Community Magazine

Common Core and Autism

By Matthewspuzzle @matthewspuzzle

I know so many people that are up in arms about Common Core. I don’t really know how I feel about it yet. So many of my friends are upset because of the kind of math Common Core is introducing. Matthew is in 3rd grade and personally I don’t have any issue with his current Common Core Math program. He has been working on multiplication and they are using multiple ways to describe it. Yesterday his homework consisted of 6 x 4 and 3 options for a correct representation of that math problem. Matthew got it immediately. He chose the six boxes with four dots in each. He was then asked to describe “why” this answer was correct. This is where Common Core and I start to part ways.

Matthew has trouble with spelling. Apparently, unbeknownst to my husband and I, Matthew has not progressed from a grade 2 spelling level, although he is on a level 3 reading level. As we struggled to understand how our child, who is obviously smart, did not progress at all in spelling while in 2nd grade we found out that spelling is not a Common Core requirement. Although spellings close and intimate relative, Reading, IS on the Common Core, spelling it self, is not. That means that as long as Matthew continues to be on grade level with reading he can, conceivably, lag behind in spelling and this will not effect his moving up a grade. It also means that he will not be grade or corrected for using improper spelling outside of a spelling test! What?! Yes, that is right. If he gets his point across, he is not required to spell correctly. It was pointed out that there are spell checking applications and dictionaries, so spelling is not a requirement to move forward in school.

I was completely flabbergasted. Of course we are not accepting the Common Core idea on spelling and have retained the services of a reading/spelling specialist to help him with his spelling. We fully expect him to produce all work to the best of his abilities, not just reading and math.

I do fear for us as a family dealing with an IEP and Common Core, along with myriad other standardized test and autism. It appears, from where we are situated, that children with special needs will fall in that 10-15% of kids that do not test well and therefore are forgotten in our test driven society. What happened to a teacher being able to keep one of her students after school for a few hours a week to help the child catch up or understand a particularly trying concept? No, now a parent must find a tutor outside their child’s current school, so that no “favoritism” can take place. I think we are moving too far away form the idea of teaching our children, and to close to the idea that everything, even school, is a capitalistic venture.


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