New York ELA day 2 disaster #FAIL #Pearson #NYSED

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 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.

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.

DAY 3 update here.

Please post any issues you witnessed in the comments section below.

Follow the author on twitter:


  1. Tess Springfield says:

    I definitely think I saw a student with a look of dismay on her face. And she had a candy bar! Corporate greed driving obesity through testing insanity!

  2. jessica kramer says:

    Situation at my school where parents wrote refusal letter and student left in class to sit and stare, teacher basically strongarmed student into taking test while sitting there, needless to say her parents are pissed. She does have a 94.8 average so of course they want here data. Corrupt system

  3. Tess Springfield says:

    I heard about a boy who was abducted by aliens. Pearson sent up a rocket to retrieve him, forced him to sit for the whole test, then left him in a corn field to die!

  4. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any points for first-time blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  5. My son had a accident. He broke his tibia bone on left leg..missed a week of school due to him being on meds..the day he returned to school..ELA TESTING. Poor kid was a wreck..not only was he not prepared but bad enough he had to take test while in a wheelchair..and having to leave him classes early so to get to other class in time. .these testing I hear is not any reflection on his grade..SO WHY DO THEY GIVE IT..

  6. mlafrance says:

    People need to start standing up to the system, do what’s best for their kids & keep them home from school during those tests instead of depending on the school to ‘babysit’ them. Your child is worth staying home for, instead of sending them to school & having them break down in tears there.

  7. Kim Accardi says:

    My third grade son took the tests this week. He has a duel diagnosis of Autism and Cerebral Palsy, however he is pretty high functioning. He is in a 12:1:1classroom setting and was given modifications for the test of 10%passing for Math 15% passing for ELA. He was given time and a half, directions read and re-read, 3 minute breaks for every 20 minutes of testing. With all of that said and done he took the test day 1 and said the test was ok. By days 2 and 3 he completely shut down and didn’t write anything, left the whole test blank. He was so overwhelmed, I had it stated in his testing accommodations that he was to return to his classroom when he finished as to not be overwhelmed, but because he did not complete any of the test he was not allowed to leave, upsetting and frustrating him even more. I am not the type of parent that will make excuses for him because of his disabilities, in fact I’m probably harder on him because of them, but what the city and state of NY has done to these children is despicable. They have set these children up for failure. If this was the curriculum and testing they wanted implemented than it should have been phased in starting with this years Kindergarten class. It should not been thrown at the children in upper grades who have been learning one way only to be told now you have to learn it the new way. I’m truly considering opting him out of the tests next year.

  8. My 5th grade son did not finish the extended response section of the ELA which required 3 paragraphs (he only wrote one). He was despondent when he got home and cried for a good hour. He said he followed the teachers instructions to take his time and was distraught that he didn’t get to finish. He also said that he was going to get his teacher in trouble because he was going to get a low score and she was going to lose her job!

  9. Christina lavalley says:

    My daughter is a 7th grader at apw and stated “the tests are so hard that even some of the teachers told the students not to worry because they had difficulty as well, and she stated it took most of her time just to read one passage as she kept reading it over and over and as a result she rushed to finish it. The NYS tests are getting way out of hand and I will not allow my child to go through this stress again. Half of what these children are learning now a days I never learned until high school . I think the curriculum is getting harder and harder resulting in more stress for students as well as students dropping out. What ever happened to kids being kids instead of their noses constantly in the books. They don’t have free time when they get off the bus. They are too busy and worried about failing school oh let’s not forget that our 7th graders haven’t been taught how to tell time or do cursive writing because the teachers have to worry about all the new academic curriculum brought to them and everything has to be covered before the end of the year. Leaving very little time to teach these youths simple things they will use in their everyday life as adults such as telling time and learning how to sign their names for purposes such as making out a check. I think the state needs to lower their standards a lot.

  10. I’m confused. I was actually given an extra test. (I had to turn it in with the students’ tests when I handed them in.

    I also had to give the directions to book two and three on Day 2 together. It wasn’t an option to split them up.

    I’m most concerned about the field test questions. I had a couple of students not finish the fourth grade multiple choice questions on Day 1. I certainly hope that it was the LAST passage that contained the field test questions… Wouldn’t it be a shame if my students didn’t have enough time to answer the questions on which they were assessed, but had enough time to answer the field test questions.

    I read in a Washington Post quote… The Common Core is like building a plane while you are trying to fly it!

  11. Please call your two U.S. senators and ask them to sign onto Senator Grassley’s letter to end federal funding for the Common Core. You can find contact info for your senators here.

  12. Rachel Miller says:

    I am a middle school teacher and the parent of a fourth grade child. On Tuesday I began my day by having to console my anxious, stressed child. He was in tears, and convinced that he would receive a 0 if he did not finish the test. He also seemed to think this would impact his report card grades. I
    then went to work and proctored the same group of 8th graders for the entire testing period. I read through all of the eighth grade tests, and there were multiple questions that had no clear answer. I watched these students struggle to complete the exam. At 20 minutes left, most had not even started the essay. At 10 minutes left there were still students who had not started!
    This was a disaster, and I will certainly be considering opting my son out next year.
    Shame on you NY State and Pearson!

  13. One of our fourth graders vomited on the test. One of my students came to school with a broken arm (she was in pain!), took the test, then left to have her arm put in a cast. WTH?

    • My son did the same…he fractured his wrist monday night, took test Tuesday morning…I took him to the doc for xray (it was fractured) and to get the splint…he went in on Thurs….they had him take the test using a computer.

      I told him he did NOT have to go in on WED to take the test, but he insisted how important it was and he HAD to go…….guess the pressure is on !!!!

      • I don broke his left leg tibia..and was out for a week..went back in a wheelchair to take Ela test..he was mess..he came home and called himself a failure..I explained to him that to do his best and that these tests have nothing to do with his grades…

  14. They want the kids to fail so that the schools must then turn around and purchase supplemental material for AIS services. Pearson makes the test, Pearson makes the text books… Do the math people… There’s alot of money to be made by your kids failing! Don’t let them take it! Period!

    • Margaret Schimizzi says:

      and Pearson will make the professional development that the State Ed. department will shove down every failing districts throat!!

  15. I gave two children who did NOT take the test, one in 6th grade and one in 3rd. My third grader came home and told me that everyone in her school is saying that the third, fourth and fifth grade tests had the same questions on them. I guess she was right!

  16. Melissa Spierling says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Chris! I spoke to several of these points on Wednesday evening at NYSUT’s “Tell it Like It Is” tour. I am so happy you were brave enough to post. Kudos!

  17. NYS does not have opt provisions like many other states. It is not permitted except under very special circumstances per the commissioner of education. We need to all stop talking about “opting out” in NY and putting this lie in parents’ heads.

    • EVERY parent ALWAYS has an opt-out option. Honestly, let’s stop acting as if the schools “own” our kids. If we don’t want our children taking the tests – and we shouldn’t – then, at the very least, KEEP THEM HOME on test days. If there are threatened “consequences,” deal with them, but don’t sacrifice your kids on the altar of this garbage. Ultimately…lobby like hell to get the common core standards and all its testing out of the schools and/or homeschool. Our kids deserve better than all of this.

      • Cat ManDu says:

        AMEN!!!! AMEN!!!! AMEN, TK!!! And with the “we must comply” and “no choice” mentality, well… they got you right where they want you, folks! TAKE YOUR KIDS BACK, AND TEACH THEM LIBERTY!!!

      • AMEN! If YOU are the parent, then YOU have a choice! DON’T let anything stop you from making the choice that you feel is best for your children!

      • The problem is that kids need the test scores in order to get into the good middle and high schools. I would love to opt out but my son wants to get into a school with a good music program.

    • TK, In NY parents & students can “refuse”. With the significant growth in the boycott movements our voice will be heard.

      crk, The issue of ‘selective’ HS & MS programs is unique to NYC and possibly other large urban districts.

      • Chris – I’m glad…but keep spreading the word about that because, clearly, many don’t believe they are “allowed” to question authority on this. I just wanted to point out that there are ways to refuse – and we must – even if the system doesn’t provide an “official” means of doing so. Our children belong to us, not to the system…and not to “the collective,” as many in the system would lead us to believe.

  18. Janine Brischler says:

    My 7th graders were telling me there were spelling errors in the ELA. They spelled the same word 2 different ways! NY State, ask your buddy Pearson for a refund! Get teachers to do the work instead. We actually work with kids!

  19. There is nothing in the NYS directions that states the teacher can’t look at the tests. It does say that they can not be copied or recorded in any way, and all booklets must be accounted for. But please don’t give State Ed any ideas, or the inability to look will be next. I did something special for my students with each day of the test, from special pencils, mints and jolly ranchers, and today we wore mustaches while we tested. One of my boys said he thought the mustache helped because he wrote more than ever before. I weave a lot of my test prep into my teaching throughout the year, so we only spent about 2 weeks on test prep. I believe they will do OK on the tests. I am not worried about how they will reflect on me as the teacher, but how they are negatively impacting my students. I work very hard to make my students into problem solvers, and creative thinkers. The Common Core has eaten away much of the excitement of school, and I honestly believe that if we continue down this road we will see an increase in the school dropout rate across the state. It is a very dark time in education created by people who have never had a child go to public school. You may or may not know that commissioner King’s kids go to a Montesorri school. Unbelievable!

  20. Despite the long instruction book, we were told to disregard what it said and give the kids both booklets at the same time on Day 2 and let them manage their own time. Also, if we decide “field test” questions aren’t illegal because they represent uncompensated child labor, shouldn’t be identified if answering them eats through precious time?

    Read much more at

    • My NYS direction book stated that kids were to have both books on day 2 at the same time. I had to read directions for both books before they began.

  21. Ihad a chance to look at the example test teachers were given to teach the kids, the one reading given was an exerpt of a college level short story. I know this because I just read it in my writing 102 course in college. Now my weak subject is math but even if it wasnt a 6stage word problem foe an 8yr old is a little extreme. My son is in 3rd grade and is one of those who receive extra time for testing however when I spoke to the teacher to see how he did, she apologized and said he spent more then half the day testing. Im sorry but is 4hours of testing really that important? When I spoke with my son about the test he said he didnt want to go to school tomorrow and take anymore tests. Thats great I finally got him over his fears of school just to hit a brick wall. Thank you New York state for traumatizing my son!

  22. Nike sneakers were mentioned in a 6th grade passage today.

  23. I saw several students with looks of fear and not wanting to enter school this morning. This is a crime against our children and it has to stop

  24. The first post is right on the money! Frankly, the corporate-state education reform agenda is a money-making scheme through and through aided/facilitated by both parties. Don’t think so? Well, read this thoughtful essay on the matter:

  25. Anthony Vaccaro says:

    Read the book: “The End of Education”
    What is happening today was predicted many years ago.
    Our government has colluded with the corporations to undermine public education to grab the money that is invested in it.

    This makes me sick.

    Wake up America before it is too late!

  26. robert stitham says:

    135 ICC students opt out of state testing Updated: April 18, 2013 – 2:46 pm
    Updated Hudson Register Star

    Some 135 Ichabod Crane Elementary and Middle School students opted out of new state testing used to evaluate students, teachers and schools this week by way of parent refusal letters, according to district Superintendent George Zini.

  27. amyludwigvanderwater says:

    Tests can be valuable, and a good test helps both child and teacher. But tests can also be harmful, and this is what we are seeing now. We are looking at a situation where tests are rewarding corporations at the expense of children. I am in favor of high standards and assessment, but I am not in favor of selling our children out in the name of data and false accountability. Our country owes our youngest citizens schools full of learning and love, full of exploration and hard work….not schools full of fear and intimidation and hours of filling in bubbles so that companies can profit from children’s errors. Today is a sad day in American education, but I am hopeful that parents and educators will continue to speak out and tell the truth of what they see and know.

  28. Another good reason to homeschool.

    • If you can do it. Not everyone can.

      • MOST people can, though…if they really want to. Even single moms if that’s a concern. If there’s a will, there’s almost always a way.

        • But how? If you’re a single parent and have to work some crappy McJob for minimum wage, how is that even possible?

          • It isn’t easy – but it is possible. There are grants available (from private agencies, like the HSLDA) and there are ways to provide a quality education with very little cost. And I know many single moms (a single dad could do this, too) who have figured out ways to earn income from home – in-home child care, medical transcription, etc. – so they can be there. It is lots of juggling, but everyone I know says it’s worth it compared to losing the heart and soul (and academic interest) of one’s child, which is what the system – even before the common core standards – is all about.

          • Michelle says:

            PA has free charter programs that are actually funded by public school money. There is at least one family here that uses the system. It cost her nothing for 5 children. The children get their own computer and printer. The assignments are set up by a “real” teacher, who also does group and chat discussions.

            • Cat ManDu says:

              Michelle, I might be wrong on this, but if somebody is doing public school online at home, then they will be essentially a public school student and thus subject to common core. No?

          • Cat ManDu says:

            It isn’t easy, but remember, you can work a crappy McJob some place and still homeschool… for those unaware, homeschooling takes out a LOT of wasted hours that kids spend in public school…. boil it all down, and you can homeschool in just a few hours daily. Less if they are younger. As far as cost, libraries are free, and there are plenty of free sites to help you piece together what you need… before anybody does anything, they should research it themselves, and personally contact somebody that homeschools their kids near them… groups, co-ops, etc. SO much can be learned inside of 1 conversation, and somebody’s view can really change for the better on the whole subject! Just don’t pass on the mentality that “I CAN’T” because YES YOU CAN!! I urge every parent to weigh it out as an option… you don’t have to wake up, ring a bell, etc., at home. You wake up and read a book in your jammies about George Washington. If you don’t have time in the morning because you have to run to McJob, then read it before bed or in the bath. There is no principle to report to or time clock to punch… you are in charge! You set the hours! It’s very freeing.

          • mrsandrews says:

            Homeschooling doesn’t have to take all day! It can be done in as little time as it takes. You create lessons based on your child’s strengths and interests.

  29. donna leary says:

    My son told me that a student in his class was granted extra time (probably an IEP or ELL student) and instead of having the child take the test in another room the entire class had to sit quietly for an additional 45 minutes. As a mother I feel like I am subjecting my child to a form of slow torture and punishment. Thankfully, he is not terribly phased by the whole thing. He thrives in a structured setting. This all just seems so unfair and so unnecessary!

  30. TestingIsOK says:

    You guys are setting up your kids to be spoiled brats. A mental exercise of any sort is not going to do permanent damage unless you make it out to be damaging and make a big deal out of it (and even then your kids will excel despite your efforts). It’s all psychology. Think about it folks, have some confidence in your smart kids, let them practice for the future and maybe you won’t spoil it for them! Face it – if they give that poor of a test, they will know by the scores and will have to scrap or curve it. My $.02.

    • So it is my understanding my child is a spoiled brat because I refused her from taking a standardized test, that is mandated from the state for the school to administer. However, the school gets no useful information to help my child from this test. Therefore it makes it a waste of time to my child, to the teacher and the school. TestingIsOK… think about your job and if you had to take a mandated test to see if you were effective at it, but the test had subjects on it that you have never dealt with… would you be okay with that, when they come back and say… sorry but if you have another test like this we will have to let you go… you just are not effective enough for us. These tests are unfair to the kids, to the teachers and to the school, and it is all about the money and a monopoly on education.

      • Spoiled Brats? Mental exercise? Have you done any research on the tests our children are taking? This test had no rhyme nor reason, and in some cases is several levels above the grade reading level. Reports are that the brightest children are even struggling to finish. These bright children are finding more than one correct answer to some questions. Yes testing is important. Testing is important if, and only if it is a true measure of what a child has learned. There are reports that the seventh grade ELA test had a question involving “irony.” Ok……irony is a core concept for the eighth grade! Why set our children up for failures like this? The so called smart kids are the ones sighting the inadequacies in the ELA test. Even they are smart enough to see the people who created it have put no thought into children and child development levels. There’s my two cents!

    • They don’t curve these tests.

      • School Counselor, Florida, M.Ed. says:

        Pearson runs the state assessments in Florida, and last year so many students did not meet proficiency on the writing exams that they did, in fact “curve” the tests. Instead of a level 4, they made the proficiency level a 3, state wide. It is possible.

    • If you actually think this is about parents shielding their kids from mental exercise, you need to educate yourself about the real issues. Why do the tests have marketing aimed at our children littered throughout them? Why have children across the state had their science and history classes REPLACED by extra math classes? Math classes that don’t teach math, but only teach strategies for specific questions that are going to be on the test? Why do the tests include questions that duplicate example problems from a published textbook that all schools do not use (giving those schools WITH that textbook a huge advantage)? Why does the state want to sell, oops, share my kids PII (personally identifiable information) with a corporation? This is only a portion of the list of issues I have with these assessments, which has nothing to do with test anxiety, but everything to do with the quality of my child’s education and protecting their privacy.

      • Agreed! I teach a computer class (K-6th grade) in a public school and all I am allowed to have them do in the 45 minutes they are in my room is 10-15 minutes of keyboarding. The rest of the time is spent on an “enrichment” computer program called Odyssey. All year long I have been asking the grade level teachers to load lessons into the kids Science and Social Studies folders and each time I get shot down. I was told that they only have Language Arts and Math lessons because that’s what they need to focus on. The kids are so bored in there from doing the same thing over and over….and so am I. I too have noticed that a lot of the lessons are atleast a grade level or two above what they are learning currently, or are taught in a way that is different from the way their teachers are teaching them. Very confusing to the kids.
        P.S. The program is, of course, aligned with the Common Core.

    • courtney says:

      I can only assume that you do not have a child affected by the new CC curriculum and testing nor have you time in an elementary school and witnessed how even the most enthusiastic teachers have their creativity stifled, how children as young as six spend nearly their entire day sitting in their seats practicing math minute drills. Kids are not being taught how to think – they are being taught to take ONE single test. Teachers are forced to teach to this test, as poor scores can lead to them losing their jobs. These tests are NOT the state tests that we “survived” and education today is NOT like it was 10 years ago. People need to EDUCATE themselves as to what is truly going on in our education system and about the for-profit companies who are playing such a major role these days.

    • Wow, did Lil John King write that comment himself or did he call Assistant Secretary Katie Campos out of the Political Appointee Protection Program’s underground silo to write it for him? Possibly the most simple minded slab of rah rah test babble I have seen anywhere. But hey sane people do you hear a huge pushback from any of our Reform Rockstars this week? Funny how quiet they are about defending the lynchpin of their bloated salaries. Rhee? Kopp? Canada? Anybody home or has your special sauce oozing train left the station?

    • Janice Strauss says:

      And YOU should have some confidence in people who have spent their entire adult lives studying and practicing what works for the children they teach. They are saying this is wrong, wrong, WRONG! it is child abuse. These tests are designed to have children fail so that their teachers will fail so that schools will fail and corporate America can take over and make MONEY. That is what this is all about.

  31. How do I opt out!!!! Who even knew that was an option?????

    • My2cents says:

      If you opt out & your district fails to have a minimum of 95% of their students take the test you will lose some much needed funding! I know that I would be pissed if my child’s school lost funding because of a parents misguided attempt to rebel against society!

      • camkysmom says:

        THAT is what civil disobedience is all about. We would still have slaves, segregation and a multitude of other social ills if people didn’t stand up against WRONG minded social issues…I informed myself, am a past educator, and my child OPTED OUT..yes, funding may be in the balance but I will NOT be bullied or allow my children to be used in this way by corporate America…Not now..not ever! If enough stand up against this then NYSED will have to reevaluate its motives and actons! My $.02!!!

      • Rebel against society? I think not! Do some research and see for yourself where our national education is headed. Private corporations have taken over our educational system. Many involved have never spent time in a classroom. If it takes loss of funding to regain our democracy and educational liberties, than so be it.

      • stealtheducator says:

        Nothing worth doing was ever done by toeing the line and remaining silent about injustice. STAND UP! OPT OUT!

      • This is not necessarily true. Perhaps if it’s a Title I school.

      • You need to find out the facts. The state has published documents announcing that there will be no losses of funding for any schools or districts based on this year’s test results. Title 1 schools do not even lose funding, although they may be required to set aside a portion of their funding for remedial programs. Feel free to start here:

      • How much educational & financial harm has the testing and adoption of the Common Core caused? If parents stand up for their school their is no way that the politicians will punish a school because of the participation issue. My children are learning a valuable lesson about civil disobedience when confronted with laws that are unfair.

        • Yes Chris! The is why we are called a Democracy… seems our educational system is becoming intensely socialistic. The madness can only be stopped thanks to our forefathers and the rights given parents and citizens as put forth in our Constitution!

      • and all that funding has gotten us what? A system that turns out a worse product EVERY SINGLE YEAR. $$ is not the problem. Use the civil disobedience method..force their hand…lose the $$…then you will find out who really wants to teach, who can teach, and what parents are willing to step up. Get the feds out of public education and get it back to local control between the parents and teachers.

      • I hate to say it..but it is TOOO late!

        • Just because it’s too late, does that mean we should do what we think is best for our children? At what point should you stop standing up for what you believe is right?

    • My child wanted to “opt out”. The administrators told me “students will be held accountable”, but could not tell me what consequences and how she would be held accountable… she decided to take the test for the State.

  32. There has always been standardized tests. When I was in elementary school we had to do reading tests every few years, and the results were the same: I always read at a grade level three years higher than my own, but give me a standardized test and it tells me I should be receiving reading aids. For this test, however, we tried to keep stresses down as much as possible by not torturing the kids with studying, review, and practice tests. We have been following the curriculum but still allowing the kids to play with the material – working in groups, completing creative projects. What we were not prepared for was the convoluted wording of the questions, and how long the directions were for children! I took the students with IEPs to administer the test due to the extended time, and they were checked out before the test started. These directions were worded the exact same for certification exams. That adults take. Day 2 of the test, I had two students who did not understand what the questions were. Out of these two students, one is Autistic and one came from another country and still is not fluent in English. There were tears, breakdowns, and shutdowns. This is not what testing should test! I understand standardizing education, in fact I agree with it, but this is not how it should be done. What is the point of stressing our students out to the point where they cannot handle the rest of the day because they are so upset? All these tests seem to be doing is to show kids that they are failures! What is up with that?

  33. They probably wanted the students to fail so badly that they could expedite the privatization of America’s public schools!

  34. The testing that the state feels they need to implement on students now a days is insane and unfair, for everyone. Over the past ten or so years NYS has become test happy and there’s no reason for it. These test don’t show any accurate account of a teacher’s ability to teach and they sure dont give you any insight has to how much or what a child has learned from that teacher, especially when were finding how horribly written these tests are from the materials being tested on/given to the allowed time. Not all children learn the same or test the same so why are we pushing this on them and holding teachers accountable in an unjust way? And to top it off most students now a days know that these tests have no meaning or effect on them. Of course they aren’t going to try or care!

  35. They are setting kids up for failure.

  36. M. Reyling says:

    If I were the parent of a child with a high-stakes decision riding on one of these tests, I would be filing a FOIL request to see the test.

    And frankly, as a taxpayer in NY, I think I should have the right to see the exams that were administered and paid for with my tax money.

    • Paula VDV says:

      I’m thinking that you cannot “foil” these tests. I am a sixth grade teacher and for the past three days these tests have been under top notch security. I’m not sure if you will even be able to see them after they have been corrected. Parents will get a paper stating what the student scored and if they qualify for AIS help. You never get the test back. One of my boys asked me today when will we get our tests back? I toldhim you don’t get them back. Then, he said….”how are we supposed to learn from our mistakes?” EVERY time I give a test we go over it so students can learn from their mistakes.State won’t allow it. Parents need to keep their voices loud and their feelings known. We as teachers are not listened to by the state. I will tell you…today’s reading was not awful. Everyone finished on time. Yesterday’s was ridiculous….too much of everything. The questions they asked had grey area answers. time ran out for two of my top level kids. Next week is Math….please don
      ‘t let this issue die next Friday – the last day of the math test.

      • I have to agree with Paula regarding the fact that we as teachers, and you as parents, never get to see these tests to be used as a teaching tool once they are taken!
        I teach 6th grade, and although the directions do not prohibit us as teachers from reading the test, they are under so much security at least in our district, that we get the tests delivered to our rooms 5 minutes before we are to pass them out, and they are collected within 5 minutes of the end time…so I do not have time to read them. I have no idea what the stories are even about other than what students have shared, and the predictions I have made from reading a title here and there as I proctored. It is infuriating when I hear superintendents defend these assessments by saying that we use them to help kids. This year especially is a completely different test, so we can’t compare what they do this year to last because we are comparing apples to oranges. In addition, the scores for these tests do not come back to the school until the summer, well after school is over. There are 4 forms to the test, so how can each child be evaluated the same, when there are 4 forms circulating? There have been reports that some of the stories came directly out of texts used by some districts, ironically published by Pearson, so how is that ethically fair? I have a student in 6th grade, who leaves my ELA class, and joins an 8th grade ELA class every day because his reading and writing skills are off the mark, yet he did not finish day 2 or day 3 of the test because he ran out of time. How will these results accurately tell the state what my students’ strengths are, and areas of need? They won’t! But I can tell you.
        If you are contemplating having your child refuse, remember this: each child is entitled to a free, public education….so that can not be taken away from your child even if they refuse to take the test. A good teacher will teach your child life-long skills, not to the test. Best wishes to all!!

  37. As I read these comments, I believe this whole thing has been blown out of context. These rules for the most part have been existence and many times not followed in the past. This hysteria can not be good for kids.

    • You need to educate yourself out of complacency. Never before has the state tried to share my child’s personal and medical information with a corporate “vendor”, and never before has a teacher’s evaluation been so heavily dependent (up to 40%) on the results of standardized assessments.

      • They will now. Educate yourself. In Alabama, teachers have to sign non-disclosure statements about the tests meaning they cannnot discuss anything about them with the parents AT ALL…how they are used, for what they are used, what’s on them…nada. CSCOPE in Texas? Check out some of those federally mandated courses. Literature replaced with “informational texts” about corporate mumbo jumbo. Don’t give me the “those are different states” talk, either. Right now the states only get 15% of the wiggle room with input. 85% belongs to the federal government. That will change once the whole thing gets implemented.

      • Can you expound on the “share my child’s personal and medical information with a corporate vendor” comment?

    • Maybe some more research on your part is needed before accusations are made. Our educational system has been hijacked by privateers, who are mainly interested in making a profit and tracking students for their own gain. Anyone concerned about the welfare of the children in our society, would never subject them to the failure felt by completing tests without ties to their daily instruction. I agree with you I one respect only, the hysteria, uncertainty, and stressors being brought about by the Common Core Standardized testing are the result of the ignorance and misguided decisions in Washington!

  38. @ Chris. My 4th grader told me that one student in her class actually gave up mid test during day 2 of the ELA’s.

  39. My 8 th grader (A student) did not even have time to start the essay and told me she ended up having a panic attack because of it. She will be opting out of the Math and all future tests.

  40. Teddi Urriola says:

    We signed statements that we wouldn’t discuss the test…not even teacher’s lounge talk….now we know why.

  41. My 8th grader – who excels in English – indicated test was a “joke” with not enough time. She had just 5 minutes to finish essay portion due to issues described above and started to “freak out” until she realized most students – even the best ones in the class – didn’t come close to finishing. Many never even started Book 3.

  42. P Gilliland says:

    We are not allowed to see the test EVER! How do people know what is on the test to report its contents? We are threatened we will lose our license if we look at the test material .

    • Looking for various general issues that occurred., not exact content from teachers. Although if a parent or student posts info?

    • I’m confused about this statement in the comments, because my child’s teachers actually took the exam after the children to see what their experience was like.
      “We are not allowed to see the test EVER! How do people know what is on the test to report its contents? We are threatened we will lose our license if we look at the test material “

      • I can answer how teachers know… they look!

        • are they allowed? in some states they have to sign non-disclosure agreements if they look.

        • I not only never looked, I never touched a seventh grade test, nor could I proctor my own students. I do know from the proctors that the majority of seventh and eighth grade students, including the best readers and writers, never finished the test on day two or finished the test by trying to write an essay in ten minutes. Day three was slightly better, but again most students had insufficient time to write a solid essay. The students told me – though I could not allow them to discuss any specific items or passages- that the questions had multiple answers and that they had to skip short answers to try to get to the essay. One student told me he tried to answer the multiple choice by pretending he was a middle-aged test writer.

          • artsy2ny says:

            Kudos to your one student who answered the multiple choice questions by pretending he was a middle-aged test writer. Now there is a creative thinker and problem solver!

      • I teach in NC and we are told we are not to look at the test questions or discuss ANYTHING about the test/directions! We sign a legally binding agreement! Teachers have lost their liscence because of discussing the test!!! Therefore, I am so shocked by this article but specifically by the comments from teachers who are blatantly admitting to not only looking at the test but posting about it on the internet!!

        • Jennifer,

          Teachers in NY can read the test and actually do score the test. We can discuss general issues or problems with the test. If we were to take a picture of the test and post it then that action would be a major issue. You are in a “right to work” state so of course you have no rights. At least here we have some rights for now, but of course some want to use test results to erode those rights.


  1. […] can’t see the tests for at least another year).  They are a flat-out disaster.  They are, as Chris Cerrone has written, a #fail–with a […]

  2. […] point? The ELA exam was a disaster, frustrating students, many of whom did not finish the exam.  By the next week many of the middle […]

  3. […] written and unfair questions will remain a secret.  Teachers around New York commented about the problems with the new Common Core tests but could not legally publicize the questions. The other step for parents is to boycott all […]

  4. […] appears the problem extends into the tests they’ve designed for both the 6th grade English Language Arts (ELA) and the 8th grade […]

  5. […] the only ethical question this year’s test brought up. As reported in the New York Post, At the Chalk Face and Diane Ravitch’s blog, several teachers noticed passages on the 6th and 8th grade tests […]

  6. […] we can’t see the tests for at least another year). They are a flat-out disaster. They are, as Chris Cerrone has written, a #fail–with a […]

  7. […] see the tests for at least another year).  They are a flat-out disaster.  They are, as Chris Cerrone has written, an epic […]

  8. […] extraordinarily high numbers of kids unable to finish in time, making lots of children cry. See ChalkFace or NYC Public School Parents blog for the gory […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 11,952 other followers

%d bloggers like this: