- Oct 27, 2017
Full article: https://fox13now.com/2019/10/01/its-offensive-local-elementary-student-speaks-out-against-common-core-math-problem/A Salt Lake County 4th grader is speaking up, claiming a math problem in her homework shed light on a bigger problem: young girls’ body image.
“I was shocked… I was shocked, honestly,” said Naomi Pacheco as she stood in front of her daughter’s elementary school.
It was the last thing Naomi expected to see on her 4th-grader’s homework.
“I feel like it’s such an irresponsible way to teach children how to do math,” Naomi said.
A math problem.
“The problems right before that talked about watermelons, and then the problem before that, a Saint Bernard,” said Melissa Hamilton, the Murray City School District Director of Elementary Teaching and Learning. “So, 4th-grade student, 4th-grade problem.”
But the questionable equation wasn’t comparing apples and oranges.
“It was comparing girls’ weights,” said Naomi.
“It says, ‘The table to the right shows the weight of three Grade 4 students. How much heavier is Isabell than the lightest student?” Naomi read the question aloud from a picture she had taken on her phone.
Naomi’s 9-year-old daughter, Rhythm, wasn’t okay with what she saw.
“She said, ‘You know mom, I’m not going to answer this question, I’m not going to do it,’” Naomi recalled.
“I thought it was offensive,” said Rhythm. “I didn’t like that because girls shouldn’t be comparing each other. I know it was a math problem… but I don’t think that was really okay.”
Rhythm chose not to answer the question.
“She circled [the question] and wrote, ‘What! This is offensive! Sorry I won’t write this it’s rude!’” Naomi said as she continued to read from the photo.
Rhythm said she was concerned she would get in trouble, ‘because we get graded on this.’ So, she decided to write her teacher a letter in addition to the short message she wrote next to the question on her math worksheet.
“I don’t want to be rude, but I think that math problem wasn’t very nice, I thought that was judging people’s weight. Also, the reason I didn’t write a sentence is because I just didn’t think that was nice,” Rhythm read from the letter which she since got back from her teacher.
“Her teacher was so responsive and spoke to her about it and supported her decision,” Naomi said. “This isn’t about the teacher, the school, or anything — we love our school and our community. What it’s about is children being taught this everywhere, that it’s okay to make direct comparisons with weight.”