David Wees's blog

What should be on a high school exit exam in mathematics?

Personally, I think an exit exam for school (an exam a student needs to graduate from secondary school) is not necessarily the best way to determine if a student has been prepared by their school. That aside, some of sort of assessment of what a student has learned from their school, whatever form that would take, should satisfy an important criterion; that the student is somewhat prepared for the challenges that life will throw at them.

It's Spring!

My mom, my son and I went outside today and looked for signs of Spring together.

Motivation

Reposted with permission from my school's monthly magazine, the Imprint.

Our words are not enough: It's time for action

I'm fortunate to work in a school which gets it. We do a lot of the stuff that people on #edchat are describing as innovative, particularly in the area of student leadership and assessment policy. I feel respected every day, and my opinions and thoughts have a real impact on the direction our school goes. I know this is not true for many teachers though, and I hear it through the discussions we have on Twitter. It seems most teachers work in places where they have very little influence on school policy.

ISTE 2011 Board Elections

I'm running for the International Society for Technology in Education General Board elections. Their objective is to promote and support the use of technology in education which is one I support largely because I personally support the appropriate use of technology in schools.

If high jumps were run like standardized tests

Howard Kellogg suggested over on the Edutopia assessment forum that "While the "test" may represent the "bar" we have to clear, it is not the "bar" that must occupy our total attention." I think the analogy of clearing the bar is a good one for a number of reasons.

Misleading graphs

This graph, taken from Coca Cola's Water stewardship page, presents a very misleading picture on how effectively Coca Cola has improved their water efficiency.

Misleading Coca Cola graph

This graph for me highlights an important reason that we need to teach critical analysis of graphs and statistics. Do you see the problem with the graph? (Hint: check the scale of the graph).

TIMMS and Universal health care

Here are the top 10 TIMMS rankings for 2010 according to Wikipedia for math, science, and reading.

Race to Nowhere

We had our mock exams today for math. There are a pair of exams students take so that they get a feel for what their real exams will be like in May. At the end of the first exam, we had a break, and during this break, one of the students came up to me as I set up the room for the next set of exams.

“Mr. Wees, I left a note on the test paper I want my teacher to read,” she said tears in her eyes.

I looked at her and could see how upset she was so I asked her how she felt.

More tears came to her eyes as she said, “Not so good. I’m sure I totally failed that exam.”

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