"Add and subtract within 20, demonstrating fluency for addition and subtraction within 10. Use strategies such as counting on; making ten (e.g., 8 + 6 = 8 + 2 + 4 = 10 + 4 = 14); decomposing a number leading to a ten (e.g., 13 – 4 = 13 – 3 – 1 = 10 – 1 = 9); using the relationship between addition and subtraction (e.g., knowing that 8 + 4 = 12, one knows 12 – 8 = 4); and creating equivalent but easier or known sums (e.g., adding 6 + 7 by creating the known equivalent 6 + 6 + 1 = 12 + 1 = 13)."

Must a first grader be taught how subtract through "decomposing" a number? Here's how this is presented in my son's first grade Common Core stamped textbook:

Rather than teach simple arithmetic to six and seven year olds, Common Core is subordinating subtraction to the concept of place value. A simple calculation has thus been morphed into a two step process that is not at all intuitive to a first grade mind, viz., 13-4 is really 13-3=10-1=9. And students are expected to be able to do this on their own. Witness the companion workbook exercise that puts this model into practice:

And if we are to believe the book, students will have to "decompose" on their state assessments such as in this "Test Prep" section:

Is a beyond the pale standard like this what American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten had in mind when she wrote that Common Core exists to give our children "higher-order capabilities like critical thinking and problem solving, mastery of essential knowledge, and the skill and will to persist"?

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