Timed Tests and the Development of Math Anxiety

Reflections of a Second-career Math Teacher

Prof. Jo Boaler is absolutely correct in her recent Ed Week article titled “Timed Tests and the Development of Math Anxiety” in stating “… the schools in the United States [are] heading down a fast-moving track in which the purpose of math has been reduced to the ranking of children and their schools. Math has become a performance subject.” As a parent of two boys, I can attest to the undue emphasis on speed, ranking, and “right answers” in recent primary school mathematic’s pedagogy and curricula with its deleterious influence on children’s perceptions of mathematics. In fact, I blogged about this just yesterday.

Furthermore, Prof. Boaler’s concern about the Common Core exacerbating math anxiety is right on target. In fact, she is too kind when she says “Many test writers, teachers, and administrators erroneously equate fluency with timed testing.” It is no error on their part when they…

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About Dave aka Mr. Math Teacher

Secondary math teacher teaching math intervention, algebra 1, honors precalculus, and AP Calculus AB. I spent 25 years in high tech in engineering, marketing, sales and business development roles in the satellite communications, GPS, semiconductor, and wireless industries. I am awed by the potential in our nation's youth and I hope to instill in them the passion to improve our world at local, state, national, and global levels.
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