The testing results are in from last spring and line up slightly less than where we predicted.

In Math:

Third Grade:   61% shall fail.

Fourth Grade:  62.5% shall fail.

Fifth Grade:  67% shall fail.

Sixth Grade:  67.1% shall fail.

Seventh Grade:  67.1% shall fail.

Eighth Grade:  68% shall fail.

Eleventh Grade: 67.2% shall fail.

In English Language Arts. 

Third Grade:   61.9% shall fail.

Fourth Grade:  59.4% shall fail.

Fifth Grade:  56.2% shall fail.

Sixth Grade:  59.4% shall fail.

Seventh Grade:  61.9% shall fail.

Eighth Grade:  58.6% shall fail.

Eleventh Grade:  59.1% shall fail.

One should note that these were specially-picked schools to undertake the test.  One would assume state chiefs would pick their better schools in order to receive more detailed feedback from the testing surveys which followed the taking of the test.

Therefore close to 70% failure rate is a real possibility…

This begs some immediate questions.  Are we going to hold 60% of our students in all grades, back for one year? For if the students don’t have it locked down at their current grade level enough to go forward, they will then have to learn two levels at once if one is to expect any improvement.  That is impossible.

Will results of this test be waived when it comes time to hold everyone accountable?  Surely you can’t hold 60% of children, especially those little ones in third, fourth, and fifth, for knowledge that was sprung on them without warning?  None of us do well in that scenario.

Will 60% of our schools be closed because 80% of their student body is not college-career ready?  Even those where their oldest student is barely 12?

According to Secretary of Education Mark Murphy, yes to all of the above.  According to Governor Jack Markell, yes to all of the above.  According to Dave Sokola… yes to all of the above.  The problem has to be the kids… what other excuse could their possibly be except that the schools aren’t doing their jobs…

Well there is a more likely option. The problem could be the test.  For example I could make up a geography test and ask what the capital city of Ohio is and might, even here in Delaware, get correct answers… Or I could ask students to name 8 of the suburbs surrounding the capital city of Ohio…  Those who knew ahead that this question would be given, would be the only ones able to answer.  Likewise among adults, only those who had intimate knowledge of Columbus Ohio, would be able to answer that question…   In my case of testing students… their low scores would be the fault of the test-maker.  Not the student…

One can control the number of right answers by controlling the questions being given….  Would you like to see some of those questions?

A cereal company uses rectangular boxes for cereal.  There dimensions are:

12″ high

8″ wide

2″ deep.

They want a new size. They will have to be rectangular prisms.  The company will offer a design, and then you will have to create and propose your own design for the company.

The new boxes have to use less cardboard than the old boxes.  And they have to hold the same or more cereal.

1) Determine the volume of the current cereal box with the dimensions listed above. Find the volume (V) in cubic inches.     V =  _______ cubic inches cubed.

2) Label dimensions of the net for the current cereal box with dimensions 12″ height, 8″ wide, and 2″ deep.

3) Determine the surface area in square inches S of the current cereal box with the above dimensions.  S  = ___ inches squared.

4) The company proposes a box of 10.5 high, 7.5 wide and 4 inches deep.  It is a rectangular prism.  Determine if this box meets the new requirements.  Explain why or why not.

5) Design a new cereal box for this company.  All cereal boxes are rectangular prisms. Then explain why your box is better for the company, meeting all the requirements. In your response, give the dimensions of the new box; and explain how your box meets the requirements for the new box.


What I find absolutely amazing is that 30% of Warner’s, Shortlidge’s, Stubb’s, Highland’s, Bancroft’s students did questions this complex and difficult and got them right!….  YET THEY SAY THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH INNER CITY SCHOOLS?  That is an amazing figure considering what many in that school, located in the inner city, have to undergo every night the leave the protection of that school until they arrive into it again the next morning…


There is nothing wrong with these children who fail. Just like there is nothing wrong with those teachers who can get at least 30% of inner city children to pass this test, just like there is nothing wrong where any school can get little 6th graders to answer this complicated problem (similar to those we faced in college geometry) now being given to little kids in the sixth grade…

Do you remember what you were doing in the sixth grade math?  We were doing long-handed division.  Our goal was to master that before entering 7th grade.  No designing boxes for Wal*mart (talk about cheap labor).  We were dividing repetitiously three digit numbers into 4 and 5 digit numbers and writing down the remainders….  7 years later I was doing calculus with ease.

Here is the knuckle sandwich slipped in for the clincher…. WE are testing kids in 6 grade to determine if they are college or career ready and then failing their schools, closing them down, turning them into charters, if 70% of those students are not…

It has to stop… And having one entire state opt of of taking the test… will cause this entire insane process to stop in its tracks, to be reassessed again, this time rightly by parents, teachers and administrators… Not by pigs in a blanket guaranteed big fat paychecks only if they fail enough students.