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Seeking Better Math Assessments

Math Problems

Formative assessments are a potentially great teaching tool to help math instructors ensure their pupils are grasping the lessons. Unlike standardized tests, which gauge math skills near the end of a semester, formative assessments are taken at various points throughout a term to give teachers an indication of whether their students are keeping up with things. If they spot problems, they can make adjustments before it’s too late. But, is there a better way to conduct formative assessments?

Two education professors at the University of California-Davis have gotten a $3 million, five-year National Science Foundation grant to study the procedures used in California and come up with an improved prototype method that can be used in all state districts and nationwide, as well, according to a UC-Davis press release. Professors Jamal Abedi and Paul Heckman will begin this fall with a year-long, statewide survey of the assessments and practices K-12 math teachers are currently using. In year two, the research will focus on analyzing assessments used at schools with large minority enrollments to determine how valid and reliable they are. The remaining three years will be spent developing a state-of-the-art assessment prototype, then field-testing, refining and standardizing it.

Abedi and Heckman were inspired to do the study because California students have a dismal record when it comes to math scores — and that’s a problem in an increasingly complex, technology-oriented world that requires a numerate workforce.

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One Response to “Seeking Better Math Assessments”

  1. Thanks for sharing about Mathematics specially the sample lesson plans. Your site is the best teacher’s and student’s resources i have seen in facebook. Godspeed!

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