Photo: The heartbreaking face of Common Core

Photo credit: Kelly Anne Photography

If you want to see the true face of the Common Core curriculum, look no further than the children it’s being foisted upon. Then prepare to have your heart broken.

“I’m a photographer,” New York resident Kelly Poynter wrote on her business Facebook page. “This is my daughter…and this is the first photo of her that I have ever hated. #commoncore”

She posted the photo Wednesday, and as of Friday morning, it’s been shared almost 2,500 times.

Poynter later wrote in EAG News:

This is my middle child in the photo … she is 7 and is in 2nd grade. My kindergartner and my 4th grader were already finished with their homework and had left the table. I had brought my camera in to work on my white balance skills while shooting in low light as I had a session the next morning to prep for.

After checking her work, I had found 2 math problems were incorrect. I tried to help her understand where she went wrong through her process but I don’t understand it myself and was not much help.

I told her to forget about it and we’d try again tomorrow but she became very upset that she could not get the answer and kept trying and trying to fix it. She is hard on herself as she very much wants to excel in school and not be pulled for extra help all of the time. I was talking to her and clicking my camera as I changed settings … it’s something that is very common in our household … and that is when I caught this image.

Poynter said of her daughter in the EAG News piece:

My daughter is incredibly strong.  My daughter is a 4-year cancer survivor.  She is a fighter with a resilient spirit.  It crushes me to see her cry; to see her struggle.  My daughter deserves a happy childhood.

So how did it all turn out?

Please know that 5 minutes later I had convinced her to leave the homework behind and go snuggle with her dad on the couch and watch some Olympics coverage. She is not neglected. She was not abused or left alone to cry. And this photo was not staged.

Mathematics had been taught in much the same manner for hundreds of years. Some people loved it; others hated it. But everyone understood it on at least some basic level — enough to make change, prepare a household budget and confirm that your new car is really getting the mileage the dealer advertised.

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Then Common Core came out with a better idea. But it’s turned out to be the Edsel of academia.

It’s time for educators to admit their mistake, go back to the tried and true and return a glow to this little girl’s face.


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