Kentucky high schools to start math exams

Kentucky high schools may soon be able to compare their math scores with other states. Kentucky is teaming up with other states to develop a test that would be the same for all of them.

"It would be a really good tool for teachers to see what they've learned at the end of the year and also kind of give us a baseline, an idea for students who transferred in to see where they stood," said Christy Metzger, a math teacher at Barren County High School.

This type of exam would help the states compare which teaching methods work best for specific topics.

"If a school in Indiana, or Ohio or wherever it might be has some ideas that can help we want to look to them, and by the same token I think they want to look to us," said Benny Lile, with Barren County Schools.

Those with the Barren County School District said math was chosen because it's an objective topic.

"X to the Y squared is the same in Kentucky as it is in any other state, so it should be easier to put a measure on that," Lile said.

"At the end of the year you'd have something to go back and look at, and if you saw some general trends in the data (you'd know) where you'd have to work a little bit more or things you've done well," Metzger said.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education said the legislature eventually wants this exam to be for Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry. She said the process could eventually work for other subjects as well.

A trial run, called a field test, will be given in October 2007. If all goes well, the actual test could be given in May or June 2008.

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