The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Sports fans cry foul on math question
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The state's test writers tried to come up with a math question about football and ended up with a fumble.
On an end-of-grade test this month, seventh-graders had to calculate the average gain for a team on the game's first six plays. But the team did not gain 10 yards on the first four plays and would have lost possession before a fifth and sixth play.
The team opened with a 6-yard loss, a 3-yard gain and a 2-yard loss, which would have made it fourth down with 15 yards to go for a first down. The team's fourth play was just a 7-yard gain, yet it maintained possession for a 12-yard gain and a 4-yard gain on two additional plays.
"Whoever wrote it didn't think it through," said Gene Daniels, athletics director of Salem Middle School in Apex.
Mildred Bazemore, chief of the state Department of Public Instruction's test development section, said the question makes sense mathematically and was reviewed thoroughly.
"It has nothing to do with football," Bazemore said. "It has to do with the mathematical concepts that you're studying."
Damn those test writers!