Editor's note: This post originally appeared in a slightly different form at Puzzl-ED.
Massachusetts is moving to the new national standards (Common Core) and related tests (PARCC). At least so it seems. The politics are complex and hard to predict, and they’ll play out over the next few years.
This post is not about the politics, though. It’s about the substance of it all—how the new standards and tests look here on the ground to our students and teachers.
This post is the first of two. It addresses the move from the Bay State’s MCAS exams to PARCC in math.
A second post, later this week, will cover the move from MCAS to PARCC in ELA.
I prefer PARCC-Math over its predecessor, the MCAS-Math. Here are some of the reasons why.
1.) PARCC-Math mitigates the role of luck.
Guessing is invariably a part of test taking, but less so with PARCC-Math than with MCAS-Math.
A typical MCAS-Math multiple-choice question asks a student to select one of four correct answers. For example, consider this order-of-operations question from the fifth-grade MCAS-Math:
A student with no knowledge of order...