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Links of the Day:

– The outcry over New York State exams is growing. 

First, there was the ridiculous talking pineapple question. Then it turned out some students were exposed to a question about a talking yam before taking the test. Along the way, a runaway dog who wanted to be a gardener made an appearance. Now, the state is saying a couple questions on the math test don’t add up:

But the state Education Department told principals Monday that one question on the fourth grade math test has two right answers and one question on the eighth grade test has no right answer.

Department spokesman Tom Dunn says the errors are just typos and the questions will not count.

Confidence in the tests has sunk so low, some parents in the Buffalo area are opting to pull their children out of the assessments:

A growing chorus of parents, teachers and administrators across the state notes that the state has outsourced the testing to Pearson, a company with a $32 million contract, and calling for accountability.

That frustration is feeding the growing parent movement to opt out of the tests.

“A lot of it has to do with trust from the field on how these tests are being put together, and by whom,” said Springville Superintendent Paul Connelly. “What we know for sure is the state Education Department is being shrunk and shrunk and shrunk. You can’t even get anybody to answer the telephone half the time. They just don’t have the staff. Things get lost, and they fall through the cracks.”

In Connelly’s district, eight children — including Cerrone’s daughter — opted out of the testing last week and this week.

And these are the tests that will be used to evaluate student and teacher performance. East High principal Anibal Soler noted he is getting complaints from staff concerned about test quality and how the tests will be used to judge their teaching abilities.

Interim Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas said it’s wrong students are tested in April, right after spring break and before the school year is finished. He said we need assessments, but they must be reasonable and appropriate.

– The neglected Niagara Falls State Park will get $25 million in improvements

– Dissolving a village costs money. Just ask Albion, Oswego County.

– A day in the life of Bob Lonsberrydoesn’t sound very fun.

Rochester is a hot golf destination.

5 Responses to Pineapples, Yams and Dogs

  1. April 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm Lynn E responds:

    There is no test that can truly evaluate a human being or those who interact with the human being taking a test. These tests are all about taking money from the public sector by the private sector and destroying unions and public schools.

  2. The pineapple already made it onto the dishonor roll at http://www.nyscandals.com. Let’s see how high the yams land on the list.

  3. Come people.
    It’s a test. How else are we supposed to know if kids are learning anything? Should we take the teacher’s word for it?
    We all took tests as kids. #2 pencils and all.
    Let’s get real and just use these tests for what they are. An assessment of what information the student has retained.

  4. April 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm margaret responds:

    And teachers will be judged and evaluated on the results of these exams? Does that raise any questions for anyone? Please?
    Yes, I am a teacher. A high school teacher who is disgusted by all that I see happening in our culture, society, but mostly by the bureaucrats who call the shots and know nothing about what happens in the schools.Shame on New York State. Shame on the education department. Shame on the administrators who are CLUELESS about what goes on in the town/school/culture. Shame on the families who don’t give a damn about their children. Shame on the kids who think they are so entitled that they do not have to do a damn thing, but should still have a 95 grade. Shame on those who are deaf, dumb and blind to what is happening in the schools and in our society and culture! Shame!

  5. Tests are important, but only if they reflect the skills and content that is taught, the values that the curriculum represents,and they are free of typos.

    Without testing, urban education would be composed of teachers “doing their own thing”, and that may or may not be getting kids educated. The naysayers on testing must understand that learning standards are needed and must be evaluated.

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