I recently posted testing expert Fred Smith’s discovery that several test questions on New York’s Common Core exam had “disappeared.”
Susan Edelman of the Néw York Post read Fred Smith’s article and went searching for the answer. She found it.
“These tests were rotten to the Common Core.
“Student performance on four questions on the much-ballyhooed state English Language Arts exams was secretly scrubbed by state education officials because too many students didn’t answer them or were confused by them.
“After the tests were given last April 1-3, the state decided to eliminate the results of one multiple-choice question on the seventh-grade ELA exam, two on the third-grade ELA exam, and a four-point essay on the third-grade test.
Six of 55 points were whacked from the third-grade test.
“The axed essay question, called a “constructive response,” aimed to gauge a prime goal of the Common Core standards — whether students think critically and write cohesively, citing evidence from a text to support their ideas.
“They produced a defective product, and don’t want you to know about it,” said Fred Smith, a former city test analyst who discovered the missing items.
“In touting an uptick in scores last August, the state didn’t mention the erased results. The number of city kids rated “proficient” increased 2.9 percent from 2013 on the third-grade ELA test and 3.9 percent on the seventh-grade test.”
In short, by removing these four questions, the State Education Department produced a slight increase in scores, which enabled then-State Commissioner John King to assert that the state was making progress.