About New Standards : Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement
For information: call 1-800-211-8378
(c) Harcourt Brace and Company
New Standards is a trademarke of the National Center on Education
and the Economy and the University of Pittsburgth.
Scanned images at
http://www.leconsulting.com/arthurhu/images/972/1216/Page0001.html
[Comment - these are NOT benchmarked to anything, these are mental
obstacle courses evidently founded on the belief that if any adult
can peform these tasks, then so can any student at any of these grade
levels. If these tasks define the "minimal" standard for the CIM,
readiness for work or college, then you can expect to flunk 50-90% of
students who are held to these so-called scientifically designed
standards, and doom them to not being able to get a job or go on to
higher education]
Higher Education Standards - And a Better Way to Assess Them
New Standards represents the state of the art in performance standards
and performance assessment. Founded in 1990 by Marc Tucker, president
of the National Center on Education and the Economy and Lauren Resnnick,
director of the Learning Research and Development Center at the University
of Pittsburgh, New Standards is a collaborative of their two institutions,
seventeen states, and six large school districts.
With more than $35 million in funding from the John D. and Catherine
T. McArthur Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the state and
district partners, New Standards reached out to classroom teachers, and
may of the nation's leading curriculum experts, psychometricians and
researchers to build the most widely respected system of performance standards
and assessments.
The Standards are built on the work of the leading national
disiplinary societies and are benchmarked to what is expected of
students in the other leading industrial nations. But they also
reflect extensive resarch into wha the American public expects its
standards to look like. They are designed to be used by teachers. The
exams are matched to the standards, so that any student who really
puts in the effort to study what the standards call for will do well
on the exams.
New Standards Test Examples:
8th grade independent writing task sample
Choose an older person who has helped you or been your friend
This person may be a neighbor, family member, or older friend.
Write about this person, showing your readers what kind of a
person he or she is. Include specific incidents that show why
this person is important to you. (an incident is an event that
occurs in a few minutes, a few hours, or perhaps in a day) Let
your readers know how this older person has been important
in your life.
(cheez, this would be hard for an adult, and this gets into privacy
problems)
About a decade ago, I would beg my mother (8th grade??? 13-10 is 3
years old, this was not written by an 8th grader!) to take me to the
grey house with the green shutters everyday. Five years later, I saw
the same thing that I felt in my sister's eys, It's not hard to see
why we like Mrs Ryan so much... (goes on for two pages like this)
Integrated Reading and Writing Task Sample
The Integrated Reading and Writing Task is designed to see how well
students understand what they read and how well they can write. After
reading a passabe, students answer several questions about the
passage and also use the information they read to write a short
essay.
In this middle grade level task, students will have a total of
45 minutes to do the following:
* Read a short information passage
* Answer three short-answer questions about the passage
* Write a short text-based essay in which they draw on both the
passage and their own knowledge outside the text to explain an idea.
1. Imagine that you've been asked to give a brief review of
"Trombones and Colleges" for your class. Write a summary of what
you would say. Your review should give your classmates an idea of what
the story is about and what they might find interesting or
significant about it.
[this is SHORT??? Write a review???]
2. This story is told from the narrator's point of view. From what
you've read, what do you know about the narrator? What kind of
person is he? What is his attitude towards Clyde? Refer to some
specific words or phrases from the story to support your answer.
[this is not a short answer either, requires quite a bit of
thinking and analysis, it's not a simple what did the story say
sort of question]
Short Essay
Inside the story, "Trombones and Colleges", Clyde's mother tells him
another story -- about his father and the trombone. Write an essay
speculating about what Clyde learns from his mother's story and how
it affects him. Use details from "Trombones and Colleges" to help you
develop your ideas.
[good grief!]
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4th grade math
Conceptual Understanding Sample: "Counting Raisins" In this task,
students are asked to predict how many raisins there might be in a
small box of raisins. To make their prediction, students need to
interpret a line plot that shows how many raisins were found in 11
boxes of raisins that have already been counted. This task is
designed to assess conceptual understanding of statistics and
probability concepts and is representative of a mathematics taks at
the elementary level. (no it isn't!)
23
24 x
25
26 x
27
28 xx
29 x
30 xxx
31 xx
32 x
33
34
In school, Marcus's class did a lesson with counting
raisins in small boxes. Students counted the raisins in
11 different boxes. The teacher made a graph below of
what they did.
The teacher said, "study the graph and predict how many
raisins you think you might find in the next small
box.
2) What is your prediction. Explain how you decided on
your prediction.
Answer - I think that the next box you will find 29 raisins because:
if there are 2 boxes with 28, only one with 29, three with 30 in
them, and 2 with 31. I think the company hoped to get 28-31 raisins
in a box. There the next box should have 29 or 30.
My comments - this is nuts. The bar graph is a frequency histogram
(like the WA test), which is not covered by most curriculums or
textbooks, it's not a standard bar chart. 4th graders aren't supposed
to statistical experiments. In 4th grade math, kids are not taught to
predict "the next box". It appears that what they are after is the
mean value, but kids at this age are only expected to know informal
measures of centrality. The only way to compute a mean is to use a
calculator, which is way too complex. With 11 items, it isn't even
possible to compute a median, which is also beyond 4th grade, so what
you've got is like this kid taking a wild guess at a number somewhere
in the range that might be expected.
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Mathematical Skills and Tools Sample: "Life Expectancy" This middle
grades level sample is a set of three, linked 5-minute tasks in which
students are asked to read and interpret a graph showing the
relationship between birth rate and life expectancy in a number of
countries. It is designed to assess aspects of conceptual
understanding as described in the Statistics and Probability
performance standard. It also assesses mathematical skills and
mathematical communication.
8th grade question
Chart is a scatter chart of triangles between birth rate on the
y axis and life expectancy on the bottom axis.
Birth Rate 55 xxxx x
50 x xxxxxxx
45 xx xxxxxxx
40 xxxxxxx
30 xxxxx
30 40 50 60
Life Expectancy
1) in one country, the life expectancy of people is 75 years. In
what range would you expect the birth rate to be? (10 to 20)
2) In another country, the birth rate is 50, what can you say
about the life expectancy there? (it's low)
Based on the information in the graph, describe the relationship
between birth rate and life expectancy
(When there's low life expectancy, there's a high birth rate,
when there's high life expectancy, there's a low birth rate)
Problems: In the 8th grade, you might be expected to interpet a few
points on a chart, or even a few lines, but 200 triangles??? You
typically expect the kid to pick off one number, not a range. This is
still way beyond the level of interpretation that is typically taught
at the 8th grade it's the sort of literacy that trips up most adults
in national literacy tests, and traditional math doesn't really teach
mathematical communication, which really isn't required of most
adults who aren't preparing research papers for publication.
-------------------------------------------------
Problem Solving and Reasoning Sample: Snark Soda
10th grade test.
This high school level task asseses the ability of students to model
a familiar situation using basic concepts of volume from solid
geometry. Students are asked to find a good approximation of the
volume of liquid in a bottle by modeling the shape of the bottle with
geometric solids. This task requires the student to visualize in
three dimensions, make accurate measurments, and choose sensible
shapes in their calculations.
Answer -
make side view drawing with dimensions
make top view drawing with dimensions
3 cylinder volume - cap, neck, body
- rounded portion volume (below neck) is
close to 1/3 of a sphere (I dunno, that's a pretty
wild guess if you ask me)
- volume of the rounded bottom is frustrum of a cone
height of cap 1.4 cm
r of neck 1 cm
r of cap 1.3 cm
overhang of cap .3 cm
height of neck 2.5 cm
r of body = 3 cm
r of bottom = 2.4 cm
height of bottom cap 1 cm
volume of cap = pi * r^2 h
volume of neck = pi * r^2 h
volume of body = pi * r^2 h
volume of rounded portion = 1/3 (4/3 pi r^3)
(volume of a sphere? I dont' think so)
volume of bottom cap 1/3 height (a + b + sqr(a * b))
(who the heck is going to memorize THAT????)
a = area of top = pi * r^2
b = area of bottom = pi * r ^2
add total volme = 350.24 cm^3
Comment: Geezus, there's no way anybody at the 25th percentile would
get this. I was in the 99th percentile, and I NEVER memorized the
formula for a sphere, or frustrum of a cone, and have never in my
career ever had to compute these quantifies. Most high school 10th
grade geometry don't cover these formulas anyways. These tests were
originally conceived to be standard by which CIMs and therefore, high
school diplomas are given, and promotion to 11th and 12th grade, but
this problem will flunk almost every child currently in the 10th
grade. This problem was field tested???
Practice Tests for the Reference Examinations
The probability that a newborn baby will be a girl is 0.49
Over the course of an entire year, where do you think there
would be more days when at least 3/4 of the babies born on that
day were girls:
a. in a large hospital
b. in a small hospital
c. makes no difference
Support your decision with an argument.
I chose a small hospital because the more children that are born in
one hospital there is a larger probability that close to 1/2 will be
girls. If there are less children born than the probability will be
less likely to be closer to 1/2 girls. (do you mark down for
incorrect grammar or spelling? Rubrics don't say)
Rubric Guide
Links to the performance standards
Standard 4. Statistics and Probability Concepts
The student:
4h Creates and uses model of probabilistic situations and understands the
role of assumptions in this process
4k Uses the concept of probability distribution to discuss whether an event
is rare or reasonably likely.
Measurment targets
We want the student to:
* to show that they understand the role of assumptions in probabilistic
situations.
* to realize that in a hospital average, say, 40 births a day, there would be
relatively few days when as many as 30 births were girls
* to realize that in a hospital averaging only a few births a day, there may
be many days when exactly 1 girl, exactly 2 girls, or exactly 3 girls and 1
boy are born -- all cases where at least three quarters of the births are
girls.
Possible correct responses
This is likely to be true of small hospitals. On a given day, in a
small hospital, there is likely to be far fewer births than in a
large hospital. Therefore, any fluctuation in the number of girls
born at a small hospital would have a greater impact on the ratio of
girls to boys born on that day. Also, given the law of large
numbers, we would expet the theroetical probabilities to be sustained
in a larger hospital.
Comment - the standards do not call for understanding that larger
samples will fall closer to theoretical "true" probability", this is
not included in many texts, and many mathematics standards. Just
because a topic falls under statistics does not mean it is a topic
that every student should be expected to know or master.