Guest Post by Dr. Gary Thompson
Our staff has been working on the best way to teach Common Core math to our kids with “learning differences”. Referencing the attachment below, in the high school section, PARCC tells teachers regarding the example listed that heavy “symbolic processing skills” will be needed to find the deeper, varied answers to the problem.
After two weeks, we simply gave up….along with the math genius among us, who scored a perfect score on the ACT, and has been teaching/tutoring kids with dyscalculia (Math Disorder) and anxiety disorders for years.
There are kids/teens (as well as adults like myself) who will never master “symbolic processing” of numbers and math concepts…..just like I will never be able to hit a 90 mile per hour fastball 385 feet over the left field wall in Dodger Stadium.
We have high functioning, genius IQ autistic/Aspergers kids who, despite demonstrated giftedness in math, will never be able to answer this question due to their brains’ inability to process anything symbolically….let alone stuck at a desk in front of a computer screen.
Tens of thousands of Utah public school children will never be able to process math in this manner over the course of their public school education.
This is cognitive child abuse.
As such, we are not even going to attempt to provide supplemental teaching/tutoring services in Common Core Math to children and teens with certain cognitive and emotional assessment profiles.
We are simply going to provide data to the parents supporting our recommendation that they pull their children out of the public school system.
Nor can we ethically take money from parents to utilize our special education attorney to rectify this mess.
There is no solution. Even if they “win,” the kid will still lose.
This is what happens when tests are designed and implemented without (published) pilot studies by arrogant Ivy Leaguers in “secret” without ANY input and design suggestions from local developmental psychologists and ground level teachers.
This will not end well for Utah’s children.
Thank you, Dr. Thompson, for sharing your experience and insight.