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Mum shares ‘unfair’ question on daughter’s test – and answer is baffling people

Jun 24, 2019

A mum left people completely baffled when she shared a photo of her eight-year-old daughter's homework after it left her completely stumped.

Dusty Sappington had absolutely no idea how to answer the question after little Izzy asked her for help, and in the end they just put a question mark in the answer box.

She went into school to ask the teacher the following day, and was surprised when she explained how they were meant to do it.

The question was: "Janell has 15 marbles. She lost some of them. How many does Janell have now?"

Can you work it out?

Nope, us neither.

Posting on the Facebook group Love What Matters, she wrote: "My name is Dusty Sappington and I'm the mother of two (3rd Grader, Izzy and 5th grader, Davis).

"Izzy is an 8 year-old with dyslexia; and attends a private school that teaches both traditional classrooms and specializes in learning disabilities, like dyslexia and autism." 

She didn't share the answer in the original message, leaving people to have a go at working it out themselves and before long many were tearing their hair out trying to solve it.

One particularly frustrated person wrote: "Today I learned that I’d possibly score less than some 3rd graders on math homework. I used to be so confident and cocky."

Others tried to come up with the mathematical equation for it, which would arguably be a bit too much for an eight-year-old.

One wrote: “Well. It would have to be 15 – X, where 15 <= X >= 1. She can’t lose more than she started with, and losing something implies at least 1."

Thankfully, the mum later put everyone out of their misery and shared the answer.

She wrote: "I spoke to her teacher today and found out the answer to her homework question was to 'come up with her own answer.'

"Her answer, the question mark, was not considered wrong."

Many people weren't happy with this answer and said it was unfair on the children.

One wrote: "And they wonder why we have kids with literacy and numeracy problems."

Another added: "That is just crazy and confusing for kids."

A third commented: " I hate that kids who at 7 or 8 years old are being expected the no one is wrong garbage. While still learning fundamentals of math. Math is math not theology."

But one teacher supported the question.

She wrote: "I'm a teacher and would love to hear every possible solution to this question.

"I ask my kids these kind of questions every day and their answers always make me smile, my kids suggest solutions not 'the only correct answer' Make them think about things!

"I would only accept a subtraction answer though."

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