Linked is a PDF of the pretest I used. The pretest foreshadows some of the areas proposed in the syllabus. Individual student performance ranged from a high score of 16 of 24 possible correct down to only 3 of  24 correct. The overall average performance was 7.86 of 24 with a standard deviation of 2.71. Overall performance was on par with an instrument designed to determine whether the material proposed will be appropriate. The low score and large standard deviation suggests that the material is not below the level of the students while neither being so far above their skill set as to be unachievable.

The class is diverse in that the class includes prejuniors and preseniors from three high schools and includes a pre-sophomore. Average performance by these factors is given in the following table.
HS Class alg I geo Total Result
mhs prejunior 11
mhs presenior
10.33 10.33
nmhs prejunior 6
nmhs presenior
7.33 7.33
pics prejunior 8
pics presenior 9 6.75 7.2
pics presoph 6
Total Result
7.79 8 7.86

The results for the subgroups are not separated from the mean. The MHS prejunior score of 11 is not statistically significantly high: this is a single student. In fact, all of the sample sizes are too small to make statistically significant conclusions about the differences from the overall mean. The upshot is that there is no differential seen among the students by school or level. This is of some interest as there were real differentials by school on the college entrance test last spring.

The item analysis for the pretest suggests strength in basic calculations, with some students well able to determine slopes and intercepts for linear equations. Performance collapses when trying to predict y values from an x value, or an x from a y for a liner system. Very few students appear familiar with quadratic expressions, although some know how to factor quadratics that can be factored into integers. Many students know how to find a mode and median, but calculation of the mean for the same set of numbers yielded a number of errors.  The following table gives the percent of students answering a question correctly. 29 students took the pretest.

overall 34%
1 mode 62%
2 median 83%
3 mean 31%
4 range 17%
5 linear projection 83%
6 plot 62%
7 y-intercept 10%
8a run 10%
8b rise 34%
8c slope 10%
9 slope-intercept form 7%
10 predict y from x 17%
11 determine x given y 7%
12 name parabola 7%
13 y-intercept parabola from graph 28%
14 x-intercept parabola from graph 7%
15 find quadratic factors from a graph 0%
16 find quadratic equation from x-intercepts read from a graph 0%
17 solve quadratic by factoring 7%
18 determine square root 36 97%
19 substitute values into a given equation, calculate result 66%
20 given Fibonacci terms, determine next term 62%
21 divide 55 by 34 79%
22 calculate the fibonacci ratio 24%


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