Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Common Core: When an Adult Takes Standardized Tests Forced on Kids

View the Washington Post article here.

An accomplished school board member took a tenth grade level standardized test and got a grade of 62% or "D". He has a "bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours to a doctorate". He says that the test is not applicable to experience and in careers.
“I won’t beat around the bush,” he wrote in an email. “The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62% . In our system, that’s a “D”, and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction.
He continued, “It seems to me something is seriously wrong. I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate.
“I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities.
“I have a wide circle of friends in various professions. Since taking the test, I’ve detailed its contents as best I can to many of them, particularly the math section, which does more than its share of shoving students in our system out of school and on to the street. Not a single one of them said that the math I described was necessary in their profession.

“It might be argued that I’ve been out of school too long, that if I’d actually been in the 10th grade prior to taking the test, the material would have been fresh. But doesn’t that miss the point? A test that can determine a student’s future life chances should surely relate in some practical way to the requirements of life. I can’t see how that could possibly be true of the test I took.”
I took the practice test segment on the website. It is mostly fifth and sixth grade education level. The questions are purportedly taken from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). With only seven questions, I do not think it's an accurate picture of the actual test, having just got out of high school.

And I am right. Tom Sing writes:
I wrote Rick Roach an email about this after having read the Uncertain Principles blog about it - 

From his response - that he had algebra, geometry, and some calculus problems, and that basic arithmetic questions were not a part of the test he took - I don't think he actually took the 10th grade FCAT. I suspect it was some hybrid of the Algebra 1 and Geometry End of Course assessments; Florida requires Algebra 1 and Geometry to graduate (and will soon require Algebra 2 as well). It is still very disappointing to me that he was unable to answer a single question, but not so disappointing as when I thought he couldn't do arithmetic. 

I've encouraged Roach and Brady to correct the record. Valery, perhaps you could contact them and help clear up this issue.

Anyways, I did well, except for the palmettos question. In the actual test segment, the figures are much, much smaller, almost unreadable.

You got 6 correct out of 7.

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