To the chagrin of education bureaucrats, there’s a growing backlash against the test among parents—many of whom are opting their children out of the tests.
There’s also a growing backlash against the tests among teachers and school officials at elementary and middle schools.
New York State is ground zero for this phenomenon. By the score, teachers and administrators across The Empire State have taken to the internet to vent their frustrations about the ELA, the state’s standardized test in English Language Arts which is specifically designed to align with Common Core.
A third-grade teacher writing in Slate only as Anonymous ripped the grueling multi-day test for being a useless exercise in process of elimination that cannot be expected to make sense to a typical third-grade kid.
Instead of a question like: “What caused the character to (insert action here) in the middle of the story?” (which, mind you, is hard enough for an 8-year-old to identify as it is), there were questions like: “In Line 8 of Paragraph 4, the character says … and in Line 17 of Paragraph 5, the character does … Which of the following lines from Paragraph 7 best supports the character’s actions?” This, followed by four choices of lines from Paragraph 7 that could all, arguably, show motivation for the character’s actions…As Anonymous notes, teachers are forbidden from exposing the low-quality test material—produced, teachers say, by educational publishing behemoth Pearson.
Nevertheless, at a website called Testing Talk, teachers and administrators (and parents) have been venting about the awful quality of the ELA test.
“It is not a valid measure of students’ reading comprehension,” wrote one frustrated teacher concerning the questions and, particularly, the appalling array of answer choices.
“There were several that I did not know exactly which choice was correct and could have justified an answer for all the choices and I’m a reading specialist and have been teaching for 24 years, so how are kids supposed to do this?”
A third-grade teacher calling herself Rebecca concurred, saying, “There were questions I believed could have had two or three answers.”
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