Why my Child won't write optional Standardized Testing
As well as my other posts around why standardized testing is flawed.
However, lets for a moment assume that PISA scores are accurate. We will also negate the fact that Alberta Class sizes have increased, ignore the fact that AISI funding is at 0, and lastly forget that our ESL population is at an all time high.
We shall enter the "Wonderland".
Well, first the argument is that we need to go "BACK TO BASICS" with elementary math classes. Students should be "Drilled and killed" with mathematical facts and flashcards should be the norm. Since elementary classrooms have removed these activities the PISA scores have dropped.
Well this is great, however this argument is FLAWED!
See the 2012 PISA test is completed by 15 year olds or Grade 10. Which means in 2011 they were in Grade 9, 2010 they were in Grade 8..., 2003 in Grade 1. The Alberta curriculum changed , and had the following implementation years...
Which means...drumroll...these students experienced elementary classrooms teaching the "old" math. Which is, of course, the exact math critics want to bring back. These students are not the ones we should be looking at, but instead the next data set to come, as these students will be full time "new" math. (Keep in mind I don't think we should look at any PISA scores, but we are in Wonderland)
Next, someone might say that the PISA drop is due to poor retention levels. As the new curriculum is not allowing students to retain mathematical information in the long term. This poor retention level is causing the frustration when students try to complete higher level math.
Well..again this is flawed.
Most people have heard of PISA, but have you heard of PIAAC testing? See now this is an exam, also done on the international level, but tests 16-65 year olds. Keep in mind, all these people experienced 100% "old" math.
Since we are assuming that Standardized test scores are accurate, lets take a look at how our country scored on this...
As you can clearly see Canada was under the OECD average in every age group in Numeracy levels. Since all these participants took the "old" math, I guess retention was an issue then as well.
What does this mean?
I believe people are following the wonderful quote of Henry Ford
When I asked people what they wanted, they replied with faster horses
What we forget is that sometimes the "Better" system is one which we have never seen or done before, and this is another reason why I support the new math curriculum.