– 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 Lonsberry…doesn’t sound very fun.