Another image of a child’s Common Core test has people on the Internet arguing over standardized testing once again. This time, a question on a child’s math test was marked incorrect, for no apparent reason.
Since the image of the test was uploaded to Imgur, it has ignited debate between those who side with the student and people who believe that the teacher’s red pen mark of “-1” was somehow appropriate. The test question under scrutiny asks: use repeated addition to solve “5 X 3.” The student then wrote out 5+5+5=15.
The argument is that the order the numbers were asked for in is not correct, the “technically correct” answer to this test question is “5 groups of 3.”, otherwise: 3+3+3+3+3=15 as opposed to 5+5+5=15. But anyone who made it through third grade understands that 3 X 5 and 5 X 3 are two ways of saying tomatoes. You get 15 either was – but apparently these tests want students to understand that there is only one answer to every problem, only one “right” way to do something… Which, of course, is utter nonsense. That is the kind of thinking that stifles creativity and builds barriers.
Comments about the image of the test question have rolled in from people on both sides of the argument. One commenter claimed that, as an instructor, they do not care how a student arrives at an answer, and they are happy to see students finding alternative ways to solve problems. Another commenter found the teacher to be correct because 5 X 3 means 5 times the number 3. Personally, I think it is splitting hairs. If a kid can think of a way to solve a problem that I myself hadn’t thought of, I’d give them a gold f**king star.