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Failing math

October 17th, 2004 · No Comments

A recent article in the Seattle Times reported that the state’s WASL math test may not be difficult enough according to an evaluation that compared Washington tests to other state’s math tests.

In the past few weeks, out of curiousity, for practice, and to confirm my teaching method, I gave Abigail four different sample math tests, including WASL, Saxon, Singapore Math and Calvert. On three of the four tests, Abigail easily placed at or above her grade level. But the Singapore Math placement test for 1A was difficult for her. I was surprised by the distinct difference.

But maybe I should not have been surprised. After all, Singapore placed first out of 38 countries in the 1995 and 1998 International Maths and Science Study. American students came in seventh and nineteenth.

Perhaps instead of comparing our state’s test to tests given in other states, we should also evaluate our tests and our teaching methods compared to other countries.

I am concerned about those children who won’t be able to meet the new standards and will end up failing high school, not receiving a diploma. What will we do as a state and as a society? What will these young adults do for employment? How will it affect their lives?

But I am also concerned that we, as Americans, are falling behind other countries in education. What if we are failing by international standards? What if we Americans as an entire country are flunking the test of time?

Tags: homeschool