Taking the ACT a quarter century after high school – Scott McLeod

Interesting read.

My biggest concerns about the math test relate to the fact that much of what is assessed is math that – and I think I’m safe saying this – most of us will never use again (how many of you have needed to calculate the cosine of an angle recently? how many of you have needed to determine the formula of a circle on a standard coordinate plane?).

It just bothers me a great deal that we’re herding many, many students through math classes that are largely irrelevant to their future life success (most high school students don’t get much probability and statistics, for example, even though that’s what I think they’ll need most often beyond foundational numeracy).

Analogy: How many touchdowns did Herschel Walker score in the NFL for his 3,500 situps and 1,000 pushups a day workout routine?

2 thoughts on “Taking the ACT a quarter century after high school – Scott McLeod

  1. Thanks, Dan, for link to article. So true how the thick-carpet people can mandate these tests that they themselves don’t dare to take. So kudos to Mr. McLeod for doing so. I was taking some practice SAT exams online just because my two kids were prepping for them a couple months ago, I tell ya, they weren’t fun.

  2. I can tell you that I ‘occasionally’ use the trig functions in my daily routine, however much less than when I was in college or high school. In addition, statistics and probability is used everyday. I will say that taking Accounting in college was kind of a waste. I really enjoyed my accounting prof, and she was brilliant, but her time didn’t need to be consumed with entry level accounting. Why aren’t we teaching accounting, home-economics, shop, basic agriculture, and some computer skills. My computer skills gained in high-school and college were largely due to my personal interest in the subject and my use of the computer for other classes.

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