Below is an article written by a teacher after the 2015 Grade 9 PAT (Provincial achievement exam)
Feeling frustrated, and so I imagine parents and kids are too. Today was one of the toughest grade 9 PAT math exams I've seen in awhile. I saw tears, frustration, and a very sizable chunk of kids needing extra time to complete the exam. Saw kids whose class marks are in the 90's get hammered and scrape by with barely over a 60%.So dear Alberta Education, here's my rant; instead of patting yourself on the back by writing convoluted, multi-step, detour questions, many of which require correctly calculated intermediary answers, all in the glorious effort to inspire multidimensional thinking heavily dependent on simultaneous synthesis of several curriculum outcomes, how about you keep it a little simpler?
How about just a few more straightforward knowledge based questions?
How about instead of knocking kids way off balance to the point they lose their confidence, you limit the amount of "higher order thinking" questions to 1 out of every 10 or so?
Because once the students' confidence is gone, they're done. I saw 2 outlier questions - one of which was asked in the first 5 questions - that gave me pause, and I teach the damn course!
Quit using the June PAT as a field test on kids stressed out enough about their next journey into high school. Ridiculous. They're not your guinea pigs. Stick to just a little more straightforward assessments. Please.
Hard to "inspire" kids to learn when you obliterate them on a government exam