I began looking at the released 10th grade math questions today, and as usual I found some weird ones.
Here is one, where the only difference between answer C and D is the color scheme (D fits the colors in the graph, C doesn’t). Both of them have the math correct. Is the color scheme all that significant? Is that what we are testing for now?
Here’s another one, which merely asks students to tell the difference between a mean, a median, and a mode. Wait a second – isn’t that one of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade standards?
Here are the exact wordings for the various “standards” that involve mean, median and mode:
For 6th grade: “6.DASP.1. Describe and compare data sets using the concepts of median, mean, mode, maximum and minimum, and range.”
For 7th grade: “7.DASP.1. Find, describe, and interpret appropriate measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode) and spread (range) that represent a set of data.”
For 8th grade: “8.DASP.1. Revisit measures of central tendency (mean, median, and mode) and spread (range) that represent a set of data and then observe the change in each when an “outlier” is adjoined to the data set or removed from it. Use these notions to compare different sets of data and explain how each can be useful in a different way to summarize socialphenomena such as price levels, clothing sizes, and athletic performances.”
And for Algebra 1: “AI.D.1. Select, create, and interpret an appropriate graphical representation (e.g., scatter plot, table, stem-and-leafplots, circle graph, line graph, and line plot) for a set of data, and use appropriate statistics (e.g., mean, median, range,and mode) to communicate information about the data. Use these notions to compare different sets of data.”
Why is DCPS testing such a low-level skill in Algebra 1? And why do we insist on loading the curriculum with the same eleventy-umpteen standards each year, only varying by an adjective or adverb or phrase or two? Is it because we assume that nothing at all gets learned in any year, so that teachers have to yet again re-teach EVERYTHING all over again, starting from nothing?