Saturday, October 17, 2009

Damned lazy teachers. Kids aren't passing tests.

As a response to some of the folks who feel that kids should be able to get every question correct ...

First, remember that the questions are vetted. If any question is answered correctly by more than 90%, it is removed from the test.

Not every kid will have taken the math courses necessary to understand every question. Some kids are not "math types". They might be artists or writers or skateboarders.

Most importantly, none of the schools is allowed to make the test count towards graduation or even report all scores on transcripts, so the kids have little incentive to succeed.

I'm not sure that the readers of this paper realize how difficult some of these questions are. How many adults can answer the following released question? What does that say about you? Why are we expecting the students to understand things that most of the adults in this population cannot?

Here's one of the "easy" questions (easy if you know it):

There is a line drawing of a pyramid with a dihedral angle of 52°. The length of each side of the square base is 230 meters. Which equation represents the height, h, of the pyramid?
A. h =115 sin52°
B. h =115 tan52°
C. h =115/sin52°
D. h =115/tan52°

Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?

This one is easy, too ...
A square with a side length of 8.0 cm is rolled up, without overlap, to form the lateral surface of a cylinder. What is the radius of the cylinder to the nearest tenth of a centimeter?



  1. Every legislator and bureaucrat who votes, creates, or influences tests (such as the OGT in Ohio)should be made to take all five sections of the test and their scores posted.
    I could not pass the Science and Math OGT without going back and reviewing many concepts.
    Make parents take the tests, and maybe there would be more support from them to get their kids to school, to make them get to sleep at night, and to keep them off the computer games until homework is done every night.
    This is not to take away the responsiblity of teachers to teach-and to stick to our guns that content and being able to apply knowledge to growth in skill levels. That means that I, against so many of my fellow English teachers for so many years, actually teach grammar and spelling rules, and make students correct papers to an acceptable level. I make them learn Greek and Latin root words, and prefixes and suffixes. We read The Odyssey,
    Shakespeare, and Animal Farm.
    I ignore touchy-feely,time-wasting projects that involve making posters. We don't do a lot of group work; it wastes too much time, and half of each group does nothing.
    Many teachers work long and hard to get our students to learn, but until parents and kids are accountable in consequential ways, scores on NAEP, OGT, ACT, etc. will remain stagnant.

  2. LOL! I just realized ... 1.3

    I are dumb!