I read a funny letter in the Times today from the mother of a child in third grade:
[snip] I am a journalist and editor, and I found the writing on my third grader’s sample language arts test so dense (and dull!) that even I sometimes had trouble reaching correct answers. Likewise, sample questions for the third-grade math test, which are intended to measure greater complexity in thinking, looked to me like basic word problems with lots of superfluous words.Naturally that second observation forced me to drop everything (or, more accurately, further delay beginning everything) and check the 3rd-grade math questions.
I found this:
Two groups of students from Douglas Elementary School were walking to the library when it began to rain. The 7 students in Mr. Stem’s group shared the 3 large umbrellas they had with Ms. Thorn’s group of 11 students. If the same number of students were under each umbrella, how many students were under each umbrella?Mom's got a point.
You may use the space below to draw a picture of the problem.