The Common Core Standards Initiative, an attempt to standardize various K-12 math and English curricula in most states around the country, has come in for quite a bit of anger and ridicule for its disastrous implementation and questionable instruction methods.
But don’t worry, America. National Public Radio is here to quell your fears. On Wednesday, the publicly funded media giant published this video showing a California fourth grader explaining the virtues of the “box method” of multiplication students are learning under Common Core.
In the video, the fourth-grader discusses her view that the “box method” is superior to the standard “American algorithm” of long multiplication that you probably learned in school, and that people have been learning in school for decades.
The kid’s explanation – in which she manages to drop the phrase “American algorithm” twice – takes about 32 seconds. The multiplication problem she solves is “23 x 7.”
An analysis by The Daily Caller indicates that a typical person working at a leisurely pace takes about four seconds to solve “23 x 7” using old-school long multiplication.
Completely leaving aside any thornier math problem, then, such as, say, “231 x 72,” this Common Core technique improves math by adding about 28 seconds to the solution of a given math problem.