\doc\web\98\03\oretest.txt
I've been concentrating on 4th grade math tests for WA, which
are way out of whack (unless you are a educrat), but here goes
on the samples:
Another problem with grade level is that if kids are getting the new
"integrated" classes like "life is like a game of baseball" where no
attention is paid to sequential instruction and complete coverage of
what used to be grade level material, Ore 10th graders in all
likelihood won't have a chance of knowing all the material they would
be exposed to in traditional math classes.
> [What grade level test should these questions be in?]
>
> 1. In a drawer ther are 12 forks, 15 soons, and 10 knives. What is the
> probability of getting a spoon on a random pick?
> A. 15/37 B. 15/22 C. 1/15 D. 1/3
total chances = 12+15+10=37
spoon = 15
answer = 15/37 or a
They put a question worse than this on the WA sample 4th grade test,
you need to know how to compute probability, do a sum, and get
straight which number was the spoons. This is a 8th grade skill.
>
> 2. Suppose you have 10 coins and have at least one each of a quarter, a
> dime, a nickel and a penny. What is the LEAST amount of money you could
> have?
> A. 41 cents B. 47 cents C. 50 cents D. 82 cents
25 + 10 + 5 + 1 = 41 cents with 1st 4 coins
6 coins could add 6 cents, so answer is B.
In theory, you could throw this at a 4th grader, but it has a few
steps and some logic involved, which would bring it up more like
8th grade. New standards and WA 4th grade tests have questions like
this.
>
> 3. The highway 30 Dragstrip has 3 sets of races every weekend. There
> are races on Friday and Saturday night and on Sunday afternoon. Here are
> the attendance figures:
> Friday 2400
> Saturday 3600
> Sunday ?
> AVERAGE 2700
> How many people attended the Sunday afternoon race?
> A. 2100 B. 2400 C. 3000 D. 4050
If you took algebra (and only about 1/2 of students eventually take
algebra, and I'm not sure if rainforest algebra counts), and know
8th grade statistics that the mean is the sum of x divided by number
of items, then you can do this
(2400 + 3600 + x)/3 = 2700 (mult 4 digit by 1 digit)
2400 + 3600 + x = 8100 (subtract 4 digit number twice)
x = 2100
or (a)
This is OK for the college-level SAT, but NOT for a
exit exam if not everyone is expected to take algebra.
>
> 5. There are twice as many boys at a party as there are girls. If there
> are 30 boys and girls at the party, how many are boys?
> A. 5 B. 10 C. 15 D. 20
Divide the total by 3, and double that - 10 times 2 gives 20 or D.
A very aggressive 4th grade test might have this, but I'd call it solid
8th grade.
>
> 7. Which drawing [or letter-- I can't duplicate the lines here] shows
> perpendicular lines?
> A. || B. T C. X D. V
Perpendicular is a T, this is 4th grade on most benchmarks, but I
wouldn't doubt that a big chunk of 10th graders have forgotten it by
this time.
>
> 14. What is the radius of the circle you'd draw with a compass set at 1
> inch?
> A. 1/2 inch B. 1 inch C. 2 inches D. About 3.14 inches
>
The radius is G4 or G5 in California, Wisconsin, Virginia, but WA
benchmarks leave it out of G4. It's the distance between the center
and outside of a circle, this is what the compass setting corresponds
to.
> [Are these valid math problems?]
>
> 8. If two triangles are congruent, which one of the following
> statements about the two triangles is FALSE?
> A. The three sides of one triangle have the same lengths as the three
> sides of the other triangle.
F - could be different
> B. The three angles of one triangle have the same measures as the three
> angles of the other triangle.
> C. The triangles could have different areas.
> D. Each triangle could be placed so that it would fit exactly on top of
> the other triangle.
Looks like F. Congruence is G3 to G4 in CA, VA, WI
>
> 18. As shown in this diagram, a hexagonal piece of paper is folded in
> half and then folded in half again. Then the corner is cut off as
> shown.
> (Diagram)
> Which picture shows how the paper will look when it is unfolded?
> (diagram)
This is a typical IQ test, requires visualization of what it might
look like, but this is not a skill taught at any level of math I've
ever seen. Girls who sew might be at an advantage.
>
> 19. In a room with four hundred people, would two of them have the same
> birthday?
> A. Probably not, but it is possible.
> B. Probably
> C. Yes
> D. There's no way to tell.
>
Logically thinking, if no students had the same birthday, then there
would have to be 400 different birthdays. If you can remember that
there are 300 something days in a year, or just less than 400, then
you can say C. If you try to use probability, you'd get stuck. This
seems to go under "thinking problem" that schools don't teach, either
you're smart enough to figure it out, or you didn't get it. This
doesn't appear to measure any "essential" skill other than IQ.
It looks like most of these problems are pretty straightforward, but
given the state of mind of average teens, and the state of the new,
new math, it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of students didn't have
enough practice with these concepts to even get the easier problems
right. If they've set the passing score as needing to get the
birthday and cutout problems as well, then they could flunk 70% of
the class even if they did know their 10th grade math inside and out.
That's what you get when you toss out the curve, you get a test that
can either pass everyone, or flunk everyone.
If your 9th grader has a solid foundation in the basics, not the
rainforest crap, and is above the 70th percentile (if you can get
a percentile rating), he'll do fine. If not, the other 70% of kids
are going to get screwed out of a diploma.
> Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 16:24:54 -0800
> From: Dianne Cassidy
> Reply-to: cassidy@pacifier.com
> To: education-consumers@tricon.net
> Subject: Oregon Math Assessment
> To All:
>
> I was surfing the Oregon Dept. of Ed. website yesterday and came upon
> samples of tests given to all Oregon students at the benchmark grades,
> 3, 5, 8, and 10 in reading/literature and math. If anyone would like to
> see these sample exams, see them at:
> http://www.ode.state.or.us//asmt/samptest.htm Select the test you
> wish to see. All are in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat available at that
> site).
>
> I have a 9th grade son who will be taking the statewide assessments next
> year -- all 10th graders in the state (public schools) will be tested
> and must receive a score of 239 (out of 300) to get a CIM. Other
> performance tasks must also be completed and evaluated by the schools
> and, in the case of the writing test, by state readers. I decided to
> look at the 10th grade tests, and below is a bit of what I saw.
>
> While I have difficulty believeing that these tests in any way represent
> the "world class standards" the state implies, I have serious questions
> as to whether some of the math questions have anything to do with math,
> or that they are valid test questions. Another sad note is that only
> 30% of 10th gr. students statewide who took the math test last year
> earned a CIM-qualifying score (239), and only 48% qualified in reading.
> After looking at the math sample, I wonder is it because some questions
> were too simple, too confusing, or do the kids just not know any math?
> County, district and school scores are accessible at the ODE site also.
>
> So, those of you who are familiar with math and/or testing procedures,
> could you please comment on the following test items? NOTE: All items
> come from the 10th GR. Math Test.
>
>
> [What grade level test should these questions be in?]
>
> 1. In a drawer ther are 12 forks, 15 soons, and 10 knives. What is the
> probability of getting a spoon on a random pick?
> A. 15/37 B. 15/22 C. 1/15 D. 1/3
>
> 2. Suppose you have 10 coins and have at least one each of a quarter, a
> dime, a nickel and a penny. What is the LEAST amount of money you could
> have?
> A. 41 cents B. 47 cents C. 50 cents D. 82 cents
>
> 3. The highway 30 Dragstrip has 3 sets of races every weekend. There
> are races on Friday and Saturday night and on Sunday afternoon. Here are
> the attendance figures:
> Friday 2400
> Saturday 3600
> Sunday ?
> AVERAGE 2700
> How many people attended the Sunday afternoon race?
> A. 2100 B. 2400 C. 3000 D. 4050
>
> 5. There are twice as many boys at a party as there are girls. If there
> are 30 boys and girls at the party, how many are boys?
> A. 5 B. 10 C. 15 D. 20
>
> 7. Which drawing [or letter-- I can't duplicate the lines here] shows
> perpendicular lines?
> A. || B. T C. X D. V
>
> 14. What is the radius of the circle you'd draw with a compass set at 1
> inch?
> A. 1/2 inch B. 1 inch C. 2 inches D. About 3.14 inches
>
> [Are these valid math problems?]
>
> 8. If two triangles are congruent, which one of the following
> statements about the two triangles is FALSE?
> A. The three sides of one triangle have the same lengths as the three
> sides of the other triangle.
> B. The three angles of one triangle have the same measures as the three
> angles of the other triangle.
> C. The triangles could have different areas.
> D. Each triangle could be placed so that it would fit exactly on top of
> the other triangle.
>
> 18. As shown in this diagram, a hexagonal piece of paper is folded in
> half and then folded in half again. Then the corner is cut off as
> shown.
> (Diagram)
> Which picture shows how the paper will look when it is unfolded?
> (diagram)
>
> 19. In a room with four hundred people, would two of them have the same
> birthday?
> A. Probably not, but it is possible.
> B. Probably
> C. Yes
> D. There's no way to tell.
>
> This is a high-stakes test for many Oregon youth as many school
> districts are requiring a CIM as a requirement for h.s. graduation.
> This IS happening. This is nuts.
>
> If you care to respond, I will appreciate any views pro or con that this
> is a valid 10th grade math test. Go to the above website for the
> complete test and to see other grade levels including the reading
> tests. The 10th grade reading test is so.... sad.
>
> Dianne Cassidy
> Lake Oswego, OR
>
> EDUCATION CONSUMERS CLEARINGHOUSE
>
34>> More on CIM test
cassidy@pacifier.com
Working backwards IS algebra, but students who have
exposure to it formally can pretty much do it automatically,
the others will have to rely on "problem solving skills",
which basically amounts to the ability to solve anything
you haven't been told how to do, which is traditionally
what IQ spends most of the time measuring.
Excelling in education should only be one goal in life, I
agree with the progressives that those who want to make
a goal of
getting 100% on their tests is fine, but it's idiotic to force
everybody to do the same, or else punish them. If parents
WANT their kids to go through thematic instruction and
have more fun learning than learning complete content,
that should be fine as long as they know what they've signed
up for.
The price that they will pay is that they'll come up
at the bottom of the pile when its time to take tests that
show how much they know instead of how much fun they
had learning. It's up to each kid to decide how important
it is to be at the top rather than at the bottom, and how much
of their life is going to be spent having fun vs. knocking
their brains out to master these !@#$% tests.
Ron Taber got blasted when he ran against Terry Bergeson
for state ed superintendent
by stating that students have a right to be ignorant, but as
one of the kids who did single-mindedly attack academics,
I'd have to agree, I really don't think we want to force all
students to work as hard as I did.
> Date: Wed, 11 Feb 1998 09:53:31 -0800
> From: Dianne Cassidy
> Reply-to: cassidy@pacifier.com
> To: arthurhu@halcyon.com
> Subject: Re: Oregon Math Assessment
> Arthur:
>
> Thanks for your response. I am not familiar with what constitutes
> grade-level math skills, and I am not an expert at creating tests, but
> this one seemed to be out of sync with anything I've ween before.
> Except for the method you used to solve the racetrack problem (#3), I
> agree with your analysis of this exam. Try using the URL i gave if you
> would like to compare other grades with the WA tests.
>
> BTW, I did no. 3 as follows: 2700 is the average of 3 numbers; multiply
> by 3 to get 8100. Add the two known numbers 2400+3600=6000. Subtract
> 6000 from 8100 to get 2100. Simple math, not algebra needed, but you do
> have to know how the average was created in the first place.
>
> Dianne
>
>
From: Redyarrow@aol.com
Date sent: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 23:01:27 EST
To: cassidy@pacifier.com, education-consumers@tricon.net
Subject: Re: Oregon Math Assessment
Some of the problems you listed are valid math problems that indicate a
math "achievement level", but other problems (such as the paper unfolding one)
are questions that one would expect to see on a math aptitude test and are not
appropriate for an achievement test. This same concern appeared on the
proposed national math tests. A child (like my son) can have poor math
aptitude, but if that child works hard, has good curriculum through school,
and has teachers who set high standards he can show high achievement. Even
though the innate ability isn't there, the student can use and apply math
skills learned throughout the curriculum. For example, my son just took a
battery of tests to enter a private high school (and we just found out we're
in!!!) His math aptitude test shows him between the 30th and 40th percentile,
which is consistent with all the testing I've ever done with him. On the
other hand his math achievment is almost at the 90th percentile, because he's
worked and worked and worked. Gradually, over the years, his achievement
percentile scores have crept upward.
This type of child will always continue to do more poorly on math
aptitude tests. Achievement does not equal aptitude. The designers of these
tests haven't done the rigorous comparative studies to prove that these tests
measure achievement rather than aptitude. My read on this is that basing
graduation on aptitude is discriminatory at the least.
The range of levels tested seems bizarre; almost as if they put potential math
problems in a hat and pulled them out. The problem about identifying
perpendicular lines is something that any Montessori third grader can do,
while other problems seem more middle school level. If you matched the
problems that correspond to a definite skill to the skills required in a
traditional math program, I think you'd have an unbelievable hodgepodge of
grade level equivalents.
If I'm misinterpreting this test , John, please explain - but this is how I
read it. Mary
EDUCATION CONSUMERS CLEARINGHOUSE