Date: Oct 1, 2012 4:36 PM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: An Algebra 2 Test

Responding to Robert Hansen's post of Sep 29, 2012 1:23 (a copy of his post is pasted below my signature):
I've been watching this thread with especially keen interest for many reasons, in particular to test out a hypothesis of mine: that it would go nowhere - and indeed, it has gone EXACTLY there.

In response to Robert Hansen's request, Dave Renfro had contributed a most thought-provoking (and, I thought, truly excellent and demanding) problem for a "hypothetical algebra exam".

Then it went off into discussion of that specific problem from various points of view.

Kirby Urner contributed some excellent thoughts on the context required in setting a problem, and also brought in some useful ideas on precision and bases.

Then there was another good problem extracted from dy/dan's blog. (It's another matter that the specific problem identified was scarcely an 'Algebra 2' type of problem - it was thought provoking nonetheless - and, yes, it could possibly be justified in an 'Algebra 2' test).

And there the discussion has hung (and is still hanging) as of date.

We now have two possible 'Algebra 2' exam problems (both of which have been, in one way or another, questioned).

This is on an issue ("Setting an Algebra 2 test") that any of the participants, working alone, would have completed in precisely 10 minutes or less for his own class!

(And no one, not even the person who started the thread, has as yet cottoned on to this amazing - and amusing - fact)!

Just imagine what happens when we discuss truly complex issues such as "Improving US public school education".

I for one am more convinced than ever that, when discussing complex issues within complex systems, we do need something more than the standard prose. I suggest 'prose + structural graphics' (p+sg) would help significantly to ensure that we get somewhere on our discussions.

[Check out the attachments to my post under the title "On realistic and practical tools for the US Educational System". (On looking at that title, I realize that it is not quite adequate for what I wanted to convey, which is that these are tools "for effective discussions on complex issues {including US education}"). I do also hope that our esteemed Moderator/Administrator, while vetting this post for infelicities that he cannot permit, would also consider the suggestion that, in order to discuss the complex issues we are doing, we do need some facilities further than what we have here today].

("Still Shoveling Away!")

Robert Hansen posted Sep 29, 2012 1:23 AM:
> I want to try something different. I want everyone to
> contribute problems for a hypothetical algebra 2
> exam. You can contribute just topics if you wish
> though I would like see examples as well. I am going
> with algebra 2 rather than algebra 1 because I think
> the line is more well defined.
> Thanks
> Bob Hansen

Message was edited by: GS Chandy