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Topic: calculators on 6, 7 and 8th grade testing
Replies: 2   Last Post: Nov 18, 2012 10:24 AM

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Bob Cote

Posts: 26
From: Glens Falls City School Dsitrict
Registered: 11/11/07
Re: calculators on 6, 7 and 8th grade testing
Posted: Nov 18, 2012 10:24 AM
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Below is a new message from SED on calculator usage

From: Ken Wagner [mailto:KWAGNER@MAIL.NYSED.GOV]

Sent: Friday, November 16, 2012 4:08 PM

Subject: Questions on Calculators and Appendix A Folks,

Two important issues have been raised on this listserv related to the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) in mathematics.

(1) It is correct that students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 will be using calculators with Books 2 and 3 of the spring 2013 State tests, but will not be using calculators with Book 1.

A March 2012 memo entitled ?Tools for the 2013 Grades 3-8 Mathematics Tests? indicated that students in these grades would be using calculators with all parts of the tests. This memo was intended primary to inform schools and districts as to the math tools they would need to procure to prepare for the coming school year. It was not intended to communicate that Common Core learning standards related to math calculation should not be addressed through classroom instruction.

As the development of the 2013 Common Core State math assessment proceeded, it became clear that a test book without the permitted use of calculators is necessary in these grades so that student learning of standards involving calculations can be accurately assessed. It would not have been practicable to include within a single test book some questions that allow a calculator and some questions that do not. Such an approach would have put an unfair burden on proctors and would have been confusing to students. Fortunately, we were able to cluster the test design so that all questions assessing standards involving calculations without a calculator can be contained within Book 1.

This information about calculator use will be provided in the ?Guides to the Common Core Mathematics Tests? that we expect to release within the next few weeks. Sharing this information with mathematics teachers at the AMTNYS conference and others was intended to provide a preview of this information as soon as possible. If educators interpreted the March 2012 guidance to suggest that Common Core learning standards related to math calculation should not be addressed through classroom instruction, then we wanted people to make any necessary adjustments as soon as possible.

(2) Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics ( groups the standards at the high school level into two alternative pathways or sets of courses. Beginning with a first administration next school year (June 2014), New York State has announced that it will be developing Regents Examinations in mathematics aligned with the Traditional Pathway detailed starting on page 8 of this document.

Recently, PARCC provided Model Content Frameworks, Mathematics, Version 2.0, ( A final version of this PARCC document is expected to be released within the next two weeks. In this framework, some adjustments were made to the placement of some of the standards within the first three high school Common Core mathematics courses in the Traditional Pathway - Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. The arrangement of the standards within these courses is shown on page 55. NYSED is carefully studying this new framework and emphases in order to determine if and how the document will be used in developing the new Common Core Regents Exams in mathematics to be administered next school year.

We appreciate your interest in these developments and will do our best to keep you informed of all significant changes in the implementation of the CCLS.

Ken Wagner
Associate Commissioner for Curriculum, Assessment and Educational Technology

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