Putting Education Reform To The Test

New York Pulls “The Hare and the Pineapple” From State Reading Test

New York Department of Education

The New York education department released the controversial The Hare and the Pineapple reading test section Friday.

The New York education department took the unusual step of releasing a state reading test section last week after Internet buzz about the confusing passage and questions built to a roar.

The passage was called the “Hare and the Pineapple,” and was authored by children’s author Daniel Pinkwater.

Typically test questions are not released to the public.

The story strikes the tone of a fable, with a talking pineapple challenging a talking hare to a race. The forest critters spend the rest of the story trying to suss out the pineapple’s intentions in throwing down the gauntlet to the hare.

The passage is best read, rather than explained.

New York students quickly emailed Pinkwater about the test question. The story — and complaints — was passed around Facebook groups.

Pinkwater wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News indicating regret for selling his story to testing companies. The story was absurd, Pinkwater wrote, so asking multiple choice questions based on the story is also absurd.

“Well, I accepted money from sleazy people for what turns out to be a sleazy thing,” Pinkwater wrote in the NYDN. “But that is good too! That’s what a lot of celebrities do. Do I want another 15 minutes? Nah. One is plenty.”

The New York test contractor, Pearson, is the same as Florida’s test contractor. Last week, a Florida blogger noted problems with practice questions on the FCAT science tests.

Friday the New York education department said they were throwing out the section of the test and it would not count toward student scores.

The moral? Maybe standardized tests should have no sleeves?


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