Putting Education Reform To The Test

New Yorkers Sound Off On New State Exams

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New York students, parents and teachers now have a place to sound off about new state exams tied to Common Core standards.

A professor at Teacher’s College, Columbia University has set up a website to allow New York students, parents and educators to post comments about the new state English language arts test.

The tests are now tied to Common Core education standards adopted by 45 states — including Florida. New York students have been taking the exams for the first time over the last few weeks.

The tests are designed to be tougher than past exams, and students have reported difficulty finishing the exams in the allotted time.

Florida is scheduled to begin using tests tied to Common Core standards in the spring of 2015.

A sample of the comments:

“Day Three felt reasonable. If they got rid of Day Two, when even my good students didn’t get to the essay sometimes, the test would feel a lot more reasonable. Is it fair to test the tests on kids though? Didn’t they test the timing?
Anonymous – Teacher”

“If the best students are the ones who run out of time because they are doing their best to respond to the rigor of the test AND truly address the tasks, I think it is more than obvious that there is an imbalance that needs to be addressed. Strong students in tears because they did not finish is , I am sure, not an objective of all these changes.
Patricia Austin – Parent”

“While the passages were lengthy,the multiple choice questions were quite alarming. I noticed a strong emphasis on close reading linked to paragraph processing. It required the reader to do a lot of revisiting paragraphs in the passage. The questions were all higher level with many focused on author’s craft. Some questions had more than 1 possible answer. It was complicated and one had to be a very discerning reader. Not enough time was given. My kids used every minute!

“The extended responses were more straight forward and fair. The question prompts had clarity for the reader. Some of the short responses dealt with minutia from the text. That concerned me.
Anonymous – Principal”

Users have also set up a discussion on Common Core math at Reddit.

Hat tip to Diane Ravtich.


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