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NC EMPT Project Summary 2008 2009 Change is often a very good thing. NC EMPT services to high schools were unexpectedly interrupted during the early fall of 2008, and the September invitations to participate to all public and non public high schools were abruptly halted. After an exhausting battle with the organization that has supplied our placement testing questions for the past twelve years, we decided to move on. So we dug in our heels, carefully researched the current math placement tests given at NC community colleges and UNC institutions, listened to suggestions for improvement made by participating teachers, consulted with EMPT programs in other states, and then offered a new and improved “ practice” math placement exam during the spring of 2009. As a facsimile of actual college math placement exams, the new test is more comprehensive and now includes diverse questions from Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. We expanded and updated the choices students have when indicating their future college major, and the individualized information we provide about the required math courses for these majors is even more helpful. Our new logo design as seen above represents two things: a positive move towards helping better prepare high school students for the 21st century, and our efforts to provide the best reality check of readiness for collegelevel mathematics. Incredibly, there is still no cost to participating students or high schools for our timely and eye opening services. For the past thirteen years, NC EMPT strongly continues as an early intervention program sponsored by the State of North Carolina. Two pages of informative NC EMPT Quick Stats follow. Despite the turbulent circumstances during the fall of 2008, loyal high school teachers quickly came aboard during the second semester. Dr. Robert Bernhardt, director, and Ellen Hilgoe, associate director, remained steadfastly at the helm. In all, nearly 24,000 students participated within just five short months. This represents more than half of the number who participated the previous year. Most reassuringly, the number of teachers participating this year was 617 which represents only a 29% decline from the previous year. Despite the unfortunate missed opportunity to offer the testing service during the fall, our quick spring rebound still qualified the program to remain the largest early math placement testing program in the nation! Paper and pencil still remains the most convenient and popular of our avenues of testing. In 2008 2009, 88% of participating schools utilized this method of testing. In its third year of promotion and availability, Web based testing was embraced by only 29 high schools. Explanations for the choices of testing avenues made by teachers can be found in the “ Evaluation of the 2008 2009 Year” beginning on p. 51. Ohio EMPT, the longest running early math placement testing program in the nation, has also noted the preference by high school math teachers for paper and pencil testing. According to Dr. Ed Laughbaum, director of Ohio EMPT, only 10 12% of their participating students used Web based testing last year. The NC EMPT Program remains a windfall for students hoping and planning to further their education by attending a college or university. It offers a wealth of current resources to help students avoid the costly pitfalls of math remediation at the college level. Representatives from the mathematics departments of University of North Carolina ( UNC) institutions and North Carolina community colleges are members of the advisory board. Representatives from the NC Department of Public Instruction and the UNC General Administration are also included. The board meets annually to update the NC EMPT test and to ensure that it remains a facsimile of the math placement tests given on their own campuses ( see pp. 6 7). In addition, students receive individualized results with eye opening advice about their current mathematical strengths and weaknesses, beginning required math courses for their chosen college major, and the actual math placement testing procedure used at the NC community college or UNC institution of their choice ( see pp. 17 20). High school teachers and administrators are kept abreast of the latest news and updates regarding mathematics at the NC Department of Public Instruction and the UNC General Administration. The NC EMPT Web site: www. ncempt. org provides students, parents, teachers, and administrators with up to date information related to college mathematics placement testing. Articulation continues to be a major staff effort as the NC EMPT Program strives to improve communication at all levels of education and help bridge the divide between high school and college level mathematics. Make a Successful Leap from High School to College level Mathematics! 60 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $ 508.94, or $ 8.48 per copy. Dr. Robert Bernhardt, Director Ellen Hilgoe, Associate Director Ph: 252‐ 328‐ 6418 Fax: 252‐ 328‐ 2166 E‐ mail: ncempt@ ncempt. org Web site: www. ncempt. org S tudents Pa r tic ipa t ing in N C EMPT 3 3,83 3 3 8,26 1 38 ,82 1 3 3,54 9 4 6,41 8 43,0 63 23 ,476 2 7,4 56 41 ,520 43 ,71 4 4 7,92 5 27 ,03 0 8 ,1 95 0 10 ,0 0 0 20 ,0 0 0 30 ,0 0 0 40 ,0 0 0 50 ,0 0 0 60 ,0 0 0 1996 97 1997 98 1998 99 1999 00 2000 01 2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07 2007 08 2008 09 Number of Students Update: August 2009 What is NC EMPT? The NC Early Math Placement Testing Program provides high school students with a non‐ threatening, eye‐ opening, reality check of their readiness for college‐ level mathematics… and it is a FREE service to high schools and students! High Schools Participating in NC EMPT 243 243 285 287 288 189 251 66 205 302 303 292 293 0 100 200 300 400 500 1996 97 1997 98 1998 99 1999 00 2000 01 2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07 2007 08 2008 09 Number of Schools High School Math Teachers Participating in NC EMPT during 2008‐ 09: 617 FAST FEEDBACK! Average turnaround time for the return of test results to 23,476 students last year was 2.4 days!! * Note that testing during 2008‐ 2009 occurred only during the second half of the school year. Grade Level of Participating Students, 2008‐ 2009 36% seniors 37% juniors 20% sophomores 4% freshmen 3% did not respond NC EMPT has been continuously directed by faculty and staff at East Carolina University since the program’s inception. Registration and participation in NC EMPT is free of charge to all public and non public high schools. Register now at: http:// www. ncempt. org for the 2009 2010 year NC EMPT Participation S T R E T C H E S Across ALL of North Carolina! Reasons why high school students and their parents like taking the NC EMPT test It is a reality check of the current readiness for college level mathematics. It helps students understand what skills must be improved so the appropriate degree counting math course can be taken ��� and passed in college. It provides eye opening information about the actual math placement procedure and required math course( s) for the major and institution of their choice. Reasons why high school math teachers and administrators like NC EMPT It is excellent preparation for college bound students. It is a non threatening, up to date, “ practice” math placement test with all materials provided FREE, easy administration, and immediate feedback. Current information about expectations and requirements in mathematics curriculum for fifty eight community colleges and fifteen UNC institutions. EYE OPENING information that benefits everyone! Note: NC EMPT results are quickly returned to students and teachers ONLY! Results will NOT be shared or compared! A Survey of 2008 2009 Participating Teachers found. . . 83% strongly agreed or agreed that their students found their NC EMPT experience helpful and useful for future college plans. 89% strongly agreed or agreed that their students were attentive and tested with a serious attitude. 93% strongly agreed or agreed that the NC EMPT Program accomplished its goal of providing participating high school students with a “ reality check” of their readiness for college level mathematics. 96% strongly agreed or agreed that overall the NC EMPT Program provides a valuable service to high school students and teachers. 97% strongly agreed or agreed that the NC EMPT Office promptly returned hard copies of test score summaries to teachers and individualized results letters to students. WHO should take the valuable practice math placement test offered by NC EMPT? High school students enrolled in: Algebra II Integrated Math �� III Advanced Functions and Modeling Pre Calculus Discrete Math Statistics and other upper level math courses. Each pushpin in the state map above represents a participating high school during 2008 2009. Did you know that the NC EMPT Web site has a wealth of information about math placement testing at colleges and universities statewide?! CHECK IT OUT: www. ncempt. org I. From the Director Dr. Robert Bernhardt, October 2009 Last year was fraught with difficulties. Our long association with the mathematics placement testing program of the Mathematical Association of America was terminated, and could not be restarted in time for us to offer testing in the fall of 2008. We were able to obtain strong support from EMPT programs in Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Ohio in obtaining a new test. We settled on the Ohio EMPT test, and we were able to restart our testing program in the spring of 2009. Thus the sharp decline in the numbers of high school students testing with us in 2008 2009, as opposed to the years previous to this one. Some very good things have come from this change, I think. While the new test is harder than the old test, and contains a greater diversity of problems, most comments from secondary teachers have been positive. In addition, Ohio EMPT has data that indicates that the mathematics placement tests used in Ohio place students more accurately than many commercial placement tests, such as ACT and Accuplacer. And the Ohio EMPT test is built on these placement tests. Validity measures of this type are very nice to see. However, our problems are not over. We are now having difficulty with the online Web based version of the test. Until we can resolve this issue, we are forced to fall back on using paper and pencil testing only. The good news is that this will not affect most of the teachers and students participating in our program, since only 12% of the students who test with us use online testing. The bad news is that online testing is probably the wave of the future. Thus we need to resolve this problem, and we will be working to do this in the coming months. 1 2 II. From the Associate Director Ellen Hilgoe, August 2009 The difficult budget crisis throughout the nation during the spring semester tightened belts statewide, and prohibited the summer promotional travel I heavily rely on. It is especially important for me to advocate in person the services NC EMPT provides to high school teachers across the state, particularly teachers new to the field of high school mathematics. I am inspired by the legions of math teachers who support NC EMPT year after year and I trust they will help “ spread the word” to all math faculty on their high school campuses and in their school systems. Their understanding and loyalty amazed me as they quickly came aboard again in the spring, even after our fall hiatus from testing. We are very thankful that our efforts to provide early intervention in the critical area of college math placement are recognized. We continue to be sponsored by the State of North Carolina and will soon begin our fourteenth year of service. We are also appreciative of the continued support of East Carolina University, particularly that of Dr. Linner Griffin, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs. A third obstacle faced during the year included difficulties in our newly offered avenue of Web based testing. Despite three years of promotional efforts and the important experience of online testing for students, the vast majority of high school teachers prefer paper and pencil testing. In addition, the company that has provided the platform for this testing has also decided that they can no longer I must admit that during the tumultuous 2008 2009 testing year, I often found myself “ hanging on” as waves of change crashed overhead when least expected. The inability to offer early math placement testing during the fall semester was very disheartening, especially knowing that many high school students follow a block schedule and thus missed the NC EMPT opportunity if they took their only 2008 2009 math course during the fall semester. One very positive result, however, was a much improved spring test version with more comprehensive and individualized college information provided to students. 3 provide the same level of service. With the generous help of other EMPT programs nationwide, namely Ohio EMPT and Wisconsin EMPT, we’ll carefully study their successful online testing methods, listen to the feedback from high school teachers and college faculty, and plan to offer a more efficient model soon. The challenges the program faced could not have been met without the tremendous support of our small staff. Our student workers are some of the best I’ve ever had, and they never wavered in their willingness to work hard and get the job done. I also appreciate the longevity and invaluable knowledge of the director, Dr. Robert Bernhardt, and long time consultants David Hodges, Brian Manning, and Robert Elliott. I am surrounded by very helpful people who strongly believe in NC EMPT and keep me afloat. A heartfelt THANK YOU to all! Christmas 2008 Luncheon ( left to right): Cayleigh Blackwell, student worker; Chelsea Anderson, student worker; Dr. Robert Bernhardt, director; Ellen Hilgoe, associate director; Carla Watson, student worker. Easter Party in the NC EMPT Workroom: ( left to right): Cayleigh Blackwell, student worker; Jaleesa Minor, student worker; Ellen Hilgoe, associate director; Bob Longest, student worker; and Mike Kapetanakis, student worker. ( left) Robert Elliott, technology consultant; ( right) David Hodges, database consultant; and ( below) Brian Manning, web site consultant 4 III. Introduction The NC EMPT Program hopes to raise awareness of the importance of mathematics, and strives to give future incoming college freshmen an early warning of the mathematics skills necessary for successful placement in collegelevel mathematics. By offering this non threatening advice with opportune timing, that is, while students are still in high school and can maneuver to correct weaknesses, NC EMPT hopes to motivate students to remain strong in mathematics and avoid the expensive pitfalls caused by lack of retention or lack of knowledge of the skills needed for success at the college level. The 2008 2009 placement test questions are based on objectives in the areas of number and operation, algebra, and geometry. The questions were a result of a thorough study of current math placement tests used at NC community colleges and UNC institutions. Understanding the Basics of an EMPT Program Early Mathematics Placement Testing concisely describes a valuable intervention service provided to high school students in programs across the nation. The test allows students to experience a facsimile of an actual mathematics placement exam well before the first semester in college. Thus students, teachers, and parents become more aware of expectations, and therefore more able to react positively in a timely fashion. Student results letters are individualized, offer a wealth of information about mathematical readiness, and provide a “ reality check” of a student’s current mastery of mathematics skills. Some EMPT programs in the United States target high school juniors, in the hope that reinforcement of mathematics skills or corrective action can be taken in the senior year. The North Carolina program offers “ practice” placement testing to students close to competing Algebra II and to students in upper level math courses. This may include sophomores, juniors, or seniors. A new version of the NC EMPT test is created each year, and teachers are encouraged to test students near the end of their Algebra II term and during each subsequent math course. Reinforcement and retention of algebra skills is critical because university mathematics placement tests consist primarily of algebra questions. For a closer Avoid Rusty Math Skills! Link Successfully to College Level Mathematics! 5 look at the North Carolina EMPT Program, please read the documents found in Appendix A. Historically, a variety of EMPT programs have been offered, or are currently being considered, in at least twenty nine states across the nation since the 1980s. Unfortunately, many of these have ceased to exist due to several factors including competition from existing mandated testing and funding problems. Currently, strong programs exist in Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. Organization of the NC EMPT Program East Carolina University ( ECU) operated a four year pilot early math placement testing program from fall 1992 to spring 1996. Sixteen area high schools were involved, and ECU sponsored the pilot. As chair of the ECU Mathematics Department, Dr. Robert Bernhardt directed the program with the help of Dr. Sunday Ajose, and secretarial help was provided by the mathematics department staff. Funding for NC EMPT originated in the NC General Assembly in fall 1996 and was permanently transferred to ECU in fall 1996. A full time program manager and office assistant were added to the staff. The program reached out to all public and non pubic high schools statewide in 1997 1998. Participation numbers increased to an annual high of 47,925 high school students. NC EMPT has been continuously directed by faculty and staff at ECU since the program’s inception. NC EMPT has also been very fortunate to be overseen by a diverse and talented advisory board. Representatives from UNC institutions, NC community colleges, and the NC Department of Public Instruction are included. The members meet annually each October and correspond often via phone, e mail, and postal mail throughout the year. The following list includes the members of the 2008 09 Advisory Board: Appalachian State Univ. William Bauldry Dept. of Mathematical Sciences Dept. of Public Instruction Everly Broadway Chief, Middle/ Secondary Section, Mathematics Education Division Dept. of Public Instruction Carmella Fair Secondary Mathematics Consultant Dept. of Public Instruction Johannah Maynor Secondary Mathematics Consultant East Carolina University Robert Bernhardt NC EMPT Director and Dept. of Mathematics East Carolina University Ellen Hilgoe NC EMPT Associate Director Elizabeth City State University Darnell Johnson Chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science Fayetteville State University Vinod Arya Chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science NC A& T State University Guoqing Tang Interim Chair, Dept. of Mathematics NC Community College System Wanda White Director, Student Development Services NC Central University Laura Smith Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science NC State University Harvey Charlton Dept. of Mathematics UNC Asheville Peter Kendrick Director, Mathematics Assistance Center 6 UNC Chapel Hill Joseph Plante Dept. of Mathematics UNC Charlotte Mohammad Kazemi Assoc. Chair, Dept. of Mathematics UNC Greensboro Paul Duvall Department of Mathematics & Statistics UNC General Administration Bruce Mallette Senior Associate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs UNC Pembroke Steve Bourquin Chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science UNC Wilmington Kenneth Gurganus Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics Western Carolina University Nory Prochaska Director, Mathematics Tutoring Center, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science Winston Salem State Univ. John O. Adeyeye Chair, Dept. of Mathematics Wake Technical Community College Robert Kimball Chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Physics Outreach Efforts of the NC EMPT Program The following groups are contacted via e mail, postal mail, and in presentations at workshops and conferences: North Carolina public and non public high school mathematics department chairs, mathematics teachers, school counseling department chairs, and principals North Carolina public school system superintendents, directors of secondary instruction, and secondary math coordinators NC community college presidents, mathematics department chairs, and testing coordinators University of North Carolina institution chancellors, mathematics department chairs, and directors of admissions North Carolina State Board of Education North Carolina Department of Public Instruction North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network Center directors and Pre College Program coordinators North Carolina Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges National early mathematics placement testing programs and individuals interested in such programs in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin Achieve, Inc.  American Diploma Project, Washington, D. C. 7 A Quick Look at NC EMPT Participation Numbers, 1997 2009 Pilot  Spring 1997: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 80 Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 72 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 66 Total Number of Students Tested 8,195 1997 1998: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 376 Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 226 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 205 Total Number of Students Tested 27,456 1998 1999: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 357 Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 202 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 189 Total Number of Students Tested 27,030 1999 2000: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 637 Pretesting ( with the 1998 1999 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 9 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 4 Total Number of Students Pretested 364 Placement Testing ( with the new 1999 2000 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 273 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 251 Total Number of Students Tested 33,469 Grand Total of Students Tested in 1999 2000 33,833 2000 2001: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 658 Pretesting ( with the 1999 2000 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 58 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 37 Total Number of Students Pretested 3,259 Placement Testing ( with the new 2000 2001 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 307 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 280 Total Number of Students Tested 35,002 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 288 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2000 2001 38,261 8 2001 2002: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 650 Pretesting ( with the 2000 2001 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 67 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 52 Total Number of Students Pretested 3,716 Placement Testing ( with the new 2001 2002 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 299 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 279 Total Number of Students Tested 37,804 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 287 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2001 2002 41,520 2002 2003: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 648 ( this includes 358 public and 290 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2001 2002 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 65 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 50 Total Number of Students Pretested 4,422 Placement Testing ( with the new 2002 2003 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 311 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 278 Total Number of Students Tested 34,399 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 285 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2002 2003 38,821 2003 2004: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 643 ( this includes 370 public and 273 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2002 2003 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 51 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 34 Total Number of Students Pretested 4,084 Placement Testing ( with the new 2003 2004 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 266 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 232 Total Number of Students Tested 29,465 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 243 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2003 2004 33,549 9 2004 2005: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 629 ( this includes 370 public and 259 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2003 2004 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 69 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 68 Total Number of Students Pretested 6,339 Placement Testing ( with the new 2004 2005 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 308 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 244 Total Number of Students Tested 37,375 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 302 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2004 2005 43,714 2005 2006: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 626 ( this includes 378 public and 248 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2004 2005 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 78 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 65 Total Number of Students Pretested 5,919 Placement Testing ( with the new 2005 2006 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 318 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 285 Total Number of Students Tested 42,006 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping)* 303 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2005 2006 47,925 2006 2007: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 752 ( this includes 502 public and 250 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2005 2006 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 87 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 73 Total Number of Students Pretested 7,016 Placement Testing ( with the new 2006 2007 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 310 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 274 Total Number of Students Tested 39,402 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping)* 292 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2006 2007 46,418 10 2007 2008: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 780 ( this includes 534 public and 246 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2006 2007 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 73 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 52 Total Number of Students Pretested 5,763 Placement Testing ( with the new 2007 2008 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 330 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 280 Total Number of Students Tested 37,300 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping)* 293 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2007 2008 43,063 2008 2009: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 792 ( this includes 542 public and 250 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2007 2008 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 33 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 20 Total Number of Students Pretested 1,794 Placement Testing ( with the new 2008 2009 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 283 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 233 Total Number of Students Tested 21,682 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping)* 243 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2008 2009 23,476 * A list of the 243 participating schools in 2008 2009 follows 11 North Carolina Early Mathematics Placement Testing Program Participating High Schools for 2008 2009 A C Reynolds A L Brown A Performance Learning Center Alexander Central Anson New Technology Antioch Christian Academy Ardrey Kell Arendell Parrott Academy Ashe County Asheville Bertie Bertie STEM Bethel Christian Academy ( Canton) Bethel Christian Academy ( Kinston) Bible Baptist Christian School Bishop McGuiness Catholic Brevard Buncombe County Early College Bunker Hill Burns Caldwell Academy Calvary Baptist Day School Cape Fear Christian Academy Cardinal Gibbons Carolina Christian School Cary Cary Christian School Cedar Ridge Central Academy @ Lake Park Central Davidson Chapel Hill Charles B Aycock Charlotte Catholic Clayton Clover Garden Charter School Clyde A Erwin Coastal Christian Community Baptist School Community Christian School Cornerstone Christian School Crest Crossroads Christian School ( Henderson) Cumberland Evening Academy D H Conley David W Butler Davie County Dixon Douglas Byrd Durham Performance Learning Center Durham School of the Arts E A Laney E E Smith E T Beddingfield Early College of Forsyth Early College @ Guilford East Bladen East Davidson East Duplin East Forsyth East Gaston East Mecklenburg East Surry East Wake School of Health Sciences East Wilkes Eastern Alamance Eastern Guilford Edgecombe Early College Enka Eugene Ashley Falls Rd Baptist Church School Farmville Central Fayetteville Christian School Fike First Assembly Christian School ( Concord) First Flight Forest Hills Forsyth Country Day School Franklin Gaston Christian School Gates County Senior Goldsboro Grace Christian School ( Raleigh) Grace Christian School ( Sanford) Granville Central Greene Central Greenfield School Greensboro Day School Grimsley Guilford Day School Harding University Harnett Central Harrells Christian Academy Havelock Hayworth Christian School Heide Trask Hendersonville Christian School Hibriten Hickory High Point Christian Academy Highland School of Technology Highlands School Hiwassee Dam Hobgood Academy Hoke County Holly Springs Independence ( Charlotte) J F Webb J F Webb School of Health & Life Sciences J H Rose Jack Britt Jacket Academy @ Carver Jacksonville James Hunt Jesse C Carson John T Hoggard Jones Senior Jordan Matthews Kings Mountain Kinston Lawrence Academy Lee Christian School ( Sanford) Leesville Road Lejeune Lincolnton Macon County Early College Mallard Creek Manteo Marie G. Davis Military & Global Academy Math, Sci, Pre Eng, & Tech @ Olympic Mattamuskeet McDowell Metrolina Christian Academy Mooresville Mount Pleasant Mount Tabor Nash Central Neuse Baptist Christian School New Bern New Hanover New Technology High @ Garinger Norlina Christian School North Brunswick North Edgecombe North Forsyth North Henderson North Iredell North Lenoir North Lincoln North Mecklenburg North Moore North Pitt North Raleigh Christian Academy Northampton High East Northeastern Northern ( Durham) Northern Guilford Northern Nash Northside ( Jacksonville) Northside ( Pinetown) Northside Christian Academy Northwest Cabarrus Northwest Guilford Northwood Temple Academy Oak Ridge Military Academy Oakwood School Orange Page Parkland Pender Person Phillip O Berry Academy of Technology Piedmont Porter Ridge Providence Grove R B Glenn Reagan Reid Ross Classical School Renaissance School @ Olympic Resurrection Christian School Richlands Ridgecroft School Riverside Roanoke Roanoke Rapids Rockwell Christian School Rocky Mount Preparatory School Roxboro Christian Academy Rutherford County Early College Salem Academy School of Biotechnology & Health @ Olympic School of International Studies @ Olympic School of Math, Sci, & Envir @ Garinger Seventy First Smithfield Selma Smoky Mountain South Caldwell South Mecklenburg South Point South Stanly Southern Alamance Southern Guilford Southern Nash Southlake Christian Academy Southside Southwestern Randolph Spring Creek Starmount Sun Valley Surry Central Swansboro Tabernacle Christian School ( Hickory) Tarboro The Asheville School Tri City Christian School Tri County Christian School Trinity Tuscola Vandalia Christian School Victory Christian Center School Wake Christian Academy Wake Forest/ Rolesville Wakefield Walter M Williams Warren Early College Washington Watauga Wayne Early Middle College Weddington West Bladen West Caldwell West Charlotte West Craven West Forsyth West Johnston West Montgomery West Stanly Westchester Country Day School Whiteville Williamston Wilson Christian Academy Winston Salem Prep Academy Woodlawn School Zebulon B Vance 13 14 IV. Summary of 2008 2009 Testing Two versions of the NC EMPT test were administered during the year. For those schools interested in pretesting early in a new term for diagnostic purposes, the previous 2007 2008 version was used ( data for this Option # 1 can be found on page 11). Option # 2, used by the vast majority of schools, was to administer the new 2008 2009 version of the NC EMPT test. Schools have the choice to participate in Option # 1 or Option # 2, or both. Teachers had the opportunity to administer the traditional paper and pencil test or to use a Web based version of the same test. Interesting data is given below: Participants Using the 2008 2009 Version of the NC EMPT Test ( Option # 2): Time Period Number of High Schools Number of Students Fall 2008 0 including 0 Web based 0 including 0 Web based Spring 2009 233 including 29 Web based 21,682 including 1,223 Web based Total for Year 233 including 29 Web based ( nonoverlapping) 21,682 including 1,223 Web based NC EMPT Levels Student opscan forms were graded at the NC EMPT office at East Carolina University. Feedback was returned to the school’s contact person immediately, within 2 5 days after receipt of the opscans. The average turnaround time during 2008 2009 for the return of test results to 23,476 students was 2.4 days. The resulting scores were classified into one of four EMPT levels. Beginning in 1999 2000, the numeration of these levels was aligned with the achievement levels designed by the North Carolina State Board of Education in the ABCs accountability plan. Level 1 is the lowest level and Level 4 is the highest: High School Participation in Testing Options # 1 or # 2, 2008 2009 Option # 1 Option # 2 10 10 223 High School Participation in Option # 2 2008 2009 Web based Paper and Pencil Testing Testing 28 1 204 15 EMPT Level Number of Correct Answers 1 0 11 2 12 16 3 17 24 4 25 32 These scores were then used to advise each student in a personalized letter. Each letter contained a test score, the test score converted to a percent, a corresponding EMPT level, a listing of the mathematical objective for each test question, a listing of each answer given by the student, a listing of each correct answer, and an interpretation of each student’s readiness to take college level mathematics courses. The suggested levels were interpreted as: Level 1: A Level 1 score indicates the student is not ready for collegelevel math courses and must take remedial mathematics. Level 2: A Level 2 score indicates the student must take remedial mathematics in some choices of majors. Level 3: A Level 3 score indicates the student is ready for a beginning level college mathematics course. However, a Level 3 score may be considered borderline at some universities for students planning to major in math, science, or engineering. Level 4: A Level 4 score indicates a solid high school preparation for college level mathematics. Some universities may allow a student scoring at Level 4 on their math placement test to skip the first college math course, depending on that student’s choice of major. Each student’s results letter also included valuable advice about the beginning required mathematics courses for their chosen major and the actual mathematics placement procedure at the NC community college or UNC institution of their choice. In addition, helpful Web site addresses were provided for the mathematics department and math course descriptions for the college or university of choice. Samples of student results letters at two different levels follow. The contact person of each participating high school also received a summary, in various formats, of the test results of all students who participated at the school. Individual teachers received helpful results by class and period. Each teacher was provided with a copy of a brochure titled “ Mathematics Placement Procedures at NC Community Colleges and UNC Constituent Institutions, 2008 2009,” a handy reference tool for their college bound students. The brochure is updated each year by the associate director upon the advice of the NC EMPT Advisory Board members who represent the fifteen UNC campuses and fifty eight NC community colleges. A sample of this brochure follows as well. 16 17 18 19 20 Observations of Data The 2008 2009 school year was unique in more than one way. NC EMPT testing occurred only during the spring semester for the first time since 1996. In addition, the composition of the test changed substantially since the inception of the program. Test questions no longer measured mastery of Algebra II skills only, but also number and operation, geometry, and application problems. Interesting and meaningful observations were made by the associate director: Of the 289 high school contact persons that registered for spring 2009 early math placement testing, 54% were math department chairs. The vast majority of the others were high school math faculty members. A few were school counselors or administrators. The turnaround time for test results, that is, the time it took the NC EMPT office staff to process summary results and individualized results letters for each student participant from the day completed opscan forms arrived at the office to the day the results package was mailed out was an amazing 2.4 days. This was quite an accomplishment despite a turbulent year. Although student participation numbers declined from 43,063 to 23,476 ( about 45%) from 2007 08 to 2008 09, the number of high school math teachers whose classes participated only declined from 871 to 617 ( about 29%) across the state. Many high school teachers remained loyal to the program, but did not test as many students due to smaller testing windows in 2008 09. Successful use of NC EMPT online services by high school teachers was dependent on the activity. a) In the past, hard copies of the registration forms for the Option # 1 and # 2 test versions were completed and returned via U. S. Postal Mail by most high school contact persons. During 2008 09, 81% of the registration forms received were completed online and only 19% of forms were hard copies received by mail or fax. b) The response rate to an end of year survey jumped from 44% to 69% last year when an online survey was disseminated via e mail rather than including a paper survey with spring test results. c) Despite being the third year of promotion and availability of Web based testing, only 12% of participating schools chose this avenue of testing. The majority of schools preferred paper andpencil testing. The top reason cited for this preference was the lack of class access to individual school computers. Surprisingly, when the director of the more experienced Ohio EMPT Program was asked what percent of the Ohio high schools employed Web based EMPT testing, his answer was 10 12%. 23 During 2008 09, 73% of the participants were Caucasian. See the graph on p. 29. NC EMPT testing is recommended for students enrolled in Algebra II or in higher level math courses. It would be interesting to note the race/ ethnicity of students statewide who are enrolled in Algebra II or each of the higher level math courses. During 2008 2009, 34% of public high schools in the state participated in NC EMPT testing, while 24% of non public high schools participated. The year 2007 2008 was more representative of participation since testing occurred during both the fall and spring semesters. Even then, only 44% of public and 24% of non public high schools participated. The NC EMPT service is voluntary and requires time taken from demanding math curriculums and a high rate of other testing. The 2008 09 test version was significantly different in scope than earlier versions. This change was reflected in the average score earned out of 32 questions: In 2007 08, the average score was 20.6 ( 64%), whereas in 2008 09, the average score was 16.8 ( 53%). See the graph at the top of p. 50. Read the variety of comments teachers made about the new test in a survey of their 2008 09 testing experience beginning on p. 58. During 2008 09, most participants were enrolled in Algebra II or Integrated Math III ( 32%), or Advanced Functions and Modeling ( 29%). See the graph on p. 33. The change in test questions was also reflected in the placement levels of participants. The test includes 32 questions. Level 1 represents the lowest of four possible levels. Attaining a level 3 or 4 is interpreted to mean that the student is ready for college level math at most postsecondary institutions. Note that in 2007 08, 73% of participants earned a test score within levels 3 or 4, whereas in 2008 2009, only 51% achieved these same levels. See the graph on p. 31. Placement Level 2007 2008 2008 2009 1 ( score of 0 11) 10% 21% 2 ( score of 12 16) 18% 28% 3 ( score of 17 24) 42% 39% 4 ( score of 25 32) 31% 12% Overall, 52% of the participants were girls, and 44% were boys. In studying the placement level earned by participants, girls outperformed boys in levels 1, 2, and 3. Boys outscored girls in level 4 ( the highest) only, and by only 1%. For those students taking the Web based version of the test only, girls achieved higher placement levels in all four level categories. See the pie chart on the top of p. 28 and the graphs on p. 34. With regard to the placement level earned by grade level, sophomores performed better than freshmen, juniors, or seniors in levels 3 and 4. One explanation of this fact is that students enrolled in math classes at the Algebra II level or higher as a sophomore are usually honors level students. In the level 2 category, juniors performed better than students 24 from other grade levels. Also, the majority of the seniors taking the NC EMPT test placed into level 3, and freshmen performed the most poorly in each of the four levels. The stated eligibility guidelines for NC EMPT testing includes students who are close to completing Algebra II or are enrolled in a higher math course. Freshmen don’t normally meet these guidelines. See the graph on p. 32. The first choice of school planning to attend included: UNC at Chapel Hill ( 16% of participants), NC State University ( 14%), a community college ( 12%), East Carolina University ( 11%) and Appalachian State University ( 8%). See the graph on p. 44. Several major trends were noted as the history of data collected from 1996 2009 was reviewed: a) Over time, the number of juniors taking the NC EMPT test has slowly declined to 37% while the number of seniors has increased to 36%. Participating during the junior year gives students time to make improvements in the weak math skills highlighted by NC EMPT testing. Seniors that participate are motivated by the actual upcoming math placement exams given by their college/ university of choice. The number of sophomores declined from 34% in 1996 97 to 20% in 2008 2009. This may be due to the fact that NC EMPT testing is not as applicable or effective for sophomores who are three years away from taking actual college math placement exams. See the graph on the top of p. 49. b) The number of students planning to go to a college after high school has changed. One possible explanation could be the poor state of the national economy. See the graph at the bottom of p. 50. Plans After High School 2007 2008 2008 2009 4 year college or university 80% 74% 2 year college or community college 14% 12% Initially attend a 2 year college and then attend a 4 year college/ university ( not measured) 2% c) Students were given a more diverse 25 choices rather than 19 as in the past of their “ most likely college major.” The number one choice during 2007 08 and 2008 09 remained the same: business, management, and marketing. Pre Med, Pre Vet Medicine, or Pharmacy moved from the 4th choice to the 2nd choice. Visual and performing arts moved from the 5th choice to the 3rd choice. Nursing appeared in the top five for the first time in 08 09. See the background questions in Appendix A and the table on the bottom of p. 47. 25 26 Graphics Describing Testing Results from the 2008 2009 Version of the NC EMPT Test A special thanks is given to David Hodges, our database consultant, for his time, effort, and wisdom in creating these graphs. High School Demographics: Public High School Participation in NC EMPT 2008 2009 Total Number of NC Public High Schools = 542* 34% 56% ( 358) Schools Nonparticipating ( 184) Schools Participating * The total of 542 public high schools includes 534 public schools, two federal schools, and six charter schools. Non Public High School Participation in NC EMPT 2008 2009 Total Number of NC Non Public High Schools = 250 76% 24% ( 59) Schools Participating ( 191) Schools Non Participating 27 Student Demographics: Sex of Participating Students for Web based Testing 2008 2009 Not Given 3% ( 41) Male 43% ( 523) Female 54% ( 655) Sex of Participating Students for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing 2008 2009 Not Given 3% ( 739) Male 44% ( 9,648) Female 52% ( 11,295) Sex of Participating Students for Paper and Pencil Testing 2008 2009 Not Given 3% ( 697) Male 45% ( 9,077) Female 52% ( 10,592) 28 0% .04% 2% 73% 1% 7% 17% 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 Number of Students African American or Black American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Asian American or Pacific Islander White Hispanic or Latino Not Specified Other Race/ Ethnicity of Participating Students 2008 2009 29 Grade Level of Participating Students for Paper and Pencil Testing 2008 2009 Senior 36% ( 7,333) Junior 38% ( 7,676) Sophomore 20% ( 4,088) Freshman 4% ( 783) Not Given 2% ( 486) Grade Level of Participating Students for Web based Testing 2008 2009 Senior 45% ( 542) Junior 29% ( 357) Sophomore 19% ( 232) Freshman 3% ( 42) Not Given 4% ( 46) Grade Level of Participating Students for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing 2008 2009 Senior 37% ( 8,075) Junior 36% ( 7,912) Sophomore 20% ( 4,338) Freshman 4% ( 835) Not Given 2% ( 532) 30 NC EMPT Placement Levels for Students Using Paper and Pencil Testing 2008 2009 Level 4 12% ( 2,433) Level 3 40% ( 8,143) Level 2 28% ( 5,661) Level 1 20% ( 4,129) Level 4 ( highest) scored 25 32 Level 3 scored 17 24 Level 2 scored 12 16 Level 1 scored 0 11 2008 2009 Placement Test Results: NC EMPT Placement Levels for Students Using Web based Testing 2008 2009 Level 4 9% ( 111) Level 3 32% Level 2 ( 389) 28% ( 340) Level 1 31% ( 379) Level 4 ( highest) scored 25 32 Level 3 scored 17 24 Level 2 scored 12 16 Level 1 scored 0 11 NC EMPT Placement Levels for Students Using Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing 2008 2009 Level 4 12% ( 2,570) Level 3 39% ( 8,560) Level 2 28% ( 6,018) Level 1 21% ( 4,534) Level 4 ( highest) scored 25 32 Level 3 scored 17 24 Level 2 scored 12 16 Level 1 scored 0 11 31 Placement Level by Grade 2008 2009 1% 2% 1% 0.5% 4% 15% 10% 7% 3% 13% 11% 10% 3% 9% 5% 3% 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000 5500 6000 6500 7000 7500 Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Number of Students Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior 32 Placement Level by Current Math Course 2008 2009 2% 0.01% 2% 3% 1% 4% 0.2% 0.04% 1% 12% 11% 7% 0.4% 0.1% 3% 2% 0.03% 4% 10% 10% 3% 0.2% 0.1% 3% 0.4% 0.2% 2% 7% 7% 1% 0.2% 0. 1% 3% .3% 1% 1% 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 Algebra II or Integrated Math 3 Advanced Functions and Modeling Advanced Math, or Algebra III, or Advanced Algebra, or Trigonometry or Pre Calculus Integrated Math 4 Probability, or Statistics, or Discrete Math Calculus Technical Math II Other Not currently enrolled in a math course Number of Students Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 33 9% 11% 12% 15% 17% 21% 6% 5% 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 Number of Students Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Placement Level by Sex for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Tessting 2008 2009 Male Female 9% 10% 12% 15% 18% 21% 6% 5% 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 Number of Students Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Placement Level by Sex for Paper and Pencil Testing 2008 2009 Male Female 13% 16% 12% 15% 13% 18% 4% 5% 0 100 200 300 400 500 Number of Students Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Placement Level by Sex for Web based Testing 2008 2009 Male Female 34 Type of Calculator Used 2008 2009 Scientific calculator 25% ( 5,473) Graphing Calculator 47% ( 10,160) Four function calculator 7% ( 1,485) None 15% ( 3,289) 35 NC EMPT Score Frequency for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing, 2008 2009 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132 Score Number of Students Frequency NC EMPT Score Frequency for Paper and Pencil Testing, 2008 2009 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132 Score Number of Students Frequency NC EMPT Score Frequency for Web based Testing, 2008 2009 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Score Number of Students Frequency 36 2008 2009 Item Analysis for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing, 2008 2009 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Question # Percent Correct 2008 2009 Item Analysis for Paper and Pencil Testing, 2008 2009 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Question # Percent Correct 2008 2009 Item Analysis for Web based Testing, 2008 2009 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Question # Percent Correct 37 Question Objective # Correct % Correct 1 convert from decimal to fraction 19348 89% 8 solve formula for variable 17648 81% 19 solve word problem: proportion 17426 80% 13 simplify complex fraction 16550 76% 2 solve linear equation 15806 73% 11 evaluate using laws of expon. 15641 72% 10 use midpoint formula 14809 68% 32 solve word problem: linear func. 14379 66% 24 find eq. of linear function 13429 62% 20 simplify using distributive prop. 13387 62% 18 evaluate function 12771 59% 4 solve word problem: circumference 12452 57% 7 model a linear function 12214 56% 22 evaluate expression 11876 55% 6 find x intercept of line 11563 53% 9 apply Pythagorean Theorem 11214 52% 30 find angle measure in rt. triangle 11116 51% 3 solve exponential equation 11105 51% 25 solve system of two linear eqs. 11078 51% 26 mult. nos. in scientific notat. 10891 50% 31 recall and then solve formula 10442 48% 16 solve word problem: ratio, % 10156 47% 15 find quadratic function 9801 45% 5 find volume of box 9285 43% 27 solve quadratic equation 9152 42% 17 recognize function given data 7722 36% 23 solve word problem: rt. tri. trig. 7078 33% 14 solve word problem: average 6671 31% 29 find equation of line 6202 29% 28 subtract rational expressions 6026 28% 12 compare numbers 4290 20% 21 solve word problem: % increase 3759 17% Item Analysis by Decreasing % for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing, 2008 2009 38 39 Question Objective # Correct % Correct 1 convert from decimal to fraction 990 81% 25 solve system of two linear eqs. 880 72% 32 solve word problem: linear func. 839 69% 7 model a linear function 829 68% 21 solve word problem: % increase 829 68% 8 solve formula for variable 757 62% 5 find volume of box 741 61% 18 evaluate function 735 60% 20 simplify using distributive prop. 721 59% 13 simplify complex fraction 667 55% 26 mult. nos. in scientific notat. 640 52% 28 subtract rational expressions 626 51% 11 evaluate using laws of expon. 601 49% 10 use midpoint formula 601 49% 3 solve exponential equation 574 47% 12 compare numbers 566 46% 16 solve word problem: ratio, % 559 46% 17 recognize function given data 531 43% 19 solve word problem: proportion 530 43% 27 solve quadratic equation 526 43% 24 find eq. of linear function 500 41% 9 apply Pythagorean Theorem 497 41% 6 find x intercept of line 474 39% 2 solve linear equation 453 37% 30 find angle measure in rt. triangle 430 35% 23 solve word problem: rt. tri. trig. 428 35% 15 find quadratic function 360 29% 14 solve word problem: average 343 28% 29 find equation of line 340 28% 22 evaluate expression 318 26% 4 solve word problem: circumference 234 19% 31 recall and then solve formula 182 15% Item Analysis by Decreasing % for Web based Testing, 2008 2009 40 Plans After High School 2008 2009 4 year university 74% ( 15,974) 2 year college 12% ( 2,620) trade schools 7% ( 1,623) military service 1% ( 171) other 4% initially attend a 2 year ( 819) college and then attend a 4 year college 2% ( 475) 41 Anticipated College Major 2008 2009 57 118 128 152 242 2756 2137 2002 1905 1894 1539 1023 871 736 627 500 432 358 357 327 309 279 269 260 1945 476 360 203 264 228 2081 1596 1723 1173 1030 1637 1752 756 1048 656 768 645 622 569 497 717 694 487 471 391 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% Business, Management and Marketing Pre Medicine, Pre Veterinary Medicine or Pharmacy Visual and Performing Arts Engineering Nursing Social and Behavior Sciences Medical Technologies and Allied H ealth Fields Biology and Biological Sciences Security and Prot ective Services Pre K and Elementary Education Humanities Secondary Education in a Non Science or Non Mathematics Area Computer Science in a Business Area Mathematical and Physical Sciences Computer Science in a Mathematics, Engineering or Science Area Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies Engineering Technologies Automotive Technology Archit ecture and Related Services Agriculture Family and Consumer Sciences Middle Grades Education Secondary Education in a Science and Mathematica Area Natural Resources and Conservation Ethnic, Cultural and Gender Studies Percentage of Students First Choice Second Choice 42 Number of College Level Math Courses Required for First College Major 2008 2009 Not Applicable to Me 1% ( 188) I Don't Know 70% ( 15,088) None 432 ( 2%) One Course 3% ( 747) Two or more courses 22% ( 4,783) 43 12% 8% 11% 1% 2% 4% 2% 14% 1% 16% 7% 5% 2% 7% 3% 2% 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 Winston Salem State University Western Carolina University UNC at Wilmingt on UNC at Pembroke UNC at Greensboro UNC at Charlott e UNC at Chapel Hill UNC at Asheville NC State University NC Central University NC A& T State University Fayetteville State University Elizabeth City State University East Carolina University Appalachian State University A Community College First Choice of School Planning to Attend 2008 2009 44 Placement Level by School Planning to Attend ( 1) 2008 2009 97 169 171 4 6 26 9 603 37 996 119 69 18 141 61 9 788 781 998 45 79 181 115 1411 151 1617 595 352 117 734 313 112 890 481 728 74 124 273 183 665 77 584 457 354 127 431 220 150 836 306 456 92 119 279 207 331 50 317 331 299 98 259 156 154 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% A Community College Appalachian State University East Carolina University Elizabeth City State University Fayetteville State University NC A& T State University NC Central University NC State University UNC Asheville UNC Chapel Hill UNC Charlotte UNC Greensboro UNC Pembroke UNC Wilmington Western Carolina University Winston Salem State University Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 45 Placement Level by Schools Planning to Attend ( 2) 2008 2009 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 A Community College Appalachian State University East Carolina University Elizabeth City State University Fayetteville State University NC A& T State University NC Central University NC State University UNC Asheville UNC Chapel Hill UNC Charlotte UNC Greensboro UNC Pembroke UNC Wilmington Western Carolina University Winston Salem State University Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 46 V. Trends in NC EMPT Data, 1996 2009 The NC EMPT Program has compiled data from a pilot semester and twelve full years of testing. Informative trends are already beginning to appear and they are presented in the following charts and graphs: NC EMPT Cost Per Student Spring 1997 $ 7.36 2002 2003 $ 4.02 1997 1998 $ 4.40 2003 2004 $ 4.96 1998 1999 $ 5.46 2004 2005 $ 3.79 1999 2000 $ 4.55 2005 2006 $ 3.59 2000 2001 $ 4.24 2006 2007 $ 3.86 2001 2002 $ 3.62 2007 2008 $ 4.07 2008 2009 $ 7.27 Top Anticipated College Majors Year Major Students Choosing Major as First Choice 2002 2003 Social/ Behavioral Sciences 14% Engineering 13% Business/ Administrative Sciences 11% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2003 2004 Social and Behavioral Sciences 14% Engineering 13% Business/ Administrative Sciences 12% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2004 2005 Social and Behavioral Sciences 14% Engineering 13% Business/ Administrative Sciences 12% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2005 2006 Social and Behavioral Sciences 14% Business/ Administrative Sciences 14% Engineering 12% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2006 2007 Business/ Administrative Sciences 12% Social and Behavioral Sciences 12% Engineering 11% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2007 2008 Business/ Administrative Sciences 13% Social and Behavioral Sciences 13% Engineering 12% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2008 2009 Business, Management, and Marketing 13% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 10% Visual and Performing Arts 9% Engineering 9% Note that testing during 2008 2009 occurred only during the second half of the school year. 47 Students Participating in NC EMPT 33,833 38,261 38,821 33,549 46,418 43,063 23,476 27,456 41,520 43,714 47,925 27,030 8,195 0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 1996 97 1997 98 1998 99 1999 00 2000 01 2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07 2007 08 2008 09 Number of Students High Schools Participating in NC EMPT 243 243 285 287 288 189 251 66 205 302 303 292 293 0 100 200 300 400 500 1996 97 1997 98 1998 99 1999 00 2000 01 2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07 2007 08 2008 09 Number of Schools * Note that testing during 2008 2009 occurred only during the second half of the school year. * ���� Note that testing during 2008 2009 occurred only during the second half of the school year. 48 Grade Level of Participating Students 1996 2009 50% 30% 40% 10% 20% Sophomore Junior 0% 96 97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Year Senior EMPT Level of Participating Students 1996 2009 50% 20% 30% 40% 0% 10% 96 97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Year Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Note: A substantially different test with more diverse test questions was given for the first time in 2008 09. 49 Average Score Out of 32 Questions for Participants Each Year 1996 2009 25 Series1 10 15 20 0 5 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Note: A substantially different test with more diverse test questions was given for the first time in 2008 09. Year Students Planning to Go to College After High School Graduation 1996 2009 80% 90% 40% 50% 60% 70% 4 year College 2 year College 10% 20% 30% 0% 96 97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Year 50 VI. Evaluation of the 2008 2009 Year Feedback from participating teachers is critical to the success of the program and responses are carefully reviewed and considered. The surveys in this section of the report were disseminated in early June 2009 to the contact persons of the high schools involved in either NC EMPT paper and pencil or Web based Option # 2 testing during the spring of 2009. The surveys were created and distributed via email using Perseus software. This software was made available to the associate director by the Information Technology and Computing Services Department of East Carolina University. The teacher contacts were asked to discuss the survey statements and questions with other participating math teachers in their departments before completing the survey. With 154 of the surveys returned to our office, 69% of those polled responded. This response rate is much improved. For example, last year’s response rate was only 44%. In past years, a paper and pencil survey was enclosed with spring testing results rather than the online survey employed in June 2009. These responses reassure us that both students and teachers are very satisfied with the administration, efficiency, value, and wealth of timely information provided by the NC EMPT Program. It is especially heartening to receive a 96% vote of confidence with regard to the overall value of the service to high school students and teachers. The NC EMPT test is not mandatory and the fact that so many teachers voluntarily find room in their busy math curriculums to employ this early math placement test is a testament to its value. Healthy Responses from the Surveys of 2008 2009 Participating Teachers . . . Question # 3: 93% strongly agreed or agreed that the instructions provided for each teacher for paper and pencil or Web based testing were clear and easy to follow. Question # 5: 89% strongly agreed or agreed that students were attentive and tested with a serious attitude. Question # 6: 97% strongly agreed or agreed that the NC EMPT office promptly returned hard copies of test score summaries for teachers and individualized results letters for students. Question # 7: 96% strongly agreed or agreed that the test score summary received by each teacher for each class period was helpful. Question # 8: 93% strongly agreed or agreed that the lime green brochure titled “ Mathematics Placement Procedures at NC Community Colleges and UNC Constituent Institutions, 2008 2009” that was included in each teacher’s results package was useful to teachers in advising college bound students. Question # 11: 89% strongly agreed or agreed that students found their individualized results letters easy to understand and informative. Question # 13: 93% strongly agreed or agreed that the NC EMPT Program accomplished its goal of providing participating high school students with a “ reality check” of their readiness for college level mathematics. Question # 15: 96% strongly agreed or agreed that overall, the NC EMPT Program provides a valuable service to high school students and teachers. 51 Each year, NC EMPT Advisory Board members who represent NC community colleges and UNC institutions are asked to update information about their particular schools. This information is unique to each school and includes calculator usage on actual math placement tests, beginning required math courses for majors, and descriptions of math placement procedures. The associate director gathers this information and updates a brochure titled “ Mathematics Placement Procedures at NC Community Colleges and UNC Constituent Institutions.” This important brochure is disseminated each year to each participating teacher and all public and non public high school principals, math chairs and counseling departments. According to question # 8 in the above survey, 93% of the teachers responding found this brochure helpful in advising students. This same valuable information provided by board members has another important use. It is imbedded in individual student results letters based on the student’s choice of major and college/ university. There is always room for improvement. The survey question receiving the lowest approval rating was # 2: “ If you registered online ( rather than mailing or faxing the paper form), the online sign up form was user friendly and reliable.” Only 74% of the respondents answered positively, that is, they strongly agreed or agreed with this statement. We will restudy the online form and make adjustments in order simplify the process of completing the form. As far as reliability is concerned, there are inherent problems with Web servers and so there will be times when completed registration forms are not received. We also find that despite written reminders, some required fields of information are not completed by a handful of contact persons and their signup form is therefore not successfully submitted. In both cases, contact persons are warned to look for a confirmation email that should immediately be received in their email boxes from the NC EMPT office. If the confirmation is not received, the contact persons are advised to contact the office as soon as possible. Survey question # 4 asks respondents if “ test administration took a total of 55 minutes or less.” The question received a positive response of 79%. Last year, 95% of the teachers responded positively to this question. These teachers employed the paper and pencil tests only. This 2008 2009 survey question was directed to all teachers including those who gave the paper and pencil or the Web based version. Because very few changes were made in the instructions for the administration of the paper test this year, our conclusion is that the positive response was lower this year due to technical difficulties on the part of students or teachers when trying to employ the less familiar online testing avenue. Survey question # 10 asks respondents if “ participating teachers took time to review test errors with students.” The fact that only 64% of the responses were positive is disheartening. Much additional value to students is derived from reviewing their mathematical strengths and weaknesses and in discussing the merits of the test results. However, with stiff competition for valuable instructional time and with one day already sacrificed for testing, adding a second day to review results is a difficult choice for some teachers. A copy of the Perseus survey questions and results follows: 52 Created using Vovici EFM Community A QUICK Survey of NC EMPT Testing, Spring 2009 Type: Frequency Report Date: 9/ 26/ 2009 Total number of responses collected: 156 Part A: Carefully read each statement below and respond by checking one box to the right of each statement. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree N/ A or No Opinion Total Mean Std Dev 1. The decision to participate in NC EMPT testing at your school is at the discretion of each individual math teacher. Count 83 31 16 8 5 143 1.748 1.084 % by Row 58.0% 21.7% 11.2% 5.6% 3.5% 100.0% 2. If you registered online ( rather than mailing or faxing the paper form), the online sign up form was userfriendly and reliable. Count 83 22 0 0 38 143 2.217 1.716 % by Row 58.0% 15.4% 0.0% 0.0% 26.6% 100.0% 53 Created using Vovici EFM Community 3. The instructions provided for each teacher for paperand pencil or Webbased testing were clear and easy to follow. Count 103 30 1 1 8 143 1.469 0.992 % by Row 72.0% 21.0% 0.7% 0.7% 5.6% 100.0% 4. Test administration took a total of 55 minutes or less. Count 71 42 20 1 9 143 1.846 1.103 % by Row 49.7% 29.4% 14.0% 0.7% 6.3% 100.0% 5. Students were attentive and tested with a serious attitude. Count 51 76 6 0 10 143 1.895 1.012 % by Row 35.7% 53.1% 4.2% 0.0% 7.0% 100.0% 6. The NC EMPT office promptly returned hard copies of test score summaries for teachers and individualized results letters for students. Count 109 29 0 0 5 143 1.343 0.806 % by Row 76.2% 20.3% 0.0% 0.0% 3.5% 100.0% 7. The test score summary received by each teacher for each class period was helpful. Count 105 33 0 0 5 143 1.371 0.811 54 Created using Vovici EFM Community % by Row 73.4% 23.1% 0.0% 0.0% 3.5% 100.0% 8. The lime green brochure titled " Mathematics Placement Procedures at NC Community Colleges and UNC Constituent Institutions, 2008 2009" was included in each teacher's results package. This brochure was useful to teachers in advising collegebound students. Count 95 38 1 0 9 143 1.531 1.013 % by Row 66.4% 26.6% 0.7% 0.0% 6.3% 100.0% 9. The NC EMPT website at www. ncempt. org is useful and informative. Count 80 37 1 0 25 143 1.972 1.468 % by Row 55.9% 25.9% 0.7% 0.0% 17.5% 100.0% 10. Participating teachers took time to review test errors with students. Count 40 52 22 5 24 143 2.448 1.377 % by Row 28.0% 36.4% 15.4% 3.5% 16.8% 100.0% 11. Students found their individualized results letters easy to understand and Count 71 57 1 0 14 143 1.804 1.164 55 Created using Vovici EFM Community informative. % by Row 49.7% 39.9% 0.7% 0.0% 9.8% 100.0% 12. Students found their NC EMPT experience helpful and useful for future college plans. Count 56 63 4 0 20 143 2.056 1.299 % by Row 39.2% 44.1% 2.8% 0.0% 14.0% 100.0% 13. The NC EMPT Program accomplished its goal of providing your participating high school students with a " reality check" of their readiness for college level mathematics. Count 92 41 1 0 9 143 1.552 1.012 % by Row 64.3% 28.7% 0.7% 0.0% 6.3% 100.0% 14. The NC EMPT Program will accomplish its goal of helping to reduce the percentage of incoming college freshmen that require mathematics remediation at the college level ( consider the Count 56 64 6 0 17 143 2.007 1.230 56 Created using Vovici EFM Community seniors from your high school that participated in the program and plan to attend college in fall 2009). % by Row 39.2% 44.8% 4.2% 0.0% 11.9% 100.0% 15. Overall, the NC EMPT Program provides a valuable service to high school students and teachers. Count 101 36 1 0 5 143 1.406 0.824 % by Row 70.6% 25.2% 0.7% 0.0% 3.5% 100.0% Total Count 1196 651 80 15 203 2145 N/ A N/ A % by Row 55.8% 30.3% 3.7% 0.7% 9.5% 100.0% 57 # 16. In an effort to update and realign with current college math placement tests, the 2008 2009 NC EMPT test questions were substantially different from those found on earlier versions of the test. Please comment on the diversity and difficulty of the questions. Number Comments About Diversity and Difficulty of 2008 2009 NC EMPT Test Version 50 A good upgrade; I like the improvement in the diversity of the content; questions were appropriate and a fair measure of college math placement tests; a good sampling of all the mathematics skills students should have learned throughout high school. 26 My students found the new questions much more difficult than those from previous years; definitely a harder, but better test; more challenging; the old version was too predictable and too easy for students completing Algebra II; the typical scores in our classes were lower than in previous years. 7 I appreciated more “ real life” word problems; not so mechanical, required some thought and problem solving; a surprise as students were used to a more objective test format as opposed to the problem solving format; good change because students need to think more critically; questions not all process driven – several questions required students to do an additional step or two and/ or make a decision about what process( es) to apply; questions were more thought provoking. 4 Including trig and precalculus questions was an improvement; test questions went beyond Algebra II and included more college placement topics; many questions were not aligned with the Algebra II curriculum. 3 Glad to see geometry topics included; students struggled with geometry content because they didn’t recall the skills. 3 It was a great experience for our students, and for me as a teacher; some students had their eyes opened on their current readiness; good reality check for many. 3 Not using a calculator on the test increased the difficulty level; without a calculator, most of my students gave up on taking the test and guessed; I was shocked at how dependent the students are on a calculator. 2 It is outstanding that NC EMPT stays current with actual math placement tests given on college campuses across the state; I’m glad that you updated the test to more accurately reflect college math expectations. 2 The new test was not much different than the old versions; did not pay attention to the differences. 2 No response from my math teachers. 2 My students commented that they thought the test was easier than the earlier version. 2 This was the first time I’d seen the test so I can’t answer this question. 1 I found the new test more useful for seniors in Discrete Math and chose not to use it as an Algebra II end of course exam readiness test. 1 The change made it a little awkward to compare students’ general scores from those earned on prior versions of the test. 1 The new test was a close match to the NY State college math placement test. 1 I found out that I do need to do more with percents to help my students review. 1 There seemed to be a greater emphasis on exponential functions. 1 The new test was much more difficult for my students. It made me wonder whether the old or new test was more closely an indicator of whether students are ready or not. 1 I feel like the real thing is harder, however I do not know what is on the real thing. 1 Please send out another “ Top Ten Missed Questions” sheet because I use these to help my students prepare. 58 1 The trig questions could be harder. 1 The question that referred to 2/ 3 as .666 confused my calculus students. This may be because AP Calculus rounds or truncates to the third decimal place. 1 The new test is more realistic for SAT and COMPASS testing, also for the Algebra II end of course test. 1 Some students develop a “ cocky” attitude which does not serve them well. This year’s students had lower scores and these scores were probably a more realistic portrayal of their math abilities. # 17. If you used the NC EMPT Web based avenue of testing, please tell us what you liked about it and make any suggestions for improvement. Number Positive Comments About Web based Testing 6 Web based testing was easy to do; convenient; well designed; with directions in front of me, the website was easy to use. ( However, if I didn’t have step by step directions, I would never have guessed correctly what to click.) 6 Prompt and immediate reporting of scores; students were able to identify questions answered incorrectly while the questions were “ fresh” in their minds. 3 The experience of students taking a test online is invaluable as it is a common form of testing in college. 2 My school has initiated a laptop program. Web based assessment was a perfect fit and a great idea. 2 I liked the fact that students could access the test from any site ( home, school, library, etc.) 1 I liked the fact that students could save each individual answer. Number Suggestions for Improvement of Web based Testing 7 There was some confusion among my students about the “ submit” button on individual questions; the students and I were very confused about which button to push: the one under each question or the final button at the bottom of the test  the directions were vague about this; Why can’t there be one “ submit” button at the end of the test with all answers being saved, but changeable, to that point? You’d need to also provide one “ save” button for folks that may need to finish their test at a different time. 3 Some students commented that their responses were lost numerous times and that they had to start all over again several times; this drastically affected their scores. 2 Students taking the test at home had difficulty navigating the WebAssign site. Off times, the site would freeze and prevent students from entering answers; students using Apple computers at home had problems. 1 After students click on the “ submit” button, a window should appear that lets them know that their answers were submitted successfully. There is no way of knowing with the current software set up. 1 The WebAssign tech staff was not responsive to e mail or phone requests for help. Neither was addressed. 1 The test took longer than 55 minutes for my students who took the test seriously and I found I had not allocated sufficient computer time in the lab. 59 # 18. What other services or information can the NC EMPT Program provide you or your students with regard to college math placement testing? Number Requests for Other Services or Information 26 None! The information you provide is detailed and wonderful, and the students are usually amazed; NC EMPT does so much already; keep doing what you’re doing! 7 Your services are greatly appreciated; we appreciate your feedback and the individual results; we appreciate any help you can give us with regard to college math placement testing; letting students know expectations in advance and what test results mean is a valuable tool. 4 I liked the info. about which colleges allow calculators and which did not; it would be interesting to see which colleges use computerized placement testing and which use paper and pencil; tell us which colleges provide calculators during their placement testing; provide a list of when colleges do their actual math placement testing. 3 Let’s go back to giving a pretest ( Option# 1) early in each semester, and then a posttest ( Option # 2) at the end of each semester. These two tests have provided me with insight into which math topics the students need to review and allows the students to see how much their math skills have improved from the beginning to the end of the semester. 2 Any additional practice materials ( games, puzzles), frequently missed questions, or old tests would be very helpful for practice purposes. 1 I think an item analysis ( how many students chose response A, etc.) might be helpful to see if the majority of the students who got the problem wrong were making a common mistake. 1 Information about math requirements and placement tests at various colleges needs to be in every high school guidance office. 1 I had many students attending college out of state. It would be useful to have information about placement testing at colleges and universities not in NC. 1 Some of my students asked if the NC EMPT score could be submitted in place of the placement test their college would administer. You might want to consider that for future tests. 1 Offer a test version for Algebra I students that is similar to the PSAT or SAT. I think more teachers would use the test at lower math levels. 1 Return test copies with answers and student scores for Web based testing. It’s tough to review a test if we don’t have copies. 1 Provide some suggestions for students to remediate themselves. Maybe offer some mini courses online that students can work through on their own. 1 Your information should include required AP scores at each of the listed universities. Perhaps you could give web links for each university where more AP information can be found. 1 For my students who are thinking about majoring in some math related field, the test could be more challenging. 1 If a list of covered objectives or a pre assessment could be given, that would be helpful; include a list of formulas that students are expected to know ( remember) from previous courses. 1 Maybe have an online test that students can take on their own time to get feedback. 1 I need to test earlier in the year. The students did not take it seriously. 60 DONE! THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME TO GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK!! If you have any other comments you’d like us to hear, please write them below. Number Additional Comments 16 Wonderful program and fantastic service every time; you really make it easy for teachers to use NC EMPT and it is a great resource for students; thank you very much; keep up the good work; it is a pleasure to work with the staff at NC EMPT. 5 Ellen Hilgoe’s organization and efficiency are unparalleled! Good job! Thank you, Ellen, once again for your assistance; Mrs. Hilgoe does a good job in promoting NC EMPT, giving energy to math teachers, and encouraging them to use the test. 4 I appreciate the service offered to our students; the students find the results very worthwhile. 3 NC EMPT test results make students realize the importance of taking math their senior year of high school; this is a great opportunity for our graduating seniors! 2 You guys do a great job; your turnaround time for results is amazing! 2 NC EMPT is a very useful tool in preparing students for college and would be greatly missed if cancelled. 1 We are glad you are back in operation this fall, especially after not being able to offer testing last fall. 1 Thank you for providing such an informative service. My students used the testing as preparation for the Algebra II state mandated end of course exam. They were also extremely interested in the information given about college math and placement tests. I think it increased the overall motivation going into our final exams. Please make sure we are included in next year’s testing. 1 My students saved copies of the test to refresh their math skills just prior to their actual college math placement test. 1 Several of my students from the first semester of block scheduling requested to take the test again when it was scheduled in the spring. 1 Thanks for the opportunity to increase the size of our order at such a late date. 1 We gave the test without the use of calculators. Our students are so dependent on them. I think their scores would have been much better if they could have used a calculator. 1 My students were primarily 10th grade honor students. They did very well on the test and may think the placement test was not a challenge. They did benefit from the feedback with regard to the college they were interested in. 1 Thank you for the quick replies, positive attitude, and stickers! 1 Some students chose not to come to school on the day of testing. The others did not take the test seriously. I think I waited too late to administer it. 1 The only disadvantage of NC EMPT is that we can’t test Algebra II students due to the jam packed curriculum. We honestly can’t give up an hour that we need to do our EOC instruction. So we give the test in Advanced Functions and Modeling and/ or Pre Calculus classes where many students are seniors already. I would love to be able to test all juniors so that they could get the reality check. An online version that students could take at any time and get instant feedback would be so valuable for juniors in Algebra II. 61 62
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Title  Final report... to the UNC General Administration from the NC EMPT Program Advisory Committee. 
Other Title  North Carolina Early Mathematics Testing Program; North Carolina Early Mathematics Placement Testing Program; Final report... to the UNC Office of the President from the NC EMPT Program Advisory Committee 
Date  2009 
Description  2008/2009 
Digital CharacteristicsA  2108 KB; 64 p. 
Digital Format 
application/pdf 
Full Text  NC EMPT Project Summary 2008 2009 Change is often a very good thing. NC EMPT services to high schools were unexpectedly interrupted during the early fall of 2008, and the September invitations to participate to all public and non public high schools were abruptly halted. After an exhausting battle with the organization that has supplied our placement testing questions for the past twelve years, we decided to move on. So we dug in our heels, carefully researched the current math placement tests given at NC community colleges and UNC institutions, listened to suggestions for improvement made by participating teachers, consulted with EMPT programs in other states, and then offered a new and improved “ practice” math placement exam during the spring of 2009. As a facsimile of actual college math placement exams, the new test is more comprehensive and now includes diverse questions from Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II. We expanded and updated the choices students have when indicating their future college major, and the individualized information we provide about the required math courses for these majors is even more helpful. Our new logo design as seen above represents two things: a positive move towards helping better prepare high school students for the 21st century, and our efforts to provide the best reality check of readiness for collegelevel mathematics. Incredibly, there is still no cost to participating students or high schools for our timely and eye opening services. For the past thirteen years, NC EMPT strongly continues as an early intervention program sponsored by the State of North Carolina. Two pages of informative NC EMPT Quick Stats follow. Despite the turbulent circumstances during the fall of 2008, loyal high school teachers quickly came aboard during the second semester. Dr. Robert Bernhardt, director, and Ellen Hilgoe, associate director, remained steadfastly at the helm. In all, nearly 24,000 students participated within just five short months. This represents more than half of the number who participated the previous year. Most reassuringly, the number of teachers participating this year was 617 which represents only a 29% decline from the previous year. Despite the unfortunate missed opportunity to offer the testing service during the fall, our quick spring rebound still qualified the program to remain the largest early math placement testing program in the nation! Paper and pencil still remains the most convenient and popular of our avenues of testing. In 2008 2009, 88% of participating schools utilized this method of testing. In its third year of promotion and availability, Web based testing was embraced by only 29 high schools. Explanations for the choices of testing avenues made by teachers can be found in the “ Evaluation of the 2008 2009 Year” beginning on p. 51. Ohio EMPT, the longest running early math placement testing program in the nation, has also noted the preference by high school math teachers for paper and pencil testing. According to Dr. Ed Laughbaum, director of Ohio EMPT, only 10 12% of their participating students used Web based testing last year. The NC EMPT Program remains a windfall for students hoping and planning to further their education by attending a college or university. It offers a wealth of current resources to help students avoid the costly pitfalls of math remediation at the college level. Representatives from the mathematics departments of University of North Carolina ( UNC) institutions and North Carolina community colleges are members of the advisory board. Representatives from the NC Department of Public Instruction and the UNC General Administration are also included. The board meets annually to update the NC EMPT test and to ensure that it remains a facsimile of the math placement tests given on their own campuses ( see pp. 6 7). In addition, students receive individualized results with eye opening advice about their current mathematical strengths and weaknesses, beginning required math courses for their chosen college major, and the actual math placement testing procedure used at the NC community college or UNC institution of their choice ( see pp. 17 20). High school teachers and administrators are kept abreast of the latest news and updates regarding mathematics at the NC Department of Public Instruction and the UNC General Administration. The NC EMPT Web site: www. ncempt. org provides students, parents, teachers, and administrators with up to date information related to college mathematics placement testing. Articulation continues to be a major staff effort as the NC EMPT Program strives to improve communication at all levels of education and help bridge the divide between high school and college level mathematics. Make a Successful Leap from High School to College level Mathematics! 60 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $ 508.94, or $ 8.48 per copy. Dr. Robert Bernhardt, Director Ellen Hilgoe, Associate Director Ph: 252‐ 328‐ 6418 Fax: 252‐ 328‐ 2166 E‐ mail: ncempt@ ncempt. org Web site: www. ncempt. org S tudents Pa r tic ipa t ing in N C EMPT 3 3,83 3 3 8,26 1 38 ,82 1 3 3,54 9 4 6,41 8 43,0 63 23 ,476 2 7,4 56 41 ,520 43 ,71 4 4 7,92 5 27 ,03 0 8 ,1 95 0 10 ,0 0 0 20 ,0 0 0 30 ,0 0 0 40 ,0 0 0 50 ,0 0 0 60 ,0 0 0 1996 97 1997 98 1998 99 1999 00 2000 01 2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07 2007 08 2008 09 Number of Students Update: August 2009 What is NC EMPT? The NC Early Math Placement Testing Program provides high school students with a non‐ threatening, eye‐ opening, reality check of their readiness for college‐ level mathematics… and it is a FREE service to high schools and students! High Schools Participating in NC EMPT 243 243 285 287 288 189 251 66 205 302 303 292 293 0 100 200 300 400 500 1996 97 1997 98 1998 99 1999 00 2000 01 2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07 2007 08 2008 09 Number of Schools High School Math Teachers Participating in NC EMPT during 2008‐ 09: 617 FAST FEEDBACK! Average turnaround time for the return of test results to 23,476 students last year was 2.4 days!! * Note that testing during 2008‐ 2009 occurred only during the second half of the school year. Grade Level of Participating Students, 2008‐ 2009 36% seniors 37% juniors 20% sophomores 4% freshmen 3% did not respond NC EMPT has been continuously directed by faculty and staff at East Carolina University since the program’s inception. Registration and participation in NC EMPT is free of charge to all public and non public high schools. Register now at: http:// www. ncempt. org for the 2009 2010 year NC EMPT Participation S T R E T C H E S Across ALL of North Carolina! Reasons why high school students and their parents like taking the NC EMPT test It is a reality check of the current readiness for college level mathematics. It helps students understand what skills must be improved so the appropriate degree counting math course can be taken ��� and passed in college. It provides eye opening information about the actual math placement procedure and required math course( s) for the major and institution of their choice. Reasons why high school math teachers and administrators like NC EMPT It is excellent preparation for college bound students. It is a non threatening, up to date, “ practice” math placement test with all materials provided FREE, easy administration, and immediate feedback. Current information about expectations and requirements in mathematics curriculum for fifty eight community colleges and fifteen UNC institutions. EYE OPENING information that benefits everyone! Note: NC EMPT results are quickly returned to students and teachers ONLY! Results will NOT be shared or compared! A Survey of 2008 2009 Participating Teachers found. . . 83% strongly agreed or agreed that their students found their NC EMPT experience helpful and useful for future college plans. 89% strongly agreed or agreed that their students were attentive and tested with a serious attitude. 93% strongly agreed or agreed that the NC EMPT Program accomplished its goal of providing participating high school students with a “ reality check” of their readiness for college level mathematics. 96% strongly agreed or agreed that overall the NC EMPT Program provides a valuable service to high school students and teachers. 97% strongly agreed or agreed that the NC EMPT Office promptly returned hard copies of test score summaries to teachers and individualized results letters to students. WHO should take the valuable practice math placement test offered by NC EMPT? High school students enrolled in: Algebra II Integrated Math �� III Advanced Functions and Modeling Pre Calculus Discrete Math Statistics and other upper level math courses. Each pushpin in the state map above represents a participating high school during 2008 2009. Did you know that the NC EMPT Web site has a wealth of information about math placement testing at colleges and universities statewide?! CHECK IT OUT: www. ncempt. org I. From the Director Dr. Robert Bernhardt, October 2009 Last year was fraught with difficulties. Our long association with the mathematics placement testing program of the Mathematical Association of America was terminated, and could not be restarted in time for us to offer testing in the fall of 2008. We were able to obtain strong support from EMPT programs in Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Ohio in obtaining a new test. We settled on the Ohio EMPT test, and we were able to restart our testing program in the spring of 2009. Thus the sharp decline in the numbers of high school students testing with us in 2008 2009, as opposed to the years previous to this one. Some very good things have come from this change, I think. While the new test is harder than the old test, and contains a greater diversity of problems, most comments from secondary teachers have been positive. In addition, Ohio EMPT has data that indicates that the mathematics placement tests used in Ohio place students more accurately than many commercial placement tests, such as ACT and Accuplacer. And the Ohio EMPT test is built on these placement tests. Validity measures of this type are very nice to see. However, our problems are not over. We are now having difficulty with the online Web based version of the test. Until we can resolve this issue, we are forced to fall back on using paper and pencil testing only. The good news is that this will not affect most of the teachers and students participating in our program, since only 12% of the students who test with us use online testing. The bad news is that online testing is probably the wave of the future. Thus we need to resolve this problem, and we will be working to do this in the coming months. 1 2 II. From the Associate Director Ellen Hilgoe, August 2009 The difficult budget crisis throughout the nation during the spring semester tightened belts statewide, and prohibited the summer promotional travel I heavily rely on. It is especially important for me to advocate in person the services NC EMPT provides to high school teachers across the state, particularly teachers new to the field of high school mathematics. I am inspired by the legions of math teachers who support NC EMPT year after year and I trust they will help “ spread the word” to all math faculty on their high school campuses and in their school systems. Their understanding and loyalty amazed me as they quickly came aboard again in the spring, even after our fall hiatus from testing. We are very thankful that our efforts to provide early intervention in the critical area of college math placement are recognized. We continue to be sponsored by the State of North Carolina and will soon begin our fourteenth year of service. We are also appreciative of the continued support of East Carolina University, particularly that of Dr. Linner Griffin, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs. A third obstacle faced during the year included difficulties in our newly offered avenue of Web based testing. Despite three years of promotional efforts and the important experience of online testing for students, the vast majority of high school teachers prefer paper and pencil testing. In addition, the company that has provided the platform for this testing has also decided that they can no longer I must admit that during the tumultuous 2008 2009 testing year, I often found myself “ hanging on” as waves of change crashed overhead when least expected. The inability to offer early math placement testing during the fall semester was very disheartening, especially knowing that many high school students follow a block schedule and thus missed the NC EMPT opportunity if they took their only 2008 2009 math course during the fall semester. One very positive result, however, was a much improved spring test version with more comprehensive and individualized college information provided to students. 3 provide the same level of service. With the generous help of other EMPT programs nationwide, namely Ohio EMPT and Wisconsin EMPT, we’ll carefully study their successful online testing methods, listen to the feedback from high school teachers and college faculty, and plan to offer a more efficient model soon. The challenges the program faced could not have been met without the tremendous support of our small staff. Our student workers are some of the best I’ve ever had, and they never wavered in their willingness to work hard and get the job done. I also appreciate the longevity and invaluable knowledge of the director, Dr. Robert Bernhardt, and long time consultants David Hodges, Brian Manning, and Robert Elliott. I am surrounded by very helpful people who strongly believe in NC EMPT and keep me afloat. A heartfelt THANK YOU to all! Christmas 2008 Luncheon ( left to right): Cayleigh Blackwell, student worker; Chelsea Anderson, student worker; Dr. Robert Bernhardt, director; Ellen Hilgoe, associate director; Carla Watson, student worker. Easter Party in the NC EMPT Workroom: ( left to right): Cayleigh Blackwell, student worker; Jaleesa Minor, student worker; Ellen Hilgoe, associate director; Bob Longest, student worker; and Mike Kapetanakis, student worker. ( left) Robert Elliott, technology consultant; ( right) David Hodges, database consultant; and ( below) Brian Manning, web site consultant 4 III. Introduction The NC EMPT Program hopes to raise awareness of the importance of mathematics, and strives to give future incoming college freshmen an early warning of the mathematics skills necessary for successful placement in collegelevel mathematics. By offering this non threatening advice with opportune timing, that is, while students are still in high school and can maneuver to correct weaknesses, NC EMPT hopes to motivate students to remain strong in mathematics and avoid the expensive pitfalls caused by lack of retention or lack of knowledge of the skills needed for success at the college level. The 2008 2009 placement test questions are based on objectives in the areas of number and operation, algebra, and geometry. The questions were a result of a thorough study of current math placement tests used at NC community colleges and UNC institutions. Understanding the Basics of an EMPT Program Early Mathematics Placement Testing concisely describes a valuable intervention service provided to high school students in programs across the nation. The test allows students to experience a facsimile of an actual mathematics placement exam well before the first semester in college. Thus students, teachers, and parents become more aware of expectations, and therefore more able to react positively in a timely fashion. Student results letters are individualized, offer a wealth of information about mathematical readiness, and provide a “ reality check” of a student’s current mastery of mathematics skills. Some EMPT programs in the United States target high school juniors, in the hope that reinforcement of mathematics skills or corrective action can be taken in the senior year. The North Carolina program offers “ practice” placement testing to students close to competing Algebra II and to students in upper level math courses. This may include sophomores, juniors, or seniors. A new version of the NC EMPT test is created each year, and teachers are encouraged to test students near the end of their Algebra II term and during each subsequent math course. Reinforcement and retention of algebra skills is critical because university mathematics placement tests consist primarily of algebra questions. For a closer Avoid Rusty Math Skills! Link Successfully to College Level Mathematics! 5 look at the North Carolina EMPT Program, please read the documents found in Appendix A. Historically, a variety of EMPT programs have been offered, or are currently being considered, in at least twenty nine states across the nation since the 1980s. Unfortunately, many of these have ceased to exist due to several factors including competition from existing mandated testing and funding problems. Currently, strong programs exist in Ohio, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Wisconsin. Organization of the NC EMPT Program East Carolina University ( ECU) operated a four year pilot early math placement testing program from fall 1992 to spring 1996. Sixteen area high schools were involved, and ECU sponsored the pilot. As chair of the ECU Mathematics Department, Dr. Robert Bernhardt directed the program with the help of Dr. Sunday Ajose, and secretarial help was provided by the mathematics department staff. Funding for NC EMPT originated in the NC General Assembly in fall 1996 and was permanently transferred to ECU in fall 1996. A full time program manager and office assistant were added to the staff. The program reached out to all public and non pubic high schools statewide in 1997 1998. Participation numbers increased to an annual high of 47,925 high school students. NC EMPT has been continuously directed by faculty and staff at ECU since the program’s inception. NC EMPT has also been very fortunate to be overseen by a diverse and talented advisory board. Representatives from UNC institutions, NC community colleges, and the NC Department of Public Instruction are included. The members meet annually each October and correspond often via phone, e mail, and postal mail throughout the year. The following list includes the members of the 2008 09 Advisory Board: Appalachian State Univ. William Bauldry Dept. of Mathematical Sciences Dept. of Public Instruction Everly Broadway Chief, Middle/ Secondary Section, Mathematics Education Division Dept. of Public Instruction Carmella Fair Secondary Mathematics Consultant Dept. of Public Instruction Johannah Maynor Secondary Mathematics Consultant East Carolina University Robert Bernhardt NC EMPT Director and Dept. of Mathematics East Carolina University Ellen Hilgoe NC EMPT Associate Director Elizabeth City State University Darnell Johnson Chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science Fayetteville State University Vinod Arya Chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science NC A& T State University Guoqing Tang Interim Chair, Dept. of Mathematics NC Community College System Wanda White Director, Student Development Services NC Central University Laura Smith Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science NC State University Harvey Charlton Dept. of Mathematics UNC Asheville Peter Kendrick Director, Mathematics Assistance Center 6 UNC Chapel Hill Joseph Plante Dept. of Mathematics UNC Charlotte Mohammad Kazemi Assoc. Chair, Dept. of Mathematics UNC Greensboro Paul Duvall Department of Mathematics & Statistics UNC General Administration Bruce Mallette Senior Associate Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs UNC Pembroke Steve Bourquin Chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science UNC Wilmington Kenneth Gurganus Dept. of Mathematics & Statistics Western Carolina University Nory Prochaska Director, Mathematics Tutoring Center, Dept. of Mathematics & Computer Science Winston Salem State Univ. John O. Adeyeye Chair, Dept. of Mathematics Wake Technical Community College Robert Kimball Chair, Dept. of Mathematics & Physics Outreach Efforts of the NC EMPT Program The following groups are contacted via e mail, postal mail, and in presentations at workshops and conferences: North Carolina public and non public high school mathematics department chairs, mathematics teachers, school counseling department chairs, and principals North Carolina public school system superintendents, directors of secondary instruction, and secondary math coordinators NC community college presidents, mathematics department chairs, and testing coordinators University of North Carolina institution chancellors, mathematics department chairs, and directors of admissions North Carolina State Board of Education North Carolina Department of Public Instruction North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network Center directors and Pre College Program coordinators North Carolina Mathematics Association of Two Year Colleges National early mathematics placement testing programs and individuals interested in such programs in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin Achieve, Inc.  American Diploma Project, Washington, D. C. 7 A Quick Look at NC EMPT Participation Numbers, 1997 2009 Pilot  Spring 1997: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 80 Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 72 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 66 Total Number of Students Tested 8,195 1997 1998: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 376 Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 226 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 205 Total Number of Students Tested 27,456 1998 1999: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 357 Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 202 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 189 Total Number of Students Tested 27,030 1999 2000: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 637 Pretesting ( with the 1998 1999 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 9 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 4 Total Number of Students Pretested 364 Placement Testing ( with the new 1999 2000 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 273 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 251 Total Number of Students Tested 33,469 Grand Total of Students Tested in 1999 2000 33,833 2000 2001: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 658 Pretesting ( with the 1999 2000 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 58 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 37 Total Number of Students Pretested 3,259 Placement Testing ( with the new 2000 2001 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 307 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 280 Total Number of Students Tested 35,002 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 288 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2000 2001 38,261 8 2001 2002: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 650 Pretesting ( with the 2000 2001 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 67 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 52 Total Number of Students Pretested 3,716 Placement Testing ( with the new 2001 2002 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 299 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 279 Total Number of Students Tested 37,804 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 287 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2001 2002 41,520 2002 2003: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 648 ( this includes 358 public and 290 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2001 2002 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 65 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 50 Total Number of Students Pretested 4,422 Placement Testing ( with the new 2002 2003 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 311 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 278 Total Number of Students Tested 34,399 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 285 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2002 2003 38,821 2003 2004: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 643 ( this includes 370 public and 273 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2002 2003 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 51 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 34 Total Number of Students Pretested 4,084 Placement Testing ( with the new 2003 2004 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 266 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 232 Total Number of Students Tested 29,465 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 243 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2003 2004 33,549 9 2004 2005: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 629 ( this includes 370 public and 259 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2003 2004 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 69 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 68 Total Number of Students Pretested 6,339 Placement Testing ( with the new 2004 2005 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 308 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 244 Total Number of Students Tested 37,375 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping) 302 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2004 2005 43,714 2005 2006: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 626 ( this includes 378 public and 248 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2004 2005 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 78 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 65 Total Number of Students Pretested 5,919 Placement Testing ( with the new 2005 2006 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 318 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 285 Total Number of Students Tested 42,006 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping)* 303 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2005 2006 47,925 2006 2007: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 752 ( this includes 502 public and 250 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2005 2006 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 87 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 73 Total Number of Students Pretested 7,016 Placement Testing ( with the new 2006 2007 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 310 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 274 Total Number of Students Tested 39,402 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping)* 292 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2006 2007 46,418 10 2007 2008: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 780 ( this includes 534 public and 246 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2006 2007 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 73 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 52 Total Number of Students Pretested 5,763 Placement Testing ( with the new 2007 2008 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 330 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 280 Total Number of Students Tested 37,300 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping)* 293 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2007 2008 43,063 2008 2009: Total Number of NC High Schools Solicited 792 ( this includes 542 public and 250 non public schools) Pretesting ( with the 2007 2008 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools that Signed Up 33 Total Number of NC High Schools that Actually Tested 20 Total Number of Students Pretested 1,794 Placement Testing ( with the new 2008 2009 version of the NC EMPT test): Total Number of NC High Schools That Signed Up For Testing 283 Total Number of NC High Schools That Actually Tested 233 Total Number of Students Tested 21,682 Grand Total of Participating High Schools ( nonoverlapping)* 243 Grand Total of Students Tested in 2008 2009 23,476 * A list of the 243 participating schools in 2008 2009 follows 11 North Carolina Early Mathematics Placement Testing Program Participating High Schools for 2008 2009 A C Reynolds A L Brown A Performance Learning Center Alexander Central Anson New Technology Antioch Christian Academy Ardrey Kell Arendell Parrott Academy Ashe County Asheville Bertie Bertie STEM Bethel Christian Academy ( Canton) Bethel Christian Academy ( Kinston) Bible Baptist Christian School Bishop McGuiness Catholic Brevard Buncombe County Early College Bunker Hill Burns Caldwell Academy Calvary Baptist Day School Cape Fear Christian Academy Cardinal Gibbons Carolina Christian School Cary Cary Christian School Cedar Ridge Central Academy @ Lake Park Central Davidson Chapel Hill Charles B Aycock Charlotte Catholic Clayton Clover Garden Charter School Clyde A Erwin Coastal Christian Community Baptist School Community Christian School Cornerstone Christian School Crest Crossroads Christian School ( Henderson) Cumberland Evening Academy D H Conley David W Butler Davie County Dixon Douglas Byrd Durham Performance Learning Center Durham School of the Arts E A Laney E E Smith E T Beddingfield Early College of Forsyth Early College @ Guilford East Bladen East Davidson East Duplin East Forsyth East Gaston East Mecklenburg East Surry East Wake School of Health Sciences East Wilkes Eastern Alamance Eastern Guilford Edgecombe Early College Enka Eugene Ashley Falls Rd Baptist Church School Farmville Central Fayetteville Christian School Fike First Assembly Christian School ( Concord) First Flight Forest Hills Forsyth Country Day School Franklin Gaston Christian School Gates County Senior Goldsboro Grace Christian School ( Raleigh) Grace Christian School ( Sanford) Granville Central Greene Central Greenfield School Greensboro Day School Grimsley Guilford Day School Harding University Harnett Central Harrells Christian Academy Havelock Hayworth Christian School Heide Trask Hendersonville Christian School Hibriten Hickory High Point Christian Academy Highland School of Technology Highlands School Hiwassee Dam Hobgood Academy Hoke County Holly Springs Independence ( Charlotte) J F Webb J F Webb School of Health & Life Sciences J H Rose Jack Britt Jacket Academy @ Carver Jacksonville James Hunt Jesse C Carson John T Hoggard Jones Senior Jordan Matthews Kings Mountain Kinston Lawrence Academy Lee Christian School ( Sanford) Leesville Road Lejeune Lincolnton Macon County Early College Mallard Creek Manteo Marie G. Davis Military & Global Academy Math, Sci, Pre Eng, & Tech @ Olympic Mattamuskeet McDowell Metrolina Christian Academy Mooresville Mount Pleasant Mount Tabor Nash Central Neuse Baptist Christian School New Bern New Hanover New Technology High @ Garinger Norlina Christian School North Brunswick North Edgecombe North Forsyth North Henderson North Iredell North Lenoir North Lincoln North Mecklenburg North Moore North Pitt North Raleigh Christian Academy Northampton High East Northeastern Northern ( Durham) Northern Guilford Northern Nash Northside ( Jacksonville) Northside ( Pinetown) Northside Christian Academy Northwest Cabarrus Northwest Guilford Northwood Temple Academy Oak Ridge Military Academy Oakwood School Orange Page Parkland Pender Person Phillip O Berry Academy of Technology Piedmont Porter Ridge Providence Grove R B Glenn Reagan Reid Ross Classical School Renaissance School @ Olympic Resurrection Christian School Richlands Ridgecroft School Riverside Roanoke Roanoke Rapids Rockwell Christian School Rocky Mount Preparatory School Roxboro Christian Academy Rutherford County Early College Salem Academy School of Biotechnology & Health @ Olympic School of International Studies @ Olympic School of Math, Sci, & Envir @ Garinger Seventy First Smithfield Selma Smoky Mountain South Caldwell South Mecklenburg South Point South Stanly Southern Alamance Southern Guilford Southern Nash Southlake Christian Academy Southside Southwestern Randolph Spring Creek Starmount Sun Valley Surry Central Swansboro Tabernacle Christian School ( Hickory) Tarboro The Asheville School Tri City Christian School Tri County Christian School Trinity Tuscola Vandalia Christian School Victory Christian Center School Wake Christian Academy Wake Forest/ Rolesville Wakefield Walter M Williams Warren Early College Washington Watauga Wayne Early Middle College Weddington West Bladen West Caldwell West Charlotte West Craven West Forsyth West Johnston West Montgomery West Stanly Westchester Country Day School Whiteville Williamston Wilson Christian Academy Winston Salem Prep Academy Woodlawn School Zebulon B Vance 13 14 IV. Summary of 2008 2009 Testing Two versions of the NC EMPT test were administered during the year. For those schools interested in pretesting early in a new term for diagnostic purposes, the previous 2007 2008 version was used ( data for this Option # 1 can be found on page 11). Option # 2, used by the vast majority of schools, was to administer the new 2008 2009 version of the NC EMPT test. Schools have the choice to participate in Option # 1 or Option # 2, or both. Teachers had the opportunity to administer the traditional paper and pencil test or to use a Web based version of the same test. Interesting data is given below: Participants Using the 2008 2009 Version of the NC EMPT Test ( Option # 2): Time Period Number of High Schools Number of Students Fall 2008 0 including 0 Web based 0 including 0 Web based Spring 2009 233 including 29 Web based 21,682 including 1,223 Web based Total for Year 233 including 29 Web based ( nonoverlapping) 21,682 including 1,223 Web based NC EMPT Levels Student opscan forms were graded at the NC EMPT office at East Carolina University. Feedback was returned to the school’s contact person immediately, within 2 5 days after receipt of the opscans. The average turnaround time during 2008 2009 for the return of test results to 23,476 students was 2.4 days. The resulting scores were classified into one of four EMPT levels. Beginning in 1999 2000, the numeration of these levels was aligned with the achievement levels designed by the North Carolina State Board of Education in the ABCs accountability plan. Level 1 is the lowest level and Level 4 is the highest: High School Participation in Testing Options # 1 or # 2, 2008 2009 Option # 1 Option # 2 10 10 223 High School Participation in Option # 2 2008 2009 Web based Paper and Pencil Testing Testing 28 1 204 15 EMPT Level Number of Correct Answers 1 0 11 2 12 16 3 17 24 4 25 32 These scores were then used to advise each student in a personalized letter. Each letter contained a test score, the test score converted to a percent, a corresponding EMPT level, a listing of the mathematical objective for each test question, a listing of each answer given by the student, a listing of each correct answer, and an interpretation of each student’s readiness to take college level mathematics courses. The suggested levels were interpreted as: Level 1: A Level 1 score indicates the student is not ready for collegelevel math courses and must take remedial mathematics. Level 2: A Level 2 score indicates the student must take remedial mathematics in some choices of majors. Level 3: A Level 3 score indicates the student is ready for a beginning level college mathematics course. However, a Level 3 score may be considered borderline at some universities for students planning to major in math, science, or engineering. Level 4: A Level 4 score indicates a solid high school preparation for college level mathematics. Some universities may allow a student scoring at Level 4 on their math placement test to skip the first college math course, depending on that student’s choice of major. Each student’s results letter also included valuable advice about the beginning required mathematics courses for their chosen major and the actual mathematics placement procedure at the NC community college or UNC institution of their choice. In addition, helpful Web site addresses were provided for the mathematics department and math course descriptions for the college or university of choice. Samples of student results letters at two different levels follow. The contact person of each participating high school also received a summary, in various formats, of the test results of all students who participated at the school. Individual teachers received helpful results by class and period. Each teacher was provided with a copy of a brochure titled “ Mathematics Placement Procedures at NC Community Colleges and UNC Constituent Institutions, 2008 2009,” a handy reference tool for their college bound students. The brochure is updated each year by the associate director upon the advice of the NC EMPT Advisory Board members who represent the fifteen UNC campuses and fifty eight NC community colleges. A sample of this brochure follows as well. 16 17 18 19 20 Observations of Data The 2008 2009 school year was unique in more than one way. NC EMPT testing occurred only during the spring semester for the first time since 1996. In addition, the composition of the test changed substantially since the inception of the program. Test questions no longer measured mastery of Algebra II skills only, but also number and operation, geometry, and application problems. Interesting and meaningful observations were made by the associate director: Of the 289 high school contact persons that registered for spring 2009 early math placement testing, 54% were math department chairs. The vast majority of the others were high school math faculty members. A few were school counselors or administrators. The turnaround time for test results, that is, the time it took the NC EMPT office staff to process summary results and individualized results letters for each student participant from the day completed opscan forms arrived at the office to the day the results package was mailed out was an amazing 2.4 days. This was quite an accomplishment despite a turbulent year. Although student participation numbers declined from 43,063 to 23,476 ( about 45%) from 2007 08 to 2008 09, the number of high school math teachers whose classes participated only declined from 871 to 617 ( about 29%) across the state. Many high school teachers remained loyal to the program, but did not test as many students due to smaller testing windows in 2008 09. Successful use of NC EMPT online services by high school teachers was dependent on the activity. a) In the past, hard copies of the registration forms for the Option # 1 and # 2 test versions were completed and returned via U. S. Postal Mail by most high school contact persons. During 2008 09, 81% of the registration forms received were completed online and only 19% of forms were hard copies received by mail or fax. b) The response rate to an end of year survey jumped from 44% to 69% last year when an online survey was disseminated via e mail rather than including a paper survey with spring test results. c) Despite being the third year of promotion and availability of Web based testing, only 12% of participating schools chose this avenue of testing. The majority of schools preferred paper andpencil testing. The top reason cited for this preference was the lack of class access to individual school computers. Surprisingly, when the director of the more experienced Ohio EMPT Program was asked what percent of the Ohio high schools employed Web based EMPT testing, his answer was 10 12%. 23 During 2008 09, 73% of the participants were Caucasian. See the graph on p. 29. NC EMPT testing is recommended for students enrolled in Algebra II or in higher level math courses. It would be interesting to note the race/ ethnicity of students statewide who are enrolled in Algebra II or each of the higher level math courses. During 2008 2009, 34% of public high schools in the state participated in NC EMPT testing, while 24% of non public high schools participated. The year 2007 2008 was more representative of participation since testing occurred during both the fall and spring semesters. Even then, only 44% of public and 24% of non public high schools participated. The NC EMPT service is voluntary and requires time taken from demanding math curriculums and a high rate of other testing. The 2008 09 test version was significantly different in scope than earlier versions. This change was reflected in the average score earned out of 32 questions: In 2007 08, the average score was 20.6 ( 64%), whereas in 2008 09, the average score was 16.8 ( 53%). See the graph at the top of p. 50. Read the variety of comments teachers made about the new test in a survey of their 2008 09 testing experience beginning on p. 58. During 2008 09, most participants were enrolled in Algebra II or Integrated Math III ( 32%), or Advanced Functions and Modeling ( 29%). See the graph on p. 33. The change in test questions was also reflected in the placement levels of participants. The test includes 32 questions. Level 1 represents the lowest of four possible levels. Attaining a level 3 or 4 is interpreted to mean that the student is ready for college level math at most postsecondary institutions. Note that in 2007 08, 73% of participants earned a test score within levels 3 or 4, whereas in 2008 2009, only 51% achieved these same levels. See the graph on p. 31. Placement Level 2007 2008 2008 2009 1 ( score of 0 11) 10% 21% 2 ( score of 12 16) 18% 28% 3 ( score of 17 24) 42% 39% 4 ( score of 25 32) 31% 12% Overall, 52% of the participants were girls, and 44% were boys. In studying the placement level earned by participants, girls outperformed boys in levels 1, 2, and 3. Boys outscored girls in level 4 ( the highest) only, and by only 1%. For those students taking the Web based version of the test only, girls achieved higher placement levels in all four level categories. See the pie chart on the top of p. 28 and the graphs on p. 34. With regard to the placement level earned by grade level, sophomores performed better than freshmen, juniors, or seniors in levels 3 and 4. One explanation of this fact is that students enrolled in math classes at the Algebra II level or higher as a sophomore are usually honors level students. In the level 2 category, juniors performed better than students 24 from other grade levels. Also, the majority of the seniors taking the NC EMPT test placed into level 3, and freshmen performed the most poorly in each of the four levels. The stated eligibility guidelines for NC EMPT testing includes students who are close to completing Algebra II or are enrolled in a higher math course. Freshmen don’t normally meet these guidelines. See the graph on p. 32. The first choice of school planning to attend included: UNC at Chapel Hill ( 16% of participants), NC State University ( 14%), a community college ( 12%), East Carolina University ( 11%) and Appalachian State University ( 8%). See the graph on p. 44. Several major trends were noted as the history of data collected from 1996 2009 was reviewed: a) Over time, the number of juniors taking the NC EMPT test has slowly declined to 37% while the number of seniors has increased to 36%. Participating during the junior year gives students time to make improvements in the weak math skills highlighted by NC EMPT testing. Seniors that participate are motivated by the actual upcoming math placement exams given by their college/ university of choice. The number of sophomores declined from 34% in 1996 97 to 20% in 2008 2009. This may be due to the fact that NC EMPT testing is not as applicable or effective for sophomores who are three years away from taking actual college math placement exams. See the graph on the top of p. 49. b) The number of students planning to go to a college after high school has changed. One possible explanation could be the poor state of the national economy. See the graph at the bottom of p. 50. Plans After High School 2007 2008 2008 2009 4 year college or university 80% 74% 2 year college or community college 14% 12% Initially attend a 2 year college and then attend a 4 year college/ university ( not measured) 2% c) Students were given a more diverse 25 choices rather than 19 as in the past of their “ most likely college major.” The number one choice during 2007 08 and 2008 09 remained the same: business, management, and marketing. Pre Med, Pre Vet Medicine, or Pharmacy moved from the 4th choice to the 2nd choice. Visual and performing arts moved from the 5th choice to the 3rd choice. Nursing appeared in the top five for the first time in 08 09. See the background questions in Appendix A and the table on the bottom of p. 47. 25 26 Graphics Describing Testing Results from the 2008 2009 Version of the NC EMPT Test A special thanks is given to David Hodges, our database consultant, for his time, effort, and wisdom in creating these graphs. High School Demographics: Public High School Participation in NC EMPT 2008 2009 Total Number of NC Public High Schools = 542* 34% 56% ( 358) Schools Nonparticipating ( 184) Schools Participating * The total of 542 public high schools includes 534 public schools, two federal schools, and six charter schools. Non Public High School Participation in NC EMPT 2008 2009 Total Number of NC Non Public High Schools = 250 76% 24% ( 59) Schools Participating ( 191) Schools Non Participating 27 Student Demographics: Sex of Participating Students for Web based Testing 2008 2009 Not Given 3% ( 41) Male 43% ( 523) Female 54% ( 655) Sex of Participating Students for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing 2008 2009 Not Given 3% ( 739) Male 44% ( 9,648) Female 52% ( 11,295) Sex of Participating Students for Paper and Pencil Testing 2008 2009 Not Given 3% ( 697) Male 45% ( 9,077) Female 52% ( 10,592) 28 0% .04% 2% 73% 1% 7% 17% 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 16000 18000 Number of Students African American or Black American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Asian American or Pacific Islander White Hispanic or Latino Not Specified Other Race/ Ethnicity of Participating Students 2008 2009 29 Grade Level of Participating Students for Paper and Pencil Testing 2008 2009 Senior 36% ( 7,333) Junior 38% ( 7,676) Sophomore 20% ( 4,088) Freshman 4% ( 783) Not Given 2% ( 486) Grade Level of Participating Students for Web based Testing 2008 2009 Senior 45% ( 542) Junior 29% ( 357) Sophomore 19% ( 232) Freshman 3% ( 42) Not Given 4% ( 46) Grade Level of Participating Students for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing 2008 2009 Senior 37% ( 8,075) Junior 36% ( 7,912) Sophomore 20% ( 4,338) Freshman 4% ( 835) Not Given 2% ( 532) 30 NC EMPT Placement Levels for Students Using Paper and Pencil Testing 2008 2009 Level 4 12% ( 2,433) Level 3 40% ( 8,143) Level 2 28% ( 5,661) Level 1 20% ( 4,129) Level 4 ( highest) scored 25 32 Level 3 scored 17 24 Level 2 scored 12 16 Level 1 scored 0 11 2008 2009 Placement Test Results: NC EMPT Placement Levels for Students Using Web based Testing 2008 2009 Level 4 9% ( 111) Level 3 32% Level 2 ( 389) 28% ( 340) Level 1 31% ( 379) Level 4 ( highest) scored 25 32 Level 3 scored 17 24 Level 2 scored 12 16 Level 1 scored 0 11 NC EMPT Placement Levels for Students Using Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing 2008 2009 Level 4 12% ( 2,570) Level 3 39% ( 8,560) Level 2 28% ( 6,018) Level 1 21% ( 4,534) Level 4 ( highest) scored 25 32 Level 3 scored 17 24 Level 2 scored 12 16 Level 1 scored 0 11 31 Placement Level by Grade 2008 2009 1% 2% 1% 0.5% 4% 15% 10% 7% 3% 13% 11% 10% 3% 9% 5% 3% 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000 5500 6000 6500 7000 7500 Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Number of Students Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior 32 Placement Level by Current Math Course 2008 2009 2% 0.01% 2% 3% 1% 4% 0.2% 0.04% 1% 12% 11% 7% 0.4% 0.1% 3% 2% 0.03% 4% 10% 10% 3% 0.2% 0.1% 3% 0.4% 0.2% 2% 7% 7% 1% 0.2% 0. 1% 3% .3% 1% 1% 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 Algebra II or Integrated Math 3 Advanced Functions and Modeling Advanced Math, or Algebra III, or Advanced Algebra, or Trigonometry or Pre Calculus Integrated Math 4 Probability, or Statistics, or Discrete Math Calculus Technical Math II Other Not currently enrolled in a math course Number of Students Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 33 9% 11% 12% 15% 17% 21% 6% 5% 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 Number of Students Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Placement Level by Sex for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Tessting 2008 2009 Male Female 9% 10% 12% 15% 18% 21% 6% 5% 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 Number of Students Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Placement Level by Sex for Paper and Pencil Testing 2008 2009 Male Female 13% 16% 12% 15% 13% 18% 4% 5% 0 100 200 300 400 500 Number of Students Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Placement Level by Sex for Web based Testing 2008 2009 Male Female 34 Type of Calculator Used 2008 2009 Scientific calculator 25% ( 5,473) Graphing Calculator 47% ( 10,160) Four function calculator 7% ( 1,485) None 15% ( 3,289) 35 NC EMPT Score Frequency for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing, 2008 2009 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132 Score Number of Students Frequency NC EMPT Score Frequency for Paper and Pencil Testing, 2008 2009 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132 Score Number of Students Frequency NC EMPT Score Frequency for Web based Testing, 2008 2009 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Score Number of Students Frequency 36 2008 2009 Item Analysis for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing, 2008 2009 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Question # Percent Correct 2008 2009 Item Analysis for Paper and Pencil Testing, 2008 2009 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Question # Percent Correct 2008 2009 Item Analysis for Web based Testing, 2008 2009 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Question # Percent Correct 37 Question Objective # Correct % Correct 1 convert from decimal to fraction 19348 89% 8 solve formula for variable 17648 81% 19 solve word problem: proportion 17426 80% 13 simplify complex fraction 16550 76% 2 solve linear equation 15806 73% 11 evaluate using laws of expon. 15641 72% 10 use midpoint formula 14809 68% 32 solve word problem: linear func. 14379 66% 24 find eq. of linear function 13429 62% 20 simplify using distributive prop. 13387 62% 18 evaluate function 12771 59% 4 solve word problem: circumference 12452 57% 7 model a linear function 12214 56% 22 evaluate expression 11876 55% 6 find x intercept of line 11563 53% 9 apply Pythagorean Theorem 11214 52% 30 find angle measure in rt. triangle 11116 51% 3 solve exponential equation 11105 51% 25 solve system of two linear eqs. 11078 51% 26 mult. nos. in scientific notat. 10891 50% 31 recall and then solve formula 10442 48% 16 solve word problem: ratio, % 10156 47% 15 find quadratic function 9801 45% 5 find volume of box 9285 43% 27 solve quadratic equation 9152 42% 17 recognize function given data 7722 36% 23 solve word problem: rt. tri. trig. 7078 33% 14 solve word problem: average 6671 31% 29 find equation of line 6202 29% 28 subtract rational expressions 6026 28% 12 compare numbers 4290 20% 21 solve word problem: % increase 3759 17% Item Analysis by Decreasing % for Both Paper and Pencil and Web based Testing, 2008 2009 38 39 Question Objective # Correct % Correct 1 convert from decimal to fraction 990 81% 25 solve system of two linear eqs. 880 72% 32 solve word problem: linear func. 839 69% 7 model a linear function 829 68% 21 solve word problem: % increase 829 68% 8 solve formula for variable 757 62% 5 find volume of box 741 61% 18 evaluate function 735 60% 20 simplify using distributive prop. 721 59% 13 simplify complex fraction 667 55% 26 mult. nos. in scientific notat. 640 52% 28 subtract rational expressions 626 51% 11 evaluate using laws of expon. 601 49% 10 use midpoint formula 601 49% 3 solve exponential equation 574 47% 12 compare numbers 566 46% 16 solve word problem: ratio, % 559 46% 17 recognize function given data 531 43% 19 solve word problem: proportion 530 43% 27 solve quadratic equation 526 43% 24 find eq. of linear function 500 41% 9 apply Pythagorean Theorem 497 41% 6 find x intercept of line 474 39% 2 solve linear equation 453 37% 30 find angle measure in rt. triangle 430 35% 23 solve word problem: rt. tri. trig. 428 35% 15 find quadratic function 360 29% 14 solve word problem: average 343 28% 29 find equation of line 340 28% 22 evaluate expression 318 26% 4 solve word problem: circumference 234 19% 31 recall and then solve formula 182 15% Item Analysis by Decreasing % for Web based Testing, 2008 2009 40 Plans After High School 2008 2009 4 year university 74% ( 15,974) 2 year college 12% ( 2,620) trade schools 7% ( 1,623) military service 1% ( 171) other 4% initially attend a 2 year ( 819) college and then attend a 4 year college 2% ( 475) 41 Anticipated College Major 2008 2009 57 118 128 152 242 2756 2137 2002 1905 1894 1539 1023 871 736 627 500 432 358 357 327 309 279 269 260 1945 476 360 203 264 228 2081 1596 1723 1173 1030 1637 1752 756 1048 656 768 645 622 569 497 717 694 487 471 391 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% Business, Management and Marketing Pre Medicine, Pre Veterinary Medicine or Pharmacy Visual and Performing Arts Engineering Nursing Social and Behavior Sciences Medical Technologies and Allied H ealth Fields Biology and Biological Sciences Security and Prot ective Services Pre K and Elementary Education Humanities Secondary Education in a Non Science or Non Mathematics Area Computer Science in a Business Area Mathematical and Physical Sciences Computer Science in a Mathematics, Engineering or Science Area Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies Engineering Technologies Automotive Technology Archit ecture and Related Services Agriculture Family and Consumer Sciences Middle Grades Education Secondary Education in a Science and Mathematica Area Natural Resources and Conservation Ethnic, Cultural and Gender Studies Percentage of Students First Choice Second Choice 42 Number of College Level Math Courses Required for First College Major 2008 2009 Not Applicable to Me 1% ( 188) I Don't Know 70% ( 15,088) None 432 ( 2%) One Course 3% ( 747) Two or more courses 22% ( 4,783) 43 12% 8% 11% 1% 2% 4% 2% 14% 1% 16% 7% 5% 2% 7% 3% 2% 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 Winston Salem State University Western Carolina University UNC at Wilmingt on UNC at Pembroke UNC at Greensboro UNC at Charlott e UNC at Chapel Hill UNC at Asheville NC State University NC Central University NC A& T State University Fayetteville State University Elizabeth City State University East Carolina University Appalachian State University A Community College First Choice of School Planning to Attend 2008 2009 44 Placement Level by School Planning to Attend ( 1) 2008 2009 97 169 171 4 6 26 9 603 37 996 119 69 18 141 61 9 788 781 998 45 79 181 115 1411 151 1617 595 352 117 734 313 112 890 481 728 74 124 273 183 665 77 584 457 354 127 431 220 150 836 306 456 92 119 279 207 331 50 317 331 299 98 259 156 154 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% A Community College Appalachian State University East Carolina University Elizabeth City State University Fayetteville State University NC A& T State University NC Central University NC State University UNC Asheville UNC Chapel Hill UNC Charlotte UNC Greensboro UNC Pembroke UNC Wilmington Western Carolina University Winston Salem State University Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 45 Placement Level by Schools Planning to Attend ( 2) 2008 2009 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 A Community College Appalachian State University East Carolina University Elizabeth City State University Fayetteville State University NC A& T State University NC Central University NC State University UNC Asheville UNC Chapel Hill UNC Charlotte UNC Greensboro UNC Pembroke UNC Wilmington Western Carolina University Winston Salem State University Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 46 V. Trends in NC EMPT Data, 1996 2009 The NC EMPT Program has compiled data from a pilot semester and twelve full years of testing. Informative trends are already beginning to appear and they are presented in the following charts and graphs: NC EMPT Cost Per Student Spring 1997 $ 7.36 2002 2003 $ 4.02 1997 1998 $ 4.40 2003 2004 $ 4.96 1998 1999 $ 5.46 2004 2005 $ 3.79 1999 2000 $ 4.55 2005 2006 $ 3.59 2000 2001 $ 4.24 2006 2007 $ 3.86 2001 2002 $ 3.62 2007 2008 $ 4.07 2008 2009 $ 7.27 Top Anticipated College Majors Year Major Students Choosing Major as First Choice 2002 2003 Social/ Behavioral Sciences 14% Engineering 13% Business/ Administrative Sciences 11% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2003 2004 Social and Behavioral Sciences 14% Engineering 13% Business/ Administrative Sciences 12% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2004 2005 Social and Behavioral Sciences 14% Engineering 13% Business/ Administrative Sciences 12% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2005 2006 Social and Behavioral Sciences 14% Business/ Administrative Sciences 14% Engineering 12% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2006 2007 Business/ Administrative Sciences 12% Social and Behavioral Sciences 12% Engineering 11% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2007 2008 Business/ Administrative Sciences 13% Social and Behavioral Sciences 13% Engineering 12% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 9% 2008 2009 Business, Management, and Marketing 13% Pre Med/ Pre Vet/ Pharmacy 10% Visual and Performing Arts 9% Engineering 9% Note that testing during 2008 2009 occurred only during the second half of the school year. 47 Students Participating in NC EMPT 33,833 38,261 38,821 33,549 46,418 43,063 23,476 27,456 41,520 43,714 47,925 27,030 8,195 0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 1996 97 1997 98 1998 99 1999 00 2000 01 2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07 2007 08 2008 09 Number of Students High Schools Participating in NC EMPT 243 243 285 287 288 189 251 66 205 302 303 292 293 0 100 200 300 400 500 1996 97 1997 98 1998 99 1999 00 2000 01 2001 02 2002 03 2003 04 2004 05 2005 06 2006 07 2007 08 2008 09 Number of Schools * Note that testing during 2008 2009 occurred only during the second half of the school year. * ���� Note that testing during 2008 2009 occurred only during the second half of the school year. 48 Grade Level of Participating Students 1996 2009 50% 30% 40% 10% 20% Sophomore Junior 0% 96 97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Year Senior EMPT Level of Participating Students 1996 2009 50% 20% 30% 40% 0% 10% 96 97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Year Level 4 ( highest) Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Note: A substantially different test with more diverse test questions was given for the first time in 2008 09. 49 Average Score Out of 32 Questions for Participants Each Year 1996 2009 25 Series1 10 15 20 0 5 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Note: A substantially different test with more diverse test questions was given for the first time in 2008 09. Year Students Planning to Go to College After High School Graduation 1996 2009 80% 90% 40% 50% 60% 70% 4 year College 2 year College 10% 20% 30% 0% 96 97 97 98 98 99 99 00 00 01 01 02 02 03 03 04 04 05 05 06 06 07 07 08 08 09 Year 50 VI. Evaluation of the 2008 2009 Year Feedback from participating teachers is critical to the success of the program and responses are carefully reviewed and considered. The surveys in this section of the report were disseminated in early June 2009 to the contact persons of the high schools involved in either NC EMPT paper and pencil or Web based Option # 2 testing during the spring of 2009. The surveys were created and distributed via email using Perseus software. This software was made available to the associate director by the Information Technology and Computing Services Department of East Carolina University. The teacher contacts were asked to discuss the survey statements and questions with other participating math teachers in their departments before completing the survey. With 154 of the surveys returned to our office, 69% of those polled responded. This response rate is much improved. For example, last year’s response rate was only 44%. In past years, a paper and pencil survey was enclosed with spring testing results rather than the online survey employed in June 2009. These responses reassure us that both students and teachers are very satisfied with the administration, efficiency, value, and wealth of timely information provided by the NC EMPT Program. It is especially heartening to receive a 96% vote of confidence with regard to the overall value of the service to high school students and teachers. The NC EMPT test is not mandatory and the fact that so many teachers voluntarily find room in their busy math curriculums to employ this early math placement test is a testament to its value. Healthy Responses from the Surveys of 2008 2009 Participating Teachers . . . Question # 3: 93% strongly agreed or agreed that the instructions provided for each teacher for paper and pencil or Web based testing were clear and easy to follow. Question # 5: 89% strongly agreed or agreed that students were attentive and tested with a serious attitude. Question # 6: 97% strongly agreed or agreed that the NC EMPT office promptly returned hard copies of test score summaries for teachers and individualized results letters for students. Question # 7: 96% strongly agreed or agreed that the test score summary received by each teacher for each class period was helpful. Question # 8: 93% strongly agreed or agreed that the lime green brochure titled “ Mathematics Placement Procedures at NC Community Colleges and UNC Constituent Institutions, 2008 2009” that was included in each teacher’s results package was useful to teachers in advising college bound students. Question # 11: 89% strongly agreed or agreed that students found their individualized results letters easy to understand and informative. Question # 13: 93% strongly agreed or agreed that the NC EMPT Program accomplished its goal of providing participating high school students with a “ reality check” of their readiness for college level mathematics. Question # 15: 96% strongly agreed or agreed that overall, the NC EMPT Program provides a valuable service to high school students and teachers. 51 Each year, NC EMPT Advisory Board members who represent NC community colleges and UNC institutions are asked to update information about their particular schools. This information is unique to each school and includes calculator usage on actual math placement tests, beginning required math courses for majors, and descriptions of math placement procedures. The associate director gathers this information and updates a brochure titled “ Mathematics Placement Procedures at NC Community Colleges and UNC Constituent Institutions.” This important brochure is disseminated each year to each participating teacher and all public and non public high school principals, math chairs and counseling departments. According to question # 8 in the above survey, 93% of the teachers responding found this brochure helpful in advising students. This same valuable information provided by board members has another important use. It is imbedded in individual student results letters based on the student’s choice of major and college/ university. There is always room for improvement. The survey question receiving the lowest approval rating was # 2: “ If you registered online ( rather than mailing or faxing the paper form), the online sign up form was user friendly and reliable.” Only 74% of the respondents answered positively, that is, they strongly agreed or agreed with this statement. We will restudy the online form and make adjustments in order simplify the process of completing the form. As far as reliability is concerned, there are inherent problems with Web servers and so there will be times when completed registration forms are not received. We also find that despite written reminders, some required fields of information are not completed by a handful of contact persons and their signup form is therefore not successfully submitted. In both cases, contact persons are warned to look for a confirmation email that should immediately be received in their email boxes from the NC EMPT office. If the confirmation is not received, the contact persons are advised to contact the office as soon as possible. Survey question # 4 asks respondents if “ test administration took a total of 55 minutes or less.” The question received a positive response of 79%. Last year, 95% of the teachers responded positively to this question. These teachers employed the paper and pencil tests only. This 2008 2009 survey question was directed to all teachers including those who gave the paper and pencil or the Web based version. Because very few changes were made in the instructions for the administration of the paper test this year, our conclusion is that the positive response was lower this year due to technical difficulties on the part of students or teachers when trying to employ the less familiar online testing avenue. Survey question # 10 asks respondents if “ participating teachers took time to review test errors with students.” The fact that only 64% of the responses were positive is disheartening. Much additional value to students is derived from reviewing their mathematical strengths and weaknesses and in discussing the merits of the test results. However, with stiff competition for valuable instructional time and with one day already sacrificed for testing, adding a second day to review results is a difficult choice for some teachers. A copy of the Perseus survey questions and results follows: 52 Created using Vovici EFM Community A QUICK Survey of NC EMPT Testing, Spring 2009 Type: Frequency Report Date: 9/ 26/ 2009 Total number of responses collected: 156 Part A: Carefully read each statement below and respond by checking one box to the right of each statement. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree N/ A or No Opinion Total Mean Std Dev 1. The decision to participate in NC EMPT testing at your school is at the discretion of each individual math teacher. Count 83 31 16 8 5 143 1.748 1.084 % by Row 58.0% 21.7% 11.2% 5.6% 3.5% 100.0% 2. If you registered online ( rather than mailing or faxing the paper form), the online sign up form was userfriendly and reliable. Count 83 22 0 0 38 143 2.217 1.716 % by Row 58.0% 15.4% 0.0% 0.0% 26.6% 100.0% 53 Created using Vovici EFM Community 3. The instructions provided for each teacher for paperand pencil or Webbased testing were clear and easy to follow. Count 103 30 1 1 8 143 1.469 0.992 % by Row 72.0% 21.0% 0.7% 0.7% 5.6% 100.0% 4. Test administration took a total of 55 minutes or less. Count 71 42 20 1 9 143 1.846 1.103 % by Row 49.7% 29.4% 14.0% 0.7% 6.3% 100.0% 5. Students were attentive and tested with a serious attitude. Count 51 76 6 0 10 143 1.895 1.012 % by Row 35.7% 53.1% 4.2% 0.0% 7.0% 100.0% 6. The NC EMPT office promptly returned hard copies of test score summaries for teachers and individualized results letters for students. Count 109 29 0 0 5 143 1.343 0.806 % by Row 76.2% 20.3% 0.0% 0.0% 3.5% 100.0% 7. The test score summary received by each teacher for each class period was helpful. Count 105 33 0 0 5 143 1.371 0.811 54 Created using Vovici EFM Community % by Row 73.4% 23.1% 0.0% 0.0% 3.5% 100.0% 8. The lime green brochure titled " Mathematics Placement Procedures at NC Community Colleges and UNC Constituent Institutions, 2008 2009" was included in each teacher's results package. This brochure was useful to teachers in advising collegebound students. Count 95 38 1 0 9 143 1.531 1.013 % by Row 66.4% 26.6% 0.7% 0.0% 6.3% 100.0% 9. The NC EMPT website at www. ncempt. org is useful and informative. Count 80 37 1 0 25 143 1.972 1.468 % by Row 55.9% 25.9% 0.7% 0.0% 17.5% 100.0% 10. Participating teachers took time to review test errors with students. Count 40 52 22 5 24 143 2.448 1.377 % by Row 28.0% 36.4% 15.4% 3.5% 16.8% 100.0% 11. Students found their individualized results letters easy to understand and Count 71 57 1 0 14 143 1.804 1.164 55 Created using Vovici EFM Community informative. % by Row 49.7% 39.9% 0.7% 0.0% 9.8% 100.0% 12. Students found their NC EMPT experience helpful and useful for future college plans. Count 56 63 4 0 20 143 2.056 1.299 % by Row 39.2% 44.1% 2.8% 0.0% 14.0% 100.0% 13. The NC EMPT Program accomplished its goal of providing your participating high school students with a " reality check" of their readiness for college level mathematics. Count 92 41 1 0 9 143 1.552 1.012 % by Row 64.3% 28.7% 0.7% 0.0% 6.3% 100.0% 14. The NC EMPT Program will accomplish its goal of helping to reduce the percentage of incoming college freshmen that require mathematics remediation at the college level ( consider the Count 56 64 6 0 17 143 2.007 1.230 56 Created using Vovici EFM Community seniors from your high school that participated in the program and plan to attend college in fall 2009). % by Row 39.2% 44.8% 4.2% 0.0% 11.9% 100.0% 15. Overall, the NC EMPT Program provides a valuable service to high school students and teachers. Count 101 36 1 0 5 143 1.406 0.824 % by Row 70.6% 25.2% 0.7% 0.0% 3.5% 100.0% Total Count 1196 651 80 15 203 2145 N/ A N/ A % by Row 55.8% 30.3% 3.7% 0.7% 9.5% 100.0% 57 # 16. In an effort to update and realign with current college math placement tests, the 2008 2009 NC EMPT test questions were substantially different from those found on earlier versions of the test. Please comment on the diversity and difficulty of the questions. Number Comments About Diversity and Difficulty of 2008 2009 NC EMPT Test Version 50 A good upgrade; I like the improvement in the diversity of the content; questions were appropriate and a fair measure of college math placement tests; a good sampling of all the mathematics skills students should have learned throughout high school. 26 My students found the new questions much more difficult than those from previous years; definitely a harder, but better test; more challenging; the old version was too predictable and too easy for students completing Algebra II; the typical scores in our classes were lower than in previous years. 7 I appreciated more “ real life” word problems; not so mechanical, required some thought and problem solving; a surprise as students were used to a more objective test format as opposed to the problem solving format; good change because students need to think more critically; questions not all process driven – several questions required students to do an additional step or two and/ or make a decision about what process( es) to apply; questions were more thought provoking. 4 Including trig and precalculus questions was an improvement; test questions went beyond Algebra II and included more college placement topics; many questions were not aligned with the Algebra II curriculum. 3 Glad to see geometry topics included; students struggled with geometry content because they didn’t recall the skills. 3 It was a great experience for our students, and for me as a teacher; some students had their eyes opened on their current readiness; good reality check for many. 3 Not using a calculator on the test increased the difficulty level; without a calculator, most of my students gave up on taking the test and guessed; I was shocked at how dependent the students are on a calculator. 2 It is outstanding that NC EMPT stays current with actual math placement tests given on college campuses across the state; I’m glad that you updated the test to more accurately reflect college math expectations. 2 The new test was not much different than the old versions; did not pay attention to the differences. 2 No response from my math teachers. 2 My students commented that they thought the test was easier than the earlier version. 2 This was the first time I’d seen the test so I can’t answer this question. 1 I found the new test more useful for seniors in Discrete Math and chose not to use it as an Algebra II end of course exam readiness test. 1 The change made it a little awkward to compare students’ general scores from those earned on prior versions of the test. 1 The new test was a close match to the NY State college math placement test. 1 I found out that I do need to do more with percents to help my students review. 1 There seemed to be a greater emphasis on exponential functions. 1 The new test was much more difficult for my students. It made me wonder whether the old or new test was more closely an indicator of whether students are ready or not. 1 I feel like the real thing is harder, however I do not know what is on the real thing. 1 Please send out another “ Top Ten Missed Questions” sheet because I use these to help my students prepare. 58 1 The trig questions could be harder. 1 The question that referred to 2/ 3 as .666 confused my calculus students. This may be because AP Calculus rounds or truncates to the third decimal place. 1 The new test is more realistic for SAT and COMPASS testing, also for the Algebra II end of course test. 1 Some students develop a “ cocky” attitude which does not serve them well. This year’s students had lower scores and these scores were probably a more realistic portrayal of their math abilities. # 17. If you used the NC EMPT Web based avenue of testing, please tell us what you liked about it and make any suggestions for improvement. Number Positive Comments About Web based Testing 6 Web based testing was easy to do; convenient; well designed; with directions in front of me, the website was easy to use. ( However, if I didn’t have step by step directions, I would never have guessed correctly what to click.) 6 Prompt and immediate reporting of scores; students were able to identify questions answered incorrectly while the questions were “ fresh” in their minds. 3 The experience of students taking a test online is invaluable as it is a common form of testing in college. 2 My school has initiated a laptop program. Web based assessment was a perfect fit and a great idea. 2 I liked the fact that students could access the test from any site ( home, school, library, etc.) 1 I liked the fact that students could save each individual answer. Number Suggestions for Improvement of Web based Testing 7 There was some confusion among my students about the “ submit” button on individual questions; the students and I were very confused about which button to push: the one under each question or the final button at the bottom of the test  the directions were vague about this; Why can’t there be one “ submit” button at the end of the test with all answers being saved, but changeable, to that point? You’d need to also provide one “ save” button for folks that may need to finish their test at a different time. 3 Some students commented that their responses were lost numerous times and that they had to start all over again several times; this drastically affected their scores. 2 Students taking the test at home had difficulty navigating the WebAssign site. Off times, the site would freeze and prevent students from entering answers; students using Apple computers at home had problems. 1 After students click on the “ submit” button, a window should appear that lets them know that their answers were submitted successfully. There is no way of knowing with the current software set up. 1 The WebAssign tech staff was not responsive to e mail or phone requests for help. Neither was addressed. 1 The test took longer than 55 minutes for my students who took the test seriously and I found I had not allocated sufficient computer time in the lab. 59 # 18. What other services or information can the NC EMPT Program provide you or your students with regard to college math placement testing? Number Requests for Other Services or Information 26 None! The information you provide is detailed and wonderful, and the students are usually amazed; NC EMPT does so much already; keep doing what you’re doing! 7 Your services are greatly appreciated; we appreciate your feedback and the individual results; we appreciate any help you can give us with regard to college math placement testing; letting students know expectations in advance and what test results mean is a valuable tool. 4 I liked the info. about which colleges allow calculators and which did not; it would be interesting to see which colleges use computerized placement testing and which use paper and pencil; tell us which colleges provide calculators during their placement testing; provide a list of when colleges do their actual math placement testing. 3 Let’s go back to giving a pretest ( Option# 1) early in each semester, and then a posttest ( Option # 2) at the end of each semester. These two tests have provided me with insight into which math topics the students need to review and allows the students to see how much their math skills have improved from the beginning to the end of the semester. 2 Any additional practice materials ( games, puzzles), frequently missed questions, or old tests would be very helpful for practice purposes. 1 I think an item analysis ( how many students chose response A, etc.) might be helpful to see if the majority of the students who got the problem wrong were making a common mistake. 1 Information about math requirements and placement tests at various colleges needs to be in every high school guidance office. 1 I had many students attending college out of state. It would be useful to have information about placement testing at colleges and universities not in NC. 1 Some of my students asked if the NC EMPT score could be submitted in place of the placement test their college would administer. You might want to consider that for future tests. 1 Offer a test version for Algebra I students that is similar to the PSAT or SAT. I think more teachers would use the test at lower math levels. 1 Return test copies with answers and student scores for Web based testing. It’s tough to review a test if we don’t have copies. 1 Provide some suggestions for students to remediate themselves. Maybe offer some mini courses online that students can work through on their own. 1 Your information should include required AP scores at each of the listed universities. Perhaps you could give web links for each university where more AP information can be found. 1 For my students who are thinking about majoring in some math related field, the test could be more challenging. 1 If a list of covered objectives or a pre assessment could be given, that would be helpful; include a list of formulas that students are expected to know ( remember) from previous courses. 1 Maybe have an online test that students can take on their own time to get feedback. 1 I need to test earlier in the year. The students did not take it seriously. 60 DONE! THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME TO GIVE US YOUR FEEDBACK!! If you have any other comments you’d like us to hear, please write them below. Number Additional Comments 16 Wonderful program and fantastic service every time; you really make it easy for teachers to use NC EMPT and it is a great resource for students; thank you very much; keep up the good work; it is a pleasure to work with the staff at NC EMPT. 5 Ellen Hilgoe’s organization and efficiency are unparalleled! Good job! Thank you, Ellen, once again for your assistance; Mrs. Hilgoe does a good job in promoting NC EMPT, giving energy to math teachers, and encouraging them to use the test. 4 I appreciate the service offered to our students; the students find the results very worthwhile. 3 NC EMPT test results make students realize the importance of taking math their senior year of high school; this is a great opportunity for our graduating seniors! 2 You guys do a great job; your turnaround time for results is amazing! 2 NC EMPT is a very useful tool in preparing students for college and would be greatly missed if cancelled. 1 We are glad you are back in operation this fall, especially after not being able to offer testing last fall. 1 Thank you for providing such an informative service. My students used the testing as preparation for the Algebra II state mandated end of course exam. They were also extremely interested in the information given about college math and placement tests. I think it increased the overall motivation going into our final exams. Please make sure we are included in next year’s testing. 1 My students saved copies of the test to refresh their math skills just prior to their actual college math placement test. 1 Several of my students from the first semester of block scheduling requested to take the test again when it was scheduled in the spring. 1 Thanks for the opportunity to increase the size of our order at such a late date. 1 We gave the test without the use of calculators. Our students are so dependent on them. I think their scores would have been much better if they could have used a calculator. 1 My students were primarily 10th grade honor students. They did very well on the test and may think the placement test was not a challenge. They did benefit from the feedback with regard to the college they were interested in. 1 Thank you for the quick replies, positive attitude, and stickers! 1 Some students chose not to come to school on the day of testing. The others did not take the test seriously. I think I waited too late to administer it. 1 The only disadvantage of NC EMPT is that we can’t test Algebra II students due to the jam packed curriculum. We honestly can’t give up an hour that we need to do our EOC instruction. So we give the test in Advanced Functions and Modeling and/ or Pre Calculus classes where many students are seniors already. I would love to be able to test all juniors so that they could get the reality check. An online version that students could take at any time and get instant feedback would be so valuable for juniors in Algebra II. 61 62 
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