I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. Good heads up. Now I hope we haven’t have overheads made from last year’s prep materials yet. And how funny does it strike you that these materials are only released in February? Shouldn’t this material come out in August? If it’s really that important, shouldn’t the state be encouraging teachers to use the latest and greatest at the beginning of the school year?

    I don’t know about math, but it bugs me that in English we get about two more reading pieces added each year (though this year we have 3 new reading pieces for the juniors, a nice change). Other than that, it’s the same packet as last year. And for about 2 years, it was the exact same packet with no additions at all. Is the same true for math or are you getting brand new items each time? How many of the items are new?

    That strikes me as incredibly lazy and perhaps even ignorant of CDE: even though the previous year’s test prep material obviously didn’t have the impact we wanted (as evidenced by all the reports on how horrible CA public education is), we’re still going to give teachers the same material we did before.

    If what you did last year didn’t work, don’t rehash it. Pull out what did work and throw the rest away. If we still aren’t doing well on the CSTs, the old test prep material obviously ain’t workin’. Give us better materials, different questions, other options. It should be a brand new packet each year. The same applies for SAT, ACT, MSAT, GRE, CBEST, and any other acronymed test you can think of.

  2. The Geometry test appears to have been heavily revamped. Mr. C has a good run-down at his blog that’ll be tedious to anyone not in the thick of math education. I appreciated his analysis but I’m less enthused, mostly for the reason you cite that, c’mon, is this the earliest we coulda got this?

    I’ve been building instruction along a certain line of questioning for a lot of concepts over a year only to have them now alter the assessment — occasionally drastically, occasionally conspiring two separate standards together in ways that seem artificial and forced. Kind of a letdown, in all.