It was Wednesday, the math day. It was before they had started the test, and I was walking the room. I found that one student had a calculator out. Calculators are not allowed, so I went over to tell the boy this.
The boy was surprised. He wanted to know how he was going to pass if he couldn't use a calculator. I informed him that the test was testing his arithmetic skills, so using a calculator would defeat that purpose.
The boy then informed me that he had never taken arithmetic. And the boy who was sitting at the same table told me the same thing. I reminded them that they had both passed elementary school (an assumption, but since they were sitting in a high school...). They learned to multiply and divide in elementary school.
The second boy told me that he had just moved here from Arkansas. He told me he hadn't learned to multiply and divide in Arkansas.
I wish I had a dollar for every time a student hold me he couldn't read. I hear it almost daily. Telling me that he can't multiply or divide? Different discipline, same idea. The assertion is ludicrous.
I told the second boy that I was sure he learned what he needed to know in Arkansas. And then I walked away before they tried to tell me that they didn't know how to count.
Later in the testing session the second boy had to be moved. The two boys were not acting as they should have acted in the testing room. I was not surprised.