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## Thursday, March 31, 2016

### Doesn't memory matter anymore? (Revisited)

Here are two images from PARCC's math reference sheets. (F you do not know what PARCC is, find out. Everyone should know). Look at them closely, and tell me what you notice.

Did you get it? The thing that stands out?
Look for "1 mile = 5280 feet".

It is in both. It also happens to be in all the PARCC reference sheets for grades 6, 7, and 8 as well.

For some reason PARCC expects students every year to use this information. Heck, they think it is important enough to put it on a reference sheet.

Evidently what they do not expect is students to remember that 1 mile is 5280 feet.
Ditto for for  "1 quart = 2 pints", "1 pound = 16 ounces", "1 ton = 200 pounds", and others as well.

Take note. All is not lost!
They have left out "1 yard = 3 feet".

My guess is that with its emphasis on problem solving and the availability of calculators, PARCC presumes that a student can figure that out by dividing 5280 by 1760.

I think back to my years in school, before calculators, when answering the question "What is 5280 divided by 1760?" correctly showed an ability to do something.

Those who belittle that ability, please take out a piece of paper and a writing utensil, and without using any electronic devices, divide 34785 by 4638.

For more thoughts on this topic, please visit this.