Minnesota educators push to end high-stakes math exam

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 26, 2012 - 8:38 PM

A third of high school students are expected to fail test, needed for graduation starting in 2015.

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dflleftNov. 26, 12 8:58 PM

IN MINNEAPOLIS, the graduation rate is already down to 43%, and would probably drop into the 25% range if the kids had to pass math. I agree with the teachers [their union] eliminate grauation tests and just hand out diplomas.

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hagberhNov. 26, 12 8:59 PM

Could we finally blame parents, or are we going to blame teachers again for the students that come in on day 1 and say "this sucks" but we get the opportunity to teach them anyway?

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probsolverNov. 26, 12 9:03 PM

Can someone articulate how tough this math test is? Is it designed so that only a fraction of high school seniors can pass it (e.g. calculus) or is it basic math? What comprehension level does the test require? If the bar is set at a very average level I would vote against lowering the bar any lower than it already is. If it is at a calc level....it merits reexamination.

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martytoilNov. 26, 12 9:08 PM

At the school where I teach, students lose 15 instructional days to take standardized tests. Plus at least 10 more preparing to take the tests. If we eliminated the standardized testing, we could add 25 instructional days to the calendar.

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Kate23Nov. 26, 12 9:12 PM

If students must FAIL the GRAD math test THREE TIMES in order to graduate, why not skip the test completely? Does this make any sense to anyone? This type of crazy thinking is what makes taxpayers and parents lose faith in the educational system completely! Studies show that 22 countries outrank the US in math. Their students probably won't graduate if they FAIL their math tests three times!

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skearthNov. 26, 12 9:47 PM

My daughter got an A in calculus and barely passed the test. She does well in math in college as well. Ridiculous test.

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martytoilNov. 26, 12 9:52 PM

Kate23--" Studies show that 22 countries outrank the US in math."--Actually if we were to compare apples to apples based on poverty levels, The US ranks #1 in the world. But in previous discussions about teacher pay, I have been told that we cannot compare the US to other smaller countries.

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bonimanNov. 26, 12 9:54 PM

Nah, let's just graduate the kids with out the proper education. Let them go to college and fail. Please, let's hold the parents and kids to a standard to be successful in life. Letting them get by the easy way is not the way to start them out. I think they should do a study if 23 states do this and look at how much better the kids do who pass the test versus those who don't.

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hodgsoglNov. 26, 1210:01 PM

As a (now retired) community college instructor, I have seen too many students in college with what can only be described as dismal math skills. Somehow, K-12 is failing to serve these students and failing to serve society in general. Somehow there has to be a metric to determine if students are getting the education that society expects. Maybe it's not this particular test (or maybe it is), but there must be some measurement other than a teacher "assessment."

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forfreedomNov. 26, 1210:07 PM

The standards have deteriorated so much in the last three generations, including resetting the ACT and SAT tests. You have to wonder why these allegedly professional teachers cannot do what seemed to be so easy several generations ago - teach fundamentals well. I don't fault the teachers. The system is working as it is designed and it is not designed to produce mastery of fundamentals. It is designed to socially engineer young children to a set of beliefs and values. There is little time for the fundamentals. Homeschoolers prove every day that getting good academic results is not as hard as it appears to be for the government funded jobs program we call "public education." Which may make you ask, "If it's not that hard, why are so many children failing to master the fundamentals?" Indeed.

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