15
   

What happens when an adult takes the 10th grade test?

 
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Dec, 2011 07:12 pm
@hawkeye10,
I agree. Teaching to the test is awful and it totally skews any good information that might come out of testing. Couple that with all the cheating that is going on and we're really just wasting billions of dollars.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Dec, 2011 07:41 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I don't think employers have access to the results a kid made on tests, even the SAT, unless the kid offers them up.

I wasn't suggesting that. I was saying that just like schools, employers use standardized tests to evaluate applicants, knowing that be doing so they may unfairly being screening out someone but since the test is useful in picking out good candidates it is effective for them to use it. The military makes very extensive use of testing to separate cannon fodder from drone operators. The use of testing is growing in just about every facet of life, not going away.
boomerang wrote:
Wouldn't it make more sense to test the applicants to see if they understood the material they would need to succeed at that job?

Yes, that is my point. Employers will create a test to predict how someone will perform in a job the way schools create a test to see how a student will perform in the next grade. Is that an easy way to miss someone with untapped potential, yes but the test in aggregate does what it is supposed to do. Both the employers' test and the schools' test correlate over a large population to performance. If you test millions of students, you will have many, many examples of students who slip through the cracks, but if you take a group of students who perform in the top quartile and compare them to those in the next quartile of a decently designed test, the top quartile bunch will consistently perform better the next quartile. As long as resources are limited testing will be used to screen where to invest, either in schools, the military or business.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Dec, 2011 08:00 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

engineer wrote:
The SAT predicts college freshman performance when almost no other metric does.

Last I heard on the subject, family income was as reliable, if not more so.

High income correlates with high SAT scores (something that rankles college admission offices who want to have a meritocracy but also achieve income neutrality) but when both effects are taken together, the scores are more predictive meaning that if wealth doesn't result in a high score, it doesn't correlate well with first year college success. (I have a high school senior this year so I've been doing my reading.) Take this with a grain of salt since it comes from the College Board (runs the SAT), but here's the link.
Quote:
As expected, the
best combination of predictors of first-year grade point
average (FYGPA) is high school grade point average
(HSGPA) and SAT scores.


0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Dec, 2011 08:02 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Bingo. I used to read every book for my college classes in the first two weeks and return them for full price, because I was too poor to afford my books. I would then proceed to skip 'most every class and just show up for tests and exams.

So you are saying your high test scores were very highly predictive of your success in college?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Dec, 2011 08:26 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I agree. Teaching to the test is awful and it totally skews any good information that might come out of testing. Couple that with all the cheating that is going on and we're really just wasting billions of dollars.


The main problem is that we dont know right now which students have been taught the test and which students have been taught the whole of the subjects....so the test results are not as useful as they are advertised to be.

Something that I would like to know, which suspiciously I have not seen mention of in journalism or studies, is how much the teachers and administrators are told ahead of time (like at the beginning of the year) about what the test questions are. To be trusted the tests have to be run in secret, and changed often, and I seriously doubt that this happens.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Dec, 2011 01:55 pm
@boomerang,
As I often do, this is a reply to boomerang from a while ago.

I think people who like working with wood vary. Some are fine with math plus quick to visualize how things come together. Some are precision perfectionists. Some just like to get it done in a way that it can stand solidly, and plain (plane!) like working with wood. An uncle of mine was one of the perfectionists, but we couldn't talk much since I was just getting on to four when he died.

Some learn the math as they go along.

I've known superior carpenters and also been very surprised that someone in the field wouldn't know some elementary stuff. Me, I'm in between - I learn what I need and maybe some past that, but I don't voluntarily explore intricacies except for appreciating beauty and function of results. This is both useful and to me one of my lame-osities, depending on the context.

I think I think that the beauty/functionality of wordworking is the primary instinct. The hands on connection. (I know I've told about the wood carving I f'ked up from the roof of our building at Venice beach. I've also one print of a cat carving that I screwed up near the end. That one I'll post when I run across it. Technique matters. Plus of course the choice of wood, mine being scrap.

Which brings up, hand eye coordination - does math ability go with that or not?

I've seen enough clutzy med residents to think these things are separate.

I read Wapo, screening, but haven't read that particular blog yet. Too busy garbaging out with Date Lab, y'know.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 07:46 am
@engineer,
Oh. Okay. I misunderstood. I'm not opposed to professional exams, the bar exam, and that type of thing. If a job requires a certain knowledge or skill employers are smart to make sure the people they hire have that knowledge or skill.

I think that as far as lower schooling goes that this kind of testing just weeds out the bad test takers and weeds in the people who are able to regurgitate the necessary material. Other countries, countries that beat us on PISA scores, are seriously looking to find a way to educate a "creative class" of thinkers. Here's an interesting article: http://zhaolearning.com/2011/09/18/the-grass-is-greener-learning-from-other-countries/
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 07:49 am
@hawkeye10,
Considering the stakes I think it's pretty safe to assume that the subjects being tested are being taught to the test.

I'm pretty sure that the teachers don't see the tests and don't know the actual questions but they do know what sort of questions will be asked. Teachers are not supposed to proctor their own class's tests. Yet somehow in city after city, test scores are being manipulated.

A while back I read how the college boards were reevaluating their tests because they required students to know very little about a lot of topics. I'll have to see if I can find that....
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Dec, 2011 08:07 am
@ossobuco,
I have lived my entire life around tradespeople/craftsmen and I think the difference is that the math is in context.

For example: The man who does the tile work in our house speaks only Russian. He can look at my tile selections and where they're to be installed and tell me after a few quick calculations exactly how many tiles I'm going to need (which is always more than I expected because some of them have to be cut to odd sizes).

Could he pass a standardized math test written in English? Absolutely not.

Could he pass a math test that didn't ask him questions about tile? Probably not.

Another example: I have a friend who is a finish carpenter. He grew up on a commune where everyone learned a Biblical trade. He says that his education is probably equivalent to a 4th graders yet he can do perfect calculations when it comes to building a thing.

Context makes a huge difference.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 12:01 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
"Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid."

Albert Einstein
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 12:14 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

Cycloptichorn wrote:

Bingo. I used to read every book for my college classes in the first two weeks and return them for full price, because I was too poor to afford my books. I would then proceed to skip 'most every class and just show up for tests and exams.

So you are saying your high test scores were very highly predictive of your success in college?


I guess so, if you mean that they were predictive of the fact that I would also score highly on college tests.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 Dec, 2011 08:20 pm
@boomerang,
True.

For people hiring people, the question is who is which. Ya have to get past palaver. Body of work counts.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 10:56 am
So what happens when they take the 3rd grade test?

Quote:
Instead of Pictionary without the champions we decided to play a new game: “take the third-grade English Language Arts practice test” that our son had brought home from school as his vacation homework (if that is not an oxymoron, it should be).

We felt pretty confident of our ability to do well on the test: we all have Ph.D.’s in the humanities, three of us are tenured professors and one is a university administrator. We all make a living through reading.

........

During curriculum night the teacher admonished that our children should under no circumstances read books either above or below their assigned level, because that would hamper their progress. She also frowned upon their reading a book more than once, presumably because it wastes valuable time children could be spending improving their reading strategies on new books.

These instructions were completely at odds with the way we both read as children: we re-read beloved books dozens, if not hundreds, of times, for years after our initial encounters with them, long after they had ceased to be challenging.

.....

By turning the experience of reading into something that is to be quantified, both in the way it is taught and the way it is tested, our son’s curriculum ensures that children will learn to regard reading as a chore and not as one of life’s great pleasures. Worse, it can become an instrument of competition.


http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/20/dear-governor-lobby-to-save-a-love-of-reading/



Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 11:09 am
Boomer, I'm not sure if you saw it or not. I put a video link, while you were away, on one of your standardized testing threads on schools in Norway. They've abolished these test and are now considered one of the top educations systems in the world.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 11:14 am
@Ceili,
No, I haven't seen it yet. I'll look for it. Thanks!
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 11:23 am
@boomerang,
http://able2know.org/topic/168516-1#post-4864720
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 11:27 am
@boomerang,
Quote:

During curriculum night the teacher admonished that our children should under no circumstances read books either above or below their assigned level, because that would hamper their progress.


What a crock of ****. In the 3rd grade, I distinctly remember reading The Red Badge of Courage and some books from McCaffery's PERN series, along with MANY sci-fi books by Niven.

Reading books ABOVE your level hampers their progress?? Idiocy. My freedom to read whatever books I wanted accelerated my 'progress' a million-fold as a child.

Cycloptichorn
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 11:37 am
@Cycloptichorn,
I agree, Cyclo.

Mo was discouraged from reporting on a certain book because the teacher felt it was too difficult for him -- despite his reading comprehension being one of the highest in the class (admittedly, it does take him longer to read things though). It turned out to be one of his all time favorite books.

It's always been very frustrating for him that the stories he likes are ones that are written above his ability. Things that he finds easy to read bore him to death.

The Red Badge of Courage was one of his favorites in the 3rd grade too!
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2012 11:47 am
@engineer,
Quote:
... yes but the test in aggregate does what it is supposed to do. Both the employers' test and the schools' test correlate over a large population to performance.


This is the flaw in your argument Engineer. It is a circular argument. Performance is measured by testing, and testing is measured by performance.

The big problem with testing on the high school level is that the tests measure the ability to do well on tests. I taught high school math (including a class designed specifically to get kids to do better on the MCAS standardized test).

The kids who could do well doing rote mechanical processes did well on the test, and so we taught rote mechanical processes. This isn't really math, it is arithmetic with some tricks. And yes, this class teaching kids rote arithmetic and math tricks upped kids scores on the standardized test. I suppose this was my job as a math teacher, but it sure wasn't professionally satisfying.

Real math involves thinking, creativity and problem-solving. I know several really bright kids who could (and perhaps will) be really good mathematicians who didn't have the patience to do so well on the rote mechanical parts of these tests.

The arguments for these tests use broad words like "performance" without definition. I have seen, and taken, my share of tests (for the record I tend to be pretty good at filling in little ovals with a number two pencil). I have yet to see one with any value of predicting anything in the real world outside of family income.


0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 11 Mar, 2012 07:34 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
and forgetting what's trivial lest I clutter my mind.


Does this mean that you've dumped Garner's grammar book in the garbage, Thomas?
0 Replies
 
 

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