Sunday, December 27, 2015

Favorite comments of '15, cont: Auntie Ann and Steven

On Math problems of the week: PARCC vs. the Maryland State Assessment

Auntie Ann said...
The two are also fundamentally not equivalent in different way. You could have a kid do about 5 different problems, showing different skills and knowledge in the time it would take them to do the PARCC problem.

A better assessment of the strengths of the two tests would be to show the number of problems a child can reasonably do in a set amount of time from each, and see how many skills the child has to master to do well on those problems.
Steven said...
The PARCC problem has an even greater difficulty: A a student who is truly thinking critically might waste time puzzling over the following issues:

1) The problem specifies the number of seats in each vehicle type, not the number of passengers it can carry. Does the correct answer presume that you have added a driver for each vehicle when calculating the total number of people transported?

2) If you need to make room for drivers, are the teachers driving a vehicle? So is the number of people in the vehicles equal to 69 students plus 3 teachers plus a driver for each vehicle, or three less than that total since the teachers could double as drivers.

Admittedly, the three "correct" answers all exceed any the total number of students, teachers, and drivers, but how much valuable time might be wasted by a student who thinks about this issue?

In addition, there is a third issue:

Who is driving the vehicles? The problem only mentions three adults (i.e., the three teachers), but no combination of vehicles can accommodate all the teachers and students with only three vehicles. So a student who is thinking critically might well conclude that it is impossible for all the students to be taken on the field trip.

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