What is SO important that it makes flunking these questions OK? What part of these questions does not relate to understanding? Why would you need parent involvement or even homework to pass the NAEP test? Do schools have any way of determining if they screw up rather than the kids?

From NAEP 2007 Sample Math Questions and Results - 4th Grade

9. On the chart, circle all the numbers that have 4 as a factor.

1 2 3 4 5

6 7 8 9 10

11 12 13 14 15

Did you use the calculator on this question?

37 percent correct.

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13. Mark's room is 12 feet wide and 15 feet long. Mark wants to cover the floor with carpet. How many square feet of carpet does he need?

Answer: _____________ square feet

The carpet costs $2.60 per square foot. How much will the carpet cost?

Answer: $ _____________

Did you use the calculator on this question?

24 percent correct.

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14. There will be 58 people at a breakfast and each person will eat 2 eggs. There are 12 eggs in each carton. How many cartons of eggs will be needed for the breakfast?

A) 9

B) 10

C) 72

D) 116

Did you use the calculator on this question?

20 percent correct.

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15. Ben bought 4 items at a bake sale and added their cost on his calculator. The total cost read 1.1 on the calculator.

What amount does Ben need to pay?

A) 11 cents

B) 1 dollar and 1 cent

C) 1 dollar and 10 cents

D) 11 dollars

Did you use the calculator on this question?

29 percent correct, in spite of the fact that they push calculators and understanding.

- - -

2. What number is 10 more than 5,237?

A) 5,238

B) 5,247

C) 5,337

D) 6,237

81 percent correct. Still about 20 percent got this wrong, and this is 4th grade.

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This is not about constructivism, understanding, IQ, or SES. They complain about teaching to the test, but then what on earth do they want to teach that's more important? It should take them no more than 50 percent of class time to get kids to master this material - no homework required. Do schools think that these kids are stupid? At what point can you stop blaming external causes?

Teachers think that the problem with education is what walks into their rooms. They see kids who haven't mastered previous material and they can't imagine how they are going to fix that. The real problem is how did these kids get there in the first place. It used to be that social promotion was a last resort. Now, it's promoted as a normal part of (Everyday Math) spiral mastery. They are making the problem worse and getting nothing in return.