifflin is Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a huge textbook publisher. The company’s website promises to be “a partner who will share the responsibilities” of the Common Core: “We have created a wide range of content, curricula, and services to support school leaders, teachers and educators, parents, and especially students with this transition.”

Twitchy readers tried to tease out the answer to the Juanita problem — how can you not? – and determined that the answer is either 12, 24, 0 or 7.

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