Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Loudoun Math Survey - Incomprehensible

We recently took a look through the Loudoun Parent's Math Survey.

This extremely detailed, mind-bending and educational jargon-laden survey is extremely hard to understand, replete with seeming contradictions or nonsensical statements, and truly can only be completed by Loudoun parents with at least a college education and utter mastery of the English language.

No wonder the curriculum and outcome never seems to reflect parental input. Suggestion to LCPS - rewrite this survey, so "No Parents Will be Left Behind".

Here's some of our favorites - you're not asked to evaluate whether these items are actually occuring, but whether they're important at all.

"The mathematics curriculum content and materials afford students the opportunity to develop conceptual understanding in the areas of Number and Number Sense/ Computation and Estimation, Geometry/Measurement, Probability/Statistics, and Algebraic Thinking (Patterns and Functions)."

..um, this is what math is, right? so it's important, right? And students should be able to afford it?

"The mathematics curriculum provides opportunities for application of knowledge and skills across subject areas."

..um, so if math skills aren't applied to subject areas, what are they applied to? The refrigerator?

"Teachers possess an understanding of grade-level math concepts identified in the curriculum"

..um, that sounds important, that the Teachers should understand what they're teaching - right?

"Lessons are provided until students demonstrate mastery of mathematics concepts."

...does this mean lessons just keep going all weekend, all summer, to infinity and beyond? (although mathematically impossible)

"Scoring guides for classroom assessments with clearly defined criteria are used (i.e., rubrics)."

...so, teachers will use a rubix cube to score tests?

Update 9/25 - according to an LCPS email:

Loudoun County Public Schools' Math Survey has been extended until Wednesday, October 1. A glossary of terms has been added to the survey on the LCPS Web page, www.loudoun.k12.va.us, to help complete the survey more easily. (The very short glossary is actually not on the main page, it's here).

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