As usual I tracked aggregate performance on student learning outcomes
on the outline test-by-test using item analysis of test questions. The
following chart depicts the overall progress on the student learning
outcomes test-by-test for both last summer (in red) and this summer (in
The marked difference in performance is theorized to be due to summer 2006 being comprised primarily of upward bound students while summer 2007 was comprised heavily of "retreads" - students who had failed MS 100 one or two times previously and were in for a second or third round.
Minus the detailed analysis I think MS 100 needs a rethink. Like Scottsdale Community College ("Four Steps to a Standards-Embracing Department", p19 vol. 28 no.2 spring 2007 AMATYC Review) I feel that college algebra needs to be rethought from a functional perspective. Hostetler scatters quadratics across four chapters introducing different aspects in each chapter, the sequence of the text is contorted and weird. I'd go to a straight linear to quadratic to cubics to higher order polynomials and on into conics. I toss topics and go deeper via simple physical models as I have done this summer. And I would put a heavy emphasis throughout on graphing and interpreting graphs.