Is This an April Fools Joke?

What in your context would make a great April Fools joke – except that it’s true? 

What in your context would make a great April Fools joke – except that it’s true?

Here’s my entry: I teach algebra for high school credit to 8th graders who are the top math students in my school. In previous years, they would take the eighth grade standardized test in math even though they had studied ninth grade material all year.

We would spend no class time reviewing eighth grade material. To prepare the students for the test I would send home 13 practice problems a week. When testing came in April, almost everyone met or exceeded the standard.

This year Arizona is rolling out it’s new Common Core based test. Based on sample tests, the algebra problems are easily two years ahead of where we really are and eighth grade math is at least as hard as last year’s algebra test.

That was ok for my kids, whom I assumed would still be taking the eighth grade test as usual, but bad for the rest of the grade. But then I learned my kids will be taking both! Really. No, Really! During testing week, they’ll take the eighth grade test, which they’re prepared for because they studied ninth grade math. Then during the make up week, they’ll be pulled out of classes that are trying to catch up after the testing week to take the ninth grade test. 

What a great reward for our top students. When I asked a state official why, she said, “That’s what other states do.” I really wished I had asked how the testing companies convinced policy makers that having students take tests from multiple grades did anyone but testing companies any good.

I also wish I could say, “Happy April Fools Day!”  But I can’t. 

Can you match that? Let’s hear.

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