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

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  •  Problem is, if the kid has actually built a fence (0+ / 0-)

    then he's going to think of slope as something different.  The term has two completely different meanings, and introducing a situation that confuses the two meanings makes the question distracting -- especially for any kid who has built a fence.

    It's sort of like asking a physics question about horsepower and applying it to horses instead of to engines.

    •  I'm not buying that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan
      Problem is, if the kid has actually built a fence then he's going to think of slope as something different.

      One of the basic requirements for understanding any subject is knowing that words have specific meanings separate from the everyday, that plane geometry isn't about airplanes and organic chemistry isn't about Whole Foods.

      Kids are taught what a "slope" is in mathematics, and you should be able to expect a 10th grader to know what that asking for the "slope" of a line segment on a math test is asking for a slope in the mathematical sense.

      A 10th grader who built a fence shouldn't be confused by the mathematical use of the word "slope" on a mathematics test.  Or rather, if he is, then maybe the test should identify that cognitive deficiency.

      Linking to a news article is journalism in the same sense that putting a Big Mac on a paper plate is cooking.

      by Caj on Thu Dec 08, 2011 at 08:18:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did calculus (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling, Cassandra Waites

        and used advanced algebra for years in my work in finance and academia.

        I'm also kind of a fanatical do it yourselfer in terms of home repairs.

        The question threw me momentarily because slope in home repairs, including fence making, has a completely different meaning.

        If it slowed me down for a few seconds, then it will have a more severe effect on kids and in particular a bias against kids who actually know how to build a fence.

        We're not talking about completely disabling a kid from answering, but bias that can affect the validity of the statistical outcome of the test.

        What's the point of even a small bias against fence builders?

    •  not if he's been taking math and looks at that (0+ / 0-)

      cartesian plane.  

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