Miramax via Netflix

Three school math problems have thousands of people on Facebook and Reddit talking.

The reason? Even though the students' answers appear to be totally correct, they were still marked wrong.

Here's one of the problems, a question about estimation from a third-grade math test. The problem was posted on Facebook by a parent on October 16 and was quickly shared thousands of times.

Some people began commenting that they found the estimation problem ridiculous and a prime example of why the Common Core is ineffective.

"If all the parents make sure their kids write the problem out and not give in to the madness hopefully the teachers will grasp what is wrong with Common Core," writes one commenter.

"Exact answer are ALWAYS better that estimation. So we penalize for exact answers. This is exactly why our country is losing so much ground on so many levels," write another.

Of course, the photo does not include the instructions for the assignment, so there could be information missing that would better explain how the kids were supposed to answer the question.

On Reddit, a similar debate arose on October 21 over two math questions about repeated addition strategy, which is used to explain multiplication problems through addition.

And for the repeated addition question, Noschese explained that the students had most likely been taught a specific method to use.

"If the teacher specifically said '5x3 means five groups of three and 4x6 means four groups of six' these answers are wrong because of the teacher's forced interpretation," Noschese explained. "But mathematically, what the kid did is also valid. Kids likely know that five groups of three is equal to three groups of five."

While both topics, estimation and repeated addition, *are*
part of the Common Core standards, Common Core *does not*
have a standardized way teachers are supposed to teach
them.

"The standards just lay out what kids should know and be able to do, not actual lessons," Noschese said. "Nothing in Common Core forces the specific interpretation these teachers used."

Stephen Sigmund, the executive director of High Achievement New York and Common Core supporter, told Tech Insider something similar.

"The Common Core is not a curriculum, it's a set of standards student are expected to meet to help close achievement gaps and prepare them for college and the workforce," said. "The way the teachers put in place curriculum and meet those standards is entirely their own."

Though Common Core standards remain hotly debated, it seems, at least with these questions, the issue isn't with Common Core, but with the teachers implementing it.

"Nobody is saying kids shouldn't learn about estimation, " Christopher Danielson, author of "Common Core Math for Parents For Dummies" noted. "That's an important concept to learn, it's just being taught poorly in some schools."

And, as Noschese pointed out on Twitter, it seems like the larger complaint here might not be the curriculum, but rather, those all-important A's.

```
```
Ultimately, this is a complaint about GRADES, not about teaching/learning math. Just look at the title. pic.twitter.com/gQRr8SW25D

— Frank Noschese (@fnoschese) October 21, 2015

## Comments