I have been puzzled for a while about why the 7th grade Curriculum, focusing on Ratios and Proportional Relationships, does not include proportions as one type of equation to model proportional relationships. Last school year, I did a lot of work with my 7th graders that incorporated proportions in solving percent problems, scale model problems, etc. I feel that 12- and 13-year olds can grasp this model more intuitively than creating a model by identifying a constant of proportionality. When the state test came about, I was surprised to see (during my cursory glance at the test) that there were no proportions at all . Now I see that Module 1also uses other methods of modeling proportional relationships, but no proportions.
Last year, I mentioned to my son, who is a veterinarian, that the new 7th grade curriculum focuses on proportional relationships instead of topics like identifying rational and irrational numbers, etc., He thought that would be great and said that the math he uses the most on a daily basis is proportions, prescribing the correct dose of medicine to a certain weight animal, designing feed rations, and other applications. If anyone has insight as to why a practical application such as writing and solving proportions is not covered, especially since ratios and proportional reasoning are the key areas of focus for the entire year, I'd appreciate very much hearing back from you.
Also, does anyone know how Pearson interfaces with NYS to make our state tests align with the curriculum? I understand that a few performance indicators were identified as being "major" on the April, 2013, test, but why was the same type of question asked over and over again for 3 days on a high-stakes statewide test with huge financial investment and implications for our students and teachers? The multi-day test could very easily have included a comprehensive range of mathematics that 7th-graders should know and questions designed so that basic, mid-level, and then higher level understanding could be identified, which I believe is the idea. With no analysis or discussion of the new tests allowed, I am beginning to wonder if we will be like the crowd watching the Emperor in his new clothes, knowing he is naked, but afraid to say anything.
Cindy Nguyen 7th Grade Math and Algebra Teacher Orville A. Todd Middle School