Friday, November 22, 2013

High School Students Expose Tweed Incompetence

You read this, but you just can't believe it. The geniuses at Tweed thought it was a good idea to give those tests to find out how badly city teachers suck, and decided to post the answers online. Curious high school students, who got to think about the test answers overnight, looked it up online and voila! There it was. The city's reaction:

“This should not have happened. It was a mistake, and there will be no negative impact on students or teachers,” said spokesman Devon Puglia. “Principals will have latitude to deal with any problems this causes and, as always, we will thoroughly review any anomalies in the data and make adjustments if necessary. We are assessing the situation and thank the students at Curtis High School for bringing this to our attention.”

If that doesn't inspire confidence, what does? Your students have taken a baseline test to see what progress you'll have made by June. Only on the baseline, they got to look up sample responses online.  It's pretty clear that would alter the results. It's also pretty clear when you give thousands of kids a test on All Quiet on the Western Front, there are all sorts of online resources they could use for commentary and suggestions.

So even if the geniuses who posted answers on the website had not done so, it's ridiculous to assume that you can fairly assess the interpretations of students. If you let me read something today and answer questions about it tomorrow, I can read CliffNotes, SparkNotes, BookRags, and 500 other things online that will make undue thinking on my part thoroughly unnecessary.

And let's be honest here--if the geniuses who designed these assessments are stupid enough to put them online, how good could the tests be anyway?

Take a good look at the two students in the picture, because they're among the best education reporters in New York City. They attend public school and managed to do this largely without the benefit of Common Core.
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