More dumbed-down education

June 14, 2010 07:10

The words “right” and “wrong” have been disappearing from the cultural landscape for quite some time. Who knew they’d soon be missing from math tests?

by Marcia Segelstein at

You might think that when it comes to math problems, there’s only one right answer. But New York education officials have managed to dumb down even that seemingly precise subject.

Last month, students across the state were given proficiency exams in mathematics. Thanks to one teacher hired to help score the tests, we now know about the “holistic rubrics” used to help inflate the grades, and presumably put the state education system—and educators—in a better light. For questions in which students are asked to show their work, points are given if the attempt shows a “partial understanding” of the concept, “addresses some element of the task correctly,” or uses the “appropriate process” to arrive at the answer, right or wrong.


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