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Topic: Grade 8 Math question 42
Replies: 10   Last Post: Mar 27, 2009 9:12 AM

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David Stonitsch

Posts: 9
Registered: 3/26/09
RE: Grade 8 Math question 42
Posted: Mar 26, 2009 2:20 PM
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While I agree with you that this year's test was horribly compiled with repetitious questions and topics where students will be double penalized for not knowing certain topics as they are tested twice on them, I disagree with you on the parentheses issue. On the 2006 test, you are right in which question 43 is not given full credit for the question, but it does not say anything about the parentheses being needed and it did receive 2 out of 3. The only thing it says is, "The graph is complete; however the explanation is unclear." It did not address the missing parentheses at all so I know when we scored it, we didn't take off for not having them at all in 2006. I would think that this year's question would be scored the same way. If they scored the question the same in 2006, that would have made it a score point of 1 instead of 2.

I disagree that it takes away from a "thorough understanding" of the question. I sort of compare it to if a question was asking for an amount of money and a student didn't write down the dollar sign. You know if they write down 12.50 on an answer blank that that is an amount of money just like in this case where they ask for a coordinate so you know 3,3 is a coordinate.

It is very frustrating that the state does not respond to emails it receives and there no one to talk to about this. I would like a clear explanation from somebody from the state. Does anyone from the state ever respond to this list serve?


From: owner-nysmsmath@mathforum.org on behalf of Virginia Kuryla
Sent: Wed 3/25/2009 4:02 PM
To: nysmsmath@mathforum.org
Subject: Re: Grade 8 Math question 42

I think I'm confused. I thought it's always been policy that you need parentheses to be a coordinate. I checked your reference to 2006 question 43 on page. I don't think that you can use that as a counterexample here. The situation is different. That paper did not receive full credit. The absence of parentheses is not enough to change partial understanding to limited understanding. In other words, lack of parentheses is not a conceptual error.

However not having parentheses does detract from a "thorough understanding" necessary to score a 3. This is something that we stress with our kids (and much of the time they ignore...)

I will concede that I am annoyed with this question from the standpoint that when I checked questions like this in earlier test editions the parentheses were provided for the students on the answer line. I am frustrated by changes like that this year. This is the first time students have ever been required to check their work. This is not a problem for our average students, but in our lowest math classes we don't require checks because they can barely get through the solve part. And while I'm venting, what was with all the repetition. Usually the angle questions all involve algebra. This year they almost all are supplementary and ask kids to explain the same thing over and over again. To me questions 29 and 34 are the same question. A kid who gets one wrong will most likely miss the other one also. This happens again with the equations in questions 32 and 45.

One thing to keep in mind though as you try to grade. The papers in the guides are selected from the range finding activities. Range finding is done by NYS teachers -not McGraw Hill staff members. I've participated in Range finding and would recommend that more people sign up. We try to be as consistent as we can, but when you have different groups of teachers working on the tests each year you are going to find inconsistencies.

Thanks for listening.

Ginny Kuryla
>>> <kurtwanabe@aol.com> 3/25/2009 7:33 AM >>>

We scored our 8th grade math tests today and I am extremely frustrated at NYS and CTB/McGraw-Hill.? I called the very unhelpful CTB/McGraw-Hill helpline and they were not able to answer my questions.??The second time I?called back?and they said that no one from NYS was there and they could not give me any phone numbers for me to talk to someone.? (You would think at least they would have a representative from NYS there while schools are scoring this week.)? They instead gave me a generic email address for NYSED.?


My question/concern?deals with Grade 8 question number 42.? What is the score point if a student has the graph and?labels all correct and has 3,3 written as the coordinate not (3,3) with parentheses.? The lady at the help line?said that it needed parentheses to get full credit so this example would be a 2 instead of a 3 score point.? In my opinion, parentheses are not needed around the 3,3 to show full understanding as clearly the student knows what is going on.?


In the past, on the 2006 NYS Grade 8 Math test question number 43, full credit was given for not putting parentheses around a coordinate.? In the Scoring Guide Part 2 from 2006 on page 72, full credit is given for a graph and coordinates when parentheses are not written as it says "The graph is complete."? in the explanation.??The state?gave full credit for this in 2006, so it should also be full credit for this on the 2009 test.? The supervisor at CTB/McGraw-Hill said that he was under the impression that it was scored consistently in the past but obviously if you actually look at it, it is not.?
Is anyone else concerned about this?? We had over 50 out of our approx. 200 students lose a point because of this inconsistency in scoring from year to year and?CTB/McGraw-Hill could not tell me why this was scored this way and no one has returned my email from NYSED.

Dave Stonitsch
8th Grade Math
Ernie Davis Middle School

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