Robert Flint: We learned in school back then

August 19, 2013 

Regarding the letter, "Common Core leaves much to be desired" (Aug. 10, mercedsunstar.com online), the writer states, "Many of us are show-me-how-to-do-it learners; show us how first and then comes understanding." Exactly correct.

As a retired teacher of 35 years, I know this is the case. In our little grammar school, we had a red book labeled "Arithmetic" and as much as we disliked it in the fourth or fifth grades, it showed us how to add, subtract, multiply and divide and how to work fractions. Long division and decimal usage was included. There was a full page of sample problems at the end of every chapter and we were required to work them all, and we did. We learned basic math and were well prepared to go into algebra and higher math in high school in which we succeeded quite well.

The same holds true for our reading primer that some pseudo-pedants today would laugh at, "Learning to Read with Dick and Jane."

Is it any wonder we are doing so poorly today? Just give the classrooms back to the good teachers we have and keep the government out of it.

ROBERT FLINT

Merced

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