By Susan Ohanian

Posted: 2003-02-11

Read it and weep.

Then promise:

Hell, no.

We won't take this any more.

Here is a sample from an online test prep site, designed to help Florida seniors pass the FCAT and receive a high school diploma. This site is free to students. The site, in all its offal, represents the dilemma faced by teachers nationwide: Do you try, by whatever means possible, to help students pass high-stakes tests? Or do you stand by your moral principles and refuse to participate?

As MassRefusal points out http://www.massrefusal.org the best moral principle is to join with other teachers in your building and refuse to give the tests. Shut down the tests, building by building.

How can we continue to teach our children of the glory of participating in the Boston Tea Party?and at the same time hand out tests that harm children? The Boston Tea Party was about taxes. High-stakes testing is about *children.*

How can teachers continue to keep their silence?

Is Patrick Henry?s ?Give me liberty or give me death!? still in the curriculum?

Question 1: How many Florida politicians and their big business executives who are pushing this test down the throats of Florida citizenry could answer these items?

Question 2: What have you got when you?ve found a kid who can answer these items?

Question 3: What?s the real agenda here?*

**FCAT Math Vocabulary Test Prep
Directions: Match the definition with the term. **

1. a numbers distance from zero on a number line

2. a line segment from any point on the circle passing through the center to another point on the circle

3. the numbers in the set {. . . , -4,-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3,4, . . . }

4. the location of a single point on a rectangular coordinate system where the digits represent the position relative to the x-axis and y axis

5. a real number that cannot be expressed as a ration of two numbers

6. the inside region of a two- dimensional figure measured in square units

7. the same number expressed in different forms

8. a number or expression that divides exactly another number

9. a special-case ration in which the second term is always 100.

10. a line on which numbers can be written or visualized

11. the quotient of two numbers used to compare two quantities

12. any symbol that could represent a number

13. the numbers in the set {0,1,2,3,4,. . .}

14. a mathematical sentence in which two expressions are connected by an equality symbol

15. an expression containing numbers and variables and operations that involve numbers and variables

16. the number of times the base occurs as a factor

17. the perimeter of a circle

18. the symbol designating the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, represented as either 3.14 or 22/7

19. an algebraic equation in which the variable quantity or quantities are in the first power only and the graph is a straight line

20. an action that cancels a previously applied action

21. an expression that has a root

22. a real number that can be expressed as a ration of two integers

23. any mathematical process, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponents or square roots

24. all rational and irrational numbers

25. a line segment extending from the center of a circle or sphere to a point on the circle or sphere

WORD BANK

A. absolute value

B. algebraic equation

C. algebraic expression

D. algebraic order of operations

E. area

F. circumference

G. diameter

H. exponent

I. factor

J. integers

K. inverse operation

L. irrational numbers

M. linear equation

N. number line

O. operation

P. ordered pair

Q. percent

R. pi (p)

S. radical

T. radius

U. ratio

V. rational numbers

W. real numbers

X. variable

Y. whole numbers

Z. equivalent forms of a number

*To answer that question, try reading *What Happened to Recess and Why are Our Children Struggling in Kindergarten?*, a book named one of ?best of the year? by the *American School Board Journal*. See ?books? on this site.

More Commentaries