Could you answer a Common Core test question?

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Common Core, the new state standards educational initiative, can be difficult for most of the people who have never seen it before. News 4 wanted to see how well western New York residents would do answering some Common Core questions so we invited 10 people to visit our WIVB-TV mobile classroom to answer some match questions. Most were able to solve those questions.

“I know it this way because this is how I was taught,” said Amanda Molina, who is a research intern. “This is how I memorized how to do it.”

She also said the question reminded her of another test, “It reminded me a lot of SAT questions and stuff like that. It wasn’t a good association.”

What we found is, though our test subjects were able to get the answer correct, it wouldn’t count for the full Common Core credit.

“I guess if you’re trying to teach math concepts it makes sense, but if the goal is to get the answer right it really shouldn’t matter how you get it,” said Molina.

The problem is when kids come home from school and need help on their homework, parents can’t help because they don’t know how Common Core works. Arlene Walker is one of those parents.

“It’s going to be difficult for us parents to help the students because we don’t know it,” she said.

The test results released Thursday show improvement in New York state overall. Locally in Buffalo the percentage of students scoring at a proficient level in math improved from 11.4 percent last year to 13.1 in 2014. The percentage of students scoring at a proficient level in English Language Arts (ELA) also improved, although slightly less, from 12.1 percent last year to 12.2 in 2014.

Kids are seeing questions that are real-world based, and that makes sense to some of our test subjects, like Terrence Daniels.

“Honestly, word problems are the best thing to make it more realistic,” said Daniels. “Back in the day we would just get hit with straight numbers. I think it’s great they want to make it more word-based.”

Seventy percent of those who stopped by the WIVB-TV mobile classroom were able to pass the test question. As for the real results of the Common Core, statewide, the percentage of students scoring at the proficient level and above in math rose from 31.2 to 35.8 across all grades combined. ELA results made slight progress.

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