RIDE's sorta-response to NECAP criticism (posted by Elisabeth Harrison here) concludes with some examples of test items and the % of students "not meeting the graduation requirement" (so, scoring a "1," presumably) who got the question right. Here's the first example:
A real-estate agent received a 3.5% commission on the sale of a house that costs $200,000. What is the amount, in dollars, of the commission? [commission = sale price x rate]
Only 6% of students scoring a "1" overall got this correct. Which is weird because it is trying hard to tell you that it is just a multiplication problem. This seems to be the easiest of the four questions listed, but it has the lowest correct rate by far. And in general "numbers and operations" is the lowest scoring component in the 11th grade NECAP, and much lower scoring (by about 20%) than the equivalent 8th grade component.
So... I don't know. It just seems strange. Is more numbers and operations drill the best strategy for improving your NECAP math score for graduation even though it is a relatively small section?
Percents. Percents are killers. Ratios are worse. Stick to the algebra, you'll get better results, at least in this country.
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