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View Diary: School board member who bombed Florida 10th grade test comes forward (216 comments)

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  •  For the record, I am plenty familiar with slope (1+ / 0-)
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    and with three years of calculus, I'm still pretty good at these standardized tests.

    But, I have sat with a fair number of kids and watched them do problems and seen them progress over the years. You might be surprised at what trips them up. I recall one 3rd grade child sitting, staring at his paper, and so I kneeled next to him. The question was about an easel and he didn't know what one was. He couldn't mentally move on to the next question and he couldn't figure out how to answer it because he was fixated on trying to figure out what an easel was. (This was a language arts exercise, not math.)

    Obviously, he needs to learn what an easel is - it needs to be part of his education. That he got to 3rd grade never exposed to the word is alarming. This is a good school, too, but it's hard for them to give 16 hours a day worth of learning when they only have the kids for 7 hours for half the year.

    This question is supposed to be judging math proficiency. When you are trying to measure something, especially something as challenging to measure as this, it's important to control the variables as best you can. And wasting student energy on obscuring questions, when you are trying to determine if they have a specific skill or not, is messing with your data.

    I have no problem with word problems, even with word problems that are obscured for the point of the problem but meaningful. Adding extra numbers, the occasional extra phase - that's fair when what you want to determine is a student's proficiency with word problems.

    As a word problem, if this is meant to test word problems, this is too simple. There's not much picking out which information is relevant. If this is meant to test the concept of slope, it is written in a way that people who understand lines and slope might miss it.

    In particular, as I said, using "slope" when talking about laying out fence in this particular way is an especially bad choice because when building fences, slope has an entirely different meaning than what was used here.

    Now, I will leave you. I have an urgent need to calculate my cat's velocity in acres/m • s.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:13:00 PM PST

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