Oh, fer cryin’ out loud …

Check out this mathematical abomination from — where else? — a Common Core homework assignment:


We feel for the third-graders subjected to that crap. A difference of 145 is reasonable? In what universe?


That would explain so much.


According to our calculations, homeschooling parents might be on to something.


No kidding.

(Thanks to @Maxicat for help with sourcing!)


Just a quick note on the “front-end estimation” method: While it has been taught for decades, it is sadly typical that a Common Core-aligned lesson plan would embrace this flawed estimation technique as a valid way to “check” that an answer is “reasonable.”



Twitchy coverage of Common Core

  • TheOriginalDonald

    aren’t you supposed to round UP? #CommonCoreProblems

    • R.C.

      While they may move forward, the liberal progressive agenda will never move up.

    • ToyZebra

      Rounding up is saved for vote counting. If Al Franken gets 504 votes, round up to 600.

      • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

        And those are just the votes “found” in trunks of cars.

        • Paul Rowden

          …and cemetaries

      • Bradley Gill

        Actually. To be more specific.. they teach if R then round down if D then round up..

        • conservativechick

          This is no different than the brainwashing in Orwell’s book, 2+2=5, over and over again until it was correct. Kind of scary?

          • AMERICAN Kafir™✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            According to this lesson plan, 2+2 = 5, making 5 a “reasonable” answer… whatever that means. When it comes to math, though, there is no ‘reasonable’… there’s only correct and incorrect.

          • greenthumb07

            The lesson plan is not saying 2+2 = 5. The lesson plan is teaching students to determine if a solution is reasonable. In this case, they are adding two relatively large (for a young student new to arithmetic) numbers. For the sake of argument, let’s say the student came up with 354+291 = 56. In that case, a quick estimation of the problem would show the solution should be in a range from 500 – 700, given 300+200 or 400+300. The student could then use that estimate as an indicator to check his/her work. In the engineering field we call it a “back of the envelope” calculation. This is nothing new or controversial. In fact, it is a smart way to teach intuition about numbers and math. Common Core has plenty of REAL problems. Quit wasting credibility on stupid stuff like this.

          • pandainc

            How ’bout 350 + 300 = 650? Or, even better, 354 + 291 = 645? “In the engineering field we call it a “back of the envelope” calculation.” This isn’t the engineering field, Green, we’re trying to educate children, and estimation, at this point, is pure BS.

          • greenthumb07

            I agree that there are better estimations than the one given as an example, but it is not the failure most in this comment forum are exclaiming. We are trying to educate children, again I agree. However, what do you mean by education? Nothing in the problem indicates to me that the skills of basic arithmetic are not being taught. Instead, the problem shows that useful tools like estimation are being taught. I recall learning math by rote memorization and not being taught estimation until well into high school. I’d argue that earlier introduction of these skills help ensure a better understanding of number systems, math, and the world. Estimation is hardly BS. First order estimations are the beginning of every real world problem. Why not teach that way? One of our mantras in the Army was to train like you fight. Totally applicable in this case.

          • pandainc

            A well-reasoned response, sir. My point was that they are inculcating the kids (at age, what, 8 or so) that an estimation is good ‘nuf — at that age, I wonder if kids have enough practical smarts (as opposed to education) to understand the difference between an estimation and an exact answer. I, too, struggled with 12 X 12 = 144, but at age 75 I still know it. Young people in their twenties have a problem with basic arithmetic (and PLEASE don’t call it math!) and no concept of mentally manipulating numbers. Try having a $11.50 bill at a restaurant and giving the waiter a $20 and two $1s. Nine of ten will try to give you the ones back. I tell them to put $22 into the register and see what they get. I actually had one sweet young thing say “How do you DO that?”

            And I can agree that high school is a little late, but maybe third grader should be taught the rote stuff first, and then, a bit later, learn the short-cuts. I think there is much to be said for reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. (Without the hickory stick.) How about that poor teenager witness in the George Zimmerman trial — “I can’t read cursive.” A senior in high school. Woe is us.

            Not to mention that the rounding, as you noted, was atrocious.

          • greenthumb07

            I didn’t get the idea, as many commenting did, that the intent of this example was to teach that a rough estimation is “good enough.” It is clearly intended to give students tools to determine if they are on the right track with their solution. As per your example, lets say the register indicates your change should be $5 instead of $10.50. (I cringe when I see students blindly punching the keys of a calculator and quickly copying the resulting number without pause to consider the result. I watched a buddy fail an exam in an electromagnetic theory course by taking this approach.) The cashier would, using estimation, realize the register is in error. The same here, the kid gets 56 and the estimation is an order of magnitude higher –> time to go back to the drawing board. Estimation aids, not hinders the understanding and comprehension of arithmetic. Should we teach kids to be calculators or thinkers? As an aside, I appreciate the reasonable tone of this conversation.

          • pandainc

            Please, let’s not get started on reliance on calculators. That’s just
            where I was going when I mentioned telling the kid to stick it in the
            cash register and see what happens — that’s how they were taught.

            I don’t think that the intent of ‘good enough’ was necessarily there — I just wonder if that is what filters into minds at that age. In retrospect, I guess it depends on how the teacher handles the material. Further, it seems like I’m just an old guy that was taught to walk before trotting, and trot before running. Now that I think back, my Dad (a darned good structural engineer) was reviewing some homework problems I had completed, and pointed at one and asked if the answer really made any sense. That’s where I learned estimating — I don’t even remember learning it in school, although most of my cohorts in crime also knew how to do it. Just rambling, but I wonder if they teach kids nowadays how to compute square roots …

            Re your last, me too!

          • Asher Kobin

            But who declares what method of estimation is “correct”? By definition estimation is not correct. But you can keep iterating on it to get closer answers. The simplest way to start teaching estimation is what this common core problem shows. There is one outcome. Next iteration is round up/down (two outcomes). Then decimal precision. ETC.

      • AmericanMom

        The way democrats count votes – illustrated by the same people who can’t commit to a budget for this nation.

      • Alabama Mike

        The first thing I thought of was the problem was created to train voting officials.

    • Jake Keller

      Rounding and estimation are different. Google the definition then realize your statement is about as accurate as you think this math is. What is Really happening is the learning of estimation not actual addition. People need to not freak out over dumb stuff and concentrate on the real issues and maybe your voice will be heard!

      • SanDiegoSteve

        It’s not even a reasonable estimation. If you think that it is, you should be a Common Core instructor. 291 is much closer to 300 than to 200, so why would you use 200 as part of the estimate?

        • Texan357


        • thohan

          What’s that quote? “It’s an idea so foolish, only an intellectual would believe it.”

        • pandainc

          Hell, Steve, why not? Since both of them are between 0 and 1,000, how ’bout 0 + 1000 = 1000 for an estimate? I may be wrong, but I thot I saw 3rd grade somewhere here (and am too lazy to re-look) — how ’bout we teach the urchins how to really add two numbers?!!?

        • Asher Kobin

          They do this, then teach mid-point estimation and show the kids how much closer to the real answer is. The kids go “wow” and hence the learned something.

          In math they always start with hard way and then improve upon it.

      • GlockG22shoots40s

        http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/57214.html <—here Jake… I googled it like you said… the first page shows how dumb this common core example is. Clearly you shouldn't round down two numbers, when it is obvious to a 3rd grader that they should both be rounded up, prior to your estimation.
        After the first sentence of your rebuttal, you should have stopped because the rest of your argument is dumb. They are learning estimation alright. But they're being taught incorrectly. That IS the real issue here. Common core is BAD.
        You can defend stupidity if you prefer, it doesn't make you right.

        • Jake Keller

          So you both agree that it is not common core that you have an issue with… it is this 1 bad example. Glad we can agree.

          • Darticus

            Come on, Jake. Common core is littered with bullsh*t like this

          • TheOriginalDonald

            Dude, you’re making Jenny McCarthy look like a member of MENSA!

        • Asher Kobin

          I think there is context involved that people are missing. You gotta start somewhere. Then improve. For example: sally has 5 grapes and jim has 2, how many grapes do they have together. Next iteration, is just “5+2=?”. For this common core problem, they haven’t learned the concept of rounding, but it’s easy to understand the most significant digit is the left-most (“front”). Like with a handful of change you generally just care about the quarters.

      • Bill Gryan

        I want my kid to learn that 291 is essentially 300. More importantly, when he goes into a store and sees a price of $29.99, I want him to know that he’ll be paying $30. Maybe I’m not a intuhlectuell.

      • James Hollowell

        your a dumbazz!

        • Tristan Chris Heiss

          No james the man in the mirror is the dumbass. get it? cause you cant lie to the man in the mirror. Unless you have been indoctrinated to do so as so many have.

      • StateofFranklin

        Common sense would make one ask questions regarding the point of the problem(s) to solve.

        “Find the sum.”

        “Use front-end estimation to check that each answer is reasonable.”

        The offered solution was incorrect. It should have offered possible sums (it showed only one, so you didn’t have to “find” it) and a yes or no answer on the front end estimation.

        The “sum” (total of a set of numbers) should be an exact amount.
        Front-end estimation is merely an estimation based on only the beginning value of the number (i.e. front end estimation of the number 1,876 should be 2,000, rather than 1,000 as this example suggests) as it disregards the remaining numbers completely but can go up or down. They have effectively changed front end estimation if this is what they follow.

        Front end estimation should result in 700, which is reasonable to 645. However in the example provided, results in 500, which is not a reasonable estimation for the sum of 645, it’s not even within a 100 of it.

    • Bill Gryan

      They’re teaching them how to estimate future budget deficits, and help sell the idea of incurring more debt.

    • Worship Dancer

      depends i was always told on FRACTIONS if .50 or higher round to nearest whole number. if UNDER .50 round DOWN to nearest whole number. of course that’s ONLY if exact isn’t required.

    • David Bluefeather

      NO, that is NOT “FRONT END” estimation. Rounding was probably taught the next week. You peeps need to increase your meds.

      • TheOriginalDonald

        You need to go back to the Miscavige Institute For The Criminally Insane.

  • Blake Waymire

    The answer 645 is “reasonable” because it is correct! And I didn’t need any of their “front-end estimation” to figure that out.

    • greenthumb07

      Not for simple addition, but the skills of estimation need to be taught using simple problems to develop skills and intuition when beginning to work on more difficult problems that have a less obvious correct answer, or no given correct answer at all. Milk before meat.

      • DVessar

        it is obvious that you are part of the problem. You support this nonsense so you do not want to open your mind and focus on the discussion, only your point of view. Teach them how to do it correctly before you teach them other ways to arrive at a solution.

        Math (or arithmetic for pandainc) is objective. You are trying to make it a subjective argument. Fail.

        • greenthumb07

          How can asking/making valid points make me part of the problem? I’d agree with you if I was just covering my ears and sticking out my tongue at you. Engaging in honest discussion without mudslinging is hardly problematic, unless you expect everyone to just agree with you by default.

          How is it possible for anyone to take a snap shot of an entire curriculum and make the specious claim that addition isn’t being taught correctly? Can you, or any others here, demonstrate that the curriculum fails to properly teach addition based on this example?

          There are a couple of discussions going on. The one at hand here is the value/validity of teaching the skills of estimation to aid in determining if a solution is reasonable. I’m not try to make mathematics subjective. Understanding arithmetic is a fundamental building block for more advanced mathematics such as Algebra and Calculus. As a matter of fact, I’m already teaching my three year old how to add and subtract. On the other hand, the field of teaching and pedagogy is quite subjective. Am I championing Common Core? NO. I think it stinks, but not because of this tiny snippet of a lesson that is being blown out of context and proportion.

          If i’m missing the point, then please enlighten me. Believe me, my mind is open, which is more than can be said for many making such negative, ugly, and thoughtless comments in this forum.

          • DVessar

            Why do you assume that people are only referring to this problem as their concern for Common Core. I do not have children any more, but as a college professor, I see the results of past government educational programs, and keep up with this Common Core stuff. I have seen many, many examples of Common Core math and English problems posted in discussion boards, and they ALL seem to be rather sad examples of teaching our children, unless the idea is for them to NOT know anything (conspiracy thinking I know, but look at the facts and results).

            Why cannot you see the big picture, and not get all caught up in just the benefits of estimation? People all over the world have learned to add and subtract and memorize multiplication tables for centuries. Now we have to change that so American children can learn to guess at what the answer MIGHT be. Really.

          • greenthumb07

            Based on your response, it seems that you didn’t clearly understand my last comment.

            I clearly stated I think Common Core is garbage. I’ll say it twice so you don’t miss it. I think Common Core is a mistake and not all it is touted to be.

            Secondly, you are still missing the point. The lesson shown here isn’t intended to teach students to guess an answer. The lesson obviously requires the student to understand addition of three digit numbers, However, it also teaches a very important skill of estimation to determine if the exact answer was reasonable. In the real world, answers are not always obvious. Many time, especially in the R&D world, there is no easy way to check the validity of an answer except for a quick estimation to see if the solution is reasonable. Modern simulation tools allow us to better estimate, but they are still estimations. These tools and estimation are vital to mitigate risk before moving forward in a project. I’ll say it again. I’m not arguing that estimation replaces arithmetic. You seemed to miss that point. I am saying that alongside arithmetic(however it is learned, memorization, rules, etc..) estimation is a vitally important skill and i’m happy it is being taught at such early stages of development.

            I’m not trying to insult you, but as a college professor, you really should be able to understand these nuances in my position, even if you don’t agree with them. And as for your “we’ve done it this way forever” argument, well, the earth was flat and the center of the universe for hundreds of years.

            All the energy expended in the huffing and puffing here is wasted and would much better serve these individuals and society if they were huffing and puffing over something legitimately wrong, not some singleton math problem extracted from some random lesson plan.

  • Wart

    Guys this makes since. Socialism lowers everyone quality of life (except politicians). Common core is just trying to prepare people for it.

  • Informed&Concerned

    That “rounding down” explains EVERYTHING about the liberal left.

    – round down the unemployment numbers
    – round down the number of free phones out there
    – round down the number of abortions performed
    – round down the cost of jobs created by ACA
    – round down the IQ’s of the brilliant patriots
    – round down the how O’care created newly uninsured

    “It’s good enough, honey — take a participation trophy”

    • BlueGood

      For a bit of HAPPY NEWS….

      Carter @SideCG

      Canada’s Olympic House in #Sochi has a #beer fridge that only opens with Canadian passport. pic.twitter.com/FuvSUA86hJ” @bustedcoverage

      9:51 AM – 10 Feb 2014

      No doubt Team Canada will share with our American friends….

  • Kevin Post

    I added it in my head faster than it would take to write out the first line. 7×7 = grab your calculator

    • Republicanvet

      Yeah, most could if taught correctly without the added nitwittery.

      • Sharon Kutz

        Love the ‘nitwittery’ comment. May I use it? :)

        • Republicanvet

          Feel free. I believe I first heard it from Mark Levin.

    • Tom Johnson

      Bravo, was looking here to see how many other people did that in their heads. I am never surprised by what the liberal progressives will do to our educational system. Since I was in elementary school in the early fifties, graduated in the early sixties, I still do not need a calculator to do my check figures at cashiers registers in the grocery stores, yet those cashiers need to look at the screen to make change! Dumbing down the future voters is the reason for common core, which actually means common followers.

      • SpencerChaffin

        I graduated from a rural school, where we only had reading. ” riting , rithimitic and recess about the time you started elementary school. I learned my elementary math by picking cotton from 1.75 cents per pound to almost 3 cents per pound. While picking the next sack of cotton I would figure [ in my mind ] how much I earned for the previous sack. At 77 I often confuse the cashiers by telling them how much change back, when I hand them the money, before they even look at the digits displayed on the machine.

    • Jack Deth

      “49. Definitely 49. Not 42. Definitely 49!”

      • DVessar

        not 14?

  • nc ✓s & balances

    What are kids learning here? The beauty of numbers is that they don’t lie. But libbies seem determined to distort even that.

  • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

    In what world is 200 a “reasonable” estimate for 291?

    Truncation is a terrible form of estimation compared to rounding.

    • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      Bud Abbott’s, when Lou Costello asks him to repay the money Lou lent him. And trust me, Bud’ll do him down from there, too.

    • Republicanvet

      Seriously. If you are estimating anyway, why not 300 + 291. It would be a bit closer.

    • Roydale25

      Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn!
      Ph’nglui mglw’nfah Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!

      • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

        R’lyeh rising from the depths is nothing to joke about, do not mock the high priest Cthulhu.

        • Roydale25

          I always enjoyed Call Of Cthulhu, but my heart belongs to Shadow over Innsmouth. I still dream of slowly transforming into a deep one, and going home to be with father Dagon and mother Hydra

    • greenthumb07

      It all depends on what you are estimating and what accuracy is required.

      • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

        Your response is deemed “unreasonable.”

        • greenthumb07

          Only by unreasonable people…
          I’ll add that I’m an electrical engineer with advanced degrees and a successful career. This by way of avoiding unnecessary insults directed at my intellectual abilities.

          • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

            No wonder you can’t do math . . . you’re an engineer. Get a math degree and we’ll talk.

          • greenthumb07

            I pose a qualifier in my first comment and now I can’t do math? It sounds like you skipped courses on logic.

            I mean, 200 is a better estimation than 20. It’s on the same order of magnitude, right? Are we counting beans or dollars? It all depends. I’m just amazed at the vigor with which people are foaming at the mouth about this without actually understanding the purpose of the lesson.

          • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

            If your margin of error is +/- 35%, there is no accuracy required at all, your “logical” qualifier fails. I would question more your ability to do English given that the original statement concerned the “reasonableness” of an estimate which was nearly 1/3 off.

          • greenthumb07

            Your insult on my comprehension of the English language doesn’t make sense. If all you want to do is trade insults, i’m done here.

            You said truncation is unreasonable for an estimate. I countered with a question of required degree of accuracy. There is nothing illogical or unreasonable about it. Most of your electronics function with +/- 20% tolerance components.

            +/-35% is a measure of the accuracy. The great the MOE, the poorer the accuracy.

  • nickdqwk

    This is how we will be estimating your entitlement benefits, in the future, get used to it.


  • Steve__Jacobson

    The answer 645 is reasonable? No it isn’t, 645 is the correct answer, it can’t be anything else and reasonable has nothing to do with it.

    • Republicanvet

      If answers can be “reasonable”, then there can be no wrong answers.

      Bring on the teacher bonuses!

    • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

      I had plenty of “reasonable” answers in school, but that was using my reasoning. The teachers always called those “incorrect.”

    • Jeffrey Harbin

      Will the IRS accept this math? If so, I can see at least a small amount of merit.

  • Al’s Annoyed Grandpa

    354 + 291 = racist

    • CatHerder ✓fire! ✓fire!

      Stock or top fuel?

      Oh, wrong race. NM.

      • bbgunplinkplink


      • Joseph Wieck

        Best comment so far.

      • SanDiegoSteve

        Funny Math Car

  • B E

    I was appalled at first, until you guys didn’t read the comments in the source. It’s not what you think.

    Check. Your. FACTS.

    The question clearly says to find the sum first. This use this technique to see if you have a reasonable answer. This concept has been taught for years in engineering schools. For a simple math problem like this, it seems ridiculous. But the exercise is intended to get students to consider how to CHECK there answers. You learn on simple example so you can profit on harder problems. When the math problem isn’t so simple, using these techniques will help you check your answer. If the problem were 354 X 291, that could easily be miscalculated. The answer would be 103014 but the student could easily miss carrying a digit and get something like 10314. Using this technique they can multiply simpler numbers 300 X 200 = 60000 and realize 10314 is well below what the answer should be. Then they can rework the problem. I understand it seeming ridiculous but the this is learning how to use other techniques to verify your work.

    • B E

      In fact, just checked with a good friend who just graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, and he laughed at how it’s portrayed. The concept that’s used is similar.

      • Snowed In

        I have degrees in electrical engineering and math, and there would be a lot more validity to the example if they had rounded correctly.

      • Hey, That’s Pretty Good

        There are math teachers who have spoken out and said this crap doesn’t make sense to them. So stop making crap up to defend yet another Democrat failure.

      • delroymonjo

        I wonder if your electrical engineering friend is going to be estimating that windmills as an electicity source only consume ‘about’ twice as much space as a coal or gas powered electricy source for the same output.
        Let’s ask AlGore!

      • IfYouHaveToAsk

        I fear for the future of the profession then.

    • Al’s Annoyed Grandpa

      No, there is no reason when an estimate is 500 and the answer is 645. If an engineer were to miscalculate by that much on a project, how disastrous would it be?

      • B E

        You totally missed the point. The “estimation” is a way to make SURE you check that the ACTUAL sum is correct. Re-read my post, and it might make sense?

        • Al’s Annoyed Grandpa

          In this particular example, the estimation is nowhere close to what the answer is. That’s the problem with teaching kids to do addition the way it’s being taught.

          While this method may make sense to you now, it’s only because you learned how to do addition to find the correct answer first.

          • B E

            I agree, learning the “proper” way as we all have, should be common sense.

            but it’s easy to look at this concept and tear it apart with small numbers like these.

          • Al’s Annoyed Grandpa

            I agree that it can be torn apart with small numbers, but it doesn’t do much good for the kids because the numbers are so far off. Had that example rounded up rather than down, I’d be more open to the idea of teaching math in this manner.

          • NRPax

            I agree, learning the “proper” way as we all have, should be common sense.

            And yet Common Core disregards common sense in favor of this approach.

          • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            G.K. Chesterton: “The purpose of Compulsory Education is to deprive the common people of their common sense.”

          • HaveYourCake

            Even using the correct estimation, the answer would be an incorrect estimation which does nothing to help check the sum.

            You check the sum by reversing the equation.

          • AMSilver

            Thank you, thank you. When people who claim to know math justify errors this large, it makes me fear to drive my car, cross a bridge, enter a building, or receive medicine. What if whoever ran the math on any of those things (or many, many more) were comfortable with the error ranges that B E thinks are okay to acclimate our children to? Do we want to teach our children to view math as a precise field where the right answer matters, or are we just concerned that they feel good that their answer is ‘reasonable’.

          • peterhaddad

            being within 10% is reasonable. Being off by 27% is not. I was taught this as an engineering student.

          • AMSilver

            In what field of engineering is being off by 22% close enough to estimate that you’ve got the right answer?

        • Republicanvet

          I would rather an engineer calculating load bearing weights re-do his actual calculations rather than estimating as to whether his first attempt is “reasonable”.

        • frgough

          B.S. The way you check to make sure your actual answer is correct is to solve the problem a different way.

        • Milo

          @B E I always thought 354 + 291 = 666. Using front-end estimation, the estimated sum is 500, or 600. or 700. Whatever. Pick one. So the answer 666 is reasonable, right? Next question.

          It this what you’re saying?

          What engineering school did you attend?

        • Justwaitinforchange

          Good try – but nope

      • frgough

        You’d blow up a Mars probe

        • AMSilver

          Or an airplane, or a space shuttle, or a race car, or… (fill in the blank with any endeavor that requires science).

      • Worship Dancer

        it would be DEADLY.

    • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      A long, long time ago, retailers learned that if you peg the price of something at, say, “$12.99,” people will see the first two digits and disregard the 99 cents. However, the item still costs thirteen bucks, less a penny. You do this with ten items similarly priced, and the customer will realize at the register that (s)he’s paying about ten more bucks than they may have initially realized.

      My mom taught me NEVER to look at the first two digits– ALWAYS look for the “99” first. Less crying later, that way.

      • B E

        I remember a teacher telling me that! But I’ve always rounded something like 12.99 to 13, because that makes sense.

        • ForTheRepublicOfDave

          So, you’re saying that rounding UP to 13 instead of DOWN to 12 helped you figure out how much money you needed? Gee willakers, I think you figured out the point. *pops a party popper*

    • Dale Glenn

      B E, why would you estimate the answer by using 300 and 200 instead of 400 and 300? If they believe that rounding up is harder than rounding down, perhaps they should tailor the questions to reinforce this concept. By teaching them this technique incorrectly and then trying to correct it the following year when rounding up is used, they will cause confusion. Nobody is arguing against performing a sanity check to ensure you are in the ballpark, but this technique is flawed if they are not going to utilize rounding up as well as rounding down.

    • Stephen L. Hall #NonquamTrump

      Your example demonstrates just how foolish is this estimation method. Applying your example with multiplication, if they came up with the 103,014 but their estimate as you suggest was merely 60,000 or less than 3/5 the answer that they derived, then they will think that their correct answer is wrong. In your example the estimate is 43,000 off whereas their answer of 10,314 is about 50,000 off from the estimate, not really much help.

      Whereas a reasonable rounding of 291 to 300, or 300 x 300 = 90000 much more closely tracks the 103,014. Better yet to round to the nearest 50 instead of 100, you would estimate 350 x 300 = 105,000, which is a much closer estimate, yet easily derived.

      For the addition problem, 350 + 300 = 650, a much closer estimate to 645 than 500.

      • Patrick J.

        “hey, your answer is only off by 30%” flies just about nowhere. Further, orders of magnitude do help to fix stupid errors… the physics professors will be quick to point out the implication of an error of orders of magnitude. I will admit to rough calculating to make my life easier, but that’s a terrible way to do it and being off by such a strong figure is silly.

        If I was off by that much I’d be concerned and I work in applied mathematics.

        So, not only have we used a method that isn’t really useful to a confused mind, its also misleading in that it is teaching that something that is THAT far away from the right answer is good enough for face validity. Adding two numbers and getting a bigger number is insufficient for face validity.


        On top of this, we’re piling concepts on children who haven’t gotten the first concept grounded in the first place. I’d rather ground the original concept first. This is what happens when you hire teaching theorists instead of teaching children how.


        I can only imagine, being useless with my hands, if there was similiar ideas applied to say, wood shop (yes, I know, wood shop doesn’t really exist anymore). CC wood shop… well, it looks like a cylinder, must be a bird feeder. Precision doesn’t really matter, after all, you got the math right to within the nearest whole number.

        • Jay Stevens

          Try building a piece of furniture to the nearest whole number. I am pretty anal about measurements. I discovered that if you hold your errors to with 1/64″ (about the practical limits of wood), you don’t need wood putty.

    • Republicanvet

      …makes me wonder how many engineers decided the tolerances for the O ring on the shuttle were “reasonable”.

      • Jay Stevens

        Probably none. GO-NOGO was a management decision.

    • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

      Did you check all the FACTS? This is for 3rd grade, not engineering school. Kids need a basic foundation before they learn other methods of solving problems.

      • Frank Grayson

        At this rate, they will NEVER get into engineering school.

        • NRPax

          That’s fine; the government will just give away visas to foreign engineers so we don’t have to worry about job lock.

    • ledzepp8

      How does one become an engineer, if they don’t realize that multiplying 354 and 291 will yield a much larger number than 10,000+, without double checking with this asinine way if estimating?

    • ImTheNana

      It’s not the ‘technique to see if you have a reasonable answer’ (although that is stupid too) so much as the crappy rounding.

      Check. Your. MATHS.

    • frgough

      B.S. You do NOT verify your answer by checking to see if it is “reasonable.” You do what is called cross-checking. You solve the problem another way, or you work the problem in reverse to see if you get the other side of the equals sign. In the above example, you would check your work by subtracting each of the terms from your answer to make sure you got the other term.

    • http://heartbeatpolitics.com/ Bakeshop

      and we are to trust a fact checker who doesn’t know the difference between “there” and “their” ??

    • aztectrumpet

      I received my engineering degree and yes we did use stuff to check our work, but not this type of estimation. And what we did to check our work was to make sure it was exactly correct. 500 is 22.5% away from 645. That is not that reasonable. And you still missed the point that rounding everything down no matter what for estimation is stupid.

      • Jay Stevens

        Back when I was young (BC – Before Calculators), a 22% error was “reasonable”. Using a slide rule, you need to keep track of the decimal point. So you do a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) in a complex calculation. SWAG = 500. You determine answer = 645. OK, that is the same order of magnitude. You determine answer = 64.5. You did something wrong.

        That is why I am against using calculators in grade school. You lose all feel for numbers.

    • disqus_v3SHzvCspj

      I respect your analysis but 3d graders are not in engineering school. Shades of gray are not needed when the learning is black v white. Plenty of time for that mental crap later.

  • ledzepp8

    Geez I don’t have kids yet but I seriously don’t want them learning this stuff. What is the student learning here? This is the most asinine thing I’ve ever seen. Rounding the way I learned, you get 640…5 from the actual answer. Doing it this way, the kid is 145 away. And why the hell are you rounding these numbers?

  • Finrod Felagund

    If you paid $500 on a $645 tax bill, the IRS is still going to come after you.

    • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

      Unless you are a big, Democrat donor.

      • ReubenHood

        The other Democrats would laugh at you for even making a partial payment. You don’t do that until you get caught.

        • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

          And even if caught, the press would only report it once and never mention that you were a Democrat.

    • Indynana

      DO democrats even PAY taxes?

  • $84598387

    As if we are dumbed down enough?

  • Republicanvet

    Local Burger Flipper: “Here’s your change sir.”

    Customer: “but I should be getting $6.94 back in change!”

    Local Burger Flipper: “…well, like, $6.00 is reasonable.”

    • Hey, That’s Pretty Good

      And the burger flipper wonders at night when he’s trying to go to sleep why he’s only a burger flipper.

      • Kelly Grote

        A burger flipper who wants to make $15/hour.

      • ImTheNana

        Or suddenly unemployed.

      • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

        I like having an order with a small amount of pennies on the total and then giving them a $10 with the number of pennies. The initial look is complete blankness. That changes into “What am I supposed to do with these?”

        • Jay Stevens

          Try an order at, oh say, $6.15 and give the person a $10, a $1, and a quarter.

          • 97E

            When I spent time working at McDonald’s as a teen, I loved it when people paid like that. Made my job so much simpler.

            Because reading the computer screen in front of you telling you EXACTLY how much change they get back is SO HARD!

  • NRPax

    Let me guess: Teaching basic arithmetic is “racist” and the fact that there is an actual answer instead of grey areas is wrong.

  • Right Wired ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    How do we keep losing elections to these people?

    • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

      The national GOP is gutless and is scared of a half-white, drug affected, Communist, Muslim.

    • allbuss84

      When you make everyone equally dumb and control the media, you control the people

    • Indynana

      It must be the same way they COUNT votes?

  • doriangrey11

    Must be the same math Ron Christie is using to declare that the Republican Base should not hold it’s elected officials accountable for their actions.

    Ron Christie is utterly delusional.

  • Tre

    When my son brings some of that “Common Core” junk back as home work, this tends to be my response.

    • 97E

      Pretty much me, but whenever a dumb liberal starts spewing their rhetorical diarrhea.

  • desicon

    Give or take a couple of trillions.

  • http://theobservatorium.blogspot.com/ Nate

    Last time I had to get a front-end estimate, it was a whole lot more than $500.

  • billkoch

    Casting out nines works better and is accurate.

  • David Anfinrud

    Years ago a doctor was calculating how much radioactive material need for a cancer patient. Had a nurse double check his answer. He got 100X the radioactive material so he had a worse problem than the Prostrate Cancer. Estimating would not have caught the error. Would you trust someone using this method of calculating the amount of medicine you need with the kind of errors built in. Would the lawyers say the Doctor or Nurse using this method of averaging say they should have known better. Is this another reason why many businesses put taxes into the cost of a product or rounding cost to nearest Quarter. Because they can not figure out any closer than a quarter.

  • Tigerspike

    Not only does their Math stink, it proves that there is a misunderstanding regarding the word “reasonable.”

  • allbuss84

    500 is 22.48% off 645. Good enough for government work.

  • munkeephun

    What is this “reasonable” crap? Either the answer it correct or it is incorrect. Are kids just too sensitive these days to be told they are wrong? (I know the definition of reasonable but I don’t see how it pertains to math.)

    • Ailsa Nordstrom

      Yes, that is the beauty of math! Especially with regard to basic functions like this, there is only ONE right answer.

  • mahasw

    Instead of “Use front-end estimation to check that each answer is reasonable”, how about “Double-check your answer by using subtraction to see if your answer is CORRECT”?

  • Christine L.

    And Nye seems to think that creationism is the worst thing that could happen to our kids. I’m thinking not being able to add might be a little higher up on the totem pole.

  • Erik Ryfa

    Even if you rounded the 354 to 400 and 291 to 300 you would get 700 which is much more “reasonable” than 500. Should they be taught to round to the nearest whole number if that is the intent? 300 and 200 are not the “nearest”.

  • Sv3

    It’s always funny seeing Math problem like this that is hastily blamed on the “common core.”

    At lower level Math, teachers tells children that you cannot divide 5 by 2 only because it will lead to questions about decimal places, fractions, and remainders. As the level of Math gets higher, more and more Mathematical concepts are introduced to reach a realistic answer to a problem.

    Judging from the assignment, rounding up or down is ignored for the purpose of teaching estimates. If my estimate sum of the problem is 500+ while your estimate sum is 600+, both of our answers are correct, but yours is closer.

    However, if we are to round both number to the nearest hundreds, the numbers would be 400 + 300 which will give us the estimate sum of 700 — which is way off because the total is 645 that rounds to the nearest hundreds of 600. Situations like this only confuses the students so they are taught to take the left most number before adding.

    The simplest way to teach it is to eliminate the confusing concept of estimation and simply take the left most number and add them together. All other details on rounding up or down can be learned at a later date or at the higher level of Math.

    • Patrick

      its the fact they rounded the wrong way to start off with

      • Sv3

        You’re stuck in the concept of rounding numbers when rounding numbers is not part of the problem. If you have 3 one hundred dollar bills and some odd change, do you estimate your money to be $300 and some change, or about $400? Even if you have $395, you will never estimate to have $400 because that would be exaggerated estimation.

        • Patrick

          it says in the problem to use front-end estimation witch is a type of estimations that has rules like. like use the second number to the right to round up or down. witch they did wrong. the estimated answer should be 700

          • Sv3

            Unfortunately 700 would be wrong. If you are to round every thing, including the sum, 645 doesn’t round to 700.

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            The difference between 700 and 645 is 55.
            The difference between 500 and 645 is 145.

            Which way of rounding up provides a closer estimate?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002155267750 Clifford Schneide

            round to the nearest 10… easy and much better… 640

          • Sv3

            You’re looking at it wrong.

            The rounded 645 is 600.

            The difference between 700 and 600 is 100.
            The difference between 500 and 600 is 100.

            Both answers are correct estimation.

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            I think this learning technique is doing a disservice to kids. If you are estimating how much you will have to pay for something (landscaping, for instance, where the estimate you are given is per plant or tree) what kind of technique are YOU going to use? THAT is the estimation technique these kids should be learning so they don’t end up with sticker shock when they get the bill.

          • Sv3

            This is teaching them estimates, not actual calculation to build a space shuttle.

            If you have $395, would you budget that in a $400 spending? The safe estimation is to budget at $300 and leave the $95 as buffer so you won’t overspend.

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            Refer again to the picture supplied in this post. If these people grow up estimating this way, they are going to be suffering sticker shock throughout their lives.

          • Patrick

            to bad the question told them to use front-end estimation witch has a set of rule

          • Patrick

            there are rules to using front-end estimation and they did not follow them correctly causing the example to be wrong

          • Patrick

            you dont round the sum you round 354 and 294 using front-end estimation witch would give the problem of 400+300=.

    • Ailsa Nordstrom

      But if they had just rounded the 291 to 300, the “estimated” answer would be 600 – a LOT closer to the actual answer. Agreed?

      • Sv3

        So rounding 291 to 300 is ok and rounding 354 to 300 is also ok??? What?

        Isn’t 354 should round to 400?

        • Ailsa Nordstrom

          They could try both ways and come up with an estimate between 600-700. Much more narrowed down. But I like what Clifford Schneide suggested above.

          • Sv3

            Actually, the estimate is between 500-700 because there’s no way to get 600 without finagling the numbers like what Clifford Schneide did.

          • IfYouHaveToAsk

            But why estimate when you can verify the answer is correct?

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            I agree! But if you are going to teach students how to estimate, at LEAST do it right!

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            I agree JosephBSlone, but if you are going to teach estimation, at least do it properly.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002155267750 Clifford Schneide

        est to the nearest 10… that is easy and give a much better answer too 354 to 350 and 291 to 290… for 640… much better an est…. of the real 645

        • Ailsa Nordstrom

          Even better! Thanks!

        • Sv3

          Ah, but the instructions says to use front-end estimation and the tens decimal place is not the front-end, it’s the hundred place.

          Sure you can do that, but that would be wrong for not following the instructions.

  • David Ruiz

    are they using reasonable assumptions to prove the global warming theory? LoL

  • ImTheNana

    #speechless o.0

  • Indynana

    NO WONDER our Nations debt is so out of control!

  • Mark R.R.Smith

    The students should just get an A for showing up and signing their names to the test. Oh wait!!!!! The schools stopped teaching cursive writing!

  • Arkuy The Great

    This violates basic number rounding that I first learned in 2nd grade! Yes, I remember Mrs. Fuller covering the topic back in the day.

  • trnichols

    Dumbed down America to make minorities look smart.The old saying goes”You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear”It still stands truth!

  • justathought22

    OMG what the hell are they teaching kids today????? NO wonder they cannot make change at the store. Apparently the liberals don’t want anyone smarter than them walking around.

  • Patrick Ferry

    This is not front end estimation, or it is, but it is done incorrectly. 3 digit numbers should be rounded to the nearest hundred place before adding together. In the example problem they failed on both counts. 354 + 291 rounded to the nearest hundreds place would be 400 + 300 = 700.

    In other words teach children to add, subtract, multiply and divide, then teach proper rounding, then teach front end estimation.

    B E, Check your own facts. Front end Estimation is NOT truncation …. it is rounding, to the nearest 10, 100, 1000, etc. If they taught you in your ‘engineering school’ to just add the leftmost digits, then they taught you badly and you should be asking for a refund on some of your tuition as a refund.

  • Hendrick

    Lets see you land a man on the moon with that kind of math.

  • bigjohn767

    My niece had to learn how to add/subtract fractions. My wife sat with her over the summer and taught her. She turned in her paper and it was marked wrong because she just supposed to estimate the answers. I would love to see a building by carpenters who estimate the measurements and whether it’s level or not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002155267750 Clifford Schneide

    dumb down the people so they can not think for themselves… sad very very sad

  • Dexter Alarius

    When bridge architects are doing load calculations, do you think being off by 22% will be ‘reasonable’?

    • Sv3

      I’m sure you’ll appreciate it if your tax due is off by 22%, but not if your tax refund is off 22%. :)

  • http://heartbeatpolitics.com/ Bakeshop

    should be the “rear-end estimation”

  • MrApple

    That’s the kind of Liberal math that is running our country today.

  • Mikey1109

    What a bunch of crapola, this country is in very serious trouble.

  • fubar4fun

    So working at the local market breaking down boxes for $7.10 per hour is $18k per year! Wow. But the government plays that game too. Your 25% tax rate on that $7.10 per hour, for the year is $7k. Who needs math when a guess works just as well? Everyone knows that all kids are winners. They all get trophies and all get passing grades regardless their actual proficiency. With computers and the intrrnet, mathematics is a thing of the past…estimation is where its at. By the way, go rent the movie Idiocracy if you want to see how this turns out.

  • j p✓ʳᵉᶠʳᶦᵉᵈ

    Isn’t that how this administration’s number crunchers work out their figures? Unemployment down, job creation up, budget fine.

  • Michael David Davis

    The answer, 645, is reasonable because IT’S THE F*CKING CORRECT ANSWER.

  • Diane

    Idiots. At the very least, round numbers UP when they’re over 50! Jeesh! Bunch of morons…..I would pull my kid out of that school so fast you’d feel my wind!

    • Sv3

      Let’s do that then;
      354 -> 400
      291 -> 300

      354 + 291 = 645
      400 + 300 = 700

      645 -> 600 ???

      Ma’am, your numbers are wrong.

      • Diane

        Rounding up would only cause one to be off by 55. Doing it the way they did caused them to be “off” by 145. Are you saying that what they did is closer to the truth than what I recommended? No, my numbers are NOT wrong, Vincent. Unless, of course, you prefer to farther away from the truth.

        • Sv3

          My argument lies on the sum of 645 which doesn’t round to 700.

          It doesn’t matter how much off you were, 55 or 145, but using the same rule you have applied to both 354 and 291, rounding the sum 645 is 600 — not 700.

          Now an answer of 500 and 700 are both off by 100 from the real estimate of 600. You can’t get 600 without finagling the numbers.

          Now which is far from the truth?

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            645 doesn’t round DOWN to 500, either.

          • Sv3

            You have to look at the real estimate, and we all know that it is 600.

            Now looking at the estimated answer of 500, it’s off by 100, right?

            Now looking at the rounded up estimate answer of 700, it’s also off by 100, right?

            So either answer is off by 100. So which is the correct estimate?

            Obviously if 700, being off by 100 is correct, surely 500, being off by 100 is also correct.

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            No. The estimated answer of 500 is off by 145 and the estimated answer of 700 is only off by 55 of the ACTUAL ANSWER.

          • Sv3

            500 is the estimate number.
            700 is the estimate number.

            645 is NOT the estimate number, 600 is.

            Thus they are both off by 100.

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            In the example illustrated in the tweet pic, the estimate is 500.

          • Sv3

            Yes, it’s 500 without using any rounding up or down.

            What of it?

            Estimates will always be off, that’s why it’s called “estimate.”

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            The basic rule for front end estimation:

            If the numbers have three digits, round to the nearest hundred place before adding the leftmost digits or numbers.

            The nearest hundred place of 354 is 400 and the nearest hundred place for 291 is 300. Holding fast to the rule of front end estimation, the estimation should have been 700.

            I could forgive someone rounding down from 354, however, since it so close to the mid-point.

          • Sv3

            Yes, if rounded up it should have been 700. However, using that method results in over-estimation because the sum is only 645, which 600 is the close estimation.

            This is where you get in trouble when calculating for maximum weight where a result of 700 would be an over-confidence on how much a structure can actually carry, while a result of 500 would be a safe estimation.

          • Ailsa Nordstrom

            The directions say to use front end estimation. The example is incorrect and will lead to confusion later.

          • Darticus

            Yes, an engineer should always err on the side of caution. But this is simple 3rd grade addition. If I’m, say, Christmas shopping, and I want buy two items that cost $354 and $291, respectively, rounding those numbers the correct way gives me an estimate of $700. Meaning I should probably make sure I have $700 or a little less (because I know I’m rounding up) in my pocket before I go to the cashier. That’s a much more valid real world example than applying some abstract engineering example to simple addition.

          • AMSilver

            Dude, the only place where being 55 over is a worse outcome than being 145 under is The Price is Right. If your career is being a game show contestant, then your wierd contortions regarding math are not totally embarassing. If, on the other hand, you actually have to do anything with numbers in your career field – I will so not do business with you. Ever.

          • aztectrumpet

            Yes and there is no way to estimate 600 with 291 and 354 without using different standards for rounding each of the numbers. Why round up and the other down when they are both more than 50% of the way towards the higher number.

          • aztectrumpet

            Are you trolling? Or are you really this stupid?

          • AMSilver

            We aren’t estimating anything about 645. 645 is the correct answer. Making the correct answer wrong in order to figure out a range for what numbers could possibly be added in order to come to a conclusion in the range of the correct answer is breath-takingly non-mathematical. Please tell me you are an actor – or a painter – or employed in some other field that requires absolutely no math.

          • aztectrumpet

            please don’t be an engineer or use math in your career.

          • IfYouHaveToAsk

            You lost me at ‘The Real Estimate’. This method is too complicated and error prone for anything more complex than three or four digit addition/subtraction and more than two or three addends or subtrahends. The easiest method for double checking your work that I’ve ever come across is called “Casting Out Nines” – Yes, I did have to look it up – I couldn’t remember the name, it’s been a few years since I used it.

          • Sv3

            Let me put it this way;

            354 + 291 = 645

            Rounding down (min);
            300 + 200 = 500

            Rounding up (max);
            400 + 300 = 700

            The answer is between 500 and 700.

            The median (or average) is 600 (real estimate).

            The answer of 645 is reasonable because it falls between the min and the max and it’s estimated to be close to the median 600.

          • IfYouHaveToAsk

            It just shows that you are somewhat close to the correct answer. But, it doesn’t prove that the answer is correct. There is a better way.

          • Sv3

            “somewhat close to the correct answer” is what estimation is and why 645 in this exercise is reasonable.

            I agree that there are better methods to check for the correct answer, but estimation assumes that you don’t have all the data and the exact figures.

          • IfYouHaveToAsk

            Now we are getting away from verifying if the answer to a simple addition problem is correct. I can go there too, but this isn’t the discussion for that. To me, this is the wrong method for doing a simple check. It will not verify the correctness of the answer. It will only tell you that it might be correct, not that it is correct.

          • Sv3

            Checking if the answer is correct wasn’t the goal. If you review the instructions, it ask if the answer is reasonable by using front-end estimation.

            A subtle part of this exercise is to test how well the student follows the instructions.

          • IfYouHaveToAsk

            But surely it is better to verify that the answer is correct. It appears to me that this is a poor way to teach math. There are better techniques that should be taught at a young age. It is offensive to me to see children being taught down to.

            The grumpier I get, the worser my grammar. Too lazy to edit it though.

          • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

            Hey gang, I think we understand now why 404Care is such a fustercluck, huh?!?

          • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

            645 is the ACTUAL ANSWER! It CANNOT be “reasonable,” it can only be right or wrong!

          • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

            Like my dear ol’ daddy useter say, figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. Behold, folks, the same folks who done brung you 404Care and the Church of Warmingology now say that 700 is no closer to 645 than 500!

            Come on, you’re just embarrassing yourself now.

          • aztectrumpet

            Why would you round when you already have the answer?

          • AMSilver

            Please tell me you are a teacher or an engineer or a parent or *something* that will allow your common sense and intelligence to find its way into the general population.

          • aztectrumpet

            Me? Not quite yet. I have my degree but not an engineering job yet. Should have tried harder to get an internship while in college. But Ill get there. Hopefully the parent thing would happen too sometime.

          • AMSilver

            Why the heck are we rounding 645 to anything? It’s the correct answer! It doesn’t need to change. Changing the correct answer to feel better about an incorrect way of rounding is just pedantic (and stupid).

      • IfYouHaveToAsk

        Casting out nines – Look it up on wikipedia, it’s a rather old technique.

        354 3 (Drop the 5+4)
        + 291 3 (Drop the 9)
        645 6 (Drop the 5+4)

        3+3 = 6, the answer is correct. It is *not* an estimate, it is correct.

        124514 8
        187431 6
        + 143581 4
        ———— 18: Drop the nines (2*9) it becomes 0
        455562 27: Drop the nines, it becomes 0

        This answer is correct too.

        It took me longer to type it, than to do the checks. And yes, there is a formal proof.

        • IfYouHaveToAsk

          Now get off of my lawn.

    • Onyx

      They’re being taught a simple and consistent method that can be used for addition, subtraction, multiplication, square roots, etc. Sometimes it gives a better estimate than rounding, sometimes a worse one. (For instance, for 745-260=485, front-end estimation yields 500, while rounding before subtracting gives 400.) The front end estimate of the square root of 629 is 20… they don’t have to determine whether the exact answer is 25 or more to decide whether it should be 20 or 30.

  • j p✓ʳᵉᶠʳᶦᵉᵈ

    Thank God these people weren’t involved in the Lunar landing project.
    Obama control to Major Tom? I think we missed.

  • Connie Powell Silva

    What about 354 + 291 = 645 PERIOD? If you like your Mathematics you can keep your Mathematics, Period!

  • Bart Bartlett

    That explains how the unemployment rate has been estimated at 6.6%. The true unemployment is more than double that estimate. So you can decide which number is “reasonable.”


    Watch some idiots someday who got indoctrinated by Communist Core math applies for a job at NASA.

    Becoming an astronaut would then be the single most deadliest career choice ever.

    • http://twitter.com/thetugboatphil TugboatPhil

      All you need for a NASA job today is the ability to build self-esteem in Muslims.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

      NASA tried that once already.

  • woodgrain

    Try balancing a checking account like that. LOL

  • Jerry

    My 7 year old could add this up without common core.I taught her when she could barely walk and talk.She is in first grade and was just tested for the same abilities as a 4th grader.Common Core is a joke.I find it actually hurts the parents that want to help their children.

    • Darticus

      That’s the whole idea. They’re deepening the indoctrination that was already there when I graduated high school 11 years ago

      • AMSilver

        Make the parents unable to help their children with ‘hard sciences’* like math and you destroy the child’s trust and respect for their parents, and replace the authority figure with the teacher (who may not be able to explain the math so the child can understand it, but at least holds the official position indicating that they know the truth)
        *I stuck the quotation marks around hard sciences, because whatever math is being taught here is a far cry from a true hard science.

        • Darticus

          Exactly. It all can be traced to Shrillary’s philosophy of “it takes a village” and Melissa Harris-Perry’s idea that children belong to society as a whole. The education system is littered with like-minded people. Scary times

  • Kmid219

    My 3rd grader did this assignment a few month ago. I was frustrated and she was near tears. She just wanted to DO THE MATH. And she’s in a Catholic school, BTW… the virus is spreading.

    • Part138

      That’s what I’ve said before, Catholic and other private schools do not usually have some mysterious hidden culture to them*, they can be VERY similar to public schools in many ways. The one big way in which I noticed that they are different is that loud, obvious misbehavior is tolerated a lot less. (cattiness is still there, of course)
      *so few people go to them compared to public school that I have a feeling this is why they are assumed to be so different.

  • Part138

    Could you show us some English and History CC questions please, Twitchy? (if you haven’t yet)

  • H50 ✓RAT

    Sooooo….answers to math problems are no longer correct or incorrect, but are now reasonable? That implies some flexibility in the correct conclusion. Math is not flexible.

  • ceemack

    May I never fly in an airplane designed by someone who learned math this way.

    • spaceycakes

      or use an elevator, or live in a high rise, or drive across a bridge,…

  • WhoDat

    That’s reasonable? Not really.

  • idiotmitten

    I guess my social security will get rounded down, too.

  • 97E


    WTF is a “reasonable” answer in a math question?

    There is no such thing as “reasonable”. It either IS the answer, or it ISN’T.


    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

      It’s the phrasing and presentation of the problem which is the problem, it’s all backwards. It should be asking to solve FIRST for an approximation, then for the actual solution. Finally, it should ask if the estimation was a “reasonable” approximation.

      Instead, it is solving the actual problem first, then using rounding incorrectly (or poorly) to yield an estimate, then asking if the actual answer is “reasonable”!

      What they are trying to do is fine, but they are failing very hard. How hard?

  • Jack Deth


    In what universe does that supposed math problem make sense?!!!

  • Julie the Jarhead

    (In reference to the equation on the Twitchy.com home page)


    1 and 1 is 3

    11 is binary for 3

    There — after a course in basic electronics, the answer is obvious.

    • Jack Deth

      That explains Error:404!

  • right_on

    The designers of Communist Core got their “bonifides” working on budgetary items for the WH, Pelosi, and Reid. Is it any wonder nothing the government runs is cost effective, or efficient?

  • AndyLipscomb

    Lets see how well this goes over when a guy owes you 645 bucks, and hands you 500.

    • spaceycakes

      yeah; try that with the irs

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

        And if they gripe, just say, “Hey! What difference does it make?!?”

  • Kelly Layne

    what happened to simple old fashioned adding

    • NRPax

      THANK YOU! I was wondering the same thing.

  • Belial Issimo

    Oh come on, folks, the problem didn’t ask for the answer, it asked whether an estimate was reasonable. That kind of question is familiar to anyone who knows how to use a slide rule. Yes, the rounding is stupid, but the concept of eyeballing a problem to see if your answer is in the ballpark isn’t some socialist plot.

    • Patrick

      well if read the problem it says use front-end estimation witch they did wrong 354 should have been 400 and 295 should be 300 witch the sum is 700 not 500

      • Belial Issimo

        For you I prescribe Common Core in English composition. It won’t make you Shakespeare, but it will introduce you to the concepts of punctuation and homophones.

        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

          Perhaps he is a recent immigrant and not a native-speaker of English, in which case you are a racist bigot for insulting him.

          Hey! That’s just like Common Core reasoning!

          In any case, his main point is entirely correct, as many others here have noted, and I will repeat, the real problem is that the question is framed absurdly backwards, first solving for the actual answer, then looking for an estimation of it, as well as asking if the actual answer is “reasonable.” The estimation may or may not be reasonable, but the answer can only be right or wrong.

      • Onyx

        “Front-end” means the initial (front) digit or digits. There’s nothing at all wrong or vague about this problem or the presented solution. Being able to use order-of-magnitude estimates to make sure your result is reasonable (i.e., not off by a factor of ten) is extremely important in applied math and science, and I’m glad to see it’s being taught early.

        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

          Yes, but that is not what is happening here. Read the actual problem and the comments here; it is backwards and absurd.

        • Mr. Fever Head

          It means using the initial digits after rounding them correctly.

    • JBDestiny

      You’re purchasing some furniture. One piece is $354, the other is $295. The salesman says: “Your total purchase is about $500.”

      Choose your response:
      1) “Am I getting a discount? Seems it’s around $700 as priced.”
      2) “True, I’m familiar with slide rules!”

      • Belial Issimo

        Yes, I get your point, and I’m not defending the error* in the problem that rounded $354 to $300 rather than $400; if the rounding had been done correctly the estimated result of $700 is closer to the actual answer than $500 is.

        But the point of the problem (I think) is that they’re trying to introduce students to the concept of estimation and using that as a sanity check to confirm that the answer isn’t off by a factor of 10 [ an exercise for which I freely admit that a slide rule is peculiarly ill-suited :) ]. For very little kids, this is fine. For slightly older kids, introduce rounding up and rounding down. For more advanced kids, introduce rounding to the nearest 10 instead of 100. But what many commenters on this thread are howling about is that the problem doesn’t require the student to determine that 354+295=649, exactly, and they infer from that that kids will never learn math** and their bridges will fall down. That kind of rant, I’d say, is overblown considering what I gather is the the goal of this particular problem.

        *Not exactly an error if you accept the premise that the rounding is to have been done by simply truncating everything after the hundreds-place. I don’t think that method is so helpful for estimating things like prices, though it may be useful for other sorts of estimation.

        **More precisely, arithmetic.

        • JBDestiny

          No, people are howling because the word “reasonable” isn’t defined in this homework, and that causes major confusion. Now, if the class lesson (i.e. theory) contains the definition of “reasonable” (as you state, off by a factor of less than 10), your point about the math involved is correct. But that’s not the issue that has people here concerned.

          This CC homework assumes that anyone not in class, like a parent, will use the same definition as math theory covered in class. Most parents, most adults, don’t use “reasonable,” “estimate,” or “in the ballpark” to mean “within a factor of 10.” They use it more practically to mean, “close enough.” Not unreasonable of them at all.

          The problem in the CC math curriculum isn’t with math. It’s the instructions! Math stays the same no matter what. What bothers me is how people focus on the math, and completely ignore the really big problems in English!

        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

          That, and the entire premise is backwards. FIRST you are given the actual problem to solve, THEN you are told to do an approximation to determine if the actual is “reasonable”! The problem does NOT ask if the estimate is “reasonable” it asks if the actual ANSWER is reasonable! That is simply absurd.

          • Onyx

            It’s not absurd at all; it’s the whole point. The method used to derive the estimate is simpler than the one used to derive the exact answer, so it’s less prone to error. Therefore it makes sense to ask whether the “exact” (but more prone to error) answer that they found is reasonable given the (more reliable) estimate.

          • Mr. Fever Head

            The system less prone to error was off by nearly 22 percent. Not a very good result.

      • tedlv

        You simply have no clue, do you?

        • JBDestiny

          Brilliant response.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

      No, it asks if the answer itself is reasonable. It is what we in the real world call “bass-ackwards.”

    • Mr. Fever Head

      If you add 354 and 291 and got 500 on a slide rule you probably studied English lit.

      • Belial Issimo

        If you added 354 and 291 and got anything on a slide rule, I want one of those slide rules.

        • Mr. Fever Head

          My point exactly. Why would you use a slide rule for addition?

  • Mug Mayhem

    How about rounding down my taxes.

    • Sv3

      They already do. It’s called tax deductions and tax exempt…or tax loop holes.

      • Mug Mayhem

        No, that is called subtraction.

        • Sv3

          So you don’t subtract any number when rounding down?

          So how do you round down to 300 from 315 if not subtracting 15?

          • Mr. Fever Head


          • Mug Mayhem

            (Shaking head) You don’t get even basic math. Taking away a value (tax deduction) from another (gross taxable income) is subtraction. Your reply, “They already do.”, states that this is rounding. It is not.
            The statement I made about rounding down my taxes was to be taken lightly. You missed the point.

          • Sv3


            It seems evident that according to you that rounding down 315 to 300 is not taking 15 away…the 15 just simply go poof, begone.

            You’re right. It’s Mathe-magic.

  • FirstBoot

    The common core must be idiocy.

  • ZX_Maniac_86

    You know, that problem? Actually could be worded differently and have one more line added. To where they’ve got the estimated sum, the left over numbers are added up to make another number. Then Add the estimated sum WITH the number you just got, then you got the RIGHT (not Reasonable) answer!

    What bothers me, is the last part of it. Saying that the answer is reasonable. No… it MUST BE RIGHT! not REASONABLE. Can’t stand that slight bs, that’s what’s ruining our education system.



  • pj

    I was taught to round up…400+200 should be correct estimates.,no wonder parents can’t help with homework….maybe common core goal is to make kids think their parents are stupid and the teachers are geuius’

    • David Bluefeather

      “front end” is a method for FAST approximation. A way to do “real time” sanity checks, such as during a timed exam. Do you understand now?

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

        Yes. This problem here is not doing that at all. The rounding is incorrect, and the whole problem is presented backwards. Solving a problem and then approximating an answer is perhaps how Alice learned math on the other side of the looking glass, but not what sane people who have the least understanding of math do.

        • tedlv

          I am completely convinced that you don’t think sane people had anything to do with common core.

      • Mr. Fever Head

        Screwing up the execution screws up the sanity check. What is so hard about accepting that rounding 291 to 200 is silly when estimating sums?

        • David Bluefeather

          I don’t know your background, so I’ll try to explain this the best way I can.
          In the math/CS world, the term “Fast” has a very precise meaning. The lower the cycled instruction count, the “faster” the algorithm. The method in question is called “fast front-end approximation” because it uses a very minimum of cycles to carry out. All you need to do is add the front-end digits and compare to your result. To carry out the rounding instructions increases the cycle count by over 10 fold and is no longer a “fast” sanity check, .. indeed, it just becomes a second problem to solve. I hope this helps you to understand.

    • Ned Nederlander

      “maybe common core goal is to make kids think their parents are stupid and the teachers are geuius'”

      You may have just hit the nail on the head. Control.

  • spaceycakes

    what. the. effing. eff.

  • Marvin Nelson

    “Reasonable answer?” Only in the LaLa world of Common Core does this crap make any sense. In ye olden days, kids knew that the rounded-off estimate would be 700, which indeed makes the answer reasonable. God help us when this generation of kids graduates from high school and have to take off their shoes to count past 10. They will be good little socialist drones who don’t have the brains to question authority.

  • David Bluefeather

    What does front end fast approximation have to do with Common Core? This has been taught since at LEAST over 50 years ago. WTF is wrong with you people?

    • Sv3

      I find the reactions funny actually. Twitchy never fails to generate these funny contents in their site by posting something they thought is a common core issue.

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

        I find the reactions funny actually.Leftists never fail to advocate for the most ridiculous nonsense as long as it is advocated by The Party.

        • Sv3

          I find the reactions funny actually, that the left is the reflection of the right.

          • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

            Yes, since the opposite of “right” is “wrong.”

          • tedlv

            Which is the lesson every child needs to take to heart. Right is right, left is WRONG!

      • IfYouHaveToAsk

        I was fighting this kind of nonsense math before the common core showed itself. I have other problems with how cc is being forced down our throats. My comments here have nothing to do with common core. For me left vs. right have nothing to do with it. Bad math annoys me.

        • tedlv

          I am sorry I can only give you one up-vote, Joseph. Good comment!

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

        How is it not?

    • IfYouHaveToAsk

      I don’t think using an incorrect method for 50 years will make the method correct.

      I understand the idea of a ball-park estimate. I just doubt it’s usefulness, even on a timed exam. Wrong, is still wrong (or at least should be). If you get the rightmost digit wrong, you are as wrong as when you get the leftmost digit wrong.

      edit: My math teachers would have pitched a fit if I had tried to use that method. It’s either right or it isn’t.

      • tedlv

        It is useful, when applied properly. I use it all the time. That example from Common Core was simply not a proper application.

        • IfYouHaveToAsk

          Give me an example. I’m always willing to learn.

          • Mr. Fever Head

            Grocery shopping to keep under a set budget.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

      Using it incorrectly. Are you seriously saying you would solve for an answer FIRST, and THEN estimate an answer? Absurd. And in any event, no one in their right mind would round 290 to 200, and 500 is NOT a “reasonable” estimate for 645.

      • tedlv

        What leads you to believe, in any way, that a “right mind” is involved in this garbage?

        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

          lol, fair enough!

  • phungi20

    In real life situations the estimate is done in the students head. So is the actual addition. What would make the addition wrong and the estimation catch that?

  • BAW

    I’d like to see the example of when they find the answer to not be reasonable. How far off do they have to be to realize there might be a problem?

    • David Bluefeather

      Have you worked with children before? They make very “creative” mistakes. These teaching methods have been used for a VERY long time after many decades of experience with children and teaching.

      • BAW

        I taught second grade for a few years, raised three children, worked with children as a tutor, team mom, Sunday School teacher, etc. etc. etc. So yes, decades of experience with children and teaching. My parents were both college educated and had careers in education. So I’ve been in and around education all of my life.

        I have no idea what children’s creative mistakes have to do with teaching them something that is wrong. Like rounding 291 down to 200. Sorry, not a “teaching method” I’m familiar with.

        • tedlv

          Then, BAW, you are obviously so intellectually deficient that you can’t understand Common Core. I am, too.

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

        Yes, I have six. And this problem is just stupid.
        Six — that’s 3+3.

    • tedlv

      If they reach “purple” with their estimate, they might deem it unreasonable, but “42” cannot be argued with.

  • radicallyalyssa

    That’s not even close to right!

    354 should be rounded to 350, and 291 should be rounded to 300.
    350 + 300 = 650. Not frickin’ 500.
    “645” is not the “reasonable” sum, it’s the actual answer.

    • tedlv

      Even if you round 354 to 400, and 291 to 300, so you don’t have to add any really hard “50” like numbers, the answer is 55 away from the exact answer, vs. 145. They done taut me good in 6th grade, granny. Ah Kin do cipherin’!

  • zj sky

    math seems like one of those things where the answer is pretty damn specific

  • Evie1949

    My niece just pulled her son out of public school and got him into a private school. He was losing his mind over the arithmetic classes. Each day they were changing HOW he was to arrive at the same answer to the same problems. He could learn it one way but to keep being more concerned with HOW he worked the problem than the goal of the correct answer was making him ill.

  • https://www.facebook.com/libertyNvrsleeps Thomas Purcell

    da fuq?

  • Evie1949

    I should have added – the estimate is reasonable, the answer is either correct or incorrect…not reasonable or unreasonable. The Common Core authors do not have a clue what words mean as evidenced by their statement that the required reading program was only a suggested required reading program. I suggest the authors of Common Core need to be re-educated.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

      “their statement that the required reading program was only a suggested required reading program.”

      Shirley, you can’t be serious!

  • derfelcadarn

    Why would one round down with those numbers? I do not remember many reasonable answers in math class either they were right or wrong.

    • Sv3

      If you have a 354ft rope, climbing down from a 400ft cliff, would you estimate your rope to be 400ft? 360ft?

      Can you survive an estimated 40ft drop?

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

        Now that’s just stupid.

        • Mr. Fever Head

          Seriously, it doesn’t matter what you estimate your rope to be if, in fact, it is too short. You could get congress to pass a law saying your rope was exactly 400′ and you’re still falling to your death.

      • Mr. Fever Head

        If I was a liberal and landed on my head I’d have a reasonable chance to vote again. Maybe twice.

  • sizemorew

    You have got to be kidding me.

    Estimation to find out if you’re in the ballpark of the right answer is okay, but with an error margin that large being admissible is insane. Here’s how I was taught to do it:

    354 can be rounded down to 350. 291 can be either rounded down to 290 or rounded up to 300. Estimated answer is between 640 and 650. And, shocker, the actual answer is 645, right smack dab in the estimation zone with a very small margin of error.

    Part of me is glad I don’t have children for the sole reason that I don’t have to make them suffer through today’s public schooling.

    • Sv3

      The size of the margin of error is dependent to the method and size of the measurement. A tolerance of plus/minus 5 may not even be realistic and it’s too small in a larger measurement or too large of a margin in a smaller measurement.

      That type of reasoning (margin of error) is left out of the exercise because it will only confuse the students.

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

        Well, with that type of reasoning, how can we even speak of an approximation being “reasonable”? That’s the whole point here, if you didn’t notice, the problem is asking if a certain number is “reasonable’ compared to another. If you are not at least implicitly accepting some margin of error, how can you say that any answer is unreasonable? Sorry, but you’re talking nonsense.

      • sizemorew

        @Vincent Elisan, I strongly disagree. Margin of error is important to determining whether or not a calculation is reasonable even if you don’t use those exact terms. The goal is to have an estimate that’s at least in the ballpark of the actual answer. The way I estimated gave a ten-point window. Maybe a little narrow for some tastes and in some situations, but in a straight-up math problem that is dependent solely on the number values themselves rather than units of measurement, it’s much, much more accurate than an almost 150-point window in just one direction.

        The crux of your argument is based solely on situational circumstances with units of measure in a problem that is unit-less to begin with. The logical assumption is that you want your estimation to be as close to the actual value as possible. That is the thought process that I was taught back when we were learning mental math (including estimation) in the second or third grade. Unlike what you claim, that thought process was easily-understood by my classmates and me and to this day it’s been effective in almost every situation I’ve come across.

        Do situations exist where being a little loose with the estimates is acceptable? Yes, but the goal is still ultimately to at least try to be close to the actual answer so that your work–even without the actual numbers–is reasonable..

        • Sv3

          I agree with you in your method of estimation. However that is not the instruction given, instead they are to use “front-end estimation.” The way front-end estimation is taught varies where it is taught one way, as we can see in this topic, and another way where rounding up/down were used.

          Obviously, the method taught by this book is the former instead of the latter.

          As I said, it seems that the purpose of this exercise is to teach students how to estimate first, then probably later on they will be taught how to estimate with respect to margin of errors.

          They need to understand the basic concept of estimation first before going to the next level using the margin of errors — and sometimes it requires a lot of repetitions of the basic concept.

  • neoface

    Holy crap! This problem needed to round up, 400 + 300 = 700, their answer 500 is not close to 645. Is Obama making this stuff up????

  • Chuck Harding

    If the “+” operator is interpreted to mean “string concatenation” then 1 + 1 = 3 would be correct because 11 in binary has a decimal value of 3.

    • IfYouHaveToAsk

      Quit confusing the children.

  • reaper_69

    Common Core is just indoctrination liberals are using to dumb down our children so they can’t actually count to 10 on their fingers, like most liberals, and won’t be shocked by the Democrat vote counting!

  • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

    Yeah, I saw this over on IHate The Media the other day, this is INSANE! Sorry, lefties, math has right answers and wrong answers, but it does NOT have “reasonable” answers. You might do this to get an estimate of the answer, but doing this to check on the actual answer is ridiculous!

  • dan7875

    By this reasoning, if I go to the store and buy two items at $19.99 each, I should reasonably only have to pay $20 total. At least it makes marketing to common core students easier if they don’t factor in all the nines in the prices. Though, they’ll be wondering what happened when the credit card bill comes, since credit card companies aren’t going to use front end estimation.

  • JSTN172

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

  • Bill Gryan

    Got that, folks? If the price on something says $29.99, it costs about $20. Your kid can help the economic “recovery.”

  • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

    Honestly, I think the dingdongs defending this aren’t even really reading the actual problem, here is an actual pic of it: http://www.ihatethemedia.com/common-core-math-problem-for-thirdgraders

    The whole point isn’t about the use or value of estimating to approximate the answer to a problem before finding the actual answer: the problem is giving you the answer FIRST, THEN having you do an approximation to see if the actual answer is “reasonable”!


    And in addition, of course, the roundings used are just wrong, and it would take a whole big heapin dose of condescending to allow that 500 is a “reasonable” approximationof 645 — but then, it fails to do even that.

    It says the actual solution is “reasonable.” Like I said before, math has right answers and wrong answers, but no “reasonable” answers.

    • Bathing Suit Area

      What’s backwards about checking against a ballpark estimate after doing the calculation itself?

      Given that the result found is within the margin of error of the estimate, it is *reasonable* to conclude that you haven’t accidentally slipped a decimal place, or applied the wrong order of operations, or flipped a negative in your full calculation. (Yes, this example is a trivial case, but learning the skill and habit is useful for more complex work.)

      • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll


        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ Ice Cold Troll

          I will retract to a small degree. Yes, if I am shopping in K-Mart (as your lurid imagination no doubt envisions), and I have a whopping big ten dollars in my pocket, yes, I may pick up a 3-pack of Trojan Magnums for $2.91, I will round that up to $3.00 even, and then get a small vial of peppermint Love Oil for $3.54, I will round that to $4 even, giving $7, then allow an amount for sales tax, and estimate a grand total of $7.50: then, if the cashier rings me up at $10.29, I will suspect something is wrong. But that is far beyond what the problem is asking for, and the way it is asking for a “solution.”

          Thus, I will rescind my previous judgment and award you only this:

  • tedlv

    @MichelleMalkin, in the future how about POSTING the offending picture, comment, etc., not a link. And do it at the top of the article, not buried down in the weeds. Thanks. Love ya.

    • WilliamAmos

      Then people wont come to the site to read all of the comments or articles ? Don’t think that will happen.

    • Bathing Suit Area

      They have to show you people complaining about the image before they show you the image itself. You need to know how you’re supposed to feel about it before you look at it, otherwise you might just go “Oh, so they’re using a rough estimate to sanity check their results. Makes sense.”

  • machtyn

    Edited for Excel’s approach. (C# doesn’t have an option to shift the power of the floor.)

    Floor(354,-2) + Floor(291,-2) = 500.

    Doesn’t make the question as presented above correct, though. But there are times when it may be correct.

    • TheNewNormal

      The Math.Floor method rounds a number down to the nearest integer. For instance, Math.Floor(127.89) would return 127. The Math.Ceiling method rounds a number up so Math.Ceiling(127.89) would return 128. Your result is true, 354 + 291 = 645 which is indeed greater than 500. But the question is whether being off by 22% is reasonable? I don’t know, do you?

      • Mr. Fever Head

        Off by 22% is only reasonable if reporting unemployment figures under a Democratic administration or Obamacare enrollments.

  • Roberto Canivel Vicencio

    How can an answer in math be deemed “reasonable?”

  • Bathing Suit Area

    You guys are really chucking a tantrum over the idea of using a quick estimate to make sure your answer is in the right ballpark?

    Twitchy really needs to start a video channel that’s just 24/7 clips of Michelle Malkin holding a torch under her chin and using a spooky voice to say, “Things are diiiiifferent from when you were young, you’re getting older and the world is chaaAAAanging! oooOOOooo!”

    • tops116 ✓Quipper

      Yeah, because simple addition problems are not about getting the correct answer, but about being in the ballpark. Quick, a participation trophy for the kids who sat at their desks before the test!

      Sheesh, no wonder the Left thinks Obamacare is affordable. They keep using Common Core math. “Oh, it costs more money than the old plans? Just round the figure down, and it’ll be fine. See? You really do save $2,500. It’s in the ballpark.”

      • Bathing Suit Area

        Did you read the problem? They’re doing the calculation to get the exact answer, and then checking it against the ballpark estimate. That’s a useful skill.

        • Mr. Fever Head

          If done correctly, which is the point of the tweet. It wasn’t.

  • JonInVa

    Why are they rounding down? 700 is at least closer than 500. Idiots. And what the hell is reasonable ? You either have the sum correct or not.

  • Jeff McCabe

    There may be problems with common core, but this example isn’t one of them. I see outlandish math errors in media and government precisely because they don’t to a reasonable estimation as portrayed her. It’s far more disturbing that so many people commenting don’t understand how math works,

    • Bathing Suit Area

      Get with the program buddy. The headline says “common core” and this math problem is different to the ones that some old people did when they were kids, so quit making excuses and start being afraid of this!

      • Mr. Fever Head

        A swing and a miss. Even nowadays 291 rounds to 300 and not 200.

    • Mr. Fever Head

      The point is that they didn’t do the estimation right because they flubbed the rounding. An estimate of 500 is not reasonable for a value of 645. If they had applied rounding rules properly the estimate would be 700 which is a reasonable front end estimation for 645. I find it disturbing that you are commenting and don’t know how math works.

  • Patricia Grace Myers

    Why do you even need to know if an answer is reasonable? Just do the math and recheck your figures if you are in doubt. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

  • TheNewNormal

    When I was in school, a “reasonable” estimation was off by no more than 10%. So if the real solution is off by 22.4%, is it a reasonable estimation? In my opinion, no. But it all depends on your estimation of “reasonable”.

  • Glitter

    That’s not the way I was taught rounding. They have dumbed down rounding by calling it “front end”. I’m assuming they use the first digit to round. No, let’s don’t challenge the children with something difficult.

  • supplyguy

    Yep. No regrets homeschooling my son. Wish I could have been homeschooled myself.
    Public schooling was instituted for the express purpose of indoctrination – read John Dewey’s Democracy and Education. The guy was a communist sympathizer and white washer of Stalin.

  • Ironside

    If 645 is reasonable by that estimation then 355 should be just as reasonable but is sadly incorrect. Just what’s the point here?

  • Sanity Check

    The answer is 645 and 500 by rounding? No! 600 or 700 by rounding at the most. 291 rounds to 200? I guess they are conditioning our kids for net pay vs. Gross

  • lee metzger

    haha, 645 is not reasonable, it’s correct, and 500 is just plain wrong. CommieCore strikes again!

  • American-By-Choice

    Once one finally comes to understand that Socialism is the appeal to human weaknesses, it all starts to make sense.

    Sadly, once it makes sense, you realize that the people who look otherwise perfectly normal… your neighbors and friends of liberal persuasion, should actually be wearing NAZI pins, flying the Swastika and knifing the air with salutes of adulation for “SETTLED SCIENCE” and all of the addle-minded pap that comes and goes with that, not the least of which is THIS Common-core nonsense.

  • alnga

    Just think this is replacing the math we all are familiar with because the kids are ranked 26th in math and science scores. So this is going to improve our position over some south pacific isle without schools.

  • tscott

    Front end estimation is using the first number to make an estimate. I DO NOT agree with common core, as a teacher, but you have to read the problem. I think front end estimation is stupid, anyway. They just need to learn to round and do the math properly.

    • Mr. Fever Head

      Front end estimation does not void general rounding rules. As a teacher you should know that.

      • tscott

        Did you even read my comment before posting? I explained front end estimation as taking the first number to make the estimate. I know how to round. Do you know how to read? I never said it voided general rounding rules. It is a different concept altogether! Please take the time to read what is posted before showing that you have no idea what you are talking about.

        • Ailsa Nordstrom

          But proper front end estimation INCLUDES rounding.


          • tscott

            I went to the link you shared. The concept is there, but that is NOT front-end estimation. With front-end estimation, all you do is take the first number (with no changes) and make every number to the right a zero. In true front-end estimation (from the textbooks) you don’t change the number in the highest place value. You leave it and change all of the following numbers to zero. It can really mess up a calculation if students are used to rounding.

  • tops116 ✓Quipper

    I’d wager the next question “proved” that Americans would save $2,500 thanks to Obamacare.

  • [email protected]

    geez, why don’t we just add. I guess the sun is 9 million miles away but I’ve never been there. Ten plus ten shouldn’t be reasonable at 25 or 15 it must be 20. This very principle is how governments start to own people. By making them completely ignorant!

  • idalily

    When I went to school, the answer to a math problem was never “reasonable.” It was either right or wrong.

  • P Downs

    Front End Estimation has been in the math books for a dozen years. It has nothing to do with Common Core.

    • Mr. Fever Head

      Rounding 291 down to 200 instead of up to 300 is a new one on me.

  • Bob

    Because close is good enough

  • MARTY B.

    1 +1 =2, 2 +1 = 3, WE LEARNED THAT 40 0R + YEARS AGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lighthorse51

    Remember when voting that virtually all Dems and Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and virtually all establishment Republicans are FOR Common Core. It is the Big Government Dumb Down. You cannot push around an educated population; it ends in insurrection.

  • Tom Briggs Sr

    This is the same liberal crowd that did not know Shirley Temple was a real person. What can you expect of them?

  • Emma Brown

    Just let the bank teller give $500 instead of $645 to the COMMON CORE teacher when she cashes a check! I’ll bet you could hear her screaming in the next county!!! Hypocrites!!!

  • dmar003

    no..no…no they are getting it all wrong……it is 2+2=?. no rounding up here.

  • DrSloan

    I was taught that, for a case like this, you would round up both numbers, for a total of 700, expecting that it should be somewhat higher than your actual answer (645), which it is…certainly closer than 500.

    I use these sorts of off-the-top-of-my-head calculations all the time in the lab, to check my work if I have to substitute a hydrated salt for an anhydrous one, or vice-versa. Using the method described above, I’d probably be out of a job by now.

  • gypsie

    My daughter was practicing a math problem last night. JUST ONE MATH PROBLEM! She drew out a chart and was making little ‘counting’ lines. It took her almost 3 minutes to draw out the chart and count the marks she made. She did a few other things and when she was done there were arrows and line marks everywhere on her paper. She then wrote down an answer for which I have no idea if it was right or wrong. Over 3 MINUTES to solve the math problem. Now I have NO HEAD for math or numbers but I would have had that solved in less than 30 seconds. And Common Core is supposed to make learning faster and easier??? Her paper looked like a HILL OF BARBED WIRE!

    • David Bluefeather

      What does anything you just wrote have to do with Common Core?

      • gypsie

        My daughter’s school teaches Common Core and this was a description of what she was doing – as taught to do by her teacher.

        • David Bluefeather

          Your daughter’s school also offers lunch. Is LUNCH part of Common Core? Obviously, LOGIC was not part of your training. Front end estimation has been taught in schools for OVER HALF A CENTURY.

    • http://gathman.org/vitae CustomDesigned

      Homeschool. With *old* math text books. (While you can still get them.)

  • cherilu

    They rounded the numbers wrong. The estimate should have been 700. Better yet, just do the problem and get the right answer.

  • Jim Rasmussen

    Maybe if anyone bothered to look up the meaning (like I just did) of “front end estimation” you would see that the solution is exactly as it should be.

    • Mr. Fever Head

      Really? 291 rounds to 200 and not 300? It’s not the concept of front end estimation, it’s the execution that is wrong, wrong, wrong. In both cases the math problem shows rounding to the wrong number before doing the estimation. Which ruins the purpose of doing the estimation in the first place. Maybe if you bothered to actually use your brain to understand what you read you’d see that the rounding errors cause the given estimate to be off by about a factor of three.

      • David Bluefeather

        Mr. Fever Head, your comments are just wrong. There is no room for debate, you are just confusing two different concepts. Education is not a zero sum game and you don’t learn everything at once. Basic rounding skills will be taught when they cover those topics. There are MANY different ways to do estimation, each with their own set of rules. Take a deep breath, relax and learn. You’ll live longer.

        • Mr. Fever Head

          Hmmmm…so taking 291 as 200 is not rounding…I see. It must be some sort of magic. Estimation by definition depends on accurate rounding otherwise it is calculation (no rounding) or guessing. I recommend any text on the subject. If the program teaches a skill that depends on another that is not taught until later that is a problem, yes?

          “Education is not a zero sum game and you don’t learn everything at once.” WTH? Apparently your knowledge of game theory matches you other areas of knowledge. I’d recommend you study up on what a zero sum game is before you use the phrase again.

          Take a deep breath and think before you react. It will do you good not to look like a fool.

          • David Bluefeather

            How can anyone so lost and with such a limited understanding of how the universe works, have such strong opinions. And the anger? Where does that come from? Does it make you angry when you don’t understand? Your last post is pure crap. You don’t seem to know anything, yet you are so angry?

          • Mr. Fever Head

            So, you have not materially addressed anything I said: about rounding, estimation or your misuse of the term zero sum game. I’m not angry bro…I’m laughing at you.

            Come on man, you got nothing? Stun us with your logic and facts.

            Thought so.

    • Ailsa Nordstrom

      I DID look it up. And their estimate is NOT based on correct “front end estimation”.

      “If the numbers have three digits, ROUND TO THE NEAREST HUNDRED PLACE before adding the leftmost digits or numbers”.


  • Mr. Fever Head

    Front end estimation is not something new. I’ve used it most of my life and it is useful skill for quickly checking anything dealing with numbers. However, it depends on doing the rounding correctly to work. In this case they didn’t round in any reasonable way so the answer they got is not a good judgement on whether the result is reasonable.

  • jaded

    i’m guessing this is the math the scientists are using to prove global warming.

  • Mikey1109

    What a joke. These addition examples aren’t difficult, they either get the problem right or wrong and then they should grade accordingly.

  • Mr. Fever Head

    Using the “method” as taught here to estimate 199+199+199+199+199 will give you an estimate of 500 (100+100+100+100+100) when the actual value is 995. Rounding correctly would give you an estimate of 1000. All you education majors see the problem, now?

  • sacj7

    I wish that people would STOP complaining about “Common Core”! The reason why is that this was devised by Washington bureaucrats, and THEY know what is BEST for us!

    Get with the program!


  • StateofFranklin

    Common Core “Social Studies” should be renamed to “Socialism Studies”…

    Check out these questions from a 6th grade class:

    In the 1920s, Henry Ford (the owner of Ford Motor Company) reported a personal income of $14 million a year. In the same year, the average income for someone living in the United States was $750. This huge difference in income between wealthy people and middle class people was one of the:

    a. political effects of The Great Depression

    b. effects of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs

    c. economic causes of The Great Depression

    d. causes of the second World War.


    Picture of a drinking fountain labeled “Whites Only”, underneath it is the question:

    This photograph shows an example of how people were affected by segregation.Segregation meant that people of different races had different rights. This photo shows a “whites only” water fountain. If someone was not white, he or she was not allowed to use this water fountain. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought against this kind of segregation.

    The laws that are meant to stop this kind of segregation are called:

    a. Jim Crow laws

    b. unequal laws

    c. criminal laws

    d. civil rights laws


    Yes, both of these questions are from the same assessment. I just love reading how the questions become so agenda pushing. Some have come dangerously close to providing supporting justification for Progression and subsequent National Socialism.

    • Mr. Fever Head

      Second question should read:

      This photograph shows an example of how people were affected by segregation in the Democrat dominated south.Segregation meant that people of different races had different rights. This photo shows a “whites only” water fountain. If someone was not white, he or she was not allowed to use this water fountain. A majority of Democrats like Bull Conner supported and enforced theses laws until Republicans supported and passed a set of laws meant to stop this kind of segregation. These laws are called:

  • http://fasdf.COM F OFF

    is shockingly a word?

  • cs84

    I wonder why the education system in the country is going down the tubes. 99% of mathematics in school has an exact answer. There is no need to estimate. Yes, the real world is a little different, but kids need to learn to do things the right way. Otherwise, how will they learn to do anything right when school is over.

  • $19195452

    Answers should not be “reasonable” they are either right or wrong. How would you like your doctor to treat you with a treatment that is “reasonable” but may still be the wrong treatment? I would think you would want the “right” treatment.

  • Michael Kosak

    As long as you FEEL good about your answer. Trophies for everyone! YAY!

  • diannathomas

    Home school because Common core is completely stupid.

  • Montesquieu

    Liberals just want your stuff.