A teacher in upstate New York wrote me to say that the state English language arts test for 8th grade (written by Pearson) contained a passage that his students had read a week earlier—in a Pearson 8th grade textbook! The story is “Why Leaves Turn Color in Fall,” by Diane Ackerman. The story appears on page 540 of the Pearson textbook.
Moral of the story: if you want your students to succeed on the state tests written by Pearson, be sure to buy the Pearson textbooks.
The teacher wrote:
I am an 8th grade teacher in Xxxx, NY. On Day 1 of the NYS ELA 8 Exam, I discovered what I believe to be a huge ethical flaw in the State test. The state test included a passage on why leaves change color that is included in the Pearson-generated NYS ELA 8 text. I taught it in my class just last week. In a test with 6 passages and questions to complete in 90 minutes, it was a huge advantage to students fortunate enough to use a Pearson text and not that of a rival publisher. It may very well have an impact on student test scores. This has not yet received any attention in the press. Could you help me bring this to the attention of the public?