By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer
Fifth-grader Kayla Connelly answered the problem correctly.
It was the question projected on the board that was wrong.
That's why it looked like she got the wrong answer in a photo on the front page of the Akron Beacon Journal on Tuesday. The photo was part of a story about the Coventry district's success in raising math scores on the state tests.
The question projected on the board in the photo states that ''During Cara's vacation in Cleveland, the ratio of sunny days to rainy days was 3 to 4. What percent of the days were sunny?''
In the photo, Kayla is writing 75 percent on the board. The correct answer to the question, as it was written, is 42.9 percent, as many e-mails and phone calls to the Beacon Journal pointed out.
Kayla's principal at Erwine Middle School, Tina Norris, got to the bottom of what happened.
Turns out the question projected on the board in Kayla's classroom was scanned into a computer from the textbook two years ago, Norris said.
This year's textbook the one the kids all had on their desks to follow along with the lesson states the problem differently.
This year's question states that 3 out of 4 days in Cleveland were sunny NOT a ratio of 3 sunny days to 4 rainy days.
So, Kayla actually answered the question in this year's textbook, not the one scanned in from a couple of years ago that appeared on the board in the Beacon Journal photo.
And her answer to this year's question was correct.
''The problem that the kids were looking at [in their books] was different than the one that was on that board,'' Norris said.
Furthermore, the steps to solving the problem projected on the board under the header ''Thinking it Through'' ask about fractions, percents, multiplying denominators and numerators and converting fractions to percents.
Those steps make much more sense if the problem states 3 out of 4 days were sunny, not a ratio of 3 to 4.
''The example that was on the board was poorly worded,'' Norris said. She speculated that the publisher, Triumph Learning, was made aware of the poor wording and changed it.
Triumph Learning, which describes itself in a news release as ''the 10th-largest supplemental educational publisher in the U.S.,'' could not be reached for comment Tuesday.