Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mmmmm.... Pineapple

Tim Furman:

I know there's been a lot of attention to the pineapple question on the New York test, but I'd like to point out that these terrible test questions are as common as the rain. You only hear about them when someone takes the risk of pointing them out. It is a testing violation for teachers to look through the testing booklet to see what's on the test.

I did this very thing several times at my own risk over the years, just to see if the tests had any remote relationship to the things we were doing in class.  I would never do it now, in the current police state around testing.

It isn't that all standardized tests are bad, but if you have the opportunity to look, you quickly realize that many of them are. That's not a problem unless you're using them for high-stakes, not just one of many diagnostics. And nobody seems to have a plan to improve them based on anything other than doing a better job next time around. That is to say, no real plan at all.

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