" Sue and John have marbles in the ratio of 2:3. Together, they have 35 marbles. How many marbles do each one have ?"
The above statement was used in a PowerPoint slide by representatives on the New York State Education Department in a presentation at the annual conference of the Association of Mathematics Teachers of New York State in Buffalo earlier this month.
It makes me cringe.
Many would look at it as just a careless mistake. That bothers me. I find a hard time accepting errors that could have and should have been caught. At any rate, does that imply that there are errors that are "careful"?
I would expect that NYSED would hold itself to a higher standard than to leave items like this uncorrected. I would also point out that the statement is in a 6th grade example, whereas subject-verb agreement is a 3rd grade item in the Common Core (see this)
The above paragraph is a written answer to a question submitted to NYSED prior to the AMTNYS conference. The red is mine. I bring emphasis to the fact that the performance standards are set after a test rather than before. This helps perpetuate the impression among in-service teachers that they are dealing with a moving and vague target. I would also point out the identical response to two different questions. It reminds me of the "name, rank, serial number" reply soldiers gave: acknowledge a question but contribute little in the form of an information.