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Thread: problems with bad testing

  1. #1 problems with bad testing 
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Hey folks, long time no see. I've been very very busy with trying to keep my kids on track with school and having one with severe add and dyslexia has had me nearly mental for months now.

    Anyway, he is failing 8th grade science and has to take summer school. But he made a turn around this last grading period and got his grade up from 50% to 80% and he was really hopeful that with a high final exam grade he may be able to pass the semester. Sadly we had to inform him that it would not be possible unless the teacher built in 30 extra credit points to his exam, but encouraged him to do his best and if he scored really well he would be rewarded even though he is unable to recover his semester average.

    But the teacher posted this answer key to their review packet and Neverfly and I noticed many inaccuracies in the answers she gave to the questions. Not to mention the fact that the entire 2nd section on cellular biology was not even covered in class at any time this year. It's helpful that she posts her lesson plans for the entire year, as she goes, online for parents to keep up with. She also posts all homework assignments, all worksheets and resources used so that parents can reinforce what she is teaching and help keep them on track in case of absences or in our case, an obstinate child. So verifying that material wasn't covered was easy to do. Besides that her questions are poorly stated and the answers are even nonsensical at times. How these kids are supposed to learn to be literate when even the teachers can't take the time to form proper sentences is beyond me. It would seem to me that some college students were left behind, specifically the ones studying to be Junior high school teachers.

    I am asking a favor of all of you since my specific interests in science are more around psychology, if those of you who are knowledgeable in Astronomy, Cellular Biology, Ecology and earth sciences (such as plate tectonics) would browse this exam review answer key and give me your assessment of the quality of the test and the answers given.

    I am meeting with her tomorrow morning at 8am Central time to discuss my concerns. Even if she has all the right answers, she still did not cover cellular biology in school this year and should not be testing them on it, so the meeting is necessary no matter what. But I would like to have things backed up by people in the know as far as judging her answers. Many of them I was able to look up online on university websites and found her answers conflicted, for instance she says that the earth reflects 50% of the sun's heat energy but NASA says its about 30%.

    Here is a link to the answer key. It is in pdf format. https://www.dropbox.com/s/wjow1oregb...swer%20Key.pdf


    Thanks to everyone in advance who is able and willing to take the time to help me out on this.


    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Always use the teachers references and not your own to avoid conflict even if you are correct. Hope your kids do well and if you bribe them they will try harder to attain the goal you set.

    Good to have you back again


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    Hey folks, long time no see. I've been very very busy with trying to keep my kids on track with school and having one with severe add and dyslexia has had me nearly mental for months now.

    Anyway, he is failing 8th grade science and has to take summer school. But he made a turn around this last grading period and got his grade up from 50% to 80% and he was really hopeful that with a high final exam grade he may be able to pass the semester. Sadly we had to inform him that it would not be possible unless the teacher built in 30 extra credit points to his exam, but encouraged him to do his best and if he scored really well he would be rewarded even though he is unable to recover his semester average.

    But the teacher posted this answer key to their review packet and Neverfly and I noticed many inaccuracies in the answers she gave to the questions. Not to mention the fact that the entire 2nd section on cellular biology was not even covered in class at any time this year. It's helpful that she posts her lesson plans for the entire year, as she goes, online for parents to keep up with. She also posts all homework assignments, all worksheets and resources used so that parents can reinforce what she is teaching and help keep them on track in case of absences or in our case, an obstinate child. So verifying that material wasn't covered was easy to do. Besides that her questions are poorly stated and the answers are even nonsensical at times. How these kids are supposed to learn to be literate when even the teachers can't take the time to form proper sentences is beyond me. It would seem to me that some college students were left behind, specifically the ones studying to be Junior high school teachers.

    I am asking a favor of all of you since my specific interests in science are more around psychology, if those of you who are knowledgeable in Astronomy, Cellular Biology, Ecology and earth sciences (such as plate tectonics) would browse this exam review answer key and give me your assessment of the quality of the test and the answers given.

    I am meeting with her tomorrow morning at 8am Central time to discuss my concerns. Even if she has all the right answers, she still did not cover cellular biology in school this year and should not be testing them on it, so the meeting is necessary no matter what. But I would like to have things backed up by people in the know as far as judging her answers. Many of them I was able to look up online on university websites and found her answers conflicted, for instance she says that the earth reflects 50% of the sun's heat energy but NASA says its about 30%.

    Here is a link to the answer key. It is in pdf format. https://www.dropbox.com/s/wjow1oregb...swer%20Key.pdf


    Thanks to everyone in advance who is able and willing to take the time to help me out on this.
    I've had a quick read of the answers to the first 20 questions and I must admit I don't see too much of a problem with them. I stopped at the biology section as it is not my field. For the first 20, do you have objections to any in particular?
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; June 5th, 2014 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Post #8 is better analysis than mine was.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    The teacher provided a wrong answer to part two of Problem #19. As shown in the teacher's own diagram, the first quarter moon has a bright right half and a dark left half. I provide another diagram below.

    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  7. #6  
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    Yep there are some problems, most not fetal and probably the result of being overly boiled down for middle schoolers.

    For example Section 1 question 1. radiation ignors that of charged particles which would also be a correct answer.

    Question 2 answer is the incorrect definition for convection--and is closer to advection. A better answer for convection would explain the movement of heated, less materials rising buoyantly in denser cooler materials. The solution concerns me because it misses the entire conceptual understanding convection without which there's no point in even teaching it.

    --
    Of course we can nitpick through many of these this way. It's not bad if it's taught that way, but it could certainly be better.
    The teacher gets a B-.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Problem #29.

    Rising tides have not yet reached high tide, so teacher's statement is misleading.

    Falling tides have not yet reached low tide, so teacher's statement is misleading.

    The reason for tides typically cycling twice a day is not because of Newton's third law of opposite and equal reaction. The moon pulls strongest on the nearest waters, moderately on the Earth itself, and weakest on the farthest water. So, the nearest waters experience the sublunar tide and the farthest waters experience the antipodal tide. Whereas the nearest waters experience a tide due to the Moon drawing the waters away from the Earth, the farthest waters experience a tide due to the Moon drawing the Earth away from the waters.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  9. #8  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Section on Life.

    #2.

    Teacher provided a diagram of a prokaryotic cell for a question about eukaryotic cell (and later crossed it out).

    #11.

    Oxygen on right side of equation should be 6O2.

    #13.

    Finch 3 has thicker beaks allowing it to transfer more force to the hard-shelled seeds to crack them open.

    #14.

    The brown moth is better camouflaged than the white moth against a dark background.

    #15.

    Teacher improperly used symbol for ratio.

    Wrong — 3:Tall, 1:short.

    Right — 3 Tall : 1 short.

    #17.

    Technically, both learned and innate. Although salmon innately want to return to their original breeding ground, they learn where it is based on the Earth's magnetic field.

    #18.

    There is no "T" allele shown, only "B" and "b".

    #19.

    Permafrost is not visible, otherwise it probably wouldn't be permafrost, so what is teacher talking about being camouflaged in it? And if you are in it, you're dead. Teacher needs to see the movie Ice Age. Or go to Siberia.

    (I will continue comments later.)
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  10. #9  
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    Here are my nitpicks.
    4. "The sun is the source of all energy in our atmosphere." I would think some of the heat is coming from the earth's radiogenic heat and primordial heat.
    9. "Cold air has more molecules occupying a cubic centimeter of space than warm air; therefore it has higher pressure." I don't like the way that is phrased. It makes it seem that there is a direct (inverse) relationship between temperature and pressure.
    10. Why do they mention friction as a reason air would feel warm to the skin?
    27. Definition of specific heat "The amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature 1 Degree C." They forgot "per gram."
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  11. #10  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your feedback. It's now almost 2am my time and i have to meet with her at 8am. I'm going to print out these responses for her.


    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Always use the teachers references and not your own to avoid conflict even if you are correct. Hope your kids do well and if you bribe them they will try harder to attain the goal you set.

    Good to have you back again
    I agree normally. but in this case the entire second section wasn't even taught in class this year so there were no teacher references to go off of. This review pack answer key wasn't provided until the day before the exam. So up until that point we only had a review packet that had no answers given and without any resources on anything for the life sciences we had to look it all up online to confirm what we remembered from school. Then when she sent out the answer key the day before teh test, we realized she was giving completely different answers than we had taught my son. At that point I pulled up her lesson plan for the entire semester only to discover that didn't spend any time at all even covering the topics in the 2nd section(life science). There was not a single slide show, resource link, homework assignment or quiz issued to the students on life science the entire year. So for it to be on the test, and with wrong answers is absurd.

    Anyway, wish me luck tomorrow. He took the test today and did manage to pass it with a 74%, that was with 15 percentage points added for simply turning in the completed review packet. so his natural score on the test was 61% and in Texas you have to score a 70% to pass. They've done away with "D" grades. So he missed a little over 1/3 of the exam. Most likely the life sciences portion because we had to try to quickly unteach him the right answers and get him to try and memorize the wrong ones just for the exam's sake. The poor kid already has a learning disability, adhd and dyslexia. He was so confused by the time he had to take his test, I am surprised he even still knew where his class room was.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    PART 2 — LIFE, ANIMALS, etc

    19(B). What animals adapt best to deserts?

    Teacher says: Animals in the desert will have little or no hair. ...

    HUH? I guess that it's illegal that CAMELS, SHEEP, FOXES, FENNECS, GAZELLES, ORYXES, ANTELOPES, VARIOUS SMALL RODENTS (MICE, SQUIRRELS, HAMSTERS, JERBOAS, etc), HYENAS, RABBITS/HARES, WEASELS, MONGOOSES, etc live in the desert. Damn those scofflaws! Just gonna hafta lock them up and throw away the key. I blame the camels; they're bigger, and they should know better. I guess that's why God made zoos.

    PART 3 — ECOLOGY, SUCCESSION, PLATE TECTONICS

    4. Why does magma rise? Teacher's answer: Magma is hot, and heat rises.

    OMG — NO!!!!! How about magma is liquid and less dense than the surrounding rock and is under pressure? (And if you're as hot as magma is, you can go wherever the #@$% you want! — just kidding)

    ARE WE PAYING TEACHERS TO MAKE UP ANSWERS?

    17. "Seaweed" is one word, not two. (I just threw this in to be cruel.)

    Well, I'm done with it, although I probably missed one or two.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  13. #12  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    So, seagypsy, did the teacher say anything about this?
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Glad he made the grade as they say. So what was the outcome with your visit?
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