Kentucky looks bad in a new report from Achieve, Inc. on the first results from the American Diploma Projects new Algebra II End-of-Course Exam.
Among the 12 states participating, Kentucky’s student sample got the fewest number of multiple-choice questions correct.
In an even bigger surprise, only one state got lower scores on the open-response questions on this new exam. Given all the emphasis on CATS open-response questions, our kids should have murdered this part of the test – IF they had any math knowledge. Instead, they got blitzed.
Overall, no state got a lower number of correct points than Kentucky.
The report takes pains to point out that the percentages of students tested in each state varied, making state-to-state comparisons from this first testing year somewhat difficult. However,
While only 3 percent of the kids taking Algebra II in Kentucky were tested, Arkansas tested a whopping 92 percent of their kids. But, Arkansas got more total points correct, more open-response questions correct, and more correct points even on open-response questions. With so many Arkansas kids tested, and given the near certainty that the Kentucky Department of Education didn’t select its very worst schools for testing, there is no doubt that we got spanked by Arkansas – another Southern state.
This just adds more evidence to what we already know from Kentucky’s deplorably high college math remediation rates and the importance of algebra from the National Mathematics Advisory Panel. The panel found that algebra is the key to higher level math, but it must be taught properly. Math instruction in earlier grades must be coordinated to get kids ready for algebra.
It is really a straight-forward lesson, but sadly one our agenda-driven educators have yet to learn.