It seems to me something is seriously wrong. I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate.and
I have a wide circle of friends in various professions. Since taking the test, I’ve detailed its contents as best I can to many of them, particularly the math section, which does more than its share of shoving students in our system out of school and on to the street. Not a single one of them said that the math I described was necessary in their profession.I did not really see how somebody with a bachelor of science degree could do so poorly on the math test. I downloaded the 2006 test book and answer key from the Florida Department of Education site, and yesterday tried the test. I managed to get 49 out of 58 correct. At 84% this is not as well as I'd like to do, but apparently it would qualify as high performance. (Yes, for a 10th grader, which I was 40 years and 40 pounds ago.)
What did I learn?
- It has been a long time since Algebra II.
- I'm careless. In one analytic geometry question I calculated the y in (1,y) rather than the x in (x, 1); in another problem I got the three constituents of the sum correct, and added them wrong, perhaps misreading my handwriting; I calculated a percent remaining when I should have calculated the percent of decrease.
How many others find it necessary? I don't know. I can imagine that a lot of people would find much of it useful. The first question on the test I took is comparable to comparing cell phone plans--better to pay more $x for the plan with n minutes included and m cents/minute beyond, $x+y for n+z minutes included and m cents/minute beyond? Card players and other gamblers ought to know the ways in which subsets can be chosen from sets.
The underlying question is, What shall we teach? That's one for another day.