8 votes

Any teachers in the house?

We home school our 10 year old, however, due to financial restraints, have been forced to use a Charter School online school and it's curriculum. Common Core started this year and we've been affected. FYI, we do plan to switch next year to Dr. Paul's curriculum which begins at 6th grade. At any rate, she is required to submit a monthly math work sample based on a problem submitted by the school. She has been on Fall break this past week and here is the monthly problem she found this morning:

There are 2 parts to this math question for a total of 15 points. In order to get full credit you need to answer both parts. (Show your work!!!!)

At school in Ms. Davidson's 5th grade class, 18/28 of the class was wearing shorts. 4/5 of the class was girls.

1. What fraction of all the students was girls who was wearing shorts? (10 points)

2. Explain in 3-5 sentences how you solved your answer. (5 points)


After completing her daily Kumon work, Simultaneous Linear Equations with 3 and 4 Variables, she headed upstairs to work this problem. About 15 minutes later, she came downstairs crying.

I have already sent a message to her teacher that she will not be completing this problem and if future math sample problems are as ridiculous as this one, she will not be completing those either. She has been a straight A, honor roll student since first grade.

I was so ticked this morning when I originally wrote the post, which was only questioning the grammatical correctness of the narrative, but then deleted it.

Anyway, I was just looking for some comfort. There are so many things wrong with this problem, I was just seeking conformation from an educator.

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you WERE correct

It's like a poison . . . I am so sorry. Socialization is what our children are given in lieu of real education, even at the collegiate levels today.

Depends on the teacher

You can get both with the right one. Thank you Mrs. Williams formerly of Copperas Cove High School; I'm an engineer today thanks to your math teachings.

I have no doubt -

I don't doubt for an instant that you received mathematical education in public schools crucial to your success as an engineer. I have Dr. Flanagan, Mr. Banger and many other to thank for my own successes.

But socialization is becoming the measure of success in this world, not understanding. Getting both from an institution may be the biggest problem of all. If, as an engineer, you had been taught to only accept solutions that agreed with an accepted paradigm held within collective society, I would not want to cross your bridges - there are many fatal bridges in this country for that very reason, both physically and philosophically. The generation now entering secondary will suffer from this far worse than we ever did.

I think my caffien deprived brain

didn't phrase that quite the way I wanted it to. Sounded better at the time. The problem is I've forgotten my train of thought. :)

And for the record I totally agree with you.

EDIT :Clairity

No Problems

It's the manipulation of the democratic collective that I'm opposed to, not you. Never the individual. I am sorry if that came off any other way.

Thank you.

And, I agree with you.

I've seen this approach before.

Educators are being taught that using open ended questions help students learn to think critically. So they design questions that are ambiguous to "get the children to think". This is true to a point, but the open ended questions are not the same as ambiguous questions. An open ended question would be something like - Monday 4 boys and two girls wore shorts, tuesday 4 boys and 8 girls wore shorts, wednesday 3 boys and 7 girls wore shorts. Predict how many girls would wear shorts on Thursday - explain all your assumptions.

Agree 100% Ironman.




EDIT I am not a teacher. I don't

I am not a teacher. I don't know if any cultural issues are at play here, but I think the math problem cannot be solved without extra data. Overall, this was a bad math question with lots of missing data.

Data given: The girls are 4 times to number of boys. About 18 out of 28 people wear shorts.

Step 1: Deduction: Kids are whole and cannot be partial (we can't expect school students to make this deduction)
So a 18/28 ratio can be extended to 27/42, 36/56 or 45/70.
We also know that girls = 4*boys ...
so girls+boys = class-strength
4*boys+boys = class-strength
5*boys = class-strength
so class strength must be divisible by 5, so we assume 70 as the class-strength (This assumption is not entirely correct since the class strength could be 140 or 210 or any multiple of 70).
So 5*boys = 70,
boys = 14 and so girls = 56
So total number of students wearing shorts would be 70*18/28 = 45

Step 2: Another Assumption:
(a) That all boys wear shorts - then total girls wearing shorts = 31 which means fraction of girls in shorts to total class-strength = 31/70
(b) no boys wear shorts - then total girls with shorts = 45 which means fraction of girls in shorts to total class-strength = 45/70 (or 9/14)

So the final answer would be anywhere from 45/70 to 31/70 depending on how many boys wear shorts.

Am I reading too much into the post?

correct approach!

I thought the same thing. An explanation for the teacher:

If the number of variables exceeds the number of algebraic equations you can make from the given info or reasonable assumptions, there is no unique solution.

We are all...

We are all teachers and students of one kind or another. Our role changes from day to day but stays the same.


Okay, well I had posted this earlier then deleted it. Here goes

I posted in the original post.

Thanks in advance.

I am. But I only have two

I am.
But I only have two students.
And I gave birth to both of them.
So I'm probably not what you're looking for ;)


College professor and academy staff, but just in music.

Sorry that I'm not as well-versed in math, but it seems like other posters got the problem covered : )

I guess not

Most teachers are democrats and NEA members.

I am not now, but I was a

I am not now, but I was a Special Ed teacher, in FL, about 13 years ago, and am sure no Democrat.

I have known several special ed teachers. They were all special.

The special student has one need: Nutritional sufficiency.

There are 90 nutrient, scientifically proven to be essential to make a fully operational human.

Deficiency causes a disease that can be remedied by providing the 90 essential materials.

These scientists make their case with 297 peer-reviewed scientific papers from major journals.

Rare Earth's Forbidden Cures Wallach and Lan. 1994

Why did special ed students tend to smoke? Liver turns nicotine into vitamin B3 B6 to counter stress.

The liver conversion needs copper but provides dozens of essential trace minerals. 60 minerals are essential.

The alcoholics had diabetes of the brain. A brain no longer able to process enough glucose. Chromium, Vanadium and Omega-3 are deficient. And up to 87 other co-factors.

No amount of willpower can overcome nutritional cravings and no one likes to be tricked. Nutrition can satisfy the craving, drugs only mask undesirable symptoms.

Oft times it's the parents who have unidentified deficiencies.

I thought you would like to know what I've learned since I put my son in special ed in 1985.

Free includes debt-free!

Did it ever FEEL LIKE

you were teaching Democrats?

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown