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Monday, April 27, 2009

Music to Pat Powers' Ears: Jerstad Can't Do Math

KELO has some fun administering the math portion of Minnesota's GRAD test to some locals. I have some fun putting on my Pat Powers costume and fingering the mainstream media's clear liberal bias: while KELO announces the exact scores of Lincoln HS math and physics teacher Dan Conrad (perfect!), Lincoln HS junior Matt Olson (one wrong! wunderkind!), and KELO meteorologist Scot Mundt (11 wrong, but still passing—and probably done while extrapolating five different precip models), it withholds the scores of artist Terri Schuver and Democratic State Senator Sandy Jerstad. KELO notes only that Schuver and Jerstad didn't complete the test.

Come on, KELO: don't shield a public official from scrutiny! Post the numbers!

Political kidding aside, Minnesota is requiring all of its high school juniors to pass this test to graduate. That two adult professionals, including Jerstad, a retired college professor, cannot complete the math portion suggests that such tests are a silly way to measure how prepared high school students are for real-world work and problem solving.


  1. Sandy didn't help herself too much by saying that it was asking too much for kids to pass the test. I'm not saying I'd do any better than Sandy (There's not much math to being a lawyer except for figuring a 1/3 contingent fee) but I'm also not 35 years away from my last algebra class either.

  2. Actually, I am 35 years away from my last algebra class. Apparently I flunked English too. ;)

  3. There is much in the story that misinforms the public about the purpose and method of testing. Where the curriculum may require students to have only algebra for high school graduation, what would be the purpose of questions involving calculus? Probably the test is geared to proficiency levels, and if so, what is the passing score and how is it derived? In this case, where only a sample test was used, who determined what was passing? The real message that has come out of this story is a warning to public officials that any efforts to participate in public exercises of information will be used against them. The jackal packs are swarming.


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