Man. I have put this off for a long time because I knew it would give me a rage headache, and I was not wrong. How anybody can claim that the results from a test like this would give us a clear, nuanced picture of student reading skills is beyond my comprehension. Unnecessarily complicated, heavily favoring students who have prior background knowledge, and absolutely demanding that test prep be done with students, this is everything one could want in an inauthentic assessment that provides those of us in the classroom with little or no actual useful data about our students.
If this test came as part of a packaged bunch of materials for my classroom, it would go in the Big Circular File of publishers materials that I never, ever use because they are crap. What a bunch of junk. If you have stuck it out with me here, God bless you. I don’t recommend that you give yourself the full PARCC sample treatment, but I heartily recommend it to every person who declares that these are wonderful tests that will help revolutionize education. Good luck to them as well.
To add to this experience Twitchy posted a video of three high school honors students from Elyria High School (Ohio) trying to take this 6th grade sample math test question from PARCC.
Here’s the question:
Here’s the video of the students.
Here’s the solution:
It isn’t reasonable to expect 12-year olds, many of whom have barely mastered multiplication, to understand that they were supposed to come up with a “modeling process” to project the number of yellow golf balls sold in 2014 based on sales in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Especially since, as the three high school girls in the Youtube video noted, the growth in sales in 2011-2013 is not constant. (Sales decelerated in 2013.)
Agreed! I especially loved the comment left on YouTube addressing the girls.
Kudos to you kids for actually trying to figure that mess out and doing as well as you did – I’ve got a master’s degree and a background in statistics, probability and quantitative analysis and I thought these questions were challenging (which is corporate speak for badly written crap). I’d like to congratulate you on your problem reasoning skills, though, you three seem to have an excellent grasp of logic, analytical reasoning and practical mathematics, valuable skills in today’s job market.
And they were able to grasp that without Common Core, go figure.