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(Washington Post)   Maryland high schoolers baffled by high failure rate on year-end math tests, despite the fact that half of them studied for as much as 60 whole minutes   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 157
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7321 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Sep 2013 at 7:07 AM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-23 07:10:59 AM
Dude, that's like....20 total hours of studying. That's a lot.
 
2013-09-23 07:11:03 AM
How do you flunk a geometry test? You're literally failing at shapes.
 
2013-09-23 07:13:46 AM
Well the habits come from one high school only, and that's  Rockville (hack, spit).

Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.
 
2013-09-23 07:14:06 AM
Obviously the kids are relying on school administrators to change their answers so they will pass and the administrators will get their bonuses.
 
Skr
2013-09-23 07:14:41 AM
That's as many as six 10's and that's terrible.
 
2013-09-23 07:16:49 AM
If you have to study for math, you've failed already.
 
2013-09-23 07:18:57 AM
And still no one wants the kids to have homework, because of too much stress, or whatever.
 
2013-09-23 07:19:08 AM
The results they got from the survey shows the questions on the survey were more difficult than the questions tests they failed.  Perhaps they failed the tests because they were all studying for the big survey?
 
2013-09-23 07:21:43 AM
questions ^on the^ tests
 
2013-09-23 07:22:55 AM

CheatCommando: Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.


It's a good exercise in logic, but I wouldn't call it difficult.  And I wasn't exactly mathematically inclined.
 
2013-09-23 07:25:36 AM

CheatCommando: Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.


You really think high school math teachers can teach "formal proofs"?
 
2013-09-23 07:28:57 AM

GoldSpider: CheatCommando: Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.

It's a good exercise in logic, but I wouldn't call it difficult.  And I wasn't exactly mathematically inclined.



I love internet geniuses. The sheer quantity of subject specific vocabulary words in geometry is enough to require studying for. 99.9% of the population. I guess you knew all those from simple logic?
 
2013-09-23 07:28:57 AM
WHY SHOULD THEY STUDY FOR THE TEST WHEN THAT'S ALL THE TEACHERS DO FOR THE ENTIRE GODDAMN COURSE?!?!?

/I really, really, REALLY FARKING HATE North Carolina's EOG Tests.  They do nothing for kids but teach them how to game multiple choice exams.
//The single best exam I ever took was the AP US History exam with its document-based question - god forbid we require students to concentrate on critical thinking and analysis skills.
 
2013-09-23 07:31:19 AM

CheatCommando: Well the habits come from one high school only, and that's  Rockville (hack, spit).

Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.


That said, the *types* of proofs we had to do were irritating and kinda BS. I much more enjoyed my math class revolving around proofs (Theory of Rhetoric? That doesn't sound right...) in college.
 
2013-09-23 07:32:38 AM
As a graduate of the glorious Montgomery County Public Schools system (Springbrook HS, late 90's) mentioned in TFA, I can say with great certainty that the only part of this article worth reading is this:

"Many also have suggested that some exam-takers don't try hard because their course grades are settled by the time exams are given, even though exams can be worth 25 percent of a student's overall grade. For example, students with C's for their quarter grades would still get a C even if they fail the final. Students consult an archived online table of grading scenarios as they consider how much to study or whether they should study at all."
 
2013-09-23 07:33:11 AM

The Madd Mann: How do you flunk a geometry test? You're literally failing at shapes.


Because geometry has nothing to do with shapes and everything to do with all the worst parts of math class.

Felgraf: That said, the *types* of proofs we had to do were irritating and kinda BS.


Yeah, all the worst parts.
 
2013-09-23 07:34:01 AM
Maryland high schoolers baffled by high failure rate on year-end maths tests, despite the fact that half of them studied for as much as 60 whole minutes

I blame Noah Webster.
 
2013-09-23 07:36:09 AM
Ronald Lagos, 15, recalled that for his geometry final, he studied perhaps 15 minutes but said he felt he had kept up with the subject throughout the course. "I don't study at the last minute; I study the whole year," he said.

Ronald gets a cookie.

Cramming at the last minute means you might pass a scantron test by a factor of luck and eclectic word association. But problem solving will completely screw you over.
 
2013-09-23 07:36:33 AM

poe_zlaw: I love internet geniuses. The sheer quantity of subject specific vocabulary words in geometry is enough to require studying for. 99.9% of the population. I guess you knew all those from simple logic?


I've always sucked at memorization, so *that* part frustrated me. I could work the proofs out logically, but fark me if I could remember if it was the commutative property of addition or the transitive property of addition (I think I always swapped the names of those two). But you couldn't just, say, write out the property/what the property showed (If a+b=c, then c-b=a), god no, you had to have that damn name memorized, because the math magic clearly wouldn't work if you didn't use the right *name*.
 
2013-09-23 07:42:24 AM

Skr: That's as many as six 10's and that's terrible

 sexagesimal.
 
2013-09-23 07:43:12 AM

pag1107: As a graduate of the glorious Montgomery County Public Schools system (Springbrook HS, late 90's) mentioned in TFA, I can say with great certainty that the only part of this article worth reading is this:

"Many also have suggested that some exam-takers don't try hard because their course grades are settled by the time exams are given, even though exams can be worth 25 percent of a student's overall grade. For example, students with C's for their quarter grades would still get a C even if they fail the final. Students consult an archived online table of grading scenarios as they consider how much to study or whether they should study at all."


^that.
 
2013-09-23 07:45:58 AM

Felgraf: I've always sucked at memorization, so *that* part frustrated me. I could work the proofs out logically, but fark me if I could remember if it was the commutative property of addition or the transitive property of addition (I think I always swapped the names of those two). But you couldn't just, say, write out the property/what the property showed (If a+b=c, then c-b=a), god no, you had to have that damn name memorized, because the math magic clearly wouldn't work if you didn't use the right *name*.


If you don't use the right name, you can't communicate. Also, a + b = c implying c - b = a requires two properties, not one.
 
2013-09-23 07:46:01 AM

sxacho: If you have to study for math, you've failed already.


Lol, OK Mr. Hawking. Perhaps you'd like to bust out your favorite Pythagorean Theorem Proof to amaze us?
 
2013-09-23 07:48:05 AM

GoldSpider: CheatCommando: Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.

It's a good exercise in logic, but I wouldn't call it difficult.  And I wasn't exactly mathematically inclined.


Once you get past  the nomenclature, I agree with you.  I would have used intuitive instead of logic, but I got what you meant.
 
2013-09-23 07:48:15 AM
What the kids should learn for after high school.
 
2013-09-23 07:48:33 AM

Copper Spork: CheatCommando: Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.

You really think high school math teachers can teach "formal proofs"?


Yes.

/HS math teacher
//Currently working on post graduate Number Theory homework
///Current professor worked with Andrew Wiles
 
2013-09-23 07:49:59 AM

Felgraf: poe_zlaw: I love internet geniuses. The sheer quantity of subject specific vocabulary words in geometry is enough to require studying for. 99.9% of the population. I guess you knew all those from simple logic?

I've always sucked at memorization, so *that* part frustrated me. I could work the proofs out logically, but fark me if I could remember if it was the commutative property of addition or the transitive property of addition (I think I always swapped the names of those two). But you couldn't just, say, write out the property/what the property showed (If a+b=c, then c-b=a), god no, you had to have that damn name memorized, because the math magic clearly wouldn't work if you didn't use the right *name*.


Well, that's your problem right there. You don't have a clear picture of what these properties are, so you couldn't have worked out the proofs 'logically'. Commutativity is a + b = b + a for some operator +, and transitivity is a = b and b=c  implies a=c, where = is some relation. In short, definitions are important.
 
2013-09-23 07:49:59 AM

Zeb Hesselgresser: Once you get past the nomenclature, I agree with you. I would have used intuitive instead of logic, but I got what you meant.


Geometry is far from intuitive. The sooner you stop using "intuition" and start using logic the better.
 
2013-09-23 07:50:20 AM

Deep Contact: What the kids should learn for after high school.


www.enumclaw.com
 
2013-09-23 07:51:05 AM

Copper Spork: CheatCommando: Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.

You really think high school math teachers can teach "formal proofs"?


Mine did, and she was not by any means a  good math teacher either.
 
2013-09-23 07:52:51 AM

OregonVet: pag1107: As a graduate of the glorious Montgomery County Public Schools system (Springbrook HS, late 90's) mentioned in TFA, I can say with great certainty that the only part of this article worth reading is this:

"Many also have suggested that some exam-takers don't try hard because their course grades are settled by the time exams are given, even though exams can be worth 25 percent of a student's overall grade. For example, students with C's for their quarter grades would still get a C even if they fail the final. Students consult an archived online table of grading scenarios as they consider how much to study or whether they should study at all."

^that.


Indeed, it would seem that they have done a  very good job of teaching that part. I'm not sure how you'd go about fixing it without causing a whole bunch of other unintended side effects though.
 
2013-09-23 07:53:32 AM

jayhawk88: sxacho: If you have to study for math, you've failed already.

Lol, OK Mr. Hawking. Perhaps you'd like to bust out your favorite Pythagorean Theorem Proof to amaze us?


Pythagoras was a filthy cult leader who didn't like beans. But that motherfugger knewed him some maths.
 
2013-09-23 07:53:44 AM

Blink: You really think high school math teachers can teach "formal proofs"?

Yes.


You appear to be in the minority who didn't get through your degree by a combination of applied calculus classes and "memorizing the proofs" where they had to take proper math. Most of your colleagues will have forgotten the proof of the Yoneda lemma that they memorized as soon as they left the exam.
 
2013-09-23 07:58:24 AM
I can do, like, four maths in an hour.  That's enough, right?
 
2013-09-23 07:59:57 AM

Copper Spork: Felgraf: I've always sucked at memorization, so *that* part frustrated me. I could work the proofs out logically, but fark me if I could remember if it was the commutative property of addition or the transitive property of addition (I think I always swapped the names of those two). But you couldn't just, say, write out the property/what the property showed (If a+b=c, then c-b=a), god no, you had to have that damn name memorized, because the math magic clearly wouldn't work if you didn't use the right *name*.

If you don't use the right name, you can't communicate. Also, a + b = c implying c - b = a requires two properties, not one.


Yes, but rarely in the real world will someone go "QUICK USE THE COMMUTIVE PROPERTY OF ADDITION NO DOUBLE CHECKING YOU MUST USE YOUR MEMORY" For fark's sake, in my college math classes, the name memorization wasn't as 'important' as it was in highschool geometry. More important was being able to *do the proof*.

And before you ask, my major was Physics.

murray208: Felgraf: poe_zlaw: I love internet geniuses. The sheer quantity of subject specific vocabulary words in geometry is enough to require studying for. 99.9% of the population. I guess you knew all those from simple logic?

I've always sucked at memorization, so *that* part frustrated me. I could work the proofs out logically, but fark me if I could remember if it was the commutative property of addition or the transitive property of addition (I think I always swapped the names of those two). But you couldn't just, say, write out the property/what the property showed (If a+b=c, then c-b=a), god no, you had to have that damn name memorized, because the math magic clearly wouldn't work if you didn't use the right *name*.

Well, that's your problem right there. You don't have a clear picture of what these properties are, so you couldn't have worked out the proofs 'logically'. Commutativity is a + b = b + a for some operator +, and transitivity is a = b and b=c  implies a=c, where = is some relation. In short, definitions are important.


Well, it's more that I was A) Using different examples (perhaps alibiet poorly) due to not being awake yet, and B) I haven't done a mathematical proof in probably 4 or so years, since I'm in experimental physics, and not theory. So I haven't worked on them in a while.

A better example, I admit, would have been saying (A=B, B=C, so A=C no I cannot remember the name of this), since that *would* be an example of a transitive property.
 
2013-09-23 08:04:45 AM
Quick! Somebody calculate the mathematical value of Strange!

/I'll be off somewhere in the vast infinity between zero and one.
 
2013-09-23 08:14:02 AM
Isn't math pretty much the one subject that people DO NOT study for?  (or don't need to study for?)
 
2013-09-23 08:14:08 AM

Skr: That's as many as six 10's and that's terrible.


10s?  I believe they are called "skinnies" now.

I was completely unfamiliar with these terms until recently.. When I went to school, a number like 5,281 was a 1, 8 tens, 2 hundreds, and 5 thousands. Now it's 1 bit, 8 skinnies, 2 flats and 5 packs. Apparently the other terms were too complex for some kids, so they switched it out. Now they waste a lot of time teaching kids terms that don't actually exist, rather than just teaching them the right way first. Perhaps I'm missing some reasoning behind this, but I doubt it.
 
2013-09-23 08:16:15 AM

OregonVet: pag1107: As a graduate of the glorious Montgomery County Public Schools system (Springbrook HS, late 90's) mentioned in TFA, I can say with great certainty that the only part of this article worth reading is this:

"Many also have suggested that some exam-takers don't try hard because their course grades are settled by the time exams are given, even though exams can be worth 25 percent of a student's overall grade. For example, students with C's for their quarter grades would still get a C even if they fail the final. Students consult an archived online table of grading scenarios as they consider how much to study or whether they should study at all."

^that.


Yup. The final exams were pretty much pointless

/Graduate of MCPS (Blair, 2006)
//Did well in high school
///Though if I studied less, I might have been able to get some tail
 
2013-09-23 08:16:25 AM
60 minutes?  That's almost a whole hour!
 
2013-09-23 08:16:38 AM

OregonVet: pag1107: As a graduate of the glorious Montgomery County Public Schools system (Springbrook HS, late 90's) mentioned in TFA, I can say with great certainty that the only part of this article worth reading is this:

"Many also have suggested that some exam-takers don't try hard because their course grades are settled by the time exams are given, even though exams can be worth 25 percent of a student's overall grade. For example, students with C's for their quarter grades would still get a C even if they fail the final. Students consult an archived online table of grading scenarios as they consider how much to study or whether they should study at all."

^that.


My kids to to Sherwood High School here in Montgomery County. This is exactly wha they do. What is the point of studying super hard for something that doesn't really matter. The exams "can be worth" 25%. Most of the time it is much less. Why study your ass of for something that will not effect your grade one way or the other?
 
2013-09-23 08:17:45 AM

pag1107: "Students consult an archived online table of grading scenarios as they consider how much to study or whether they should study at all."


Sad. We used to calculate this ourselves based on the grading distribution in the syllabus.
 
2013-09-23 08:18:10 AM

poe_zlaw: GoldSpider: CheatCommando: Madd, if you think geometry is just about "shapes" you'd obviously fail the final. It's your first encounter with formal proofs in most curricula.

It's a good exercise in logic, but I wouldn't call it difficult.  And I wasn't exactly mathematically inclined.


I love internet geniuses. The sheer quantity of subject specific vocabulary words in geometry is enough to require studying for. 99.9% of the population. I guess you knew all those from simple logic?


If you can't pick up on the vocabulary from your time in the classroom then I really don't know if additional studying is going to help you anyway.  The rest is simple logic.
 
2013-09-23 08:18:32 AM
I used to tutor math in college and it was sad at times. Lots of people would complain how bad they were at math but how great they were at other things. I always told them that if they spent as much time practicing mathematics as they did drawing or writing or playing music they would be great at it. Math is a subject you can't memorize for the most part, you have to practice it in order to get good.
 
2013-09-23 08:19:11 AM
blog.buckeyepayroll.com

/Hug-a-Thug State.
 
2013-09-23 08:20:15 AM

Fear the Clam: pag1107: "Students consult an archived online table of grading scenarios as they consider how much to study or whether they should study at all."

Sad. We used to calculate this ourselves based on the grading distribution in the syllabus.


at least you were applying maths
 
2013-09-23 08:21:28 AM
I could always do the math after learning how, it was just the most tedious bastard thing to do over and over.
 
2013-09-23 08:22:33 AM

WinoRhino: Skr: That's as many as six 10's and that's terrible.

10s?  I believe they are called "skinnies" now.

I was completely unfamiliar with these terms until recently.. When I went to school, a number like 5,281 was a 1, 8 tens, 2 hundreds, and 5 thousands. Now it's 1 bit, 8 skinnies, 2 flats and 5 packs. Apparently the other terms were too complex for some kids, so they switched it out. Now they waste a lot of time teaching kids terms that don't actually exist, rather than just teaching them the right way first. Perhaps I'm missing some reasoning behind this, but I doubt it.


[idontwanttoliveonthisplanet.jpg]
 
2013-09-23 08:22:55 AM

WinoRhino: Skr: That's as many as six 10's and that's terrible.

10s?  I believe they are called "skinnies" now.

I was completely unfamiliar with these terms until recently.. When I went to school, a number like 5,281 was a 1, 8 tens, 2 hundreds, and 5 thousands. Now it's 1 bit, 8 skinnies, 2 flats and 5 packs. Apparently the other terms were too complex for some kids, so they switched it out. Now they waste a lot of time teaching kids terms that don't actually exist, rather than just teaching them the right way first. Perhaps I'm missing some reasoning behind this, but I doubt it.


I thought for a second that you were pulling my leg. Nope. There are bits, skinnies, packs and flats. This is a thing. I have a 7th grader who has never heard of this. When did this idiocy start?
 
2013-09-23 08:24:25 AM

The Madd Mann: How do you flunk a geometry test? You're literally failing at shapes.


That ain't geometry. This is geometry. (SFW, NSFProductivity).
 
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