New York’s new state exams are supposed to be aligned with the new Common Core Standards, but a group of principals says they’re poorly aligned, unbalanced, take too much time and often confuse students.
The English Language Arts tests focused mostly on one skill — “analyzing specific lines, words and structures of information text” — while ignoring other “deep and rich” skills.
. . . the testing sessions—two weeks of three consecutive days of 90-minute (and longer for some) periods—were unnecessarily long, requiring more stamina for a 10-year-old special education student than of a high school student taking an SAT exam. Yet, for some sections of the exams, the time was insufficient for the length of the test.
Students faced more multiple-choice questions than ever before, the principals complain. “For several multiple choice questions the distinction between the right answer and the next best right answer was paltry at best.”
The math tests contained 68 multiple-choice problems often repeatedly assessing the same skills. The language of these math questions was often unnecessarily confusing.
The principals also object to “putting the fate of so many in the education community in the hands of Pearson – a company with a history of mistakes.”