The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dumbest Editorial Ever?

This ranks right up there with some of the dumbest editorials I have ever read.

Click here.

The basic premise? ISTEP is easy because you only have to get 61% on some sections/grade levels to pass. The Indiana drivers' test is harder because you have to get an 84% to pass.

Say what?

With this logic it is easier to be a baseball player because you only have to average 1 for 3 at the plate to be in the Hall of Fame but a basketball player has to shoot 50% from the field to be considered good.

My premise? This editorial writer doesn't have a prayer of passing the 6th grade Math problem-solving portion of the test!

On a side note...I checked with our school attorney. He recalls needing to get at least 70% on the essay questions on the bar exam. Using The Star's illogic, the bar exam "lacks rigor" due to the 70% cut score. According to The Star it is easier to pass the essay section of the bar exam than it is to get your driver's license.


itsrich said...

Mr. Stock, You should write a letter to the author of this editorial inviting him to take the test. It would be interesting to see if the author would find it an “overwhelming challenge” or not.

Dr. Mark J. Stock said...

I once took some publicly released Math questions and took them to the local service clubs as a program. I asked everyone to answer the questions and then I would grade them. Everyone started sweating and most grinned sheepishly but would not attempt the questions.

I then asked them to guess what grade level the questions came from. Most guessed around 10th grade. They were 7th grade questions (taken from 6th grade standards) and this was before the test was supposedly made more difficult.

While the tests DO have easy questions, they also ask difficult questions.

Judging the difficulty of an exam by looking at the cut scores just shows the writer's lack of knowledge.

I love America. Not only can we be outspoken on a topic we know nothing about, we can even make a living writing about it!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The writer of this editorial would have been better off to quit after stating the Star's position.

By providing the basis for their position, we get a glimpse into what evidently passes for logic on the part of the people who run the state's largest daily newspaper. People would do well to read this editorial and realize that this is representative of the type of intellectual rigor behind all of the Star's editorials.

Anonymous said...

This is obviously someone who hasn't actually viewed the content of the ISTEP test. As they say, "ignorance is bliss."

Cherie Martin, WHS Teacher said...

Clearly, the author of the editorial does not understand the aspect of the rigor of the particular questions which the tester must answer correctly. Those of us who teach Advanced Placement courses and who test students at a comparable level throughout our classes know that on some assessments, a score of 65% garners an "Excellent" rating. We have to work to convince students who are used to scoring 90% or higher on everything they undertake, that sometimes a much lower percent can represent an outstanding performance.