Teachers and principals discovered yet another error on one of New York state’s mandated tests. This one was on the fifth-grade math test and it required students to know mathematical processes that are not taught in fifth grade. See here:


Merryl H. Tisch, the chancellor of the New York Board of Regents said that she takes “full responsibility,” and that she  hopes Pearson too will take responsibility. Commissioner John King apparently was not reached for a comment, but he earlier deflected any responsibility for errors on the state tests.

So if those at the top are indeed responsible, will heads roll? Will anyone at Pearson or SED be held accountable? Apparently not. After all, when the State Education Department made an even bigger error and lowered the passing mark on state tests for several years (which SED admitted in 2010), no one took responsibility and no one was held accountable.

To paraphrase the very wealthy Leona Helmsley, who once said that “Taxes are for the little people,” when it comes to state testing snafus, “Accountability is for the little people.” If the scores are flat, teachers may lose their jobs. But no one at SED or Pearson will lose his or her job for what they are doing to a generation of children.