Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reading, writing and chewing gum

From the NY Post:

When does 2 + 2 = 5?

When you're taking the state math test.

Despite promises that the exams -- which determine whether students advance to the next grade -- would not be dumbed down this year, students got "partial credit" for wrong answers after failing to correctly add, subtract, multiply and divide. Some got credit for no answer at all.

"They were giving credit for blatantly wrong things," said an outraged Brooklyn teacher who was among those hired to score the fourth-grade test.

State education officials had vowed to "strengthen" and "increase the rigor" of both the questions and the scoring when about 1.2 million kids in grades 3 to 8 -- including 450,000 in New York City -- took English exams in April and math exams last month.

But scoring guides obtained by The Post reveal that kids get half-credit or more for showing fragments of work related to the problem -- even if they screw up the calculations or leave the answer blank.

Scorers joked about giving points to kids who wrote their names, brought a pencil or shared gum.


Anonymous said...

And the Board of Ed keeps building more and more schools. And in some schools they do get credit for writing their names!!!! Remember people, this is the future of our country. God help us!

Anonymous said...

I love reading about stuff like this because I always read that kids today are smarter than ever, which is a load of bs.

G said...

How is this surprising? These tests have always given some sort of credit (roughly 1-3 points out of 10). Test samples and grading samples have been readily available on the nyc education website for grades ranging from junior high to high school. All the major subjects are covered there.

Why is news now? But it won't matter much because by the end of the summer this years test scores will surface and once again NYC kids raised their grades another X amount of points. Thus proving the school system is working! YAY!

Anonymous said...

No more. This is not just a sign of the failure of our education system, but a cultural trait too. No one respects the difference between facts and opinion. Logic is out the window and fantasy rules, and I am not talking about the kids either.

How else could you explain mega-mortgages to the indigent except as a form of magical thinking. Instead of, "build it and they will come.." you have "originate it, and they will pay."

cherokeesista said...

This pissess me off:( My child is in the 4th grade and he studies really hard:) The way the schools are teaching these kids math is REDICULOUS:( We bought Kumon Math books to teach him at home. As a parent I do not want my child getting credit for a wrong answer, how the hell are they suppose to learn!!! We learn through trial and error!! The Board of Ed wants it to look like the kids are doing better but their not unless the parents ride D.O.E. ASS!!!!!!

Sarah said...

Here is a formula everyone can understand:
Dumb citizens + depended services = Democrats in power.

Deke DaSilva said...

This stuff is simply amazing!

If anyone who has seen the movie Idiocracy, you'll scratch your head and wonder if life is imitating art, or is it the other way around?

Standardized tests are not that difficult. I've taken the NYS Math Regents 3 times (9th, 10th, and 11th grade) in high school, over 25 years ago, and I never got a single question wrong. (Yes, that's 3 consecutive 100%! Chew on that haters!)

Anyone with children should take their kids out of public school - at least send them to Catholic school. Have your children learn Mandarin Chinese - they're going to need it to converse with our future masters!

I expect "Ragazza Italiana" to come waltzing by any moment now, telling us how it's not the teacher's fault - they need more money, yada yada.....

Anonymous said...

They always want more money for education. Well, they got it 5,10, 20 years ago and look what it has accomplished. Despite these dismal results we'll keep on hearing how we need even more money for education in perpetuity. Why? So a kid can get full credit for merely showing up for the test and not even writing down his name on it?

Educate the yoots? Ha ha! Defend the borders? Forget about it! Fix roads? No way! Government is good for only one thing these days-stealing your money left and right.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

@ cherokeesista:

Your child's school is most likely using the Everyday Math program. This program has been widely condemned by math teachers and professors throughout the country. Klein knew this and didn't care. In fact, I spoke with Elizabeth Carson who founded NYCHOLD, an advocacy group of parents and math educators, tried to set up meetings between Klein and some NYU and CUNY math professors so that they could tell him of the harmful effects of Everyday Math. He would NOT meet with them. Math educators claim that programs like Everyday Math do not prepare kids for high school and college math. For example, Everyday Math does not teach long division. Math teachers say this is bad because you need that skill for more advanced math concepts. There is also a heavy reliance on calculators from first grade on. Kids are not being encouraged to think.
DEMAND that the school's principal get rid of the program. Some schools have already. If they are not, it's because they do not have or don't want to spend the money on a new math curriculum. At the very least, math experts say that Everyday Math should never, EVER be used past the third grade as it does not adequately prepare students for higher math.

While you're at it, ask the administration to throw out Teacher's College Reading @ Writing if they haven't already. That's another dumbifying curriculum that is harming our kids.


cherokeesista said...

@primadonna Thank you:) It drives me crazy that it's such a fight to make sure our children are educated properly:( I question everything and they don't like it,you can tell by the look on their faces when they see me coming:) Oh well!! I won't stop, I'll find a way to make sure he's not a LAZY DRONE:)

Anonymous said...

Just know that Joel Klein doesn't give a damn about how our public school kids are being educated. His primary focus is on charter schools. Most of those schools are being run like Catholic schools with the use of uniforms, strict discipline policies and using traditional reading and math curriculums.

I think the use of substandard curriculums is deliberate so as to promote failure and encourage more motivated parents to remove their kids from public schools. Then Klein can put the school on his "hit" list and watch it deteriorate and close it down in a couple of years and open a charter.

Look at what he wants to do with Bayside High School. For a chancellor who loves SMALL schools, making Bayside HS so huge goes against what he's been preaching all along.

Public schools will be unrecognizable in 5 years and NOT in a good way.

cherokeesista said...

@primadonna My son is in a class called I.G.C. and there is Nothing gifted about it:( It's the same work as a regular 4th grade class but they are expected to do the work in a week as opposed to the regular class that has about a month to do the same lesson:( Rush,rush,rush thats what these kids have to do rush through everything and God forbide my son ask a question "he's always in trouble for that and raising his hand to much so his teacher says:( It's so different than when I was in school. What do you know about this A to Z reading chart?

Anonymous said...

The gifted classes are useless if they are using the same worthless curriculums as they do for the rest of the school. Who cares if they're on a more accelerated pace?? They'll learn useless crap faster. Great!

There are reading levels that go from A to Z. We have to fill in a chart each quarter showing the student's levels. The levels that are "Grade Level" change depending on the time of year. For example, Levels "T/U/V" would be on grade level at the end of 5th Grade, but above level at the beginning of 5th Grade. We also have to total the number of students below level, approaching level, at level & above level. If they do not see movement, you are asked to come in for a "chat" about why your students are not progressing.

cherokeesista said...

Thanks primadonna :) Much appreciated :)