## Wednesday, April 22, 2015

### How did the state math exams go today?

Please leave your comment below about this week's math exams. Our post on the ELA exams has provided important feedback on the quality of the ELA exams, and the response of the students with 61 comments so far. Be sure to say which grade of the exam and which day you are describing. thanks!

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## 22 comments:

The 7th grade math test was beyond brutal. One question required that students know that Death Valley is the only place on earth that is below sea level.

The fifth grade test was absurd with questions that were pure trickery and had nothing to do with math.

One observer said: 7th and 8th was unbelievable. 90% of educated adults could not pass these tests.

6th grade at citywide. Said day 1 was easy. Was done with 20 min to spare.

Honors 6th grade student also said it was easy, was done 30 min early, had time to go back and check all the work.

I just read that there was a glitch in the PARCC test: "Hundreds of students might have to retake part of the state’s mandated math exams after part of a Russian-language test was printed in the wrong language"

http://ny.chalkbeat.org/2015/04/22/after-glitch-russian-language-math-test-includes-some-questions-in-korean/#.VThdG9ItFLM

Does anyone know why there are A, B, C & D versions of each grades test? Each class gets the 1 letter. My daughter got the D test for her class.

My 5th grade son said there was one question which didn't have a correct answer. He told me and my husband the problem and the answer choices, and we confirmed that none of the choices were correct. Has anyone else heard about this question? It involved dividing by a fraction which, by the way, my son said was not covered in class. I can only guess that this was a field question. If that is the case, it was completely unfair since my son ended up spending a lot of time on this question, probably to the detriment of the other questions. I'm generally not opposed to testing, but at least give the kids a fair test!

My daughter is in 3rd and had to learn fractions with different denominators when just learning how to divide. If your son didn't learn it it might have been the units the teacher didn't cover because they can only cover 70% of the math curriculum.

@Anonymous who wrote in the 7th grade math test - how strange! Death Valley is not the only place on earth that is below sea level. It is also pretty far from being the lowest place on earth.

I'm a teacher I proctored the 5 th grade test. It was very tricky but every question had an answer. Dividing by fractions is taught in 5th grade. The actual math in the 5th grade test is not the issue. The issue is the way the questions are written. Many of the questions are written in a conceptual way more appropriate to a 7th grade. If you put the equations necessary to solve many of the questions in front of 5th graders they should be able to solve them but most are not able to think abstractly enough to comprehend what they are actually being asked and therfore can't solve it.

Does anyone knows how was the fourth grade exam ?

6th grade day two - a lot of time wasted on trickery. Overall manageable, but unnecessarily confusing.

6th grade day 3. Very easy. Done with over 40 min remaining.

Day 3: My third grader was tripped by a question that unnecessarily included the mention of taxes in the math problem. She earnestly wrote a note to the grader that she couldn't do this problem because she doesn't know the amount of taxes on food. It makes me so mad that Pearson misled 8 and 9 year kids with this distraction. By the way, she is very good at math.

The 5th grade exam was tricky. The measurement questions were embedded into multi-step problems. The questions were written as riddles.

Grade 5 - calculating fractional edge length was tricky because this was not covered in class

I'm an 8th grade teacher, and I think my student said it best when she said "I felt like you taught us all of the content on the exam, but the questions were often worded so confusingly, I couldn't figure out what the question wanted me to do. In some cases, I even knew the mathematical answer to the question, but I looked at the multiple choice answers and none of them matched what I knew about the system of equations."

What are we really assessing with these exams: student understanding of MATHEMATICAL CONCEPTS or their ability to decipher complex and unnecessarily confusing sentences?

Anonymous post fr LI Opt Out:

Fifth grade math question, Day 3, has drawing of a bin labeled 4 ft w, h, l with 3 sections drawn in it. "A recycling bin is in the shape of a cube. The bin is divided into 3 equal sections that each hold different types of paper. The school principal notices that only one-half of one section is filled with paper. What is the volume, in cubic feet, of the rest of the bin that can be filled with paper?"

Anonymous post fr LI Opt Out: I proctored the 4th grade NYS math test this week for a group of our Special ed children. Some needed the test read to them, which already puts them behind the eight ball. It was just heartbreaking, the kids were in tears, I was in tears. I am not their teacher but I know they have a dedicated, wonderful teacher, yet almost every answer was wrong. Some of the wording was almost purposeful in trying to confuse them. Simply put, it was cruel. I felt that I should have been allowed to make copies of the test & send it home to their parents. Let the parents talk to them about it, the parents have a right to know what made their chlldren struggle and cry during the day! Our district had many children opt out, but some of the ones that didn't teachers were telling me kids were doodling, filling in dots in patterns, etc. Such a flawed system. This is what will deem our educators "ineffective??"

There are 4 forms of the tests (A, B, C, D) so that different field test questions can be tested.

See this memo on the NYSED web site from 2012: (First page, bottom of the page)--

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/2013/nystp-ft-13.pdf

Not mentioned in 2015--

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/ei/2015/992-15rev.pdf

Why have there been so many volume questions on the 5th grade test over the past 2 years? 2 constructed response questions? About 9 multiple choice? Volume s thoroughly covered again in 6th grade. Why such a disproportionate amount of questions on the test?

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