Everyone’s a winner! But we’re not handing Common Core cheerleaders any participation trophies for this one.

A teacher shared this breathtakingly stupid math problem with Twitchy reader @KevinPost. It’s reportedly from a Common Core-aligned book.

Say wha?

After seeing this kind of gobbledygook many times, we’re all out of shocked faces. Twitchy founder Michelle Malkin called her daughter’s Houghton Mifflin algebra textbook a “nightmare” when she tweeted about the error-ridden text. Juanita’s sticker predicament appears to be from a Houghton Mifflin Assessment Guide.

For context, check out this chapter a fourth-grade teacher uploaded to her website (PDF). It includes the same sticker scenario and the preceding questions offer no additional information to help students solve the poorly-worded problem. So the answer is up to you!

Special thanks to @KevinPost for bringing this example to our attention.


Twitchy readers responding to our tweet of this post have replied that the answer is definitely “12.” Or “24.” Or “0.” Or “7.”

It’s all clear now, huh? Of those answers, we think 12 would be the smallest number of stickers she should buy (if we’re reading the problem correctly). But if the goal was to confuse people with a strangely-worded question, then score!


Answers continue to come in (see comments below and tweets sent to @TwitchyTeam) and there’s one thing that is clear: the phrasing is misleading enough that adults are interpreting the question in several different ways. How does that help kids learn math?


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