Adam Heenan. Common Core threatens good teaching.

Fred Klonsky


– Adam Heenan is a social studies teacher at Curie Metropolitan High School in Chicago.

I teach Financial Literacy as a semester-long social studies course in a Chicago public high school. This quarter we focused on professional skills. My students must find living arrangements on a fixed salary, then explain their plan to the class.

Students must calculate their biweekly net pay (based on last quarter’s grades, e.g. an “A” earns you $42,000 a year), and living expenses and search for a place to live on websites such as Craigslist. They quickly realize that students who earn a higher income have an easier time finding a good place to live, while those who didn’t fare as well had better find a roommate. Some might even have to live in their parents’ attic — and explain that in their presentation!

This is one of the most popular lessons I teach each…

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