Tuesday night’s episode of the TV Land comedy Teachers hilariously tackled Common Core and how much it “sucks.”
In the episode “Held Back,” Ms. Feldman is minding her own business, creatively teaching her third grade class math when Principal Pearson comes in and tells her she must teach Common Core. Ms. Feldman balks, saying Common Core “sucks” and that she tailors her teaching to the kids’ individual needs.
Mr. Pearson: Feldman, can I talk to you for a minute?
Ms. Feldman: You got it. What's up?
Mr. Pearson: I got a call from a parent saying that you're not teaching the Common Core curriculum.
Ms. Feldman: Oh, yeah, I don't teach that 'cause it sucks.
Mr. Pearson: It's federally mandated.
Ms. Feldman: Listen, Toby—
Mr. Pearson: It's Principal Pearson.
Ms. Feldman: Okay, if you're into that sort of thing. I tailor my lesson plans to teach my kids in ways that are best for their learning styles.
Mr. Pearson: You don't have a choice. Start teaching Common Core immediately.
Teaching kids in the best ways for their individual learning styles? Imagine that! This drives home the point that teachers and communities know what’s best for their students, not the one-size-fits-all approach of a federally mandated program.
Later Ms. Feldman and the class demonstrate how awful Common Core math really is. And Ms. Feldman goes crazy trying to figure it out.
Ms. Feldman: Let's go over this math problem one more time. "José wants to give bags of lollipops to his friends. He wants to give the same number of lollipops to each friend. He's not sure if he needs four or six bags of lollipops. How many lollipops could he buy so there are no lollipops leftover?"
Student 1: How many lollipops are in a bag?
Student 2: How many friends does he have?
Student 3: Why is it four or six bags?
Ms. Feldman: Uhh... I don't know. [Bell rings] Sorry we're still on the first problem, guys. I'll keep working on this while you're at recess. Okay? We'll figure it out, I swear!
Ms. Cannon: Need some help?
Ms. Feldman: Thanks, dawg, but this is supposed to be for third graders. I gotta figure out this Common Core stuff on my own.
Ms. Cannon: Okay.
Ms. Feldman: Friends. Lollipops. José...Friends, lollipops... [Rambling incoherently]
Not enough! You can't figure it out if you don't know how many lollipops are in a bag!
Student 1: Ms. Feldman? Should we go to gym now? Everyone, let's line up for gym.
Ms. Cannon: Feldman? Ready for some help?
Ms. Feldman: Yeah.
This scene is only a slight exaggeration of how much Common Core has driven students, parents, and teachers crazy. In fact, the lollipop math problem from hell is a real Common Core question that was first seen in textbooks in 2013, but with “Juanita” giving out stickers instead of sweets to friends. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.