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Comment: Wish *you* were taught logic and math.. (Score 1) 125

by sarkeizen (#46999831) Attached to: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Lately, Coding
because you seem to suck at both...

If you teach a 10 year old to write "code", that won't help them in 8 or 10 years time when they try to apply for a job. The "code" technology will have moved on in that time, so the stuff they learned a decade ago will be obsolete. The knowledge that a professional programmer has, has a half-life of a few years: maybe as long as 5 years in some areas - possibly as a short as 1 or 2 in rapidly developing fields of work.

This seems incorrect. A simple back of the envelope regression analysis between 12 programming languages I used in school/work and the jobs available on Gave a R of about -0.1. So programming language age and jobs available appear to be uncorrelated. Now you will probably be tempted to drop back and punt. That is to make your argument way more specific (Oh I meant that Business knowledge W + Language X + IDE Y + Framework Z wouldn't be useful in 2025) however clearly, if you had been educated in logic you would realize that doesn't mean that teaching language X is of little or no value. Knowing Lisp a language almost as old as CS itself has helped me in evaluating products and understanding problems just in the last five years.

Since nobody can tell what skills will be needed in the next decade, learning a particular coding language, the "learning to code" is almost certainly teaching the wrong language to children.

The argument of someone who doesn't understand the need to clarify your premises. If nobody has any information on what is needed in 2025 then no premise should be privileged (i.e. learning current languages is of almost no help). If you are asserting that we only have enough information to determine that learning languages people use today is of almost no help. Then you are either wrong (by my regression above) or just begging the question.

It would be far better to teach them basic maths, basic logic and how to think in abstract terms - rather than focusing on tangible, here and now, stuff that will produce children who can blink an LED on a Raspberry Pi today, but will have no clue about hw to deal with the "AI on a chip" they might be faced with when they start their professional careers.

The assumption here is pretty ignorant. Learning to program is of almost no value because there will be nothing in common between programming languages now and whatever people use in 10 years. Well the Church-Turing thesis begs to differ. Unless the "AI on a chip" (*snort* *chortle*) is not a Turing machine then clearly any programming language would have something to teach them and would at least be potentially useful in instructing them on the nature of computer science.

When I started my first job after graduating, the job description didn't even exist when I started my university course. So what is the chance that teaching 5 or 10 year children a specific computing skill will be relevant to their career prospects in 10-15 years time?

Again a correlation coefficient of -0.1 seems to say "not nearly as bad as a moron like you thinks"

Comment: Re:Practice, question, listen, connect. (Score 1) 218

by sarkeizen (#46561359) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer? advising someone on how to avoid common pitfalls somehow means we're missing people in some significant way? I don't think you actually read what I typed. Here's a recap.

i) If you think you are losing job offers because you appear standoffish. Practice a few questions.
ii) Engaging the other side of the table will also help you appear more involved.
iii) Understanding the other people is key to being able to communicate with them. Communication is key in avoiding appearing detached.
iv) Try to give them a demonstration of your work in the interview.
v) Jokes are harder to pull of than you think.

Comment: Practice, question, listen, connect. (Score 4, Insightful) 218

by sarkeizen (#46551971) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Re-Learning How To Interview As a Developer?
Here's my $0.05. I've been a hiring manager for a number of developer positions.

i) Practice: Have a few pat answers for open ended or probing questions. Like when you get asked "Can you give me an example of..." pick a good example - one where you look good (I can't tell you how many times someone picked an "example of resolving a conflict with their coworker where they looked pretty bad"). Then bounce it off your NON-tech friends. Take their advice, even if it sounds weird or not how you would naturally talk. Then practice until you can make it sound natural.

ii) Question. It pays to ask a question or two about the questions being asked of you. Not every question but it shows you are listening and can be even used to show off knowledge you have but haven't been asked.

iii) Listen when they are talking. Try to get an idea of what these people are looking for.

iv) At the end you are often asked if you have any questions. Use the information about iii) to get them talking. Find something you have in common. Suggest some solution. i.e. get them talking about their biggest problem areas for software, hardware (whatever you're being hired for and ask them "Have you tried..."). Don't go on too much about a single technology. I don't mind it when someone slips an extracurricular into their interview but it should be a one off. For example, I interviewed a person who did some Ada programming in his spare time. Which is cool but he referenced it two or three other times and it started to sound like an attempt to distract from the question.

Bonus: Avoid jokes. Seriously. Unless you really can take the temperature of your audience it's hard to pull off and it can easily be taken the wrong way and counted against you . Remember that when you tell jokes to your peers at work they already know you (to some extent) and are attempting to think the best of you. An interviewer is trying to differentiate between you an everyone else. If someone from HR is on the interview panel and you tell a joke (or relay an experience) that makes you look like you have a problem or might be mildly sexist, ageist, racist. You can easily find yourself on the bottom of the pile when it comes to a decision.

Comment: Re:Home school (Score 1) 529

by sarkeizen (#46539001) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

She herself feels the local schools would not serve her well, concluding this after taking with age-peer friends at gymnastics practice, track club, and orchestra, just three of the activities that provide social interaction for our daughter.

How do you know those activities provide a good model of the breadth of interaction you would get at school? Assuming a large enough body and a sufficiently diverse population at said school. I rather suspect that these don't compare. Perhaps it's related to how parents often confuse extra-curricular activities with social experiences.

Thirdly, you'll never convince me that the socialization of a typical public school with all of it's dysfunctional cliques, dysfunctional fashions, and bullying is somehow better.

Well it's good that you're being rational...oh're actually being the opposite. IMHO the parents job wrt their child and the outside world is to provide them with skills to thrive in it. Socialization is one of these and it's one of those things that people who don't do it well tend to be oblivious to. Considering how many people I know who are stuck in middle management at least partially because of a social skills problem. I'm rather persuaded that a lack of social ability will curb your success.

I do agree that public school can be a socially challenging situation - this is *why* being there is, in and of itself a social education. Removing a child from a challenging situation if they stand to benefit (gain the ability to cope with socially challenging situations) and are not likely to fail in a damaging way, is irrational. So far my child has shown an almost flawless degree of judgement in pursuing a course of action which is healthy for her. I do understand if you think your child who can (allegedly) take a total derivative at age 13 might not be capable of making those decisions. However I suspect that you're short-changing her or perhaps she's short-changing herself.

I can only imagine the kind of severe bullying that my daughter would have to endure at the typical high school, just because she is a girl that likes math and science. Go read "They Sibling Society" by Robert Blye and then try to tell me the current public school system is good for kids' socialization.

You really like books that are far more narrative than research. While it would be sad if your daughter got bullied because of those things. I'm not sure avoiding something simply because it has some (entirely unquantified) probability of happening is really the right thing either.

I really get tired of people who haven't thought deeply about the problem,

I'd put you in that category.

haven't read widely about the issues,

Dude. So far you have mentioned two books and both are, in my opinion only mildly above works of fiction when it comes to rigour.

and don't face the problem in their own life somehow thinking they should be able to dictate to me.

You're making a logical fallacy here. Maybe you should ask your daughter.

Comment: Re:Home school (Score 1) 529

by sarkeizen (#46538485) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child
Distrupting Class is IMHO not a very useful book. About a third of it is the usual useless narrative about industry disruption and the penalties of not being able to adapt. Way to much time spent on something that could have been expressed in two sentences. Yes, large changes happen to industry, some happen quickly and some slowly. People who adapt at the right time will benefit. It is, like most non-academic publications by people who don't know how to do research is poor. His knowledge of the history of computers in schools is poor too. Anyone who's read Oppenheimer's "The Flickering Mind" knows that the idea of software teaching and paced learning is age old and often unsuccessful at improving measurable outcomes.

In fact a great deal of the rest of Christensen's book is just talking about things he hopes will exist. I hope sophisticated software courses exist someday too but that's really not the useful or interesting questions: i.e How do we get there? What do we know that works? What do we know that doesn't? These are barely touched on by Christensen.

Comment: Re:Homeschooling is at best a niche-performer. (Score 1) 529

by sarkeizen (#46530651) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

I did not use the term "most" at all,

What do you think "probably" means? If something probably works it will, over a sufficiently large population work for most people . Are you sure you should be teaching your son math?

I do not speak for everyone,

I didn't say you were. I said you attempted to speak generally and that you attempted to talk about most cases. I think you've retreated from this point but it's interesting that you can't admit you possessed it.

I'm simply relating my own experiences.

Not if you are saying something is "probably the best thing to do".

There IS only one simple point to my post; home schooling works for MY kid and MY family.

So now what? It sounds like you've retreated from "It's probably best if you do things yourself" - to that there is no generality to your claims?! Doesn't that mean there was no point in sharing your experiences? Don't you realize that's what the *generality* implies? You can't have it both ways either you believe that it's likely something in your post applies to someone else or it doesn't.

You have an idea in your head and you have bent my words to fit your assumptions,

Dude. Take a stats class. I haven't bent anything. Either you misspoke when you said "probably" or you've changed your position. Figure out which it is and get back to me.

We had many trips to the school, visits and phone calls with teachers, heads of departments and the principal, this took place over nearly two years

Seriously? Over two years you couldn't, even after escalating all the way up get permission for your son to quietly read a book after all needed work was completed? This was true for every teacher in the school and every school in the district? Unlikely. I suspect you aren't telling us the real story.

You have warped my words to fit your preconceived idea of who I am and what motivates me.

...and that was done where exactly? You don't seem able to say. I don't know what motivates you but I can tell you what "probably" means.

You even filled in the gaps in your argument with your own words where mine won't do.

Again, where did I do this? Again you can't seem to say. What is the gap in my argument? Oh, hey you're not saying that either. I hope you're not teaching logic as well.

Contrary to your belief my child was quite capable of doing the work he was given at school, he had (and continues to have) an active social circle.

You said that, his own attempt to manage this conflict left him "sullen, sat at the back of the class doing the bare minimum to avoid trouble". So let's just translate this to the work world shall we? If I told a report to add functionality to an application and they do the absolute minimum amount of work (which makes me unhappy) and they're bad tempered while they're at it. Is it really so hard to see how such a person would be considered incapable of handling their job. Blame it on whatever you want. You are in a job, you are not doing very good work (by my standards) and you are bad tempered and you are not doing anything productive to change your situation. I wouldn't expect to get promoted or much job security.

he was just doing "very well" by the school's standards

Wait! What? You said he started "doing the bare minimum" and was "sullen" when he was refused extra work from the school. How can you be doing all of the work consistently and perfectly and still be doing the bare minimum? Either you have again changed your argument and didn't tell me or between two adjacent sentences in the same paragraph you changed from talking about the schools workload to some arbitrary, and previously undisclosed standard of work. If the later I hope you're not teaching English.

That was the crux of the problem,

Oh so the real, REAL problem wasn't him being kept down by his teachers, or unhappy or unable to get something to do to keep him from getting bored. I'll assume that quietly reading was allowed and probably other activities like doing an ISP were also allowed - as these are pretty ubiquitous techniques for handling people who are ahead of the lesson or class. So what this is really about is some arbitrary, poorly defined and possibly irrelevant standard of yours. That is much clearer - at least in answering the question why a rational group of people might be resistant to it.

I didn't want him to quietly read a book at the back of the class to keep him content, I wanted him to use his brain and get stretched, challenged and tested by his educators.

Again this really isn't about him being able to do more challenging work when he is ahead. Reading quietly could easily accomplish this. I could easily give him a math text that would take him five years to finish. I could probably give you one too. The only thing you've added here is testing. Which sounds like you're reaching. You could just as easily give him work to do when he has spare time at school and then look at it when he gets home.

They were not capable of this as individuals or as an institution.

Not capable of what exactly? Designing a test for curriculum defined by you? So far you haven't told us exactly what you were asking for. So it hard to know if they are right and you are wrong. However we do know that your original objections were deceptive oversimplifications. I really have no idea what goes on in a head such as yours but from what you say I suspect this is more about you dealing with something than you attempting to meet your sons needs - or at least the ones you clearly stated. In your situation, adding curriculum to your son's education seems easily done both in school and without and likely more easily and efficiently than building a school from the ground up. Not to mention that you are teaching your child that it's other peoples responsibility to keep them stimulated and probably not giving very good lessons about conflict management or socialization.

Comment: Re:Home school (Score 1) 529

by sarkeizen (#46523847) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

The trouble with "peers" is that they are few and far between. My kid interacts too intellectually for a lot of kids, that's one of the problems with being at the edge of the bell curve, he starts wittering on about the latest crazy-assed thing he made his raspberry pi do and a lot of kids just look at him like he's got a tentacle growing out of his head.

Putting aside your ridiculous bigotry for a moment. Your child has an intense interest in something that he is impaired or incapable of bridging to other people his age and you think he doesn't have a social problem. What do you think communication IS?

He doesn't have any social hang-ups and he can get along with other kids OK,

But can't relate to them. Your words.

I've done a lot of research

Probably not.

healthy psychological development kids need

Did you ever ask yourself what overall problem space studies like these are concerned with? Mostly they are trying to find things that lead to impairment, and usually there are so many confounders in this kind of research that the impairment has to be pretty severe (i.e. increase RR of disease X). That's light years away from what you're trying to do which is about trying to make your child successful. A public school is a way of experiencing your environmental that you will simply not be able to emulate. There is simply too much data on gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status that they will be absorbing just from having to interact with them and resolve conflict with them. If your son is, by your own words impaired from relating a complex subject that he is knowledgeable about to a group of people who aren't. How do you expect him to lead at the C-level. Make presentations to C-level management, apply for research grants, be a doctor who can successfully explain outcomes to a patient or even just work with other non-specialized but intelligent people? Bigotry is not a very good solution to being socially impaired. Occasionally it succeeds - sometimes spectacularly (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates) but mostly people just tell you to fuck off.

Comment: Re:Homeschooling is at best a niche-performer. (Score 1) 529

by sarkeizen (#46518747) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

I don't suggest that homeschooling is right or even possible for a lot of families out there

Actually you said it's better for *MOST* people. Which if you read the literature seems clearly wrong. See right here...

Like lots of things in life if you want them doing well you're probably best doing them yourself. Homeschool for the win!

Perhaps you might re-think that...or perhaps in your next math lesson you can teach your son how you can extrapolate to most of your country's population through a single sample.

my only point is that home schooling was and is right for my kids because we have a "better product" to offer than the schools in our area.

Clearly it wasn't your "only point" but sometimes that's phrase people use to save face instead of simply saying "I was wrong" or "I didn't think this through". Most of the outcomes for schooling are somewhat long term i.e. learning to add isn't an end in itself it's a stepping stone to more complex operations and solving real-world problems. Unless you're expecting your child to do nothing more than make change when pumping gas then it's probably a little premature to call what you're doing "better". After all the only observable short-term metric you've mentioned here is conflict with exactly one teacher....and your solution was to create a new school. That's teaching all sorts of wrong lessons about conflict management just for starters.

In school, my child was actively excluded by his teacher for being too questioning and he was actively refused the extra work he requested having finished the work he was given. Additionally, he was scolded for finding other things for his active imagination to occupy itself with after his teacher had failed to provide him with something/anything to learn.

Your teacher wouldn't let your child read a book quietly after all required work was finished? If so, did you speak to the teacher about this and if that failed did you speak to the principal?

We don't pander to our kids whims, he has a rigorous regime of work that challenges him and makes him use his talents.

I simply point out that you are, in the vast majority of contexts teaching him that this is everyone but his job. Statistically he is far more likely than not to end up in a job which is going to have exactly the same problems you made sure he didn't have to solve. A job where they often value boring things over more interesting things. A job with a difficult administration or a difficult social situation. Often I've had to give smart, creative people boring work and occasionally futile and stupid tasks. The employees I've had have been gracious about this. However there are plenty of people who can't accept this and end up being unable to perform. You can tell yourself that you're "bored" or "creative" or anything really but the truth is that you are INCAPABLE and in this context no different than the ditch digger asked to do contour integration.

Comment: Homeschooling is at best a niche-performer. (Score 1) 529

by sarkeizen (#46508757) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child
I agree with you in a couple of places. For example I believe that we somehow have curriculum which allows someone who doesn't know how to write code get a degree in Computer Science. I've interviewed dozens of these people. I also believe that education is very often not succeeding at being interesting to a large number of students.

Where we part company most significantly is in two points:

a) Homeschooling is an answer with some general utility. If we assume your claims are accurate then you are a single earner family. Which means in my country (Canada) you immediately eliminate most families and likely most of them are the poorer ones. When you look at some of the attempts to assess the performance of Homeschooling you notice two things. i) It's not done very well, rudner(1999) for example constantly compares to a national average without normalizing and b) the objective differences are not very large. Rudner makes a big deal of comparing by decile but when you compare say his national average vs. his lowest income homeschoolers (as an attempt to normalize for socioeconomic factors) the difference in raw scores is about 10%. When you think how close that is to the spread of your data and keep in mind all we have done is normalizing for a single factor. It seems reasonable that homeschooling probably doesn't add much to a child's education in terms of objective test results.

b) The purpose of school, you or work is to perpetually keep your child interested (or challenge them). When your child is hired in a job it is because they can provide a service that other people are willing to pay for. While it is in a company's best interest to keep them from being so unhappy your child leaves and having them incur the cost of re-hiring. It's not their job to keep them challenged. That's actually the job of your child. If a student or employee can finish all their work before it needs to be done. Then they can work ahead or pursue other work. Homeschooling looks like a lot of work for minimal gain. I do what most involved parents do. Give our kids homework outside of school, evenings and weekends. Most of it is self-directed. I shift the curriculum around based on proficiency. As my daughter started to read several grades above her level, we started doing math. She's approaching the same level there and we will probably switch to sciences probably chemistry and computer programming. My wife handles French and Violin lessons.

Comment: Re:How hard can that possibly be? (Score 1) 663

by sarkeizen (#45332991) Attached to: A Math Test That's Rotten To the Common Core
Perhaps I can sum that up a bit...

I rather suspect that what we are seeing is a question which is designed to mimic how students are being taught. If so I doubt the presentation is really a significant issue. I'd be willing to change my mind if someone can demonstrate objectively that there's some general detriment to being taught this way. For example if you could show that someone taught to frame problems this way significantly limits or hinders them from grasping something else of obvious higher value.

An example of that might be that who seeing a six on a line drawing of a cup couldn't comprehend how it might not mean "6 cups" or "6 units of coffee". If that inability is due to their education then clearly it produced some limitations - doesn't sound like it's holding our engineer friend back in his work though. So at least he has that.

Now if this isn't a question very close to the way students were taught then again it might still be a useful diagnostic. I tend to think that, in the real world nothing looks like a textbook question and math doesn't need to be *applied* to a problem so much as mathematical problems need to be *extracted* from situations. Often that involves being creative. Chaitin often refers to math as being as much art as science. I tend to agree. Steven Levitt isn't well-known because he was a human calculator. Levitt is well-known because he was able to extract mathematically solvable problems from the real world and derive some interesting and counter-intuitive results.

So my standard, at least for now is that math needs to be taught in ways that help people to recognize opportunities to use it. If your math fails to do that, such as making you incapable to recognize a simple subtraction problem. Blame the question all you want, I'd still say that this is a sign that there's a significant gap in your ability to use your math.

...and what is something that can't be used except "useless"?

Then again perhaps in some part of the world people like our engineer are rewarded not for solving problems but for whining and complaining that the world presents it's data in a way that is significantly different from the way they were taught in school.

Comment: Re:How hard can that possibly be? (Score 1) 663

by sarkeizen (#45325311) Attached to: A Math Test That's Rotten To the Common Core

I found the question quite confusing and laughably complicated.

Remind me again why that is necessarily anyone's problem but yours? Better yet just pontificate and call people who don't agree idiots...oh wait...

it was a poorly written question, and did not test kids on their subtraction knowledge.

This is more a pontification than an actual argument. Sometimes we call this an argument from implied anonymous authority. Also if a question is not a test of an educational outcome then it should be answerable without that knowledge. Are you saying that someone with no concept of subtraction (which seems unlikely) would be likely to answer this question correctly? So I'm thinking you need to do some more thinking. :)

you're confusing being educated on mathematical concepts and being educated on how to answer test questions.

In a lot of cases that's a distinction without a difference.

I said that someone coached to approach a problem in a certain way will more readily answer a question posed in that way. In my grade eight class we were being taught to solve simple systems of linear equations by substitution and/or "subtraction". Someone schooled to approach them as a matrix would probably solve the same problem less quickly and someone who's only exposure to solving systems of linear equations was with Cramers rule (this would be unlikely, but at least theoretically possible) would not have been able to solve any of them.

The grade eight student is being educated on how to answer the test questions they will be given on a test. Likewise a 1st year LA student is being educated in how to answer the questions they will be given on a test. Both are being fed from a very specific pool of representations of the problem space.

I think my example of calculus was even more clear. Why should it matter what the variable is? It's just a placeholder. However clearly, people are coached to, at least on a test look at the Greek letter theta as a measure of an angle and that made it hard for them to answer the question correctly. So was this a good question? If all you want to know is if they can replicate what's in the textbook - then probably not. However, personally I don't think that's what I'd like to see in math education.

from the descriptions it sounds like the classroom education is tricks for taking the test,

As I illustrate above an awful lot of math education is exactly that and I suspect it would be a bad idea to remove it on that principle alone.

Considering that the problem wasn't hard for me or my daughter - In a couple of weeks I'll be hanging out with a large group of friends, all with university math of some sort. I wonder what they would say. I really doubt that this is nearly the deal you are making it out to be. Perhaps you're just sore that you missed it and need to artificially inflate the complexity of the problem in order to avoid dissonance? Because the problem can't possibly be with you. Right?

the only way my math education "failed me" is it did not prepare me to take stupid tests mandated by the federal government.

And somehow mine didn't fail me like yours did. I wonder why?

and yet I can still get by as an engineer!

*sigh* Yes, I figured you were an engineer. Both the sheer number of engineers and the impairment that often comes from studying a tiny part of an enormous field were indications of that.

it's amazing those cars don't fall apart while driving on the freeway.

If there's even a hint of seriousness in that then your problems extend all the way down to first-order logic.

Comment: Re:How hard can that possibly be? (Score 1) 663

by sarkeizen (#45322609) Attached to: A Math Test That's Rotten To the Common Core

This is the exact point! We should be teaching children to do subtraction, not to respond to tortuous question formats!'re being obtuse. What I stated was

a) The question was both obvious for myself and someone of the targeted age group. How exactly is something both objectively obvious and tortuous?

b) That people educated in a particular way will respond to a question posed in that way more readily than those who weren't. That doesn't necessitate that the question being posed in a *generally difficult* way. Someone in a particular context will attempt to solve a system of linear equations by using Cramer's rule. Another context might simply attempt to reduce the matrix. Which approach is the most feasible on a test depends on the context. A very large matrix might be more easily solved using Cramer's which would of course be useless for a non-square matrix.

the simplest question type should be used!

What does "simplest" mean? Students get the question right more frequently? My vector calc prof told me a story about how he once produced an exam using their bank of questions but on just one question they changed all the variables from "x" to "theta" - the average performance on that question dropped significantly when compared with prior years and the rest of the exam. Did these people "understand the concept" or not? Clearly there are questions that the same body of people would have likely performed better on but clearly they didn't really understand that the greek letter theta doesn't actually have any magical properties. Which prompts us to ask the question: "What is the learning outcome we are testing?" Is it the ability to regurgitate the chain rule or the ability to solve a problem even if it doesn't look exactly like a textbook question? The answer to that really has to do with what you think education is actually *for*. While I think there are times and places for questions that essentially spoon-feed you the answer and can be performed by someone who doesn't really understand what they are doing. To me, anyway the actual outcome you are trying to achieve is the ability to do math even when something doesn't look like a textbook problem. In which case, I'd argue that your "never anything but the simpilest question type" rule achieves the opposite.

regardless of how you feel about equating pennies to teacups.

Actually, I think you give a good example here of how your math education failed you.

Comment: Re:How hard can that possibly be? (Score 1) 663

by sarkeizen (#45322209) Attached to: A Math Test That's Rotten To the Common Core

How can you subtract 5 pennies from a cup of 6 units of coffee? You can't, and that kind of check will be important in a few years once they move onto using that maths for real-world calculations where dimensional consistency is important.

Nothing like an engineer to exemplify how poor math education is. Yes, units are exceptionally important. I'd argue that even more important is being able to correctly extract information (like say units) from some arbitrary situation. Sort of what you just failed to do....

Comment: Re:How hard can that possibly be? (Score 1) 663

by sarkeizen (#45320405) Attached to: A Math Test That's Rotten To the Common Core

did you even look at the test question? theres a link in the summary. on the left you have five pennies, and on the right you have a teacup marked with the number six. the teacup is apparently full of liquid. tea, perhaps? you know that this is a puzzle, and you need to decipher it for some clue. has the riddler been here? where's batman!

Apparently I looked more closely than you did. Five pennies yes, and a cup (looks more like a measuring cup to me) with "6" on it. Beneath the pennies are the words "part I know" and under the cup is the word "whole".

It was obvious to me, and my daughter that the cup contains/represents the "whole" amount which is six but what I can see is five pennies. What we are being asked for is what is missing? What is missing from 5 to make 6? Really not *that* hard.

This is probably even more obvious to a child which has been trained using these specific terms.

i'm not gonna argue about the importance of solving word problems as a skill. all of life is word problems!

I'm not talking about word problems. In fact I'd argue that all of life is the opposite of word problems. Life is filled with data you need to figure out how to structure it into something you can manipulate.

For large values of one, one equals two, for small values of two.