A reader said it would be expensive to release all test items as the test publishers would have to spend lots more money creating new ones.

Actually there is another way to think about all this. Release all the items as a public bank of thousands of items. Each year’s tests can be reviewed and howlers would be omitted from future use. No student could possibly take or memorize every item. The bank of tens of thousands of items would make good fodder for test prep.

Let’s face it. The items are recycled now. It is a time-honored practice in NY state for teachers of Regents exams to use old versions of the Regents. Sometimes the old questions appear again–either in exactly the same form or so slightly modified that it doesn’t matter.

Why did Pearson charge NY $32 million for a lot of items that had been pulled out of its old testing bank, recycled from other states. The Pineapple story had been used and ridiculed in other states but Pearson didn’t retire it. Now they have pineapple juice on their corporate face. Why did Pearson charge Florida $250 million for a test that students took in two shifts, with no change in the items? Now Pearson will up their fee to pay themselves for test security.

At some point, the public will see all this as a great farce that takes money away from instruction and plows it into redundant and error-prone testing.