Godzilla vs. Consortia

We previously examined in detail the content of a sample question coming out of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and it would be only fair to have a look at one of PARCC’s high school questions as well.  At the high school level, PARCC to date has played it safe by only releasing three official questions, all of Type I, its most basic level, which in the following example requires students to perform a mathematical procedure and enter numbers into empty boxes:
To work out this math problem, students must still resort to rewriting the entire equation on a piece of paper, with the very real possibility of a transcription error, so exactly what advantage for students has been gained by moving such assessments onto a computer?


The Life of Pi

Beware the ides of March and a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day t'ya, but as winter snows abate and the vernal equinox comes nigh, a young mathematics teacher’s fancy turns to thoughts of...π.

Spreading like the ``Harlem Shake’’ meme, it seems every classroom across the land now observes an in-school holiday called Pi Day.  For the uninitiated, Pi Day is cleverly celebrated on March 14, or 3/14.  A quick trip over to Pinterest regales you with endless examples of the hackneyed puns, cartoons, song lyrics, decimal expansions, and other non-activities that grace school walls to mark this annular (HA!) event.