Adventures in the Common Core – The Obstinate Rigidity of a Liberal Education

It has been a few weeks since my 5th grader had a vocabulary test.

She is on the third unit of the year and has spent the last 10 lessons happily learning the words and answering all of the questions correctly.

After the last test debacle, I watched the lessons a lot more closely this time.

She was asked to define words and complete sentences with the vocabulary words.  She experienced very reasonable ways to teach vocabulary to a 5th grader.

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Just to recap from my previous article, the test is a whole different ball game.  On the test she was asked to choose the best 2 synonyms for a vocabulary word out of 4.  She was also asked to choose the 2 best context clues to determine the meaning of a word out of 4.  There are 3 questions like this on the 10 question test, she gets them wrong (with my help) and fails the test.

Well yesterday was vocabulary test day again.  I had an appointment and my mother came to help the children with school.

I always rest easy when mom takes over; she has a Ph.D. in educational administration.

Dr. Grandma flunked the vocabulary test.

This whole experience has reminded me of the rigidity of liberals.  They say that “anything goes” “go your own way” “do what feels right, man!”  But, if anything that you like doesn’t fit in with their narrow worldview, you will get a major smack down.

It reminded me of a liberal who had given a coloring and sticker book to my other daughter when she was about 2.  My child has a unique artistic view and was coloring outside the lines and (gasp!) putting the stickers in the wrong places.

The liberal became completely unglued and quite hostile with my child.  This “free form” play was totally not ok to a rigid liberal.

Back to the vocabulary test, it is up to me to pick which two synonyms or context clues that I like best.  This is not something that can be taught.

Here is a perfect example – a person who has achieved about as much as a person can achieve in the English language (Mom has her master’s in English) and education can’t pass the 5th grade vocabulary test.

That is the problem with common core, thinking can’t be taught.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Julie Love

Julie Love is a former CPA who currently home-schools her two children. She earned her MS in Journalism from Ohio University in 2002. She was raised in rural Ohio and now lives in the big city of Cleveland.
You can see more of her work at Http://
Or follow her on Twitter @loveredneck

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