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Diagnostic Test Helps Evaluate Math Progress
Mathematics professor administers testing program to evaluate how well sixth to 12th graders are prepared for advance mathematics.

May 4, 2006

How well are area sixth through 12th grade students being prepared to advance to the next level of mathematics? David Pagni, professor of mathematics at Cal Fullerton, is likely to know.

Pagni administers the Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Program, which scores approximately 100,000 tests annually, not for grading purposes but as a diagnostic tool that evaluates a student's strengths and weaknesses and compares it to their classes as a whole. The data assist educators in readjusting their teaching to meet the needs of their students.

"Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Program is a great service, a high-caliber program that helps meet the evolving needs of mathematics students and teachers," said Paul Deland, chair and professor of mathematics. "The program is continually growing under Dr. Pagni's leadership."

The 20-year-old program is part of the Collaborative Academic Program Initiative in which both UC and CSU campuses take part. Funding is dispersed by the University of California's Office of the President. This year, Cal State Fullerton received $42,241 in funding.

The campus MDTP services Orange, Buena Park, Los Amigos and Santiago school districts by providing testing packages consisting of test directions, as well as question and answer forms. When completed, the answer forms are returned to the university and scored. The program offers materials and result evaluations at no cost to the participating schools.

In addition, "we provide an annual conference that is attended by about 100 teachers from the area," said Pagni, who has taught on campus since 1969 and was the university's 1992-93 Outstanding Professor Award recipient. "The project has helped teachers become very familiar with Cal State Fullerton and its efforts — as a partner with grade 6th through 12th grade institutions — in preparing students for college-level mathematics."

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David Pagni
David Pagni

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