Common Core Math

Since the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers created the Common Core standards in 2009 and 2010, and the Obama Administration began supporting them in the federal government, the Common Core State Standards have become common in American education as a method of teaching math to American students at each grade level, and to point out what students should know.

The system is supposed to improve the learning process by teaching students procedural skill and the appropriate tools for, and developing skills in, problem solving and critical thinking. Students should be able to develop a deeper understanding of math, and to present viable arguments and draw conclusions as to why an answer is right or wrong.

The idea is to improve student achievement in math and to help students learn and apply math in everyday life, and to help prepare students for success and for career readiness. It was supposed to raise academic standards for everyone. Many in our education system who favor “education reform” think it’s a great virtue that the system (for both Math and English/Language Arts) is designed to meet career ready standards, national standards and internationally benchmarked standards as part of a move toward a national curriculum.

Having said that, we gotta be honest: we’re not impressed with the results.


If the system really worked as state boards of education (or departments of education) and local school districts hope for, there’d be a lot fewer frustrated parents, wondering why they can’t help their child with 4th-grade math any more (let alone their older students with higher math). Even parents who read the standards for themselves can’t figure out what they mean half the time.

If the system really worked, we wouldn’t hear any more stories about low test scores on standardized tests.

If the system really worked, we wouldn’t hear business leaders still complaining that the system is failing to prepare students for work and that no one knows basic math concepts or how to solve problems anymore.

If the system really worked, we wouldn’t hear any more stories about 40% of the high-school graduates in a state lacking college readiness, needing remedial work in English and/or math at the beginning of college.

Even in quizbowl, which often attracts better students because it rewards their superior knowledge, one of our longtime clients has told us there’s a chunk of Common Core math standards we can’t use in questions–because their students can’t do them and they’ve given up trying to teach them.

One past client had a meeting after its state tournament, worried about how few math questions were correctly answered. They wanted to tell us to make the questions easier–but then realized that:

  • this would make their math teachers look lame, because…
  • we use the Math standards at their grade levels to generate the questions for the tournament, so by definition, they’re not “too hard.”

Now that we’re done griping…

What have we done to help with the problem?

As service providers, we have made some Common Core math standards, and mathematical instruction, easier to deal with for everyone.

We have written a set of math questions for each grade level from 4-8 that correlates with Common Core standards but are written in quizbowl style. Thus, students can solve problems, practice quizbowl and learn the standards at the same time. We email the file so you can use it, copy it, and change the numbers used in the original problems to allow even more practice.

We even allow each set to be used throughout an entire school! One copy of each level, and your students are all set for 5 years of improved learning.

As with other pages on our website, to get the lower prices below, you must use our online PayPal cart, phone us with your order and credit card number, or mail us a check with our catalog order form. Purchase orders, or other orders that require an invoice first, pay the higher price in strikethrough.

And if your students are already doing well in math, let them try Science Bowl!



Grade 4 – Common Core Math (250 questions) $69 $49
Grade 5 – Common Core Math (250 questions) $69 $49
Grade 6 – Common Core Math (250 questions) $69 $49
Grade 7 – Common Core Math (250 questions) $69 $49
Grade 8 – Common Core Math (250 questions) $69 $49

Go to our quizbowl page