Kentucky should be proud of Common Core

We Kentuckians are proud of our high standards. We are proud of the Common Core.

Kentucky students in a classroom

When you think about Kentucky, you probably think about the Derby and KFC, and that is fine. We are proud of our horse racing, fancy hats, and chicken recipes. But there is something else of which Kentuckians are proud, and unless you are an education policy wonk, it is not what you think. We Kentuckians are proud of our high standards. We are proud of the Common Core.

In February 2010, when I was in the seventh grade, Kentucky became the first state to implement newly revised math and reading standards that aligned with the higher standards of the Common Core. The change did not feel immediate. I took the same classes, read the same books, and did the same projects as my older brother had three years before me. Perhaps the end of year assessments were more difficult; perhaps I was just getting older. I was never sure.

It wasn’t until my Algebra II class in the fall of 2012 that I was able to draw the connection between what the national media demonized as “rotten-to-the-Core” and my education.

If we are being truly honest, Algebra II was difficult for me. It forced me to think about math in ways to which I was not accustomed. There were days I felt frustrated, unprepared, and resentful of whomever decided to dump these higher standards on me in the middle of my educational career. Luckily, I had a teacher who was patient and brilliant. In the one year I was fully subjected to the “franken-standards,” I learned enough to springboard me all the way through Differential Equations (Calculus IV).

Earlier this school year, I had a conversation with an eight-year-old that demonstrated to me Common Core’s effectiveness. I asked her if she, like many of us old-schoolers, had ever used the 9’s trick, which is a quick way to use your fingers to calculate the product of nine and any single-digit number. She told me she had, but she knew a better, faster trick. When she multiplies a number by 9, she multiplies it by 10 first and then subtracts the number.

She was basically expanding a factored equation, 9n=(10−1)n=10nn, to make it easier to solve in her head. It was incredible. This kid was already doing multi-step algebra in her head, and she didn’t even know it yet. So I asked her, “Is that really faster for you?”

“Yes,” she replied. “Plus this way I can do it for 19 as well, I just have to multiply by 20 instead of 10.” She paused and squinched her face… “Really it works for any number, you can add a number to the digit you’re multiplying by, as long as you subtract that number of groups of the other number later.”

In writing, this looks like xy=[(x+z)−z]y=y(x+z)−yz.

This conversation with my fellow Kentucky student left me conflicted about my future. I’m excited at the prospect of having intellectuals with deep understandings of numbers, critical thinking, written language, and the scientific process running the Commonwealth. I’m scared because one day this girl will put me out of a job.

Regardless, you’d be hard pressed to find a Kentuckian who isn’t proud of this little girl, and moreover, her generation. Kentucky’s education system is proud of what its students learn in school just like we are proud of our thoroughbred horses and internationally recognized fried chicken. And pretty soon, the rest of the world will see that too.


Mi tincidunt elit, id quisque ligula ac diam, amet. Vel etiam suspendisse morbi eleifend faucibus eget vestibulum felis. Dictum quis montes, sit sit. Tellus aliquam enim urna, etiam. Mauris posuere vulputate arcu amet, vitae nisi, tellus tincidunt. At feugiat sapien varius id.

Eget quis mi enim, leo lacinia pharetra, semper. Eget in volutpat mollis at volutpat lectus velit, sed auctor. Porttitor fames arcu quis fusce augue enim. Quis at habitant diam at. Suscipit tristique risus, at donec. In turpis vel et quam imperdiet. Ipsum molestie aliquet sodales id est ac volutpat.

Students something somethings...

ondimentum enim dignissim adipiscing faucibus consequat, urna. Viverra purus et erat auctor aliquam. Risus, volutpat vulputate posuere purus sit congue convallis aliquet. Arcu id augue ut feugiat donec porttitor neque. Mauris, neque

Dolor enim eu tortor urna sed duis nulla. Aliquam vestibulum, nulla odio nisl vitae. In aliquet pellente

Elit nisi in eleifend sed nisi. Pulvinar at orci, proin imperdiet commodo consectetur convallis risus. Sed condimentum enim dignissim adipiscing faucibus consequat, urna. Viverra purus et erat auctor aliquam. Risus, volutpat vulputate posuere purus sit congue convallis aliquet. Arcu id augue ut feugiat donec porttitor neque. Mauris, neque ultricies eu vestibulum, bibendum quam lorem id. Dolor lacus, eget nunc lectus in tellus, pharetra, porttitor.

"Ipsum sit mattis nulla quam nulla. Gravida id gravida ac enim mauris id. Non pellentesque congue eget consectetur turpis. Sapien, dictum molestie sem tempor. Diam elit, orci, tincidunt aenean tempus."

Tristique odio senectus nam posuere ornare leo metus, ultricies. Blandit duis ultricies vulputate morbi feugiat cras placerat elit. Aliquam tellus lorem sed ac. Montes, sed mattis pellentesque suscipit accumsan. Cursus viverra aenean magna risus elementum faucibus molestie pellentesque. Arcu ultricies sed mauris vestibulum.


Morbi sed imperdiet in ipsum, adipiscing elit dui lectus. Tellus id scelerisque est ultricies ultricies. Duis est sit sed leo nisl, blandit elit sagittis. Quisque tristique consequat quam sed. Nisl at scelerisque amet nulla purus habitasse.

Nunc sed faucibus bibendum feugiat sed interdum. Ipsum egestas condimentum mi massa. In tincidunt pharetra consectetur sed duis facilisis metus. Etiam egestas in nec sed et. Quis lobortis at sit dictum eget nibh tortor commodo cursus.

Odio felis sagittis, morbi feugiat tortor vitae feugiat fusce aliquet. Nam elementum urna nisi aliquet erat dolor enim. Ornare id morbi eget ipsum. Aliquam senectus neque ut id eget consectetur dictum. Donec posuere pharetra odio consequat scelerisque et, nunc tortor.
Nulla adipiscing erat a erat. Condimentum lorem posuere gravida enim posuere cursus diam.

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5
Heading 6
This is a block quote

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

This is a link inside of a rich text

  • List item
  • List item
  • List item
  1. List item
  2. List item
  3. List item
Caption goes here
Share this post: