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Thread: NY State Standardized Exams

  1. #1
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    NY State Standardized Exams

    Anyone following the onslaught of criticism from this years NYS Standardized tests?

    Multiple media outlets reporting how manipulative and politically driven these tests are.

    Here's one that sums most of it up. Again, there are multiple articles written:

    http://atthechalkface.com/2013/04/17...pearson-nysed/

    New York ELA day 2 disaster #FAIL #Pearson #NYSED
    April 17, 2013

    As I hear from educators at my school, baseball practice tonight, and via social media, today’s Day 2 of the New York State ELA Assessment was an unmitigated disaster.

    From reports far and wide around the state I have cobbled together a list of issues reported to me or from various facebook groups:

    Very long instructions, ranging from 20-25 minutes. The instructions were over three pages long and teachers are required to read word for word. Heard from educators that students were burned out before the exam started. How can we expect children age 8-14 to listen to instructions for that length of time. Most adults would zone out.

    Many students did not finish the exam. Hearing reports of 20-30%. This resulted in high levels of stress. Students were clearly upset and feel like failures. Teachers are very concerned that their evaluations will be poor because their students did not complete the exam. When I create a new test, I always side on the short side to make sure my students can finish in one 40 minute period. With the millions going to Pearson you think they would know this?

    Corporate Commercial State Standards: Heard from some folks that passages mentioned corporations such as IBM and General Mills. Is this why we call the CCSS “Common Corporate State Standards”? Did anyone see other examples of this?

    Pearson advantage? A story is building that the 6th grade exam had a passage that was very similar to a Pearson product’s story in Scott Foresman Reading Street 6.1 (pages 208-224). If this is true, this is a horrible example corporate influence in our schools. Do schools who purchase Pearson products have an advantage? Does this invalidate test results. If Pearson gets millions of tax dollars from New York State should we expect new reading passages, not recycled stories?

    7th grade ELA had “irony” as a theme, but that topic is listed as an 8th grade CCSS standard.

    Several passages were repeated in various grade levels.

    Several educators told me that some of the questions and passages were even confusing for the teachers and contained more than one correct answer.

    Students were taught “close reading strategies” to re-read and highlight, but found they did not have time to write the essay.

    Students crying, going to the nurse.

    Students with “extended time” testing modifications spent 2-3 hours taking the test. Some stopped working or rushed to finish the test so they would not miss lunch or P.E.

    A great list of problems compiled by Leonie Haimson
    Some comments from NYSUT.

    When discussing Pearson’s tests at dinner my 4th grader said: “We take Pearson tests all the time” Out of the mouths of babes. The incompetence of NYSED officials and Pearson is ruining the education of a generation of students. I am sick to my stomach to think about how students must endure four more days of this madness. I am glad my fourth grader will not be participating in the NYS Assessments, but the Pearsonization of her classroom still harms her education.

    This week’s ELA test may spur more families to opt out their children. I guess we can thank Pearson and NYSED for that.

  2. #2
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    Another:

    http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogsp...years-ela.html

    NYC Public School Parents

    Independent voices of New York City public school parents
    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    This year's NYS/Pearson ELA exams: an Epic Fail
    UPDATE from 3rd day: Pearson Always Learning But Never Getting it Right; turns out they made big errors on scoring Gifted and Talented exams which were only found because parents were allowed to examine the tests and identified the mistakes themselves. See the Pearson press release, and DOE's here. Of course, the state is refusing to let parents examine the Pearson ELA or math exams -- so there's no way we will know just how many errors are embedded in them as well.

    As for the third day of the ELA:
    Even some of those kids who had managed the first two days, decomposed and fell apart the 3rd day of testing. Some vomited, cried, and got asthma all because of unfair, overly long and highly flawed exams that are being used for invalid purposes. There are reports of even more product placements, added to the long list below, including Nike shoes and iPods. I am quoted in the Daily News and the NY Post about how passages pulled straight from Pearson textbooks used elsewhere in the state disadvantaged NYC children, and s the Commissioner to invalidate those items, as he did with the Pineapple section last year. Let's see what he does. His email is jking@mail.nysed.gov.

    UPDATE: The reviews are in, and the consensus among parents, students and teachers is that this year's NYS/Pearson ELA exams were even worse than expected.

    The tests were too long, the questions confusing even for teachers, and many students ended up in tears. See just a sample of observations below. Is this what Chancellor Walcott meant when he said, "It's time to rip the Band-Aid off" , or Regents head Merryl Tisch, when she explained, “We have to just jump into the deep end"?

    In addition, the fact that passages in some of the forms given some children at multiple grade levels most likely disadvantaged those 3rd or 4th graders who had to struggle with inappropriately difficult material -- and these passages apparently appeared at the beginning of the exam (see comment below) .

    According to the NY Post, the tests were also replete with corporate logos and commercial product names, like Mug Root Beer, the LEGO game Mindstorms, IBM, the soccer league FIFA, and the comic book and TV show “Teen Titans” – though the state insists that these companies did not pay for that privilege. The NYSED spokesperson explained instead that this occurred because the passages were drawn from "authentic texts." Not to mention that they fell under the category of "informational text" as prescribed by David Coleman, the primary author of the Common Core standards -- or should we call this infomercial text instead?


    To make things worse, it appears that passages in both the 6th and 8th grade exams were taken straight from Pearson textbooks in the same grades. Perhaps this is a clever move of Pearson's to persuade districts to buy their products, but it represents an unfair advantage to those students who had already been assigned these passages. (See also the comment from a teacher that a reading passage on the 5th grade exam was taken from a Ready New York CCLS review book published by Curriculum Associates.)

    One cannot escape that perhaps conservative Rick Hess is right; that the Common Core is really a political strategy, not an educational one, designed to "shine a harsh light on the quality of suburban schools, shocking those families and voters into action," and "scare" them into embracing the "reform" agenda, including more charter schools and the outsourcing of education into corporate hands. Please post your comments below.

    If you have children or students in grades 3-8 they are now in the midst of three days of state ELA standardized testing. Last year, the ELA exams were full of errors and confusing and ambiguous questions, including the infamous Pineapple passage, which we first reported on our blog. This year, we have heard from teachers and principals that the reading passages were difficult and the questions extremely tricky. Some said they could not figure out the answers themselves.

    In addition, several passages and questions were repeated at several different grade levels. Reportedly, one of the four forms of the test had the same passage in grades 3,4, and 5. So many principals and teachers thought this was a mistake that the state posted a memo, calling this "vertical linking" and claiming that repeating the same items in adjacent grades is one of the"typical testing processes." Yet a principal told me that in her twenty years as a NY educator, she’s never seen this before on a state standardized exam.

  3. #3
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    My son's in 6th grade and while he said the the tests were long and difficult, it was not as described by teacher union propaganda manifestos.

    Kids might was well learn young that life isn't always easy.


    Unless you get a job where performance is never evaluated and raises are always guaranteed.

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    I never had a problem with the Regents Exams. I thought they were easy. And the teachers prepped us for them for about a month. Pretty much the same questions were always asked and the multiple choice usually had two options that clearly did not fit. The only Regents that I ever remember having trouble with was the English one and that was only b.c they did not give us enough time to write the essays. Our teachers broke the rules and gave us extra time.

    Aren't tests supposed to be confusing on some level? Part of the test is being able to understand the question. Kids rush and don't read the questions clearly. And don't they already omit questions after the fact if they think it was too hard?
    Last edited by DDNYjets; 04-22-2013 at 10:32 AM.

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    My wife administered the 3rd grade test last week. Only one kid in her class didnt finish and he's a day-dreamer on normal days, so thats not particularly surprising. I'll try and find out more feedback tonight.

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    How about some examples of these horrible and incorrect questions?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trades View Post
    How about some examples of these horrible and incorrect questions?
    LOL Trades, not very difficult to find.......Here's where ALL our tax money for education is going

    http://atthechalkface.com/2013/04/17...pearson-nysed/


    You are here: Home / CHRIS CERRONE: The "Parentucator" / New York ELA day 2 disaster #FAIL #Pearson #NYSED
    New York ELA day 2 disaster #FAIL #Pearson #NYSED
    April 17, 2013 By Chris Cerrone 102 Comments

    As I hear from educators at my school, baseball practice tonight, and via social media, today’s Day 2 of the New York State ELA Assessment was an unmitigated disaster.

    From reports far and wide around the state I have cobbled together a list of issues reported to me or from various facebook groups:

    Very long instructions, ranging from 20-25 minutes. The instructions were over three pages long and teachers are required to read word for word. Heard from educators that students were burned out before the exam started. How can we expect children age 8-14 to listen to instructions for that length of time. Most adults would zone out.

    Many students did not finish the exam. Hearing reports of 20-30%. This resulted in high levels of stress. Students were clearly upset and feel like failures. Teachers are very concerned that their evaluations will be poor because their students did not complete the exam. When I create a new test, I always side on the short side to make sure my students can finish in one 40 minute period. With the millions going to Pearson you think they would know this?

    Corporate Commercial State Standards Heard from some folks that passages mentioned corporations such as IBM and General Mills. Is this why we call the CCSS “Common Corporate State Standards”? Did anyone see other examples of this?

    Pearson advantage? A story is building that the 6th grade exam had a passage that was very similar to a Pearson product’s story in Scott Foresman Reading Street 6.1 (pages 208-224). If this is true, this is a horrible example corporate influence in our schools. Do schools who purchase Pearson products have an advantage? Does this invalidate test results. If Pearson gets millions of tax dollars from New York State should we expect new reading passages, not recycled stories?

    7th grade ELA had “irony” as a theme, but that topic is listed as an 8th grade CCSS standard.

    Several passages were repeated in various grade levels.

    Several educators told me that some of the questions and passages were even confusing for the teachers and contained more than one correct answer.

    Students were taught “close reading strategies” to re-read and highlight, but found they did not have time to write the essay.

    Students crying, going to the nurse.

    Students with “extended time” testing modifications spent 2-3 hours taking the test. Some stopped working or rushed to finish the test so they would not miss lunch or P.E.

    A great list of problems compiled by Leonie Haimson
    Some comments from NYSUT.

    When discussing Pearson’s tests at dinner my 4th grader said: “We take Pearson tests all the time” Out of the mouths of babes. The incompetence of NYSED officials and Pearson is ruining the education of a generation of students. I am sick to my stomach to think about how students must endure four more days of this madness. I am glad my fourth grader will not be participating in the NYS Assessments, but the Pearsonization of her classroom still harms her education.

    This week’s ELA test may spur more families to opt out their children. I guess we can thank Pearson and NYSED for that.
    Last edited by copernicus; 04-30-2013 at 10:27 PM.

  8. #8
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    http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogsp...years-ela.html

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013
    This year's NYS/Pearson ELA exams: an Epic Fail
    UPDATE from 3rd day: Pearson Always Learning But Never Getting it Right; turns out they made big errors on scoring Gifted and Talented exams which were only found because parents were allowed to examine the tests and identified the mistakes themselves. See the Pearson press release, and DOE's here. Of course, the state is refusing to let parents examine the Pearson ELA or math exams -- so there's no way we will know just how many errors are embedded in them as well.

    As for the third day of the ELA:
    Even some of those kids who had managed the first two days, decomposed and fell apart the 3rd day of testing. Some vomited, cried, and got asthma all because of unfair, overly long and highly flawed exams that are being used for invalid purposes. There are reports of even more product placements, added to the long list below, including Nike shoes and iPods. I am quoted in the Daily News and the NY Post about how passages pulled straight from Pearson textbooks used elsewhere in the state disadvantaged NYC children, and s the Commissioner to invalidate those items, as he did with the Pineapple section last year. Let's see what he does. His email is jking@mail.nysed.gov.

    UPDATE: The reviews are in, and the consensus among parents, students and teachers is that this year's NYS/Pearson ELA exams were even worse than expected.

    The tests were too long, the questions confusing even for teachers, and many students ended up in tears. See just a sample of observations below. Is this what Chancellor Walcott meant when he said, "It's time to rip the Band-Aid off" , or Regents head Merryl Tisch, when she explained, “We have to just jump into the deep end"?

    In addition, the fact that passages in some of the forms given some children at multiple grade levels most likely disadvantaged those 3rd or 4th graders who had to struggle with inappropriately difficult material -- and these passages apparently appeared at the beginning of the exam (see comment below) .

    According to the NY Post, the tests were also replete with corporate logos and commercial product names, like Mug Root Beer, the LEGO game Mindstorms, IBM, the soccer league FIFA, and the comic book and TV show “Teen Titans” – though the state insists that these companies did not pay for that privilege. The NYSED spokesperson explained instead that this occurred because the passages were drawn from "authentic texts." Not to mention that they fell under the category of "informational text" as prescribed by David Coleman, the primary author of the Common Core standards -- or should we call this infomercial text instead?


    To make things worse, it appears that passages in both the 6th and 8th grade exams were taken straight from Pearson textbooks in the same grades. Perhaps this is a clever move of Pearson's to persuade districts to buy their products, but it represents an unfair advantage to those students who had already been assigned these passages. (See also the comment from a teacher that a reading passage on the 5th grade exam was taken from a Ready New York CCLS review book published by Curriculum Associates.)

    One cannot escape that perhaps conservative Rick Hess is right; that the Common Core is really a political strategy, not an educational one, designed to "shine a harsh light on the quality of suburban schools, shocking those families and voters into action," and "scare" them into embracing the "reform" agenda, including more charter schools and the outsourcing of education into corporate hands. Please post your comments below.

    If you have children or students in grades 3-8 they are now in the midst of three days of state ELA standardized testing. Last year, the ELA exams were full of errors and confusing and ambiguous questions, including the infamous Pineapple passage, which we first reported on our blog. This year, we have heard from teachers and principals that the reading passages were difficult and the questions extremely tricky. Some said they could not figure out the answers themselves.
    In addition, several passages and questions were repeated at several different grade levels. Reportedly, one of the four forms of the test had the same passage in grades 3,4, and 5. So many principals and teachers thought this was a mistake that the state posted a memo, calling this "vertical linking" and claiming that repeating the same items in adjacent grades is one of the"typical testing processes." Yet a principal told me that in her twenty years as a NY educator, she’s never seen this before on a state standardized exam.

  9. #9
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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...-with-testing/

    A brief history of Pearson’s problems with testing

    Posted by Valerie Strauss on April 24, 2013 at 4:00 am

    A few days ago I wrote a post about how Pearson, the world’s largest education company, was forced to apologize for making errors in its scoring of assessments for entry into gifted-and-talented programs in New York City public schools. I noted that it was hardly the only time Pearson has had problems with testing. Here’s a list of problems that the company has had with standardized tests over the years, in different states. It was compiled by Bob Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest, or the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a non-profit dedicated to ending the misuse of standardized tests.

    1998 California – test score delivery delayed

    1999-2000 Arizona – 12,000 tests misgraded due to flawed answer key

    2000 Florida – test score delivery delayed resulting in $4 million fine

    2000 Minnesota – misgraded 45,739 graduation tests leads to lawsuit with $11 million settlement – judge found “years of quality control problems” and a “culture emphasizing profitability and cost-cutting.” — (FairTest consulted with plaintiffs’ attorneys)

    2000 Washington – 204,000 writing WASL exams rescored

    2002 Florida — dozens of school districts received no state grades for their
    2002 scores because of a “programming error” at the DOE. One Montessori school never received scores because NCS Pearson claimed not to have received the tests.

    2005 Michigan — scores delayed and fines levied per contract

    2005 Virginia – computerized test misgraded – five students awarded $5,000 scholarships

    2005-2006 SAT college admissions test – 4400 tests wrongly scored; $3 million settlement after lawsuit (note FairTest was an expert witness for plaintiffs)

    2008 South Carolina –“Scoring Error Delays School Report Cards” The State, November 14, 2008

    2008-2009 Arkansas — first graders forced to retake exam because real test used for practice

    2009-2010 Wyoming – Pearson’s new computer adaptive PAWS flops; state declares company in “complete default of the contract;” $5.1 million fine accepted after negotiations but not pursued by state governor

    2010 Florida – test score delivery delayed by more than a month – nearly $15 million in fines imposed and paid. School superintendents still question score accuracy –

    2010 Minnesota -- results from online science tests taken by 180,000 students delayed due to scoring error

    2011 Florida – some writing exams delivered to districts without cover sheets, revealing subject students would be asked to write about

    2011 Florida – new computerized algebra end-of-course exam delivery system crashes on first day of administration

    2012 New York – “Pineapple and the Hare” nonsense test question removed from exams after bloggers demonstrate that it was previously administered in at least half a dozen other states

    2012 New York – More than two dozen additional errors found in New York State tests developed by Pearson

    2012 Florida – After percentage of fourth grades found “proficient” plunges from 81% to 27% in one year, state Board of Education emergency meeting “fixes” scores on FCAT Writing Test by changing definition of proficiency.

    2012 Virginia – Error on computerized 3rd and 6th grade SOL tests causes state to offer free retakes.

    2012 New York – Parents have their children boycott “field test” of new exam questions because of concerns about Pearson’s process

    2012 Oklahoma – After major test delivery delays, state replaces Pearson as its testing contractor

    2012 New York – More than 7,000 New York City elementary and middle school students wrongly blocked from graduation by inaccurate “preliminary scores” on Pearson tests

    2012 New York – State officials warn Pearson about potential fines if tests have more errors

    2012 Mississippi – Pearson pays $623,000 for scoring error repeated over four years that blocked graduation for five students and wrongly lowered scores for 121 others

    2012 Texas – Pearson computer failure blocks thousands of students from taking state-mandated exam by displaying error message at log on

    2013 New York – Passage from Pearson test-prep book appears in Pearson-designed statewide test, giving unfair advantage to students who used those materials

    2013 New York – Pearson scoring error blocks 2,700 students from gifted-and-talented program eligibility

  10. #10
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    NYS Regents Biology exam saved my ass.

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