Students in New York sat for the ELA Comin Core tests on Tuesday. The test will continue for three days, an ordeal lengthier than graduate school exams.

Leonie Haimson invited teachers and parents to share their stories about the test, which is otherwise blanketed in deep secrecy.

Testing expert Fred Smith sent this comment:

Thank you, Leonie for inviting the comments of observers who otherwise have been silenced by SED and DOE from breathing a word about the exams.

I’m sure we will find that the improved 2017 ELA exams have the same flaws as the ones Pearson has produced since 2012.

To me, the following exchange on your blog concerning field testing is particularly important because it succinctly describes what is wrong with field testing—both embedded and stand-alone field testing—which continue to plant the seeds that perpetuate bad exams. Yet, SED has run interference for the publisher, selling our kids out so tests can be developed on their backs.

Anonymous said…

Field testing questions embedded within today’s test hurt students. Fifth grade students deal with 5 passages. The entire third passage and the seven questions that followed were different across the various test forms, indicating that the whole text and question set will not count towards student scores. Why waste students’ time with it on an ACTUAL exam? Field test questions are notoriously ambiguous because their validity is still being assessed. My students struggled with the third passage and expended a lot of stamina on it, which hurt them on the last two passages. If we must field test passages, can we not at least place those questions LAST. I had a boy still testing at 2 pm. He spent an hour on the third text (which gained him no points) and was forced to randomly fill in bubbles for the last two stories (which do count!) in order to finish by day’s end. Where’s the logic? Why don’t we do separate field testing like a few years ago?”

Blogger Leonie Haimson said…

“The problem with separate field testing is that students don’t take it seriously and thus the results aren’t as reliable. However, having really hard questions as embedded field test questions on some exams and others easier is unfair to the students struggling with the hard questions. And the tests shouldn’t be so long! This tests endurance more than comprehension.”

Fred Smith continues:

Each year since 2012, the core-aligned test years, questions have been tried out without informing parents that their children were being used as unknowing subjects for commercial purposes. SED and DOE have gone out of their way to leave parents out of the loop for fear they would object—and say NO! And they might exercise their right to OPT OUT.

Note: Educational Testing Service, a testing giant, recently acquired Questor which had been awarded a 5-year contract in 2016 to succeed Pearson in furnishing the statewide exams. It now appears that Questor merely served as a pass-through window, allowing Pearson to exit and be replaced by ETS. Both companies have played a major role in promoting the Common Core and the riches it opens up to them in marketing related educational material. (Yet, even ETS, which administers the SAT, makes test-takers aware that parts of that exam are experimental.)

Leonie, please include the following link to an opinion piece I wrote on the grim reality of a state testing program that has been abetted by SED and DOE through their efforts to suppress information. They treat parents with disdain. Diane Ravitch ran it yesterday.

It expands on the above.